‘The Lost: The Search for Six of Six Million’

I recently finished reading Daniel Mendelsohn’s book The Lost: The Search for Six of Six Million about his search for what happened to six of his relatives during the Holocaust. He searched specifically for the fates of relatives who lived in Bolekhiv, Ukraine, a place where his Jewish ancestors settled many […]

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On Makhno’s Wife Halyna Kuzmenko

Nestor Makhno (1888-1934) was a Ukrainian anarcho-communist revolutionary and the commander of an independent anarchist army in Ukraine during the Russian Civil War of 1917-1922. Nestor Makhno’s last wife was a teacher from Huliaypole, Halyna Kuzmenko. They were married in 1919. Together they crossed the Romanian border, escaping the Bolsheviks. […]

Ivan Franko: His Visits to Tsishky and Phenomenal Memory

My great grandmother had the honor of meeting Ivan Franko, who used to visit her aunt and uncle’s library in the village of Tsishky (today Chishky), near Oleskyi Zamok. Her aunt and uncle were Toma Dutkevych, the parish priest and one of the founders of the agricultural organization Silskyi Hospodar, […]

Olena Kulchytska: Combining Galician Secession and Ukrainian Folk Art

Olena Kulchytska was a Galician Modernist, legendary Lvivian, famous artist, and skilled teacher. She is my favorite Ukrainian artist; in particular, I like how she combines Secession and Ukrainian folk art. Furthermore, she lived about 5 minutes away from where I live in Lviv, and in the interwar period in […]

Karol Lipiński: Violinist and Conductor in Lviv’s First Theater

Lviv has always felt like my native town; however, in recent times none of my ancestors were from here. But in the last few years I discovered that my direct ancestors on two sides of my family (Polish and Austrian) did live in Lviv – though over 200 years ago, in […]

Boykos: Ukrainian Carpathian Highlanders

A Ukrainian ethnic subgroup, which makes up the third group of Carpathian highlanders in addition to the Hutsuls and Lemkos, is the Boykos. My grandfather was born in the Boyko region of the Carpathians, though his parents were from the Sambir and Lviv regions. Like the Hutsuls and Lemkos, the […]

My Ukraine: Memory and Identity: Sisters

Old photos are windows to the past, to a forgotten world. I’m fortunate to have quite a few old family photos, which allow me to get a glimpse into the lives they led. I decided to share some of these photos with a correspondent from Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty who […]

Archaic Ukrainian Orthographies on Ancestral Graves

The oldest Ukrainian-language grave that I found of an ancestor is my great-great-great grandmother’s grave. She died in 1883 and is buried in the village Luchkivtsi, about an hour north east of Lviv. Anna’s husband was a German man named Venceslaus (Karlo) Kuhn. The etymological spelling used is called Maksymovychivka. […]

EuroMaidan’s Hrushevskoho Street: A Medieval Battlelfield in Modern Kyiv

“When your government goes medieval on you, it’s time to get medieval back.” This post is about the medieval tactics, armour, and weaponry that were used during Ukraine’s recent revolution. For nearly 3 months Kyiv’s Independence Square (Maidan) was the revolution’s main battlefield, where the antigovernment protesters fought back the […]

Taming the Bicycle

I highly recommend the short story Taming the Bicycle. It is Mark Twain’s humurous account of learning to ride the high-wheel bicycle, which is also called the ordinary or the penny-farthing. I decided to include it in my blog because it is about a type of bicycle that is now […]