Школа української мови та культури у Львові

Фотографії Львова. Панорама Львова

Colette Hartwich about her Ukrainian heritage. A family profile: The Zakrewskis over 3 generations

Дата :Бер-22-2019 Категорія: Блог

The students of our Ukrainian Language and Culture School Learn-Ukrainian.org.ua often have rich Ukrainian heritage. Read, what a great story our student Colette Hartwich has written about her Ukrainian roots. Colette Hartwich–Soreau is a French citizen of Ukrainian origin who is currently a resident of Berlin. She has graciously agreed to give us her thoughts

Colette is a conference interpreter with 36 years of working experience


Just, as there is collective memory, modern historians show us there is a family profile. Moreover, for my Ukrainian family, the Zakrewskis from Poltavchina, this profile, largely genetic, is relatively free from influence of migration and Revolutions.
In my family’s case, there always existed the dual attraction for Ukrainian culture – as embodied in the family’s “nest” of Berezova Rudka and in the patronage of Taras Schevchenko, who visited often and whose poems to honor my great-grandmother Ganna Zakrewska are still a national passion (as evidenced in the film “My Schevchenko”, made in 2014, and in which I had a small role) – and for the European culture, as evidenced by my great-aunt Moura and her supporting role as Baroness Budberg not only in Maxim Gorki’s personal life, but also in making his written works international.

Moura’s daughter, Tania Alexander, from inside the British upper classes, left us a touching memory of the survival of a Ukrainian aristocratic family in “An Estonian Childhood: A Memoir” (First published by Jonathan Cape Ltd in 1987 under the title A Little of All These, Tania Alexander’s memoir is centered around her mother, the Baroness Moura Budberg, her life in Tsarist Society, in the Bolshevik society of Lenin and Gorky, and later in that of H.G. Wells in England).
The family, as many others present in the Zaprorogue Cossack Starchina, initially left Poland to be free. They were given land in the Eastern Ukraine and gradually moved from warrior to landed gentry status. My great-grandfather, Platon Zakrewski, was essentially and astute and tough manager, who encouraged the culture of linen and beer hops and led an active social life. Berezova Rudka was a world in itself – economically self-sufficient and highly cosmopolitan.
Thus, my great-aunt, Julia, in a time when transportation means were few and far in between, married a New Yorker and spent one third of the year in Tuscany, where she is also buried.

Estonian Childhood


The Historian, Ethnographer and Linguist, Nicolas Zakrewski, was also multi-faceted: by researching the customs and folklore of Galicia and Ukraine, he preserved those cultures. My great-grandfather, the eminent Jurist, Senator Ignace Zakrewski, contributed to legal reforms, particularly in the field of criminal law. He also cultivated European contacts – was a good friend of Emile Zola and became internationally known for his public defense of the French-Jewish captain Alfred Dreyfus. Dreyfus was unjustly accused in a long law case that tore France in two. My great-grandfather’s eloquent and daring defense of the unjustly accused was published in the newspapers; with his clearsighted prediction of the Russian Revolution, he had the courage to publish “Welcome to Common Sense”, in Germany, in which he wrote, courageously: “Poland and Ukraine must be independent, in the common European interest”.
As a family genetic signature, my aunt, Countess Irene de Lipkowski, was one of the first women in the French Parlament and my nephew, Nick Clegg, later vindicated his ancestors’ anglophilism by becoming the Vice Prime Minister of the UK.
Both were ardently European and N. Clegg is still fighting Brexit.
All rights reserved © 2018

Colette with her classmates learning Ukrainian at Ukrainian School Learn-Ukrainian.org.ua


Dear Colette, thank you so much for your high evaluation of of our course in Lviv, it is very important for us!
“I have enormously enjoyed a crash course in Ukrainian at this conveniently located school.
As a conference interpreter with 36 years of working experience under my belt , I was impressed by Ms. Buk’s teaching method, particularly by the large emphasis on communication.
The cultural program is extremely accessible, even if you know little about the Ukrainian culture.
The teachers are extremely friendly: they guve you self confidence and adapt you to you unique background.
A good and, at the same time, enjoyable investment.”



Comments / Коментарі


Fill in reguest / Заповніть форму