Size: .3 c.f.
Language: Ukrainian, English
The Bratush Collection is a good source for historical information about places such as Rohatyn, Ukraine, and Rochester, New York, as well as about Ukrainian cultural, political, and social organizations such as the Ukrainian Socialist Radical party, Defense of Ukraine (Oborona Ukrainy), and Prosvita society. The material in the collection is arranged alphabetically by correspondent or organization. It includes mostly correspondence from Ukrainian civic, community, and political leaders, as well as some correspondence from family members.
The collection primarily contains correspondence and newsletters sent to Bratush spanning the period that coincides with the inception in 1920 and dissolution in 1947 of Defense of Ukraine. Bratush corresponded with leading activists of this organization, including Myroslav Sichynskyi, Iaroslav Chyz, Mykola Tsehlynskyi, and Volodymyr Levytskyi. Defense of Ukraine was established in the United States in the early 1920's to assist the political and military struggles for independence in Western Ukraine. Much of the correspondence reflects the organization's relief efforts to support cultural clubs, National Homes, and publications in the Rohatyn region.
Members of Defense of Ukraine also worked closely with the Ukrainian Socialist Radical party. Bratush kept in touch with USRP Rohatyn county executives Andrii Hryvnak and Ivan Muryn. This correspondence reflects the financial efforts of Rochester's Rohatyn Relief Committee to assist the Prosvita society in Rohatyn. USRP members were interested in establishing a reading room in Rohatyn, as well as in seeking material assistance for the party's magazine Hromadskyi Holos and other of its activities. Some of the letters to Bratush from USRP and Prosvita members also describe the general conditions of Ukrainians under Polish and then Soviet rule.
Much of the rest of the correspondence relates to the activities of Central Committee in Rochester which organized many events, including concerts featuring Vasyl Iemets, Roman Prydatkevych, Mykhailo Holynskyi, and the Ukrainian Community Choir under the direction of Lev Sorochynskyi.
Dmytro Bratush was born to Vasyl and Kateryna Duda on August 26, 1893 in the town Koniushky, Rohatyn county, Galicia. He left Ukraine in 1910 for the United States. Bratush settled in Rochester, New York, where he met and married Maryna Burak in February, 1916. He became a United States citizen in 1926. Bratush worked alternately as a woodworker, farmer, real estate broker, and machinist. Bratush also actively participated in both American and Ukrainian political and social life. He served as both ward and county committeeman of Rochester's Seventeenth Ward for 27 years; was a leader in the Ukrainian Democratic Club and a supporter of the Democratic Party. He was involved in various Ukrainian educational, political and cultural societies, such as the Federation of Ukraine, the Ukrainian Reading Club, Defense of Ukraine, the Ukrainian Central Relief Committee, and the Enlightening Circle. He was a member of the Ukrainian National Association; the Fraternal Order of Jersey City, New Jersey; Branch 316 of the Ukrainian National Association in Rochester, New York; the Ukrainian Workingmens' Association, Fraternal Order of Scranton, Pennsylvania; the Drahomaniv Society; Branch 244 of the Ukrainian Workingmens' Association of Rochester, New York; the Ukrainian Civic Center; the Ukrainian Civic Center Pioneer Club; the Rochester Civic Music Association and the Rochester Museum Association. Bratush helped found the Ukrainian Civic Center in Rochester and served as its president from 1934-1940. He wrote A Historical Documentary of the Ukrainian Community of Rochester , New York (Rochester: Christopher Press, 1973), and contributed articles to Ukrainian periodicals.