Kahanovych, Naum

Kahanovych, Naum [Каганович, Наум; Kahanovyč; real name Аронович, Нухим; Aronovych, Nukhym], b 27 December 1903 in Berdychiv, Kyiv gubernia, d 20 January 1938 in Kyiv. Linguist. His articles and reviews in Prapor marksyzmu-leninizmu and Krytyka (1928–32) at the beginning of the 1930s initiated a broad campaign against Ukrainian linguistics of the 1920s, characterizing it first as an expression of populism and then as an expression of ‘Ukrainian bourgeois nationalism.’ From 1933 to 1937 he was a corresponding member of the Academy of Sciences of the Ukrainian SSR, the director of the Institute of Linguistics of the Academy of Sciences of the Ukrainian SSR, the editor of the journal Movoznavstvo, the compiler of a school textbook of the Ukrainian language, and, with the support of the Communist Party, the de facto dictator in the field of Ukrainian linguistics. He used his position to Russify ruthlessly literary Ukrainian and to discredit Ukrainian linguists. He was arrested by the NKVD during the Yezhov terror in 1937 and subsequently executed.

[This article originally appeared in the Encyclopedia of Ukraine, vol. 2 (1988).]

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