Fonds 20-003 - L’udovít Kandra fonds

Title and statement of responsibility area

Title proper

L’udovít Kandra fonds

General material designation

  • Textual record
  • Graphic material

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Level of description

Fonds

Reference code

CA ON0034 20-003

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Issuing jurisdiction and denomination (philatelic)

Dates of creation area

Date(s)

  • 1938-1983, predominant 1944-1983 (Creation)

Physical description area

Physical description

2.44 m of textual records
32 photographs : col.
12 photographs : b&w

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Archival description area

Name of creator

(1904-1993)

Biographical history

L’udovít Kandra (pseudonym: Peter Klas), was born in Banská Štiavnica, on July 6, 1904. Between 1914 and 1922, he completed his primary and secondary education in his local community. Between 1922 and 1924, he studied in Banská Bystrica where he obtained his teaching certificate from the Institute of Pedagogy. In 1928, he married Paula Päták. While working as a teacher, and later, as a school director, Mr. Kandra was already interested, and much involved, in Slovak cultural and literary life. In the Spring of 1945, Mr. Kandra and his family left Slovakia and emigrated to Austria where they lived until 1949. In 1949, the Kandras emigrated to Canada; with their two daughters, Dana and Olga. They lived in various Ontarian cities: Oil City, Glencoe and Kitchener.
After his arrival in Canada, Mr. Kandra worked for different employers including Electrohome Limited but he also began to write and publish his work. Most of his fiction work was published under the pen name of Peter Klas. He is the author of two published novels (“Satan proti Bohmu”and “Svetlo pod halenou”), a collection of short stories (“Na strome života) and hundreds of individual short stories published in various almanacs, calendars and newspapers. He became one of the prolific prose writers among Slovak immigrant.
L’udovít Kandra was also an author “on a political mission.” A determined activist, he used his talent as a great communicator to bring forth the horrors of the occupation of Slovakia and the hard life of Slovaks under communism. He published hundreds of articles on these issues in newspapers such as Kanadský Slovák, Slovák v Amerike, Kalendar Kandaskej Slovenskej Ligy, Slovenská Obrana and other Slovak periodicals abroad. In addition to his prose and poetry, L’udovit Kandra maintained an exchange of correspondence with members of the Slovak intelligentsia abroad, among others, Imrich Kružliak (pseudonym: Marian Žiar), Ernest Žatko (pseudonym: Ján E. Bor), Ignác Zelenka (Eugen Vesnin) and Michal Lošonsky (pseudonym: Michal Želiar).
Throughout his writing career, Mr. Kandra was also involved as a lobbyist and political activist in a number of nationalist organizations. Of particular significance were his extensive work and significant influence as vice-president and president of the Slovak National Council Abroad (Slovenská Národná Rada v Zahraniči. SNRvZ).
A devout Lutheran, Mr. Kandra also had a long and generous involvement with the “Ustredna Rada Martina Razus”, where he served as president.
In Slovakia, as well as in Canada, L’udovít Kandra was a very humble citizen. An elementary school teacher by profession, he took on blue-collar work as an immigrant living in Canada. He was not a member of the Slovak “intellegencia,” nor did he hold an elected political office. He lived as a man of limited financial means throughout his life, yet through his prolific work as poet, author and freelance writer, and through his extraordinary personal contribution as a member of the Slovak diaspora, L’udovít Kandra made a significant contribution to Slovak literature and has had a long-lasting impact on the cultural and social conditions of Slovaks living in exile. He died in Belleville, Ontario, in 1993, at the age of 89.

Custodial history

Scope and content

The fonds consists of handwritten notes, drafts, holograph and typed manuscripts, galley proofs, printed texts and newspaper clippings of L’udovít Kandra’s extensive literary production of novels, short stories and articles.

A large portion of the fonds also gathers the correspondence exchanged between Mr. Kandra and his family, his friends, other Slovak emigrants and members of various political and lobbying groups. Another significant portion of the fonds consists of administrative papers, correspondence and publications related to the Svetový Kongres Slovákov (Slovak World Congress) and to Slovenská Národná Rada v Zahraničí (Slovak National Council Abroad) including the Demokratický Blok (Slovak Democratic Block Abroad). A smaller portion of the fonds consists of various pieces of information collected by Mr. Kandra on topics related to Slovak political and social history since World War II. Some personal papers, memorabilia and a few photographs constitute the remainder of the fonds.

The L’udovít Kandra fonds constitutes the most complete collection of primary, secondary and tertiary sources for the study of this prolific Slovak emigrant author’s literary production. It contains most of his works published under the pen name of Peter Klas, a major portion of his articles, conference papers and other works published under his real name, L’udovít Kandra, as well as numerous critical reviews of his work. The correspondence portion of the fonds constitutes a unique source of information on L’udovít Kandra’s personal, professional and social life. It also provides us with a most interesting insight into the lives of his fellow countrymen living abroad, with a particular emphasis on Slovaks living in Canada. The fonds offers researchers a significant collection of papers and documents related to two major international Organizations (SKS and SNRvZ) devoted to the recognition, maintenance and growth of Slovak tradition and culture among the Slovak diaspora.

A certain portion of documents contained in the fonds originate from the 1939-1945 period, but the bulk of the material dates from the time of Kandra’s arrival in Canada in 1949 to the time of his death in 1993. Most documents are in good condition.

Notes area

Physical condition

Immediate source of acquisition

Arrangement

This fonds is organized in 9 series: Literary works under pen name "Peter Klas", Editorials, articles, book reviews and lectures by Ľudovit Kandra, Ľudovit Kandra (Peter Klas) through the eye of the media, Personal correspondence, Personal memorabilia, Subject Files, Political and lobbying - Memoirs and documents, Slovak diaspora after the WWII and Organizations.

Language of material

  • Czech
  • English
  • French
  • German
  • Hungarian
  • Slovak

Script of material

  • Cyrillic
  • Latin

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A paper finding aid is available.

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Control area

Description record identifier

CA

Institution identifier

ON0034

Rules or conventions

RAD

Status

Final

Level of detail

Full

Dates of creation, revision and deletion

Revised in March 2018.

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