Zaitsev, Pavlo

Image - Pavlo Zaitsev

Zaitsev, Pavlo [Зайцев, Павло; Zajcev], b 23 September 1886 in Sumy, Kharkiv gubernia, d 2 September 1965 in Munich. Literary scholar and political figure; member of the Shevchenko Scientific Society from 1938. After completing his studies in law (1908) and Slavic philology (1913) at Saint Petersburg University he worked as a gymnasium teacher in Petrograd, researched the life of Taras Shevchenko, and belonged to the Society of Ukrainian Progressives. In 1917 he moved to Kyiv and became a member of the Central Rada. He was head of the chancery of the General Secretariat of Education in 1917, director of the general department in the Hetman government's Ministry of Education and Art in 1918, and head of the cultural-educational department of the Army of the Ukrainian National Republic in 1920. He was also a lecturer at the Ukrainian Pedagogical Academy (1917), a member of the Council of the Ukrainian Scientific Society in Kyiv (1918–20), and editor of the quarterly Nashe mynule (1918–19), other publications of the Drukar publishing house (as chief editor), and vol 1 of Zapysky Istorychno-filolohichnoho viddilu VUAN (1918).

From 1913 on Zaitsev was a recognized authority in the field of Shevchenko studies. He found many of Taras Shevchenko's unpublished writings and drawings and wrote numerous textual and biographical studies, a book on Shevchenko and the Poles (1934), and an important biography of Shevchenko (1955; abridged English trans 1988). He also edited the 1914 Petrograd edition of Shevchenko's Kobzar. From 1921 to 1941 he lived in Warsaw, where he was a regular contributor to Ukraïns’ka trybuna (Warsaw) under the pseudonym L(uka) Hrabuzdov(ych), an associate of the Ukrainian Scientific Institute in Warsaw, and chief editor of its canonical edition of Shevchenko's works (13 vols, 1934–8). From 1941 on he lived in Germany. In 1948 he became director of the Shevchenko Studies Institute at the Ukrainian Academy of Arts and Sciences and a professor at the Ukrainian Free University in Munich.

Roman Senkus

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

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