The ethno-national factor of the national policy of the Soviet communist regime towards the Poles (1920s – first half of 1940s)

  • V. І. Lushchai candidate of historical sciences, associate professor of the Department of Ethnology and Local History of the National Pedagogical University named after M. P. Drahomanov
  • B. P. Siletsky student of the 1st year of the master's degree of the Faculty of Historical Education of the National Pedagogical University named after M. P. Drahomanov
Keywords: national policy, ethno-national factor, Poles

Abstract

The article is devoted to the study of the ethno-national factor of the national policy of the Soviet communist regime in Ukraine during the 1920s – the first half of the 1940s towards the Polish ethnic minority, the identification of the origins and reasons for the biased and politically motivated attitude of the Bolsheviks towards the Poles as a nation. It was discovered that the key element of the national policy of the Soviet government in the conditions of the weakness of the communist regime of the USSR was a policy of nativization. One of the key areas of the national policy of the USSR regarding the national minorities was creation of national districts as ideological models of success of the "new order". Despite the anti-Polish bias of the Bolsheviks after the Soviet-Polish war of 1920, in the 1920s the repressions against the Poles did not acquire the character of mass actions. In the early 1930s, with the aggravation of the foreign policy and the growing threat of war, a "great break" took place in the national policy of the fortified Stalinist totalitarian regime. It caused the change of the status of Russians into the great-power (state-building, but in fact imperial) ethnos and adoption of imperial, anti-ethnic foundation of the ethnic policy of the Russian Empire. Starting from 1933, the final transition of the national policy of the communist
regime to the repressive, punitive principle and its apparent anti-Polish character, the apparent opposition of the Ukrainians to the Poles in the spirit of the traditional Russian imperial policy of conscious opposition of some nations to others, is taking place. The number of ethnic Poles repressed in 1937–1938 is at least 45 thousand people. After the occupation of the Soviet Union in September 1939, a new wave of the mass repressions and deportations of Poles began in Western Ukraine. It was manifested in four waves of deportations, in particular, in February, April and June 1940 and in June 1941, during which between 500 thousand and 900 thousand Poles were affected. In the second half of 1940, under the influence of the foreign factors and in light of the preparations for the future of the "export of the socialist revolution", and after the German invasion of the Soviet Union, in the face of threat of the existence of the Russian empire of the Soviet model, the national policy of the Soviet communist regime regarding the Poles had undergone some changes, which correlates with this practice in the Russian empire of the tsarist period. After the withdrawal of the Red Army to the western borders of the USSR at the end of the Second World War, a great turn was made in the national policy of the communist regime. It was marked by mass repressions and deportations of tens of thousands of Poles who were not loyal to the communist regime of the USSR.

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Published
2018-11-24