Life in Chicago

Oleksii Balabas and his grandson

Oleksii Balabas and his grandson Petro. 1954.

In Chicago he was able to be close to his daughter Liudmyla and his grandson Petro. He was able to find some work in the printing trade with the Czech-language newspaper "Svernost" and the print shop of Prof. Terlets'kyi, and also taught at the Ukrainian Orthodox school.

Letter from UUARC to Oleksii Balabas

Letter from the United Ukrainian American Relief Committee to Oleksii Balabas, May 1954.

Unfortunately, life was a struggle. The fact that he had an advanced degree from one of the most respected universities in Eastern Europe was essentially useless for him, given that he had very limited speaking and writing ability in English. His health was also failing him.

By 1954, life had become so difficult that he even began to consider the possibility of going back to West Germany (with the idea that life in the DP camp was preferable to what he was facing now). It was too late for that, of course, and he remained in the US. He moved to New Jersey after prostate surgury and died on June 23, 1960.

Letter from Oleksii Balabas to the Immigration and Naturalization Service

Letter from Oleksii Balabas to the INS, July 1954.