In Munich, 87, died Belarusian historian, an active leader of emigration, a former employee of Radio Liberty, Paul Urban.
Paul Urban was born March 27, 1924 in the village of Zakalive by Lepel, in a large peasant family. His father was a farmer and owner of a 9-hectare estate in the period of collectivization was enrolled in the category of "kulaks" and was arrested for export.
After the war, Urban was in the displaced persons camps in Germany, where he graduated from the Belarusian grammar school in 1948, along with friends of the legendary "twelve" went to Britain, where he worked in the coal mines.
In 1950, he enrolled at the University of Lyuvenski in Belgium, which ended in October 1954 with a degree of candidate of historical sciences on the basis of the dissertation "The Grand Duchy of Lithuania at the time of the Grand Duke Alexander." From 1956 he worked in the Institute for the Study of the USSR in Munich. From 1974 to 1989 he worked in the Belarusian version of Radio Free Europe, from where he retired.
In 1972 published the book "In the light of historical facts," which was a response to the brochure L. Abetsedarsky "In light of incontrovertible facts" (1969). In this work P.Urban argued with the official Soviet historiography of Belarus.
In 2001 came the work in Minsk P.Urbana "Ancient Lithuanians: Language. Origin. Ethnicity "(2nd edition — 2003), dedicated to the study of ancient ethnic Lithuanians and the historic term" Lithuania ".
About his friend and colleague Paul Urban recalls a prominent figure in the Belarusian emigration historian Ian Zaprudnik:
"Hard news to me about the death of a Pavluk Urbana because I was with him united by a common share — in both English and mines after mining in Belgium, the University and all the rest. I kept in constant contact with him.
Pavlyuk was deep Belarusian patriot. He left behind a rich legacy of historiographical — I hope that it will be collected into one volume and published in Belarus.
His characterization of could to quote from a letter written in May 1970, when there was a question about the future of the Institute for the study of the Soviet Union, where he worked. A letter written by Dr. Schultz, who was one of the leaders of the Institute, Anton Adamovich in New York, and there he speaks about Pavluk Urbana this:
"Urban works as editor of our biographical reference books and notes the exceptional diligence, conscientiousness and excellent character."
Pavljuk Urban left a daughter, ex-wife, his memory will be kept in our memories. "
President of the BNR Ivonka Survila:
"With great sadness I learned of the death of Paul Urban. He nearly all his life — from student days — was a member of the Board of BNR. This Belarusian — a modest, very intelligent, deep, did not say much, but wrote a lot of very useful for our country. We are all very impressed with his death, would like to see such people never die … So be it down someone else's land. "
Historian Gennady Saganovich:
It is with deep sorrow the death of Paul Urbana, present, Belarusian patriot and a great man. Will remain unforgettable meeting with him, his memories of his experiences, talk about our joint efforts — Belarusian history. I was fortunate in 1990 to meet personally with him — it was impossible to come to Germany, did not attend such a historian, author of the famous book "In the light of historical facts" — the answer to the infamous pamphlet Abetsedarsky. For us, the younger historians, the name of Paul Urban then became, in a sense symbolic — can be so during a personal meeting its agreeableness, openness and humility as a human touch! I also remember that there, in the house of Munich Urbana, it occurred to me that such a longing for the Belarusian expat Fatherland: Pavljuk (as he liked to call himself) literally lived every day the news from Belarus, leaving waves of "Freedom" …
Paul was a good Urban Belarusian historian, researcher broad interests. He left behind more than a hundred publications — a number of books and numerous articles on various periods of the history of Belarus, on the complex issues of historiography i policies in Byelorussia, who came not only in Belarusian emigration in periodicals, but also in English, German, French, i. Many of his works, no doubt, still be issued in Belarus.
On the historiographical legacy of Paul Urbana me now above all, the above mentioned book, "In light of the historical facts." From this distance of time it is better seen its importance — it was almost the first systematic exposition of the views of non-Soviet Belarusian historian on key issues of national history. It was a publication that when we have prevailed "abetsedarshchyna" saved the honor of the Belarusian historiography. It was an act of History!
Farewell, Pavljuk. Cherished memory!