Dobriansky, Adolf [Dobrjans’kyj, Adol’f], b 18 December 1817 in Rudlov, Prešov region, Slovakia, d 13 March 1901 in Innsbruck, Austria. (Photo: Adolf Dobriansky.) Prominent Transcarpathian political leader, jurist, mining engineer. In 1840 Dobriansky accepted a government post in Pest. An active defender of the rights of the non-Magyar peoples, he participated in the Slavic Congress in Prague, 1848 and in the Supreme Ruthenian Council in Lviv. He prepared a plan for a separate, self-governing region consisting of all Ukrainian territories within the Austrian Empire. In 1849 Dobriansky served as an Austrian civil commissioner with the Russian army, which helped the Austrians to suppress the Hungarian uprising (see Revolution of 1848–9 in the Habsburg monarchy). He presented to the Austrian emperor a project for the division of Hungary into national districts, entitled ‘A Memorandum by Hungarian Ruthenians’ and dated 19 October 1849. The project was approved, and Dobriansky was appointed vicegerent of the Ruthenian district in Hungary. He served in Uzhhorod, Košice, and Buda from October 1849 to 1860, a period in which Transcarpathia experienced a cultural renaissance. With the adoption of the 1860 constitution and the stronger influence of the Magyars in government, Dobriansky lost the position of vicegerent. He continued, however, to defend the rights of Transcarpathia's Ukrainians and was thrice elected to the Hungarian diet. His proposals to the diet were turned down by the Magyar majority, particularly because he stood for cultural ties with Russia. In 1862–76 he served as president of the Society of Saint John the Baptist in Prešov, and in 1866–76 of the Society of Saint Basil the Great in Uzhhorod. In 1867–71 he edited the Russophile newspaper Svit (Uzhhorod). When his political influence declined, Dobriansky moved to his estate in Chertizhne, Prešov region, but did not cease his activities. In 1881 he moved to Lviv and became entangled in a treason trial in which the main defendant was his daughter, Olha Hrabar. After being acquitted, he moved to Warsaw and Innsbruck and then settled in Vienna.
Among Dobriansky's journalistic works in Russian, German, and Hungarian the more important ones are Proekt politicheskoi programmy dlia Rusi avstriiskoi (A Draft Political Program for Austrian Ruthenia, 1849), O zapadnykh granitsakh Podkarpatskoi Rusi (On the Western Boundaries of Subcarpathian Ruthenia), Program zur Durchführung der nationalen Autonomie in Österreich (1885), and Les Slaves d'Autriche et les Magyars. Ukrainian populists in Galicia were critical of Dobriansky's views and his pro-Russian activity.
Sventsitskii, Ilarion. Materialy dlia istorii vozrozhdeniia Karpatskoi Rusi (Lviv 1906–9)
Zapletal, Florian A. Dobrjanský a naši Rusini, 1849–1851 (Prague 1927)
Popov, Aleksandr. A.I. Dobrianskii, ego zhizn’ i deiatel’nost’ (Mukachiv 1928)
Repčak, Jozef. Súpis literatury o A.J. Dobrjánskom (Prešov 1974)
Magocsi, Paul R. The Shaping of a National Identity: Subcarpathian Rus’, 1848–1946 (Cambridge, Mass 1978)
[This article originally appeared in the Encyclopedia of Ukraine, vol. 1 (1984).]
Encyclopedia of Ukraine