Ivan Rohach

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Ivan Rohach (most left) in 1938

Ivan Rohach (Ukrainian: Іван Андрійович Рогач) (29 May 1913 – 21 February 1942) was a Ukrainian journalist, poet, writer, and political activist born in Velykyi Bereznyi (Hungarian: Nagyberezna), Ung county, Austria-Hungary (modern-day Ukraine).

From 1933 to 1938, he was the editor of the Novoyi Svobody newspaper in Uzhhorod, in Carpathian Ruthenia, then part of Czechoslovakia and today in western Ukraine. Between 1938 and 1939, he was the personal secretary to rev. Avhustyn Voloshyn, the nominal Prime-Minister of Carpatho-Ukraine during its several days of independence in March 1939 before it was occupied by Hungary by First Vienna Award. Rohach was an active supporter and member of the Ukrainian scouting movement, Plast.[1]

Political career[edit]

Rohach was a prolific writer of political pamphlets and short stories dealing with various aspects of religion, human morality, the nationality question, and the cause for Ukrainian self-determination. He was a member of the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists (OUN) and an avid supporter of the Andriy Melnyk faction. He moved to Kiev during the German occupation in order to aid in the re-establishment of a Ukrainian administration in the nation's capital. In January 1942, Rohach became the co-editor of the Nove Ukrainkse Slovo ('New Ukrainian Word')[2] newspaper and the magazine "Lytavry" (Tympani), which united those active in Ukrainian culture and arts in the Ukrainian capital.

Arrest and execution[edit]

In 1941, Rohach was arrested by the Gestapo for publicly voicing and publishing a negative opinion regarding the treatment of Jews and psychiatric patients by the Nazis[citation needed]. He was taken to Babi Yar where, along with his sister, Anna (Hanna), and his entire staff, Rohach was executed.[2]


Poems from his collection of poetry "Brosti" have been set to music. A number of the songs have been included in the Plast song book "U mandry" (To wander) and continue to be sung by Ukrainian scouts today.[3]

In 1992, a wooden cross was placed in his memory on the corner of Melnykov street in Kiev.