|Born||25 Oct 1887|
|Died||17 Oct 1976|
Contributor: C. Peter Chen
ww2dbaseRadaslau Astrouski was born in the Byelorussian town of Zapolle in the Minsk Guberniya of the Russian Empire. He studied in the gymnasium in the nearby town of Slutsk, but was expelled for his participation in the Russian Revolution of 1905. In 1908, he began his studies at Saint Petersburg University in northern Russia, but this was interrupted with his arrest for taking part in revolutionary riots. He was released in 1912 and returned to Saint Petersburg University, but he transferred to University of Tartu in Estonia and completed his degrees in mathematics and physics there. Until 1917, he taught at various institutions in Czestochowa, Poland and in Minsk, Byelorussia. In 1917, after the February Revolution, he became the commissar of the Slutsk paviet for the Russian Provisional Government of the short-lived Russian Republic. In Sep 1917, he founded the Slutsk Belarusian Gymnasium and assumed the role of its first principal. In Oct 1917, he opposed the communist uprising during the October Revolution. In Dec 1917, he was a delegate to the First All-Belarusian Congress, where he supported the idea of a truly independent Byelorussia, or perhaps more suitably, Belarus. In late 1920, he played a role in the armed uprising in the Slutsk region as Soviet troops arrived. In 1921, he moved to Poland and settled down in the region known as West Byelorussia. Between 1924 and 1936, he was the principal of the Byelorussian Vilnius Gymnasium. In 1924, he founded a Polish-Byelorussian Society; when this society failed, however, his political views completely reversed and he became a supporter of communism. He began to work with communist parties in both the Polish territory known as West Byelorussia as well as in the Soviet nation of Byelorussia; he also hosted a cell of the Communist Union of Youth (Komsomol), an illegal organization in Poland, in his school. Between 1925 and 1926, he was the vice chairman of the Byelorussian Peasants' and Works' Union, the chairman of the Byelorussian School Society, and the head of the Byelorussian Cooperation Bank in Vilnius (then part of Poland, now capital of Lithuania). In 1926, he joined the Communist Party of West Byelorussia. Later in the same year, he was arrested by the Polish police, but he was released after the courts failed to convict him. In 1928, his political allegiance changed once again, now calling for the support of the Polish government; this change brought criticism and condemnation from Byelorussian nationalists in West Byelorussia. In the 1930s, he published several works in the Belarusian language. In 1936, he moved to LÃ³dz, Poland.
ww2dbaseWhen the Germans occupied Poland, Astrouski called for the cooperation with the German administration. In 1941, he moved to Minsk and worked as a civil administrator under the Germans. In 1943, he became the president of the German-sponsored government Belarusian Central Rada that nominally ruled Byelorussia. In 1944, he was one of the main organizers of the Second All-Belarusian Congress. Soviet troops returned to Byelorussia in mid-1944, and Minsk, the seat of the Belarusian Central Rada, was captured on 3 Jul. Astrouski fled west and escaped capture by the Soviets. He lived in West Germany until 1956, at which time he moved to the United States. He continued to support the now in-exile Belarusian Central Rada as the legitimate government of Byelorussia until his death in 1976 in South River, New Jersey, United States.
Last Major Revision: Jul 2010
Radaslau Astrouski Timeline
|25 Oct 1887Â||Radaslau Astrouski was born.|
|17 Oct 1976Â||Radaslau Astrouski passed away.|
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