Ihnatoŭski Ŭsievaład (also spelled Ignatovski; Ігнатоўскі Ўсевалад), historian, scholar, and political leader. Ihnatoŭski, the son of a teacher, was born in the village of Tokary, Bieraście region, on April 19, 1881. After finishing local schools, he studied history and philology at St. Petersburg University, but was expelled from the university for revolutionary activities. He graduated from Derpt University in 1911. Arrested again, he spent some time in various prisons and in exile. Became a teacher at the Miensk Teachers' Institute in 1914. Ihnatoŭski established close ties with the Belarusian activists and became actively involved in the Belarusian movement during the war years. He belonged to the leftist group of the Belarusian Socialist Party, and was one of the proponents and "fathers" of the Belarusian SSR. Ihnatoŭski joined the Communist Party in 1920 and held numerous important party and government posts in Soviet Belarus. He became professor at the University of Miensk in 1921. In 1924 he became the chairman of the Institute of Belarusian Culture and President of the Belarusian Academy of Sciences in 1929. Ihnatoŭski authored numerous historical works, among them A Short Outline of the History of Belarus (1919), which became the standard textbook for nearly a decade in Soviet Belarus.

When the Soviets began their campaign against the so-called Belarusian National Democrats in 1929, Ihnatoŭski came under strong attack for his convictions and efforts to maintain the independent development of Belarusian research and keep his close ties with the Belarusian national leadership of the revolutionary years. The price he paid for this was constant persecution. In fact, the Soviets wanted to arrest Ihnatoŭski and call him as a star witness against the National Democrats. He could not sustain the campaign mounted against him and committed suicide on February 4, 1931.

References: The Modern Encyclopedia of Russian and Soviet History, vol. 14, 1979, pp. 134-135; Bieł. Sav. Enc., vol. 5, 1972, pp. 44; Baćkaŭščyna, Munich, nos. 562, 566. July 9, July 30, 1961; Kryvicki Śvietač, Munich, nos. 6-7, April-May 1946, pp. 7-13; Połymia, Miensk, no. 5, 1988, pp. 171-186.

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