Zhatkovych, Hryhorii

Image - Hryhorii Zhatkovych signs a declaration on behalf of the American National Council of Uhro-Rusins (1918).

Zhatkovych, Hryhorii [Жаткович, Григорій; Žatkovyč, Hryhorij; also Zsatkovich, Gregory Zatkovich], b 2 December 1886 in Holubyne, Bereg komitat, Transcarpathia, d 26 March 1967 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA. Lawyer and political leader. He emigrated in 1891 with his parents to the United States of America, where he completed law studies and worked for General Motors. Although Zhatkovych himself was not actively involved in community affairs, he had some profile among the immigrant population through the activities of his father, an editor of Amerikanskii russkii viestnik. Consequently, in 1918 he was asked by the American National Council of Uhro-Rusins to serve as spokesman of its delegation to the Mid-European Democratic Union in Philadelphia. He later went to Uzhhorod to follow through on the results of the plebiscite held by the American National Council of Uhro-Rusins in 1918, which called for an autonomous Transcarpathia federated with Czechoslovakia. In the summer of 1919 he negotiated the terms of federation in Prague and Paris and on 12 August 1919 became president of the Directory of Subcarpathian Ruthenia. He was appointed the first governor of Subcarpathian Ruthenia in April 1920, but he resigned a year later over the central government’s refusal to grant full autonomy to the region. He returned to the United States, where he wrote several books critical of Czechoslovak policy. During the Second World War he changed his mind and again supported the aim of Transcarpathia’s incorporation within Czechoslovakia.

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

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