Vasil Zacharka

    Teacher, administrator, political leader.  Zacharka was born into a poor peasant family in the village of Dabrasielcy near the town of Varikavysk on April 1. 1877. when he was 16 years old, he became an orphan and hard work became his way of life as he brought up his two brothers and a sister.  But determination paid off and Vasil Zacharka passed the test enabling him to become a parochial school teacher.  Zacharka was drafted in 1898 and remained in the military service until after the 1917 Revolution.  During his years of service he kept in contact with the Belarusian Socialist Hramada Zacharka's advancement in the service was outstanding and during the war he became second in command in army supplies for the North-westem front.  Zacharka enjoyed even more advancement during the war years.  After the February Re'volution, he became the moving force in organizing Belarusian soldiers on Belarusian territory.  Zacharka's wide connections with the military paid off handsomely and he was able to attract numerous officers from the tsarist army into the Belarusian movement.  At the conference of Belarusian soldiers, held in Miensk in November, 1917, Vasil Zacharka was elected secretary of the Belarusian Military Council . As part of his military contingent, Zacharka participated in the All-Byelorussian Congress.  At the Congress Zacharka was elected to the Executive Council of the Congress.  The Bolsheviks arrested and imprisoned Zacharka, but he escaped.  While in hiding, Zacharka organized the Belarusian military forces and prepared a coup to overthrow the Bolsheviks.  The general situation on the front changed-however, and the Belarusians took over power in Miensk on February l9-20, 1918. 

    Vasil Zacharka became a member of the Committee which drafted the Constituent Charters and from this time on he carried out numerous functions in the Government of the Belarusian Democratic Republic.  Vasil Zacharka chaired the Belarusian delegation to Moscow to negotiate with the Bolsheviks for recognition of the Belarusian Democratic Republic in  July of 1920. He also negotiated with the Poles and the Lithuanians.  When the Government of the  Belarusian Democratic Republic went westward, Zacharka left Belarus and settled in Prague.  He continued to be active in the affairs of the  Belarusian Democratic Republic in Western Europe.  When Piotra Krecheuski died in 1928, Vasil Zacharka became Chairman of the Council of the  Belarusian Democratic Republic.  During World War II the Germans contacted Zacharka seeking the collaboration of the  Belarusian Democratic Republic, but Vasil Zacharka declined any collaboration with them.  Zacharka was an influential political columnist and contributed numerous important articles to various Belarusian and non-Belarusian newspapers and journals.  Vasil Zacharka died in Prague on March 14, 1943. 

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