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John Panchuk papers

Identifier: IHRC2029


Papers of John Panchuk consist of correspondence, newspaper clippings, and other materials pertaining to the American Slav Congress (Detroit, Mich. and Pittsburgh, Pa.), Ukrainian War Relief, Inc., United Ukrainian American Relief Committee, displaced persons, displaced persons in Michigan, the Matthew Stachiw case, the Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UPA), and the Committee for Hungarian Refugee Relief in Michigan. Bulk of the papers pertain to the UUARC. Included is information on its establishment, election of officers, staff, fundraising, relations with other relief agencies, reports, resolutions, other activities of the agency. Also included are materials on the Michigan Committee on Displaced Persons, the Ukrainian Youth League of North America, the Bandurist Chorus, and correspondence and photographs pertaining to publications on Ukrainian settlers and settlements in Canada, including the Panchuk family.


  • 1933-1965


Language of Materials

Mainly in English


Open for use in the Elmer L. Andersen Library reading room.


This collection may be protected by the Copyright Law of the United States (Title 17, U.S. Code). It is the user's responsibility to verify copyright ownership and to obtain all necessary permissions prior to the reproduction, publication, or other use of any portion of these materials. Researchers may quote from the collection under the fair use provision of the copyright law.


John Panchuk was born on April 4, 1904, in Gardenton, Manitoba, a village six miles from the Minnesota border. His parents, natives of Bukovina, were pioneers who settled in Gardenton in the latter part of the 19th century. Panchuk attended elementary school and high school in the United States and Canada. He graduated with an A.B. degree from the University of Michigan in 1926, and received an L.L.B. from that institution in 1928.

Panchuk was general counsel and secretary of Federal Life and Casualty Company in Battle Creek, Michigan. He was for many years president of the Ukrainian War Relief, Inc., and the United Ukrainian American Relief Committee. In 1948 he was representative of the United States State Department at the International Refugee Office Resettlement Conference held that year in Geneva. Panchuk was later appointed chairman of the Michigan Commission on Displaced Persons by Michigan Governor Mennen Williams.

Panchuk’s interest lies in Ukrainian Folklore and the preservation of Ukrainian traditions. He has recently been involved in the restoration and preservation of the original church building at Gardenton, which is the First Ukrainian Orthodox church erected in Canada. He also has been searching for Ukrainian folklore and has discovered numerous ballads composed in the new world.

Some of Panchuk’s publications include Shevchenko’s Testament and Bukowinian Settlements in Southern Manitoba (Gardenton Area).


2.7 Linear Feet


The organization of these papers has been kept close to the original order with a few minor changes (being the placement of events in chronological order). It has been divided into nine main sections:

I. American Slav Congress (Folder 1) II. Ukrainian War Relief, Inc. (Folder 2-3) III. United Ukrainian American Relief Committee Correspondence and related materials (Folders 4-26) IV. Materials re Displaced Persons in Michigan (Folders 27-31) V. Displaced Persons (Folders 32-33) VI. Matthew Stachiw Case (Folder 34) VII. Newspaper clippings on the UUARC and other organizations (Folders 35-42) VIII. Newspaper clippings on the Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UPA) (Folder 43) IX. Committee for Hungarian Refugee Relief in Michigan (Folder 44)

Section I This section includes correspondence and materials relating to the First and subsequent American Slav Congresses which were held in Detroit, Michigan and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Section II

The formation of various Ukrainian relief agencies throughout the United States occurred during World War II. The two most important being the Ukrainian War Relief, Inc. (Detroit) and the Ukrainian American Relief Committee (Pittsburgh). This section pertains to the establishment of the Ukrainian War Relief, its function and its union with the UARC to establish the United Ukrainian American Relief Committee (UUARC).

Section III

This particular section represents the base of the papers of John Panchuk. The majority of the correspondence deals with the establishment of the UUARC in the United States and its European affiliates; election of officers and appointments of staff here in the United States and for positions in its European branch; placement of Displaced Persons; fund raising; success of the relief program; internal problems; relations and cooperation with relief agencies such as IRO, UNRRA, etc.; the Canadian relief agency and its function in Europe; reports, resolutions, etc. Included also in this section are printed miscellaneous materials on the UUARC.

Section IV

The state of Michigan had a Michigan Commission on Displaced Persons. John Panchuk and Florence Cassidy were appointed to this commission by the governor of Michigan. Panchuk’s involvement in the job placement of Ukrainians and especially Ukrainian physicians in the state of Michigan is documented extensively in this section.

Section V

This section consists solely of correspondence between individual Displaced Persons and John Panchuk re financial assistance, job placement, etc.

Section VI

The correspondence pertains to the entry of Matthew Stachiw into the United States.

Section VII

The majority of clippings here pertain to the UUARC’s activities and other organizations involved in the relief program.

Section VIII

The newspaper clippings re the involvement and role of both the Ukrainian Insurgent Army and the Division “Halychyna” in World War II are recorded in this section.

Section IX

Although John Panchuk’s papers concern themselves primarily with the Ukrainian relief programs, etc., his position as chairman of the Michigan Commission of Displaced Persons extended his activities into other ethnic groups. This is evidenced by his involvement in aiding the Hungarian refugees.


A related collection at the IHRC is Records of United Ukrainian American Relief Committee.

Processing Information

The papers of John Panchuk were deposited in the Immigration History Research Center on April 1966. Negotiations and final transfer of these papers was made through the efforts of Timothy L. Smith, Professor of History, University of Minnesota. John Panchuk was for many years head of the United Ukrainian Relief Association of America, and therefore his collection contains basically the correspondence of that Association, which came to him directly. Predominantly in English, this collection consists of 2.7 linear feet of papers, correspondence, and newspaper clippings.

Inventory of the John Panchuk papers.
IHRC Archives
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding Aid in English

Collecting Area Details

Contact The Immigration History Research Center Archives Collecting Area