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Hadleŭski Vincuk, Rev. (Гадлеўскі Вінцук), an outstanding religious and political leader. He was born in the town of Porazava, near the city of Vaŭkavysk on December 16, 1888. His parents were poor urbanites who owned some land on which they worked. Hadleŭski went to local schools in Porazava and in the town of Śvisłač. In 1908 he entered the Vilna Roman Catholic Seminary from which he graduated in 1911. In 1912 Hadleŭski went to the St. Petersburg Theological Roman Catholic Academy which granted him the degree of "Master of Theology" in 1917. Hadleŭski was ordained to the priesthood in 1914. While studying in St. Petersburg he was heavily involved in Belarusian cultural and political activities. Immediately after the February Revolution, Fr. Hadleŭski went to Miensk and became one of the organizers of the Conference of the Belarusian Political Parties and Groups in March of 1917. He was also one of the leading organizers of the Conference of Belarusian Roman Catholic Clergy in Miensk, May 24-25, 1917. Hadleŭski spent the remainder of the year from May of 1917 travelling to various parts of Belarus organizing, primarily within Roman Catholic communities, delegates to be sent to the All-Belarusian Congress. Hadleŭski actively participated in outlining the program of the Congress. He was one of the main speakers at the Congress on the topic of Belarusian statehood and was elected to the Council of the Congress which later drafted the Constituent Charters. Fr. Hadleŭski was one of the pioneers in establishing a Belarusian Seminary for the Belarusian Roman Catholic Clergy in Miensk in 1918. He served as a member of the Miensk Seminary faculty. Fr. Hadleŭski was a very prolific writer and championed the introduction of the Belarusian language into church services.

After the partition of Belarus, Hadleŭski settled in Western Belarus where he became involved in many Belarusian programs and organizations. In his political views he was an uncompromising Belarusian nationalist leaning toward the right. He founded and edited the newspaper Biełaruski Front (1930s) in which he developed his theories about Belarusian politics and statehood. During the Soviet invasion of 1939, Fr. Hadleŭski moved first to Lithuania and later on to Warsaw and Berlin. From his contacts in Germany he learned that the Soviet-German war was imminent. He worked fervently to bring together Belarusian cadres, which, he thought, would be able to secure a Belarusian administration in the years to come. He believed that the Germans would grant Belarusians at least broad autonomy if not outright independence. He was totally involved in political and administrative work after June of 1941. He became trusted by the Germans, although they retained some reservations about him. Hadleŭski actively supported any Belarusian group that had a program for independence and he was one of the founders of the Belarusian Independent Party, an illegal group during the German occupation of Belarus, 1941-1944. Because of his dealings with Belarusian nationalists and because of his close Roman contacts, German mistrust of Hadleŭski grew and reached the point that they arrested him on the Christmas Eve, 1942 and he vanished. It is presumed that he was shot in Miensk by the Gestapo at the end of 1942.

References: Baćkaŭščyna, Munich, no. 632, August-September 1965; Biełaruskaja Carkva, Chicago, no. 28, 1965, pp. 11-166; Biełaruskija Naviny, Paris, no. 1, 1945; Biełaruskaja Trybuna, New York, nos. 1-2(9-10), January 1952; Biełarus, New York, no. 273, 1980.

The Belarusian Statehood (the beginning of the 20th c.)   The Belarusian Statehood (the beginning of the 20th c.)
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