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Lesja Ukrainka

Encyclopedia of the life and works


Jakubsky Boris

Jakubsky Boris (15 (27) september 1889, town Ilincy, now Vinnytsia region. – December 28, 1944, Kyiv) – researcher of Ukrainian literature.

B.Jakubsky's photo

Fragment of group photos 1923:
P.Fylypovych, B.Jakubsky, S.Futoryansky

He was born in the family of office worker. In 1899 – 1908 he studied in Uman school. In 1908 – 1914's, he studied at the philology department of the Kyiv University. In 1915 he was drafted into the army, graduated from Infantry school with the rank of ensign. After that up to March 1918 almost continuously remained on the front, was promoted to lieutenant, had 4 combat awards. There is evidence that in 1905 – 1919's he belonged to the Russian Social Democratic Labor Party, but this issue requires further study.

In 1918 – 1921's, he taught Ukrainian and Russian literature in Kyiv schools. From March 1921 to May 1941 he worked continuously at Kiev University (Institute of People's Education).

According to H.Kostyuk's memoirs (1925 – 29 years) Jakubsky taught courses of Ukrainian literature post-revolutionary era, modern Russian literature and theory and methodology literature. At the same time, he taught at the Lysenko Higher Music and Drama Institute and Central Art Studio in Kyiv.

In those same years B.Jakubsky was a member of several scientific institutions: Historical and Literary Society of UAS, the Commission for issuing modern Ukrainian literature UAS, Kyiv Research Department of Art (1927 – 1930), the Kyiv branch of T. Shevchenko institute.

From 1918 B.Jakubsky was close to a group of Kyiv neoclassical poets, as demonstrated dedication to his three poems by M.Zerov, memories by Ju.Klen and H.Kostyuk, fruitful collaboration over the publication of works of Lesja Ukrainka.

He lived in the early 1920's somewhere in the Hay market (the exact address is not available) and later in the 1920s lived in a house that has now address . Where he lived in the 1930s (to 1943) – not found; fate of his personal library and archive remains unknown. In Zhytomyr he lived in a house on the Kashperivska street 35, which belonged to his wife Sophia Mar'yanovna.

The 1920s was time of flourished Jakubsky's work as a scholar and publisher. He successfully worked as a literary theorist and Shevchenko scholar. After 1930, the stream of his publications and editions interrupted. His life in 1930's we almost do not know. It has not undergone formal repression, but was removed from the literary process in his prime.

During the attack the Germans in 1941 Jakubsky remained in Kyiv without any livelihood. He worked in the editorial of German-oriented newspaper "New Ukrainian word", which came under the leadership of the Soviet secret informer K.Shtepa (December 1941 – September 1943). Therefore, the KGB knew about this aspect of Jakubsky's life and "liberators" of Kyiv did not forget about him: June 28, 1944 was signed by the arrest, and June 30, 1944 arrested in Zhytomyr, where he went before the onset of "liberators" in Kyiv. B.Jakubsky were interrogated 11 times, and 15 September amounted to an indictment from which we learn that Jakubsky was not a member of the Communist Party. State security apparatus worked in sweat, making the case for 134 pages to save the country from dangerous assistant of German occupiers and anti-Soviet agitator Jakubsky. Indictment has sent the prosecutor to transfer to court, but…

B.V.Jakubsky died December 28, 1944 in Lukyanovka prison – as a hero of the struggle for Ukraine's independence, he was murdered by the Russian occupation authorities. He barely turned 55 years…

The best of his biography is still interrogation protocol of July 12, 1944, who spent KGB lieutenant with characteristic name Mendelevich. Some photos of Boris Jakubsky sought A.Radko – they published in 2012. We publish fragment of a group photo taken in December 1923 upon arrival to Kyiv group of Kharkiv writers [Khvylovy M. Works in 5 Volumes – New York: 1984, v. 2, p. 29].

Jakubsky and Lesja Ukrainka

B.Jakubsky devoted much effort to the study of Lesja Ukrainka. Under his editorship came 1st, 2nd, 6th volumes of "Collected works" by Lesja Ukrainka in 7 volumes (Kyiv: 1923 – 1925). Under his editorship was published "The works" by Lesja Ukrainka in 12 volumes (Kyiv: Knyhospilka, 1927 – 1930; planned publication of the 13th volume with the correspondence of Lesja Ukrainka, but the volume was not published). For this edition Jakubsky written introductory article and a number of studies. He was personally acquainted with Helen Pchilka, Clement Kvitka, L. Staritska-Chernyakhovska and had some information about Lesja Ukrainka from them.

In August 1943 B.Jakubsky spoke on the occasion of the 30th anniversary of the death of Lesja Ukrainka, and then published it as an article in the "New Ukrainian word". Jakubsky stressed that Lesja Ukrainka belongs to European literature. This public appearance was his last and almost involuntarily acquired the character of the testament.

Tentative list of works by B.Jakubsky:

Presented in the Ukrainian version.

Tentative list of publications edited by B.Jakubsky:

Presented in the Ukrainian version.


Klen J. Memories of the neoclassical. – In ed.: Klen J. Works, Toronto, 1969, v. 3, p. 107 – 192.

Kostyuk G. Meetings and farewells. – K.: Torch, 2008, v. 1, p. 159 – 164.

Jakubsky Boris. – article in .

Bilokin S. [], 2006

Radko A. .

Radko A. . – Word and Time, 2008, № 11, p. 66 – 80 [the investigating case in 1944 with the SBU archive].

Radko A. - researcher and publisher of Lesja Ukrainka. – Lesja Ukrainka and Present, 2010, v. 6, p. 513 – 526.

B.V.Jakubsky. Creative way of Lesja Ukrainka. Biographical materials / arrangement A. Radko. – Luck: 2012 – 471 p.

M.Zh., 18 – 24 March 2013.

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