Culture News, 10/11/2017

Father of Kharkiv History Dmytro Bahaliy’s Anniversary

The events to commemorate the 160th anniversary of Dmytro Bahaliy’s birth started in Kharkiv on November 7.

Ukrainian historian, philosopher and biographer Bahaliy deeply studied Kharkiv history; he was a co-author of 1,500 pages monograph on Kharkiv history covering the period of 1665-1905. Also, Bahaliy was professor of history, the Kharkiv University rector in 1906-1910 and Kharkiv mayor in 1914-1917.

On November 7, Theoretical and Applied Aspects of Biographistics Conference was dedicated to Bahaliy at Karazin Kharkiv National University.

“We consider Herodotus to be the father of history and Plutarch to be the father of biographistics. As Professor Bahaliy was both brilliant historian and biographist, we devote the conference to his honor,” head of the conference, historian Serhiy Lytovchenko said.

Scientists from all over Ukraine participated in the event. The youngest presenter, 13- year-old Anna Walter, reported on the history of her family and the biography and professional activity of her great-grandfather Anton Walter. He was Ukrainian nuclear physicist, an academic, who carried out nuclear fission with artificially accelerated particles together with his colleagues in 1932. Walter also supervised and was directly involved in the construction of a number of electron accelerators.


The conference participants discovered unknown pages of Ukrainian history, in particular, Bahaliy’s life and work. Together with his students and followers, he suffered repression from Stalin’s regime.

On November 10, in Korolenko State Scientific Library, which had been headed by Dmytro Bahaliy for 12 years, the round-table meeting with regional historians and philologists took place. They discussed books donated to the library by the famous historian and contemporaneous minutes of board meetings.

On November 11, the Kharkiv Literary Museum together with Dmytro Bahaliy’s descendants will hold several events, including a presentation of family heirlooms and an album of rare photos of Kharkiv events during the period 1927-1933, taken by Bahaliy’s grandson Yuriy. Also, the lecture on the election process to the City Duma in July 1917 will be given.

Henry Schliemann spent half his life to discover Homer’s Troy. It took Dmytro Bahaliy half his life to understand the Ukrainian identity of Sloboda Ukraine, in particular, Kharkiv. His followers considered his “History of Sloboda Ukraine” as the most prominent work. One of its parts is called “Kharkiv is a Ukrainian city.”

Text: Victoria Sklyarova

Photo: Victoria Yakymenko