Organization for the Rebirth of Ukraine

Organization for the Rebirth of Ukraine (Організація державного відродження України; Orhanizatsiia derzhavnoho vidrodzhennia Ukrainy, or ОДВУ; ODVU; acronym also commonly given in English as ODWU). A nationalist political organization established in the United States in 1931. Connected ideologically with the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists, the group propagated Ukrainian nationalism and supported the liberation struggle in Ukraine. Its groundwork was established in 1930–1 by Omelian Senyk, an OUN operative who helped found 35 ODVU branches. The group was particularly popular in the 1930s and developed 78 branches with young people’s (Young Ukrainian Nationalists) and women’s (Ukrainian Gold Cross) affiliates; its combined membership (1938) was approximately 10,000. Investigations by the (Congressional) Dies Committee and the FBI for perceived pro-Nazi sympathies after 1939 affected the group seriously (the number of branches had fallen to 27 by 1942), but it was cleared, and it recovered some of its former strength after the Second World War. In the postwar period it has been affiliated with the OUN (Melnyk faction). ODVU publications include the monthly Vistnyk ODVU (1932–4), Natsionalist (1935–7), Ukraïna (1939–41), all published in New York, and Samostiina Ukraïna (1948–). The first president of ODVU was H. Herman. He was followed by Alexander Granovsky (1935–63), V. Riznyk, B. Hnatiuk, and Bohdan Shebunchak (1982–).

[This article originally appeared in the Encyclopedia of Ukraine, vol. 3 (1993).]

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