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Barys Rahula (Belarusian language: Барыс Рагуля, Boris Ragula, 1 January 1920 – 22 April 2005) was a Belarusian political activist. He served as a military commander with the pro-German Belarusian Home Defence (BKA) during the Second World War. After the war he studied medicine in the West and became a doctor in Canada.[1]


Barys Rahula was born near Navahrudak and spent his early years in West Belarus, then part of the Second Polish Republic. In 1938, he became student at the University of Vilnius but was mobilized into the Polish army after the Nazi-Soviet invasion of Poland.[2] He soon became a German POW, but in 1940 escaped from German prison to West Belarus occupied by the Soviets. In Belarus, he got arrested by the NKVD but managed to escape from prison in the first days after Germany's attack on the USSR.[3]

Under German occupation, Rahula participated in the creation of the pro-Nazi Belarusian national army known as the Home Defence Force (BKA) and was also one of the organizers of the Belarusian Independence Party. He left Belarus with the German army ahead of the Soviet advance.

After the war, Barys Rahula studied Medicine at the Catholic University of Leuven. In 1954 he moved to Canada and became one of the country's better known oncologists as well as one of the leaders of the Belarusian Canadian community. After the Chernobyl Disaster, Rahula organized fund raising to support victims of the catastrophe. He died in 2005.


Selected Books

  • Беларускае студэнцтва на чужыне (Belarusian Students in the Strange Lands)
  • Жыцьцё пад агнём (Living under Fire)
  • Against the Current

External links

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