Collection A1947-000 - Konkurs Spohadiv Fonds

Title and statement of responsibility area

Title proper

Konkurs Spohadiv Fonds

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  • Graphic material
  • Textual record
  • Philatelic record

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Reference code

CA UCECA A1947-000

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Issuing jurisdiction and denomination (philatelic)

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Physical description area

Physical description

50 linear cm
44 Photographs/postcards
Several Files of Newspaper Clippings
Several Files of Correspondence
Several Files of Documents
Several Files of Photocopies

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Administrative history

In 1947 the Ukrainian Cultural and Educational Centre (Oseredok) in Winnipeg sponsored a memoir writing competition. Participants were invited to submit memoirs related to the major events of the first half of the twentieth century in Ukraine. The memoir competition or “Konkurs Spohadiv” was announced in the Winnipeg weekly newspaper Novyi Shliakh (The New Pathway) which undertook to publish the winning entry. More than 60 memoirs were entered into the competition, the vast majority submitted by Ukrainians residing in Displaced Persons (DP) camps in Germany and Austria.
The memoirs submitted as part of the competition constitute an important supplement to our knowledge of twentieth century events, especially the immediate pre-war and World War II era. They represent one of the earliest collections of Ukrainian memoirs concerning World War II, the closest in time to the events depicted. Written shortly after the war, most of the memoirs were produced by authors who had already spent about two years in DP camps. The camps were a place of intense interaction among Ukrainian refugees and forced labourers, a place where they could tell stories to each other and work out narratives together. The displaced persons were also aware that they were being screened to determine their activities during the war, and that many, especially former Soviet citizens, faced the prospect of forced repatriation to the Soviet Union.
The winning entry, Fedir Pihido-Pravoberezhnyi’s “P-iat’ rokiv: ‘Velikaia Otechestvennaia Voina SSSR,’ roky 1941-45-yi" has been published twice:
Fedir Pihido-Pravoberezhnyi. Velyka vitchyzniana viina. Politychno-vyzvol’na biblioteka, ch. 2 (6). Winnipeg: Vydannia “Novoho shliakhu,” 1954. 229 p.;
Fedir Pihido-Pravoberezhnyi. Velyka vitchyzniana viina: spohady ta rozdumy ochevydtsia. Kyiv: “Smoloskyp,” 2002. 287 p. (With an introduction and annotations by Roman Serbyn and Iurii Shapoval).
For more information about the “Konkurs Spohadiv” and an analysis of some of the memoirs see John-Paul Himka, “Ukrainian Memories of the Holocaust: The Destruction of Jews as Reflected in Memoirs Collected in 1947” in Canadian Slavonic Papers LIV (3-4) (September-December 2012), 427-442.

Custodial history

This accession was created by UCEC (Oseredok) in 1947-1948.

Scope and content

At least 65 memoirs were submitted. Some participants requested the return of their manuscripts after the competition. As a result, only 57 of 65 numbered entries remain in the fonds. They range in length from several hand-written pages to typescripts of several hundred pages. The memoirists describe the following topics in their memoirs: exile, German work camps, conditions under the Soviet regime, famine, sporadic mentions of the Holocaust, and childhood experiences. 25 memoirs depict the Ukrainian experience of World War II. A few of the files also include photographs, newspaper clippings, supporting documents, and correspondence (although in most cases the latter consists of little more than formal letters of introduction). Most of the files are dated according to when the memoirs were received, which may not correspond with the date when they were actually written.
The following (8) submitted memoirs are not in the fonds:
No. 2. Iurii Fiala, “Moi spomyny”
No. 7. P. Pliuiko [pseudonym Pol’ Polovets’kyi], “Zapysky Krigsferbrekhera”
No. 9. Mykola Uhryn-Bezhrishnyi, “’Moloda Hromada’ v Peremyshli”
No. 13. Stefan Fedorivs’kyi [pseudonym Danylo Mirshchuk], “V obiimakh smerty: iz shchodennyka uchasnyka UPArmii”
No. 34. A. Buravchuk, “Prosperity (Spomyn z prokliatoho mynuloho)”
No. 44. Petro Kachura, “‘Kyiv’ – novelia ta ‘Petro’ – poema”
No. 47. Oleksii Boiko, “Notatnyk – u Krem-ianets'kykh lisakh: z dii UPA, opys ochevydtsia i uchasnyka podii”
No. 60. Vasyl' Strons’kyi, “Moi spohady”

Notes area

Physical condition

Immediate source of acquisition


Language of material

  • English
  • French
  • German
  • Polish
  • Russian
  • Ukrainian

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No restrictions on access.

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Users must abide by relevant copyright legislation.

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Further accruals are not expected.

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Rules for Archival Description (RAD).



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Dates of creation, revision and deletion

Created March 2021 (by Tetyana Dyachyshyn).

Language of description

  • English

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