Vytvytsky, Stepan

Image - Stepan Vytvytsky

Vytvytsky, Stepan [Витвицький, Степан; Vytvyc'kyj], b 13 March 1884 in Uhornyky, Tovmach county, Galicia, d 19 October 1965 in New York. State figure and political activist. While studying law at Lviv University and Vienna University he headed the Academic Hromada (Lviv) and the Sich student society of Vienna. He was a cultural and civic activist in Drohobych county. In 1915–18 he was a member of the editorial board of the newspaper Dilo, editor of the weekly Svoboda (Lviv), a member of the Ukrainian National Democratic party and of the political committee which prepared the declaration of 1 November 1918 by the Ukrainian National Rada, and secretary of the Rada. As a member of the delegation from the Western Ukrainian National Republic (ZUNR) to the Labor Congress in Kyiv he participated in the ratification of the union of the Ukrainian National Republic and ZUNR on 22 January 1919. He became state secretary of external affairs, and he represented the Western Province of the Ukrainian National Republic in negotiations with the Entente for a truce with Poland. In November 1919 he was deputy to the head of the diplomatic mission of the Directory of the Ukrainian National Republic in Warsaw, a position from which he resigned in protest against the Treaty of Warsaw (1920). Vytvytsky directed the Department of External Affairs of the ZUNR government-in-exile in Vienna, and in 1921–3 he headed the ZUNR missions in Paris and London. In 1924–39, after returning to Galicia, he worked as a lawyer and was active in the leadership of the Ukrainian National Democratic Alliance (UNDO) in Drohobych. He was an UNDO representative to the Polish Sejm (1935–9) as well as deputy head of UNDO and of the Ukrainian Parliamentary Representation (from 1938). As a postwar refugee Vytvytsky was vice-president of the Central Representation of the Ukrainian Emigration in Germany (1945) and participated in establishing the Ukrainian National Council; he became vice-president of its executive organ and director of its office of external affairs in 1949. In 1951 he emigrated to the United States, and he represented the executive organ there. He was elected president of the Government-in-exile of the Ukrainian National Republic in 1954 and re-elected at its fifth session in 1961.

Arkadii Zhukovsky

[This article originally appeared in the Encyclopedia of Ukraine, vol. 5 (1993).]

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