Deportation of the Polish population from Western Ukrainian lands at the beginning of the Second World War

  • S. P. Zubchenko PhD in History, assistant professor department of ethnology and local history, Institute for History Education, Dragomanov National Pedagogical University
Keywords: World War I, Soviet power, Western Ukrainian lands

Abstract

The article covers the peculiarities of the state policy of the Soviet government in the western regions of the USSR during the initial period of the war. The activities of the administrative-command system, in particular, ignoring the interests of national, economic and cultural development of peoples, the unlimited centralization of power, unification of all aspects of public life, which were realized through means of terror and violence, are considered. It was shown that during the initial period of the Second World War, the Stalinist regime made significant efforts to discriminate and conduct mass repressions against the ethnic communities. The official explanation of the application to individual peoples of mass deportations was the "anti-Soviet activity" and retaliation for a possible "betrayal." Repressions and deportations as separate components of the national politics and interethnic relations relate primarily to the Poles of the borderline - the "sedentary", as well as Ukrainians – members of the families of "counter-revolutionary and nationalist element" from the territory of Western Ukraine and Western Belarus. The clear structure of the management and execution of crimes by a system of state authorities and directly by the NKVD of the USSR is revealed. The echelons of the repressed and deported ones were sent to the camps and special settlements under inhumane conditions, without any household items or means of living. Without any investigation, over 1173 thousand Ukrainians, Poles and other ethnic groups were punished and deported, 35 % of which were children under the age of 14. More than 34 thousand representatives of the intelligentsia, members of the nationalist underground, and clerics who were detained in the prisons of the region were destroyed. The same happened to many Polish prisoners of war, political, religious and cultural figures. The Soviet authorities, by deportating the people, violated the constitutional rights of peoples, the fundamental right of ethnic communities to create a state and continue the national-cultural development, deformed their national and political consciousness, and the deportees’ long stay in a foreign ethnic, civilized and confessional environment had a negative impact on their lifestyle, daily routine, educational and cultural level, led to the loss of their native
language and caused the disappearance of certain ethnic groups. The massive repressions and violent resettlement of peoples during the war period caused the prolonged bloody interethnic conflicts on the post-Soviet territory.

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Abstract views: 28
Published
2018-11-24
How to Cite
Zubchenko, S. P. “Deportation of the Polish Population from Western Ukrainian Lands at the Beginning of the Second World War”. Literature and Culture of Polissya, Vol. 92, no. 10i, Nov. 2018, pp. 232-41, doi:10.31654/2520-6966-2018-10i-92-232-241.