Shtefan, Avhustyn

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Shtefan, Avhustyn [Штефан, Августин; Štefan], b 11 January 1893 in Poroshkove, Transcarpathia, d 4 September 1986 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Teacher, civic activist, and Transcarpathian state figure; member of the Shevchenko Scientific Society. After completing studies in theology in Uzhhorod and in philosophy in Budapest he became a teacher in Uzhhorod (1917). A founding member of the Ruthenian People's party (1920–4), in 1922 he established and directed the State Commercial Academy in Uzhhorod (moved to Mukachevo in 1926), an institution which trained and educated an entire generation of Ukrainophile students in that region. He retained that post until 1938, after which he served as minister of educational and religious affairs in the republic of Carpatho-Ukraine. With the fall of the state to the Hungarians he fled to Bratislava, where he was director of the Ukrainian Academy of Commerce (1939–40) and the Ukrainian Gymnasium in Czechoslovakia (1940–5). He oversaw the evacuation of the school to Augsburg, Germany, where he directed it in 1945–9 and then emigrated to the United States of America, where he taught at a Ukrainian Catholic academy for girls until 1969.

Shtefan was a leading Ukrainophile community figure in Transcarpathia. He was a cofounder of the Prosvita and Teachers' Hromada of Subcarpathian Ruthenia societies in the region, head of a municipal cultural-educational council for the town of Mukachevo, editor of the newspaper Rusyn (1920–2), and coeditor of the newspaper Rusyn (1923) and the journals Pidkarpats’ka Rus’ (1924–38), Uchytel’s’kyi holos (1930–9), and Zemlia i volia (Mukachevo) (1934–8), the organ of the Ukrainian wing of the Czechoslovak Agrarian party. He was a long-standing member of the presidium of the Central Ruthenian People's Council of Transcarpathia and (in addition to his ministerial duties) president of the Diet of Carpatho-Ukraine. He took an active role in émigré politics and served as deputy premier of the Government-in-exile of the Ukrainian National Republic. He also wrote extensively; his major works include From Carpatho-Ruthenia to Carpatho-Ukraine (1969), Avhustyn Voloshyn, prezydent Karpats'koï Ukraïny (Avhustyn Voloshyn, President of Carpatho-Ukraine, 1977), and Za pravdu i voliu: Spomyny i deshcho z istoriï Karpats'koï Ukraïny (For Justice and Freedom: Memoirs and Some of the History of Carpatho-Ukraine, 2 vols, 1973, 1981).

[This article originally appeared in the Encyclopedia of Ukraine, vol. 4 (1993).]

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