Hładki Jazep (also spelled Hladki Iazep; Гладкі Язэп), teacher, political activist, ethnographer. Jazep Hładki was born into a poor peasant family in the village of Michałkavičy, near the town of Łahojsk on October 4, 1890. He died in New York City on July 28, 1972. Jazep Hładki received his grammar and secondary education in local schools. Then he entered the military service and World War I broke out. Hładki received some medical training and functioned as a paramedic on the Western front. He was decorated for bravery, receiving three high combat awards. Following the February Revolution, Hładki began to organize Belarusian soldiers in various units. He was one of the initial activists who prepared the conference of Belarusian soldiers in Viciebsk as well as organizing the Belarusian Military Council in the XII Army. Jazep Hładki was elected a delegate from the military to the First All-Belarusian Congress in December 1917. He attended the Congress and was arrested by the Soviets when they interrupted the proceedings, but escaped imprisonment. After the revolutionary years, Hładki lived in Soviet Belarus where he undertook the organization of Belarusian schools in his region. He entered the Miensk Pedagogical Institute from which he graduated in 1935. However, life in the Soviet Union was not easy, and he was forced constantly to change his residence in order not to be caught and identified for his past involvement in Belarusian activities. Following the events of World War II, Jazep Hładki was able to leave Soviet Belarus. He first settled in West Germany and then, in the early 1950s, in the United States. Hładki worked all his life in Belarusian schools. He authored some ten textbooks, dictionaries, and lexicographical works for students and general readers and scholars. Several of his lexicographical publications constitute important contributions to Belarusian philology.

References: Biełarus, New York, no. 185, September 1972; Belarusian Institute of Arts and Sciences, New York, Archives.

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