Category Archives: Pages From History

Lists of NKVD victims killed in mass executions in 1941 published online  



Lviv prisoners who were killed by the NKVD before it retreated from the town, July 1941. Photo: prisoners who were killed by the NKVD before it retreated from the town, July 1941. Photo: 75 years ago, during June – July 1941, the Soviet NKVD shot around 24 thousand prisoners in western Ukraine. Now the names of many of these victims are made known thanks to documents published the Electronic Archive of the Ukrainian liberation movement.

Immediately after Nazi Germany attacked the USSR, the Soviet NKVD began shooting prisoners who were sentenced to death. Plans were made to evacuate the rest to rear, and to free those who were arrested for minor crimes. Continue reading

Teach Me to Dance

This is an amazing short film from the National Film Board.  It shows the prejudiced attitude toward the Ukrainian pioneers by the English establishment. Worth showing everywhere.

In this drama, Lesia convinces her English-Canadian friend Sarah to perform a Ukrainian dance with her as part of their school’s Christmas pageant. Sarah’s father, angry at the growing number of Ukrainian settlers, won’t allow his daughter to participate. Despite the prejudices of their parents, the girls’ friendship remains strong, and they meet in Sarah’s barn to celebrate Christmas Day together. Part of the Adventures in History series.

Brief History of the Ukrainian Greek-Catholic Church

The Ukrainian Greek-Catholic Church
Українська Греко-Католицька Церква

Ukraine has a long Christian tradition, dating from the 10th century. Today there are more than 22,000 religious communities in Ukraine from approximately 80 different Christian denominations, as well as other religions. But the atheist policy of the Soviets has left its mark: many Ukrainians today are unchurched because of the great spiritual void which the Bolshevik regime left in Eastern Europe.

The Conversion of Ukraine and Tensions Between East and West

In 988 Prince Volodymyr the Great established Christianity in its Byzantine-Slavic rite as the national religion of his country, Kyivan-Rus. This happened before the Great Church Schism of 1054 divided Christian East from West. The Kyivan Church inherited the traditions of the Byzantine East and was part of the Patriarchate of Constantinople. Yet this Church also remained in full communion with the Latin West and its patriarch, the Pope of Rome. Continue reading

Ukrainian Settlement in Toronto, 1903-14

By Zoriana Sokolsky

 The arrival in Toronto of twenty-three-year-old Panteleymon (Peter) Ostapowich with his two friends, Wasyi Neterpka and Joseph Strachalsky, on April 15, 1903, marked the beginning of the Ukrainian settlement here. Born in East Galicia (West Ukraine), they first immigrated to the eastern United States and then from the coal mines of Pennsylvania came on to Toronto in search of work, as many other Ukrainians were later to do. Walking along the commercial streets of Spadina and Queen and wondering what to do next, they were overheard by a Galician Jew who was distributing bread from his horse-drawn carriage. The good man brought them to his bakery on York Street and   after feeding them and giving each a loaf of bread took them to his friend’s house at 49 Continue reading


Manitoba Morning Free Press Friday, July 23, 1897

The letter of Dr. Joseph Oleskiw, published in another column places the situation of the immigrants from Galicia to this country in a serious light. Surely Dr. Oleskow is not in a position to be mistaken when he describes those who have come, as a class, as in a state of utmost po­verty, dirty and destitute. Some, it is well known, are not without means. Winnipeg merchants may have sold greater or smaller quantities of goods; but they have not said much about it, the volume of trade has not been perceptibly affected. To dealers in one of two small Continue reading

The Cossack Letter to the Sultan Mahmud IV

In the 17th Century, Ukraine was a constantly disputed borderland between Catholic Poland and Muslim Turkey (both more powerful in those days), and Orthodox Russia (just starting to emerge as a great power). Indeed the very name “Ukraine” means “border.”

The Cossacks were Ukrainian cavalrymen originally chartered by Poland to establish autonomous military communities on the Turkish border. The most famous Cossack settlement was the Zaporogian “Syech'” near present-day Continue reading

THE GALICIANS—A Letter Prom Dr. Oleskow

Manitoba Morning Free Press
Friday, July 23, 1897

A Plain Statement of Fact of One Who Knows A Dark Side And A Bright Side.

Dr. Joseph Oleskow of Lemburg, Austria, to whose visit to this country in 1895 the immigration of Galicians has been in part attributed, writes the
following letter to the Free Press, dated July 6th.

Immigration from Austria, in such a form as it now exists, must indeed be a subject of great anxiety to the government as well as to Canadian society. The thousands of people who come in a state of the utmost poverty, dirty and Continue reading


Manitoba Morning Free Press
Thursday, July 8, 1897

The New Arrivals Located In the Sliding Hills District Public Works For Their Benefit

Originally from the July 3 Yorkton Association Enterprise

The sharp toot from the engine of a special train on Monday drew all the citizens from their avocations to go and see a fresh contingent of Galicians arrive. Eight densely loaded coaches drew up alongside of the platform, and immediately some 500 future Yorkton settlers at last realized a faint idea of what their future home and future market town was like.  The town and the general aspect of the country was not very entrancing just then, mud and wet everywhere. However Continue reading

1897 Voyage of the Arcadia


The voyage of the SS              Arcadia was described by Dmytro Romanchych and              is taken from Early Ukrainian Settlements in Canada              1895-1900 by Vladimir J. Kaye, (Toronto: University              of Toronto Press, 1964) :

After            a short wait in Hamburg, one and a half thousand Ukrainian emigrants            were loaded into an very old but not very            large ship, the Arcadia. It was a boat that had steam engines as            well as sails which were hoisted when a favourable wind was blowing.            Under the top deck there were about a dozen passenger cabins where            the “city-coated gentlemen” travelled. Under the second            deck were the galleys and the dining room. Below water level, under            the third and fourth decks, there were no cabins, Continue reading