Smolič Arkadź (also spelled Smolich Arkadzi; Смоліч Аркадзь), teacher, scholar, political leader. Arkadź Smolič was born into the family of a village priest in 1893. He studied agriculture and economy and, while still a student, entered Belarusian political life. Smolič became especially active during World War I and was one of the leading figures in preparing and convening the first conference of Belarusian political parties and organizations in Miensk in March, 1917. Smolič was elected to the Belarusian National Committee at that conference. He was an active socialist leader and in May 1917 he became the editor-in-chief of the newspaper Hramada, the organ of the Belarusian Socialist Hramada. Smolič authored numerous political articles advancing the principles of a Belarusian Federated Republic. Arkadź Smolič actively participated in the First All-Belarusian Congress (December 1917) and also became one of the members of the First People's Secretariat of the Belarusian Democratic Republic, which was, in fact, the first Belarusian Government. After the revolutionary years Arkadź Smolič lived for a short while in Vilnia and then moved to Miensk. His activities in Soviet Belarus were numerous. He served in many scholarly institutions and initiated many important research projects. However, one of the most important accomplishments of this scholar and leader was authoring the first textbook on Belarusian geography which became a standard textbook for thousands of students in the BSSR as well as in Western Belarus for the decade of the 1920s. Arkadź Smolič was arrested in Miensk in 1930 and vanished in Soviet imprisonment.

References: Jaŭchim Kipel, New York, Radio Liberty, 22.X.1964, script memoirs no. Bel. 5299; Byelorussian Youth, Brooklyn, N.Y., no. 8, 1960, p. 7-10.

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