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Baron Theodore R. Shteynhel - return from oblivion

Baron Theodore R. Shteynhel - return from oblivion

Gorodok has always been open but the mysterious part of history of his native land, always responded to events and changes in society.


Going along the village streets, read their names as if you plunge into the past. A street names - it is our history, the history of our village Gorodok. Today, every person who has ever visited Gorodok, must pass the oldest main street that bears the name of R. Baron Fyodor Shteynhel.

Who is he - Theodore R. Shteynhel? When and where appeared in our village? What was famous for what he had done how got the right for thanksgiving memory?

Why, man, that was only half Ukrainian (his father was German, Ukrainian mother) was a great patriot of Ukraine? Why old residents are kept with respect mention his name? I often think on this issue and therefore decided to compile all information known to me about this great man, and perhaps, if I could, I would open a new page of his life.

For decades name of Shteynhel did not mentioned in any history books, articles. Rulers of that time tried to obliterate his name from the folk memory. His good deeds were attributed to the others. Because Shteynhel - Baron, then sweater.Although this interpretation is far from the truth.

Through all his life Shteynhel carried love to Volyn, its long-suffering people, has tried to raise the prestige of Ukraine. Being and diplomat and minister, and infirm monk, he always remained a man with a capital letter and not only across Volyn, but all over Ukraine.

In my opinion, my work will be interesting for those interested in history who considers themselves patriots of their land, who wants to know who we are, our ancestors, whose glorious deeds should have left good memories on the earth. , I hope that my work would little rehabilitate us, our memory to Theodore R. Shteynhel, expand knowledge of the history of the province.


gorodokSo, let’s take a look on those days of February 1878 , when the engineer,regular adviser Rudolf V. Shteynhel,who comes from Ostzeyski province acquired from Paul and Anton Pavlovich Bezedri country estate in Gorodok consisting of 722 acres of land, two-story stone manor house, two single wing - all 22 rooms with all furniture, stable for 32 horses larder, bakery with many other buildings for 48 800 thousand rubles. The description says that this island area of 4 acres of land. As old residents remember, Baron was very rich - he had his railway in the Far East. And he made the railroad that passes through Rivne.

Here, in Gorodok, among the picturesque rural landscapes grew up the son of Baron Theodore. Unfortunately, there is no convincing information about place of birth of Fedor. Foreign sources indicate that he was born near Rivne in Volyn in 1870, most of his life, especially childhood and adolescence he spent in Gorodok. At that time shaped his outlook and beliefs. The boy talked to many residents of the village, regularly attended church: the Baron's family was Orthodox. But the biggest impact on the young man had his mother - Ukrainian origin. She instilled in him a great love for Ukrainian language, culture, history and customs. Fedor carried this love through all his life. Being a little boy he loved to walk the narrow alleys of the park, which had been laid in the early nineteenth century by Englishman Dionysius Mikler.

Late autumn Fedor moved with her parents for the winter in Kyiv, where the family owned several houses.

In 1891 Theodore Shteynhel married Ukrainian woman. But after nine months of common life his wife died, leaving a young son. Soon died his mother and father.Since that time Fedor's health got worse. Then his cousin Vira Mykolayivna decided to help him, whom he married in the village Lukashivtsi Chernihiv province in September 26, 1893 Then he studied at the Natural branch of physics and mathematics faculty of Warsaw University, explored the nature, archeology of Volyn, published scientific articles.

Gorodok From the first marriage in Fedor R. Shteynhelya was son Borys, who died during the revolution. From the second wife he had two sons - Vladimir and Fedor. When Vladimir grew up and married, Baron allocated to him some areas in Kurgany(one of the districts of Gorodok. Young family was simple and pleasant in communications with farmers .But they didn't have children. Vladimir lived not so long - some time later he died and was buried at a cemetery in Gorodok. Now about his grave care the nuns of Gorodok St. Nicholas Monastery. After Vladimir's death his wife sold the farm and left the village. The youngest son of Baron Friedrich attended school in Gorodok and raised among rural children. People lovingly called him Fedyusha. As he grew, he went to study to Lviv . He married the daughter of Colonel and with his father went to Germany. In the end of November 2002 in the regional scientific library operated traveling exhibition 'The Germans in northern Ukraine - Volyn and Kyiv', organized by historical German society 'Volyn'. This individual performances stand was dedicated to the life and work of Baron Shteynhel. The exhibition presented photos of the original family album of baron. In one such rare pictures you can see the 70-year-old Baron with his wife and son Theodore. When I look at the picture of Baron Shteynhel, I again mentioned Dmytro Doroshenko words: 'As a man it was a gentleman and in the best sense of the word ...'.

