Yaniv, Volodymyr

Yaniv, Volodymyr [Янів, Володимир; Janiv] or Janiw, Wolodymyr, b 21 November 1908 in Lviv, d 19 November 1991 in Munich (buried in Sarcelles, near Paris). Political, community, and scholarly figure; husband of Sofiia Yaniv; full member of the Shevchenko Scientific Society (from 1950; honorary member from 1987), the Ukrainian Theological Scholarly Society (from 1960), the Ukrainian Academy of Arts and Sciences (UVAN in the US, from 1977; and honorary member of the Canadian UVAN from 1988). He studied history and psychology at Lviv University (1927–34), joined the underground Ukrainian Military Organization (in 1927) and the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists (in 1929), and was active in the Plast Ukrainian Youth Association and the Union of Ukrainian Nationalist Youth. In Lviv he headed the branch of the Mohyla Scholarly Lectures Society (1930–2); was the first president of the Union of Ukrainian Student Organizations under Poland (1931–2); edited Students’kyi shliakh (1932–4), Nash klych (Lviv) (1933), and other nationalist and student periodicals; and was a member of the OUN Home Executive in charge of political affairs (1932–4). For his OUN involvement he was imprisoned by the Polish authorities five times in 1928–33, and from June 1934 to August 1937 he was incarcerated in the Bereza Kartuzka concentration camp and the Lviv Brygidky prison. After the 1939 Soviet occupation of Galicia he moved to Berlin, where he resumed his studies and edited Ukraïns’kyi visnyk (Berlin) (1940). In June 1941 he became a member of the Ukrainian National Committee (Cracow), for which act he was imprisoned by the Gestapo. He was released in September 1942 through the efforts of the Ukrainian Central Committee in Cracow and thereupon banished from German-occupied Galicia. He returned to Berlin, where he wrote his PH D dissertation (1944) on the psychological effects of imprisonment.

Yaniv was a prominent figure in the postwar Ukrainian émigré community in Western Europe. He played a key role in the political unification of the Central Union of Ukrainian Students in 1947 and in the organization of the 1948 ideological congress of émigré Ukrainian student organizations. His primary involvement was with the Ukrainian Free University (UVU) in Munich, where he taught psychology and sociology from 1946 (as a professor from 1955) and was rector from 1968 to 1986, and the Shevchenko Scientific Society (NTSh), in which he served as Philosophical-Pedagogical Commission secretary (1947–50). He was an executive board member (1949–55) and the scholarly secretary of the European NTSh center in Sarcelles (1952–68), and the Historical-Philosophical Section secretary (1955–73), vice-president (1968–85, from 1987), and president (1985–7). Yaniv edited Visti NTSh, Khronika NTSh, and Zapysky Naukovoho tovarystva im. Shevchenka (vols 169, 181, 186) and organized NTSh and UVU scholarly conferences and sessions and a scholarly congress on the millennium of the Christianization of Ukraine. He was also president of the Ukrainian Christian Movement (from 1955) and a professor (from 1963) and dean of the philosophy faculty (1963–72) at the Ukrainian Catholic University (Rome), and the Ukrainian representative in international Catholic organizations.

Yaniv began publishing poetry in Galician periodicals in 1926. His political and prison experiences are reflected in his collection Sontse i graty (Sun and [Prison] Bars, 1941) and the autobiographical sketches Lystopadovi fragmenty (November Fragments, 1941). His religious and introspective lyric poetry and epic ballads appeared separately in the émigré collections Shliakhy (Roads, 1951) and Zhyttia (Life, 1975). Yaniv also wrote articles on socio- and ethnopsychology. He wrote a booklet (1948) and articles on Nazi concentration camps and their psychological consequences, a habilitation dissertation on Ukraine’s psychological Westernness (1949), an UVU mimeographed textbook on sociology (1949), the booklet on the Battle of Kruty (1958), surveys of Ukrainian culture (1953, 1961); articles on Soviet society, on the Ukrainian student and scouting movements, and on Ukrainian nationalist leaders, scholars, and religious figures, and a history of the Ukrainian Theological Scholarly Society (1970). His selected studies and materials on modern Ukrainian history were published by the UVU in two volumes (1970, 1983). Several articles about him and a bibliography of his works were published in the festschrift Symbolae in honorem Volodymyri Janiw (1983).

Oleksa Horbach

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

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