Vincent Hadleŭski

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Vincent Hadleŭski

Vincent Hadleŭski (Belarusian: Вінцэнт Гадлеўскі, Polish: Wincenty Godlewski; November 16, 1898 – December 24, 1942) was a Belarusian Roman Catholic priest, publicist and politician. During World War II he was arrested by the German police on December 24, 1942 and executed in Maly Trostenets extermination camp.

Life[edit]

Born in the village of Porozowo,[1] (now Shchury in the Grodno Region near Vaukavysk), he graduated from a Catholic seminary in Vilna and the Catholic academy in St.Petersburg. He was one of the first priests to introduce Catholic liturgy in the Belarusian language.

After the short-lived declaration of independence by Belarus, he became member of the founding government (rada) of the Belarusian National Republic for several months in 1918. Hadleŭski was one of the participants in the First Belarusian Congress of December 1917,[1] and served as editor of the magazine Krynica.

Čatyry Ewanelii cover translated by Vincent Hadleŭski

Second Polish Republic[edit]

Following the Peace of Riga, signed in 1921 between newly reborn Poland and Soviet Russia, Hadleŭski settled in what became eastern Poland. He became professor in the Belarusian seminary of Nieśwież (now Niasvizh, Belarus) and a priest for the powiat of Święciany (now Švenčionys, Lithuania). For seven years between 1922 and 1928 he served as member of parliament for the Polish Sejm,[1] representing the Belarusian minority.

In 1925 and 1926 Hadleŭski was arrested and questioned twice for organizing anti-Polish rallies. He was arrested for the third time and convicted of anti-Polish agitation in 1927. Allegedly, the evidence against Hadleŭski was falsified by his opponents.[1] His active promotion of Belarusian language and independence cost him two-year jail sentence. While in prison, he wrote a book about the history of New Testament for Belarusian schools (the book was published in Wilno in 1930). After his release he lived in Wilno, where he translated the New Testament into Belarusian. [1]

Invasion of Poland[edit]

In 1939–1940 he edited the collaborationist magazine Bielaruski front and established the Belarusian Independence Party. Hadleŭski's ideology was right-wing conservative and Christian, while most of the rest of the Belarusian national movement at that time was rather leftist, for example as the major West Belarusian political parties - the Belarusian Peasants' and Workers' Union and later the Communist Party of West Belarus.

In June 1940 Vincent Hadleŭski moved to Warsaw where he worked at the German-organized Belarusian Committee. In October 1941 he became chief scholarly inspector of Minsk and organized education processes in the city's primary schools. While that, he kept on promoting the idea of Belarusian independence and organized illegal activity of the Belarusian Independence Party, that later even worked on an anti-German uprising in Minsk.[2]

On December 24, 1942, at the age of 44, Vincent Hadleŭski was arrested by the German police and shot in Maly Trostenets extermination camp.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e Jurij Gil, Wacław Stankiewicz, Sylwetki działaczy białoruskiego odrodzenia narodowego ks. Wincentego Hadleŭskiego i ks. Adama Stankiewicza. Nasz Czas, NG 10 (549).
  2. ^ Напрыканцы чэрвеня 1944 г. ЦК БНП рыхтаваў у Менску антынямецкае паўстаньне з мэтай абвяшчэньня Беларускай Народнай Рэспублікі, якое было адменена з прычыны імклівага наступу Чырвонай Арміі.

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