Kahaniec Karuś (also spelled Kahanets Karuś; Каганец Карусь), the pseudonym of an important Belarusian writer, Kazimir Kastravicki. Kastravicki was born in the city of Tobolsk, Russia, on February 10, 1868, the son of a man exiled following the Uprising of 1863 in Belarus. As a young boy, Kazimir was brought back to Belarus, where he grew up. Later he studied art in Moscow and became very much interested in Belarusian ethnography and literature. He began to write prose fables, verse, and plays before the establishment of the newspaper Naša Niva and was already a well-established author when the Belarusian political revival began. Kastravicki joined the revolutionary movement and in the last decade of the 19th century began to promote the ideas of the Belarusian revolutionary movement. He was one of the founders of the Belarusian Socialist Hramada. Because of his Belarusian revolutionary activities, he was imprisoned for a couple of years. During the war years and especially after the February Revolution Kastravicki was one of the foremost activists in organizing the Belarusian political movement. He was elected to the Belarusian National Committee in March of 1917 after which all his energy went into preparations for the All-Belarusian Congress in Miensk in December of 1917. Karuś Kahaniec was one of the most prominent activists in working out the programs of the Congress. Unfortunately, however, his health deteriorated very rapidly and he died near the town of Kojdanaŭ on May 20, 1918.

References: A.B.McMillin, The Journal of Byelorussian Studies, London, vol. 5(1), 1981, pp. 47-50; M.Haretski. Historyja Bieł. Litaratury, Vilna, 1921, pp. 134-138; Bieł. Sav. Enc., vol. 5, 1972, p. 206; Złučeńnie, Dubno, no. 9, September 1938, pp. 12-13; Połymia, Miensk, no. 3, 1988, pp. 138-151.

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