Zaporozhe

Zaporozhe [Запороже]. The oldest Ukrainian student fraternity, active in Chernivtsi in 1906–40. The group was founded by Ukrainian students who were active in non-Ukrainian (German, Rоmanian) fraternities but desired one of their own. Fencing was initially the focal point, but over the years Zaporozhe sponsored an active cultural and social program that included a choir, a traveling drama ensemble, dance classes and social evenings, and community activity (particularly in organizing co-operatives, reading societies, and Sich student societies in villages in Bukovyna). The group also provided the impetus for the formation of a popular local Ukrainian sports club, Dovbush. Zaporozhe fraternities were also formed in Lviv, Warsaw, Danzig (now Gdańsk), Prague, and Vienna. In 1931 they all met in Stanyslaviv for a conference that established a co-ordinating body for the fraternities. The group was banned in 1925 after an incident with a Romanian school inspector at a Ukrainian concert, but it was reconstituted in 1928 after a nominal name change from academic society (tovarystvo) to Cossack fellows (kozatstvo). In 1937, activities sponsored by Zaporozhe were prohibited after another incident involving fraternity members and the Romanian authorities. Zaporozhe was liquidated after the Soviet occupation of Bukovyna in 1940 but was re-established by former members in the West after the Second World War.

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




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