So, Baron Shteynhel was an outstanding personality of his time, the organizer of cultural and scientific life in Volhynia, he took an active part in political life in Ukraine. Theodore Rudolfofych was generous disinterested patron. And the main: Baron Shteynhel - had German origin was a fiery Ukrainian patriot, loving Ukrainian people ,its culture, language and knew his history,he did much to the revival and development of Ukrainian statehood. His noble deeds he ever entered to the long history of Ukraine.

When I walk in my native village, I feel the breath of past. I see those good deeds which left Baron Shteynhel. Here in the heart of the village boasted a large two-storeyed school where I study. And how did it look like long time ago? What view had my native village once?

In the second half of XIX century Gorodok developed rapidly. In 1866 the village became the center of region, there lived 973 people. After 33 years h there were 120 houses and 1065 residents.

Theodore R. paid much attention to the development of education and culture of our rural people, their spiritual growth. Existing small school could not meet the needs of Gorodok and surrounding villages. The villagers were ready togive their money and to build schools, but everything was done without their contribution. On the hilly bankof Ustya river, near the mill, in the center of the village rapidly began to grow two-stored brick building, which later turned into a beautiful, like a palace, school with large windows, bright classrooms and spacious corridors. Funds for building completely gave Baron Shteynhel and built it professor Schultz. The first year of teaching began in October 1, 1897. New School of a six-year study known as two-level rural school. In school education was conducted in Russian, studied general subjects: history, geography, math, natural science, the beginnings of geometry. The school had an agricultural direction, such as gardening, horticulture, beekeeping, joinery business.

The school has a library. Now it’s school museum of first school books with school seal and press-mark, school certificates. The school for all students gave free pencils, books, notebooks and study was free also. However, in the first year were only 60 students. Therefore, Theodore R. sent teachers (which, also maintained at their own expense) in homes of peasants, that they allowed their children to go to school. Then children from Gorodok, Behen, Zozov and other villages went to school. Exept knowledge here you could get profession . Often on the lessons learned in school came the wife of Baron. Theodore R. and his wife was interested in the school business,and examed most teachers by themseves. A Rivne City Council has authorized and requested the baron to take care of the opening women's gymnasium.

In addition, Shteynhel organized reading 'Prosvita'. With his promotion was organized the village choir, which retained its excellent tradition till 90th years of last century and now revived and glorify our region. We saved the first pictures of the choir members.The activists of Prosvita organization helped to organize choirs and drama circles in other villages. Theodore R. Shteynhel found time to participate actively in the work of various societies and organizations. Yes Shteynhel was a member of loan committee of Rivne branch of state bank. Baron’s activity in this direction was marked by royal award the Order of St. Stanislaus third degree. In November 1905 in the house of Baron was a congress of teachers, which was attended by 35 people. The Congress discussed the joining to Russia Union of Teachers. It was decided to organize in Gorodok branch of the Union.The delegate was elected the teacher of Russian language of Rivne gimnasium A. Krasin, who was requested to contact all teachers Rivne region with invitation to join the Union .In January 22, 1906 in the village was again appointed congress of teachers, but somehow it failed.

Baron Shteynhel was very kind. He wanted the farmers lived better and this has contributed in every way.


I still want to stay in the Kiev period of Shteynhel life. As much time of the tear the family lived in Kiev, it gave an opportunity Baron to take an active part in social life. In 1906, Theodore R. was elected to the First State Council. The Baron on behalf of his electors signed the appeal to the Council of Ministers, which stated that 70 electors express their unanimous demand of abolition of the death penalty, both insist on full amnesty for all crimes, and to repeal restrictive laws.

