John Jowa papers

John Jowa was a Ukrainian post-World War II refugee to the United States from the Soviet Union, where he was persecuted for being a member of a landowning family during Stalin's forced collectivization. He was active in two associations of former Ukrainian political prisoners in New York City. The collection contains records of those organizations, as well as his autobiographical and historical writings.

Summary Information

CreatorAssociation of Former Ukrainian Political Prisoners of Soviet and Other Totalitarian Regimes in the U.S.A.
CreatorDemocratic Organization of Ukrainians Formerly Persecuted by the Soviet Regime in U.S.A
CreatorJowa, John
TitleJohn Jowa papers
Dates (bulk)1950-1960
Quantity0.5 Linear Feet, 16 folders, 5 bound volumes
LanguagesMaterials are almost exclusively in Ukrainian, with some individual items in English.
RepositoryUkrainian History and Education Center Archives

Biographical / Historical

John Jowa (Iwan Jowa, Іван Йова, Ivan Iova) was born on January 8, 1914 in the village of Dmytrovka, Zolotonosha uezd, Poltava gubernia of the Russian Empire (now Dmytrivka, Zolotonosha raion, Cherkasy oblast', Ukraine) and was one of four children in a land-owning farmer family of kozak background. As a result of Stalin's collectivization effort, he was classified as a "kurkul'" and was sent to Siberia. He managed to escape, and lived in hiding in Ukraine until World War II. He came to the United States as a Displaced Person in December, 1949. He lived in New York City, where he worked as a union carpenter. He served as president and secretary of the New York City chapter of the Democratic Organization of Ukrainians Formerly Persecuted by the Soviet Regime in the 1950s, and was an officer of the Association of Former Ukrainian Political Prisoners. He died in New York on September 23, 1991.

The Democratic Organization of Ukrainians Formerly Persecuted by the Soviet Regime (in Ukrainian, "Демократичне Об'єднання Бувших Репресованих Українців Совєтами"), also known by the Ukrainian acronym DOBRUS ("ДОБРУС") was an organization of post-World War II Ukrainian refugees in the United States who had suffered repression at the hands of the Soviet government. It was founded in New York City in January, 1950 as an initiative of the Ukrainian Revolutionary Democratic Party (Українська революційно-демократична партія) with the mission of uncovering, documenting, and publicizing the repressive policies of the Soviet Union, as well as discrimination against non-Russian ethnic groups within the Soviet Union. It published a number of books in Ukrainian and English, and had local affiliate groups in several US cities and internationally. It ceased activity in 1984.

The Association of Former Ukrainian Political Prisoners of Soviet and Other Totalitarian Regimes in the U.S.A. (in Ukrainian, "Asotsiatsia Ukrains'kykh Politychnykh Viazniv", acronym AUPV) was an organization that appears to have broken off from DOBRUS at some point in the mid-1950s. It had branches in New York City, Cleveland, and other cities.

Зміст фонду

Цей фонд включає в собі особисті документи, автобіографічні та історичні праці Івана Йови. Між ними історичні записки про історію Української Козацької Сотні у Золотоношах (теперішньої Черкаської області) під час 2-ї світової війни. У фонді також фінансові звіти, протоколи та членські списки Нью-Йоркських відділів Демократичного Об'єднання Бувших Репресованих Українців Совєтами ("ДОБРУС") та Асоціяції Українських Політичних Вязнів ("АУПВ").

Scope and Contents

The collection contains personal biographical and historical writings of John Jowa, including autobiographical notes and wartime local history of the Zolotonosha area of what is now Cherkasy oblast', Ukraine. It also contains records of two New York City organizations of former Soviet political prisoners of which John Jowa was an officer and active member: the Democratic Organization of Ukrainians Formerly Persecuted by the Soviet Regime. and the Association of Former Ukrainian Political Prisoners. Those records contain meeting minutes, financial records, membership rolls and application forms, correspondence, and ephemera.


Arranged in four series as follows

  1. Writings and personal documents
  2. DOBRUS records
  3. AUPV records
  4. Newspapers and published materials

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Published citations should take the following form: Identification of item, date (if known); John Jowa papers; box number; folder number; Ukrainian History and Education Center Archives, Somerset, New Jersey.

Conditions Governing Access

The collection is open for researcher use. Please contact the archivist ( for more information and to make arrangements.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright restrictions may apply.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Collection donated by Lubow Jowa, daughter of John Jowa.

Processing Information

Folder-level organization reflects original order, except as noted in the container list.

Controlled Access Headings


  • Minutes (Records)
  • Clippings (Books, newspapers, etc.)

Related Archival Materials

Additional materials related to DOBRUS can be found in the papers of Ivan Dubynets', who was president of the national DOBRUS organization in 1952-1953.

Container List

Series 1.  Writings and personal documents

Scope and Contents

Contains biographical sketches, a history of the Ukrains'ka Kozats'ka Sotnia in Zolotonosha, letter, and ephemera.

Processing Information

DOBRUS minutes dated April 19, 1953 moved to Series 2. Letter to Metropolitan Ioan Teodorovych from AUPV dated September 25, 1954 moved to Series 3.

  • box 1 folder 1
Series 2.  DOBRUS records, 1950-1954 (bulk 1950-1952).

Scope and Contents

Contains records of the New York City chapter of DOBRUS, including minutes of board and general membership meetings; correspondence; bulletins; completed membership application forms; blank application forms; newspaper clippings; and ephemera.

  • box 1 folder 2-6
Series 3.  AUPV records, 1950-1960 (bulk 1953-1960). 
Ledger book of member dues, income and expenses, 1953-1957.
  • volume 1
Minutes book, 1953-1957.

Processing Information

Inserted materials have been rehoused in separate folders.

  • volume 2
Material inserted into minutes book, 1954-1960.

Scope and Contents

Contains AUPV minutes and financial records, as well as DOBRUS-NYC minutes and membership lists.

  • box 1 folder 7-8
Records, 1950-1960 (bulk 1952-1960).

Processing Information

Contains meeting minutes, correspondence, financial records, donor lists, and ephemera for the New York City chapter of AUPV, as well as chapters in Cleveland, Detroit, Fort Wayne, and other cities. One folder also contains DOBRUS-NYC records (1950-1954).

  • box 1 folder 9-13
Series 4.  Newspapers and published materials, 1946-1983 (bulk 1950-1960).
  • volume 3-5
  • box 1 folder 14-16