Oleh Gerus:

An Inventory of His Papers at the University of Manitoba

Inventory prepared James Kominowski
Archives & Special Collections University of Manitoba,
Winnipeg, Manitoba

Finding aid encoded by Orest Martynowych (2016)
Finding aid written in English.

Collection Summary

Archives & Special Collections University of Manitoba
Winnipeg, Manitoba

Oleh W. Gerus

Oleh Gerus fonds


.15 m of textual records; 70 photographs

Mss 367, Pc 330 (A16-59)

English, Ukrainian

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Biography of Oleh W.Gerus

Dr. Oleh Walter Gerus was born on July 9, 1939 in Bludlow, Volyn, in what was then, part of Eastern Poland (present-day Svitanok, Ukraine), to parents, Reverend Serhij and Anna Gerus (Palianychka). From 1946 to 1950, he received his primary education in the Displaced Persons Camps in Munster Lager and Fallingbostel, in Northern Saxony, Germany. Upon immigrating to Canada with his parents, he completed his public school education in Vita and Winnipeg. He received his BA (1962 History and Slavic Studies) and MA (1964 History) from the University of Manitoba and his PhD from the University of Toronto (1970). He was awarded a doctoral fellowship to Lomonsov State University, Moscow (1966-67). In 1967 Oleh Gerus lectured at the University of Manitoba and the following year he was appointed as an assistant professor at Brandon University. In 1969 he joined the University of Manitoba’s Department of History where he has served for over 40 years. In 1996, he was promoted to full professor. Dr. Gerus is married to Yvonne (Bonnie) neé Kowalchuk, and the couple have 3 children: Helene, Andrew and Roman.

Dr. Gerus‘s fields of specialization and teaching include: Ukrainian history, modern Russian history, Ukrainians in Canada, Ukrainian Orthodox Church history and the late Metropolitan Ilarion (Ivan Ohienko). His publications focus on the Ukrainian experience. The Canadian media has often called upon Dr. Gerus to provide commentary on the Ukrainian community in Canada, as well as on current events taking place in Eastern Europe and Russia, because of his knowledge and expertise of the history and politics of the region. His strong commitment to the university community has been reflected in: participating in the Centre for Ukrainian Canadian Studies, Policy Council; various committees within the Department of History, including the associate headship; and serving on the board of directors of St. Andrew's College and college committees of St. Paul’s College. Dr. Gerus’s contributions to the University of Manitoba have been recognized through various awards and accolades, which include: the University of Manitoba Outreach Award; the University of Manitoba Dr. & Mrs. Campbell Outreach Award; Fr. Cecil Ryan, SJ, Rector’s Award (St. Paul’s College); and the bestowing on him the degree of Doctor of Canon Law (DCL) Honoris Causa (St. Andrew’s College). Always focused on the students, Dr. and Mrs. Gerus endowed a scholarship in European history for St. Paul's College students as well as a memorial bursary in the Faculty of Education.

Throughout his academic career Dr. Gerus has remained very active in the Ukrainian-Canadian community: first as a student leader in the Ukrainian Student’s Union of Canada; later as an executive member of the Ukrainian Academy of Arts and Sciences in Canada; as president of the Ukrainian Cultural and Educational Centre, Oseredok; and as a member of the boards of the Ukrainian Canadian Foundation of Taras Shevchenko and the Oseredok Foundation. Dr. Gerus accompanied the Oleksander Koshetz Choir of Winnipeg on its concert visits to Ukraine and to the Ukrainian diaspora in Europe and South America where he lectured on the Ukrainian Canadian experience. In the late 1980s, as Ukraine inched closer to independence, Dr. Gerus was involved in founding the Canadian Friends of Rukh, the popular movement for political and cultural reconstruction in Ukraine. He also assisted Ukraine’s academia, by working with and helping to develop a curriculum for the re-born University of Kyiv-Mohyla Academy, a historically important institution of learning. Following Ukraine's independence, Dr. Gerus was invited by the Ukrainian National Academy of Sciences in 1992 to participate in Ukraine's celebration of Ivan Ohienko's (Metropolitan Ilarion) 110th anniversary of his birth and his remarkable intellectual achievements.

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Scope and Contents of the Collection

The accession consists of documents and photos concerning the emigration of the Gerus family from western Ukraine (then part of Poland) to Canada, via Displaced Persons camps in the British zone of occupied Germany, in 1944-1950, as well as a number of scholarly articles on Russian History published by American academics between 1951 and 1969.

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Arrangement of the Papers

This accession is arranged into 2 series and Photograph (Pc 330)

  • 1. Gerus family emigration
  • 2. Articles on Russian History

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Restrictions on access

No restrictions on access.

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Restrictions on Use

No restrictions on use.

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Custodial History

The fonds was donated to the University of Manitoba Archives & Special Collections by Oleh Gerus in 2016.

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Detailed Description of the Collection

Gerus Family Emigration
11 Biographical chronology of the Rev. Dr. Serhij Gerus
2 Journey westward (1944-1950) of the Gerus family
3 Notes on Munster Lager and Fallingbostel, Germany, Displaced Persons camps (1945-1950) by Oleh Gerus
4 Researching DP camps in the British Zone
5 DP camp Fallingbostel, Germany
6 Copies of Rev. Serhij Gerus’s Munster Lager and Fallingbostel church records 1948-1950
7 Rev. Serhij Gerus’s photos from Munster Lager DP camp (1 album, 38 photos) 1945-1948
8 Rev. Serhij Gerus’s photos from Fallingbostel DP camp (1 album, 32 photos) 1948-1950

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Articles on Russian History
19 Isaiah Berlin, “Introduction” to Franco Venturi’s “Roots of Revolution” 1960
10 Jerome Blum, “The Rise of Serfdom in Eastern Europe” 1957
11 Robert F. Byrnes, “Pobedonostsev’s Conception of the Good Society” 1951
12 Robert F. Byrnes, “Pobedonostsev on the Instruments of Russian Government” 1955
13 Olga A. Narkiewicz, “Alexander I and Senate Reform” 1969
14 N. P. Poltoratzky, “Nikolay Berdyayev’s Interpretation of Russia’s Historical Mission” 1967
15 Marc Raeff, “The Political Philosophy of Speranskij” 1953
16 Bertram D. Wolfe, “Backwardness and Industrialization in Russian History and Thought” 1967

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