GorodokFor his views Theodore R. belonged the autonomists and the federalists, he dreamed of a free Ukraine in a free Russia, was a time when he belonged to the party of Constitutional Democrats. When in early 1908 was organized a society of Ukrainian progressives Shteynhel become its member. Meeting TUP often descended on the premises awned Shteynhel in Kiev. When TUP turned into a 'Union of Ukrainian - autonomists' Shteynhel was also an active member of it. Later he joined the Ukrainian Democratic Party.

The normal active life of Shteynhel changed big events of the First World War. Baron himself was actively involved in civil life, in defense of the country. So he became a member of the Committee of South-Western Front of All-Russian Union of cities. After getting news in Kiev about February Revolution in Petrograd on the 4-day the head the executive committee, to which moved all the authorities in Kiev and in the country, became Baron Shteynhel. He was elected to pryzydiya of Ukrainian National Congress - The General secretary of Trade and Industry. He was appointed to the responsible post of Ambassador of the Ukrainian state headed by Hetman Skoropatsky in Berlin (29.04. - 14.1 2.1918).

After the civil war in 1924 Baronl return to Volhyn in Gorodok . Here he engaged in child-rearing. He probably was familiar with Vladimir Oskilk, former chieftain army of the Ukrainian National Republic. In 1921 Oskilko arrived in Gorodok, lived at the school, which was built by Baron and was a few hundred meters from the estate of Baron.

After the Red Army march on western-ukrainian lands in 1939, the Administration of Rivne has taken the decision dated 12.01.1939 in which reads: ' To give the estate of former Baron Shteynhel (village Gorodok) to the Department of national Education for secondary school'. At that time Baron was taken away the land and all his property.

That's what told about those times Zinaida Romanova Seletska: 'My father Pilipchuk Roman T.was an adviser of the village.When Soviet goverment established in Rivne, the father was summoned by the authority and said that he brought Shteynhel the landlord. The father refused and said: 'Neither I nor the other villagers do it , because Baron was dear to us as a father'. He told how many good things Baron did for the village. The governers did not believe told to convene rural meeting on Sunday. They also arrived and raised the question: what sentence pass on the landlord. All the villagers were on the said of Shteynhel'.


In 1940 during the resettlement of Germans from Volyn home in Germany moved there also Shteynhel with his family,where lived the rest of his life . Meanwhile in Gorodok spread rumors that the Baron died with hungry death standing in line for bread. It is known that Fedir (Theodore) died February the 1st, in 1946 near Dresden in Saxony. Obituary, enclosed in the week news 'Christian way'. ended with the words: ' endless memory to this noble and humane man'.

Generally during the life of Baron Shteynhel in German requires study maybe his granddaughter Alexandra can help, born 17.06.1940, in Germany, the daughter of the son Theodore, who died in 1972.

Time is endless thing. People who knew the Baron are duying anyway, but the memory of this man, his good deeds, his generous heart will remain with us forever. Baron Shteynhel made a great contribution to the development and consolidation of Ukraine its independence and sovereignty for the establishment of Ukrainian culture.

He is German by nationality. But he was a Ukrainian soul. His name is forever inscribed in gold letters on a history of the Ukrainian people. History rural village Gorodok forever closely joined the biography of Fedor Shteynhelya, and contrary to the history of the ancient village forever wrote his name the Baron. Countrymen revered remember of this noble man.On his name was named a street in the village opened a memorial board at school. In the year 2000 based on Horodotska school conference was held devoted to 130 anniversary of the birth of Fyodor R. Shteynhel, which was attended by students, teachers, priests old residents, academic experts, scientists.

Through the years and decades, through the gloom and darkness, through neglect and suffering back to us our history.There many white spots in our history still remain. Several years ago we opened one of them. Ukrainians finally returned name of Shteyphel R. Fedor, though the life of this legendary person has many secrets.

To my generation has fallen difficult and responsible task of revival of Ukrainian statehood, nation, culture, traditions, way of life of our people. No one will do this instead of us.

History lives exceptionally in humans, in all of us and in every of us particularly.

And while the heart is beating like bird in the chest, there is no forgetfulness for years and people.

This study prepared by Nazar Petrovych Vivchar. School of Gorodok.