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Brodii, Andrii

Brodii, Andrii/Brodi, Andrej/Brodi, Andreas (b. July 2, 1895, Kyviazhd’ [Hungarian Kingdom], Ukraine; d. 1946, Uzhhorod [USSR], Ukraine) — teacher, journalist, and political activist in Subcarpathian Rus’ of Rusyn national and Hungarian political orientation. After completing the *Uzhhorod Greek Catholic Teachers’ College (1914) Brodii taught elementary school until his mobilization into the Austro-Hungarian army, in whose service he was wounded during World War I. Following the collapse of Austria-Hungary the pro-Hungarian patriot Brodii tried to have that country’s rule maintained in his homeland by supporting the idea of *autonomy for *Subcarpathian Rus’ within Hungary. He was to maintain that political credo as a co-founder (1924) of the *Autonomous Agricultural Union/Avtonomnyi Zemledil’skii Soiuz (AZS) even after Subcarpathian Rus’ was united with Czechoslovakia. Following the death of its first chairman, *Ivan Kurtiak, Brodii became head of the AZS (1933-1944) and its deputy in the Czechoslovak parliament (1933-1938). Both the AZS and Brodii personally were financed by the Hungarian government throughout the 1930s; he was not an agent of Hungary’s secret service but rather an “agent of Hungary’s interests” in Subcarpathian Rus’. Brodii was also a member of the executive board of the *Dukhnovych Society and editor of several publications, including the Hungarian-language satirical journal, Tyokodi pajtas (1920) and political daily Karpati futar (1920-1924), and the official organ of the AZS, *Russkii vistnyk (1923-1933).

During the summer of 1938 Brodii became a leading spokesperson for autonomy in Subcarpathian Rus’ and the representative of the united *Central Rusyn National Council, when its Russian and Ukrainian factions united in the course of negotiations with the Czechoslovak government. After the Munich Crisis he was named prime minister (October 11, 1938) of the first autonomous government of Subcarpathian Rus’; within a few weeks, however, he was arrested by the Czechoslovak federal government at the instigation of Nazi Germany, and accused of pro-Hungarian activity. Brodii was at the time in contact with Hungarian governing circles and perhaps together with them he planned to have Subcarpathian Rus’ ruled by Budapest, with guarantees for the region’s autonomous status. Brodii was a realist and fully aware of post-Munich Czechoslovakia’s unenviable status; his plan to carry out a plebiscite in Subcarpathian Rus’ therefore made certain tactical sense.

After Hungary annexed Subcarpathian Rus’/Carpatho-Ukraine (March 1939) Brodii was appointed a deputy (May 1939) to the lower house of the Hungarian Parliament, where he headed a group of Carpatho-Rusyn deputies who unsuccessfully demanded that autonomy be implemented in their homeland. He continued to propagate the idea of autonomy on the pages of the newspapers Russkaia pravda (1939-40) and *Russkoe slovo (1940-44). Aware of his politically innocuous status within the Hungarian governing system, Brodii tried to establish contacts with representatives of the Soviet Union during the anti-fascist Slovak National Uprising of August 1944. His efforts were rebuffed, however. With the arrival of the Soviet Army in Hungary, he was arrested in 1945 by the counter-espionage unit SMERSH. A year later Brodii was accused by a “people’s court” in Uzhhorod of wartime collaboration and sentenced to death. After the fall of the Soviet Union he was exonerated of his “crimes” and rehabilitated.

Bibliography: Valerii Razgulov, Belaia kniga (Uzhhorod, 1999).

Ivan Pop

Entry courtesy of Encyclopedia of Rusyn History and Culture.
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