Life in Prauge

Oleksii did not stay long in Istanbul. Within a few years he had moved (along with his wife and daughter) to Prague, in the newly-formed country of Czechoslovakia.

Prauge had a significant Ukrainian exile community, many of whom were political refugees or veterans of the Ukrainian War of Independence. It boasted a vibrant cultural life, which included a bandura school lead by Vasyl' Yemets. This postcard photo of that ensemble from the Balabas Papers likely dates to the early 1920s. The woman 2nd from the left in the front row has been marked by an 'x' and may very well be Oleksii's wife Ievhenia.

Oleksii worked as a compositor in the print shop of the social-democratic newspaper "Právo Lidu" while furthering his education. He eventually received a doctoral degree from the Charles University, and became teacher and administrator of the Ukrainian Gymansium in the Prague suburb of ModÅ™any.

The Balabas Papers have course records and diplomas for both Oleksii and his wife, as well as their Czechoslovak and Nazi German identification documents.

Charles University matriculation certificate

Matriculation certificate to the Charles University Faculty of Natural History, 1923.