Stankievič Jan (also spelled Stankevich Ian; Станкевіч Ян), scholar, linguist, historian, and political leader. Jan Stankievič was born into a peasant family in the village of Arlaniaty, near the town of Ašmiana, Vilnia province, on November 26, 1891. He studied in local schools and by himself. At the time he began his schooling he discovered few Belarusian publications, books, or even leaflets, which influenced and directed his Belarusianness and determined his political outlook. He contributed to the newspaper Naša Niva and other Belarusian-language publications. He served in the army during World War I and saw combat on the Rumanian front. After the Revolution he returned to Vilnia where he was involved in Belarusian activities. Stankievič, together with the Łuckievič brothers (Ivan and Anton), was one of the members of the delegation which went from Vilnia to Miensk in 1918 to coordinate political activities and to promote the concept and the need to declare the independence of the Belarusian Democratic Republic. Jan Stankievič was a member of numerous branches of the Government of the Belarusian Democratic Republic.

After the partition of Belarus, Jan Stankievič settled in Vilnia. From there he went to Prague to study at the Charles University. He received a Ph.D. degree in philology. After returning to Vilnia he was elected to the Polish Sejm from 1928 to 1930. Jan Stankievič was teaching in the Belarusian High School in Vilnia and at Warsaw and Vilna Universities from 1932 to 1939. However, most of his energy was directed to studies and research in Belarusian linguistics. He wrote hundreds of articles, numerous books, and edited many scholarly publications.

After World War II Jan Stankievič resided in West Germany and from 1949 on, in the United States. Jan Stankievič was a founding member of the Belarusian-American Association and of the Kryvian (Belarusian) Scholarly Society and other Belarusian scholarly and fraternal organizations. Many of Jan Stankievič's lexicographical works and analyses are still valid presently and constitute an important source for further studies. Jan Stankievič died on July 16, 1976 in Hawthorne, N.J.

References: Biełarus, New York, no. 232, 1976; Biełaruski Śviet, Grand Rapids, Mich., no. 17(46), 1985, pp. 4-20; The Home News, New Brunswick, N.J., July 18, 1976.

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