Dmytro Dontsov

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Dmytro Dontsov
Dmytro Doncow.jpg
Dmytro Dontsov
Born August 29, 1883
Melitopol, Russian Empire
Died March 30, 1973(1973-03-30) (aged 89)
Montreal, Canada
Occupation nationalist writer, publisher, journalist, political thinker and activist, literary critic
Nationality Ukrainian
Alma mater Saint Petersburg University (1907)
Literary movement nationalistic

Dmytro Ivanovych Dontsov (Ukrainian: Дмитро Іванович Донцов) (August 29, 1883 – March 30, 1973) was a Ukrainian nationalist writer, publisher, journalist and political thinker whose radical ideas were a major influence on the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists.

Biography[edit]

Dontsov was born in Melitopol, Taurida Governorate (today - Zaporizhia Oblast) to an old cossack officer's family, and in 1900 moved to Saint Petersburg to study law. In 1905 he joined the USDRP. During that time he was arrested due to his involvement in socialist politics, and soon after that moved to Vienna in 1909. He then moved to Lviv, where in 1917 he completed his doctorate in law. In 1913 he quit the USDRP due to the conflict based on the national question.

During the time of the Ukrainian revolution Dontsov served in the government of Hetman Pavlo Skoropadsky, where he became the head of the government's official news agency. During that time together with Vyacheslav Lypynsky and Volodymyr Shemet he created the Ukrainian Democratic-Agrarian Party (Khliboroby-Demokraty). With the fall of the Ukrainian State between 1919 and 1922 he lived in Switzerland, where he headed the press bureau of the Ukrainian People's Republic. In 1922-1932 he was the editor-in-chief of the "Literaturno-naukovyi vistnyk" (Literary Scientific Herald), in 1933-1939 Dontsov was publishing and editing "Vistnyk" (Herald).

Ideology[edit]

In 1922 Dmytro Dontsov moved to Lviv. Utterly rejecting the socialism of his youth, his theories came to be considered nationalistic, but authentically Ukrainian. Unlike many Ukrainian politicians of his time he opposed any ideas of consensus and cooperation with the Russian government (Moskvophobe). His views grew out the study of historical Ukrainian-Russian relationships, primarily. During this time he edited several journals and wrote numerous articles on Ukrainian nationalism. His writings lambasted the failures of Ukrainians to achieve independence in 1917-1921, ridiculed Ukrainian figures from that era, and proposed a new "nationalism of the deed" and a united "national will" in which violence was a necessary instrument to overthrow the old order. He condemned the Polonophilia, Russophilia, and Austrophilia of various segments of contemporary Ukrainian society. In his writings, Dontsov called for the birth of a "new man" with "hot faith and stone heart" (гарячої віри й кам'яного серця) who would not be afraid to mercilessly destroy Ukraine's enemies. He believed that a national culture is something sacred and should be protected by any means necessary. His fiery exhortations had a profound influence on many of Ukraine's youth who experienced the oppression of their nation and who were disillusioned with democracy. Although he did not become a member of the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists his writings served as an inspiration.

Exile[edit]

In 1939, on the eve of the Soviet takeover of western Ukraine, Dontsov left Ukraine, living in Bucharest, Prague, Germany, Paris and the United States. In 1949 he moved to Montreal where he taught Ukrainian literature at the French-language Université de Montréal. He died in 1973 in Montreal, and is buried in Bound Brook, New Jersey.

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