Book highlight from “Zero Point Ukraine” by Olena Stiazhkina
Part 1 of “Zero Point Ukraine” highlight from the chapter entitled “Unexpected outcome” considered the myth of the “Great Patriotic War” as the starting point for the new Russian empire. Part 2 focused on Ukrainian resistance as the continuation of the national liberation struggle. Part 3 outlined the new international situation after WWII. Part 4 addresses the issues of new and existing Ukrainian diasporas in post-war period. If you continue visiting our Blog Page you’ll be able to read the concluding part of the highlight.
New Ukrainian diasporas across the world
As a result of World War II, over 250,000 people from Austria and Germany, who found themselves outside Soviet borders in the late 1940s and early 1950s, settled in different states and continents. “In this way new Ukrainian communities emerged in Australia, Tunisia (Beni M’Tir), Venezuela, and existing settlements in the US, Canada, Brazil, Argentina, and Paraguay were reinforced. Nearly 50,000 Ukrainians stayed in Europe, creating a new powerful Ukrainian community in Great Britain and reinforcing the communities formed between the wars in France, Belgium, and the Netherlands.” 13
However, not all foreign states were so hospitable to Ukrainians as to allow them to cherish their cultural uniqueness and ideas of national liberation.
Relations between Ukrainians and Poles, marked by the bitterness of “historical wounds,” after the expulsion of the Nazis, were additionally inflamed by Stalin’s imperial policy and by the Polish authorities who envisioned Poland in the future as a monoethnic state; thus, the Ukrainian community posed a real threat. The “resettlement” of Ukrainians from Poland in 1944–1946 (under the “population exchange” between Poland and Soviet Ukraine); the infamous Operation Vistula of 1947; the 1951 exchange of territories of 1951 securing “new” Poland from the Ukrainian insurgent movement; scattering Ukrainians over 90 districts of nine northwestern Polish voivodeships, banning them from resettling or returning to their former dwelling places; all contributed to their dissolution into Polski jednolitej—the single-nation Polish state. 14 In the course of time, Ukrainians in Poland, as well as Ukrainians in other Eastern Bloc states (Romania, Czechoslovakia) were able to learn their own language and preserve their culture—both under the imperial paradigm of the “brotherhood of nations under the aegis of the USSR.”
13 Tetiana Plazova, “Diialnist naukovykh ta osvitno-vykhovnykh oseredkiv ukrainskoi diaspory u povoienni roky” [Activity of the scientific and educational cores of the Ukrainian diaspora in the post-war years], Ukrainska natsionalna ideia: realii ta perspektyvy rozvytku 25 (2013): 148, http://ena.lp.edu.ua:8080/bitstream/ntb/21124/1/26-147-152.pdf .
14 Roman Drozd, Bohdan Halczak, and Iryna Musiienko, Istoriia ukraintsiv u Polshchi v 1921–1989 rokakh [The history of Ukrainians in Poland in 1921–1989], trans. Iryna Musiienko, 3rd ed., rev. (Kharkiv: Zoloti storinky, 2013).
Coming up soon: the next section will focus on post-war activity of the diaspora promoting the idea of a free Ukraine.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR Professor Dr. Olena Stiazhkina studied history at Donetsk National University. Since 2016 she is Senior Research Fellow at the Department of Ukrainian History in the second half of the XX century at the Institute of History of Ukraine at the National Academy of Science of Ukraine. Previously, she completed an internship at the Institute for Human Sciences (IWM, Austria) and held a professorship at the Department of Slavs’ History at the Vasyl Stus Donetsk National University (Ukraine).
Olena Stiazhkina is a member of the Ukrainian Oral History Association, the Ukrainian Association of Research in Women’s History, and the PEN Club Ukraine. Her previous books include Women in the history of Ukrainian Culture in the Second Half of the 20th Century (Donetsk: Skhidny Vydavnychy Dim, 2002), Gender Relations in a Modern Society (Donetsk: Skhidny Vydavnychy Dim, 2006), A Person in the Soviet Province: Evolution of Failure (Donetsk: Noulidzh, 2013), Stigma of Occupation: Soviet Women of the 1940s in Self-Vision (Kyiv, Dukh I Litera). Her papers have been published by, among other outlets, Indiana Press, University of Tulsa, Istorychni i politologichni doslidzhennia, Nauka. Relihiya. Suspilstvo.
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ABOUT “UKRAINIAN VOICES” BOOK SERIES
Olena Stiazhkina’s book is Volume 10 in the “Ukrainian Voices” book series.
The “Ukrainian Voices” book series includes English- and German-language monographs, edited volumes, document collections and anthologies of articles authored and composed by Ukrainian politicians, intellectuals, activists, officials, researchers, entrepreneurs, artists, and diplomats.
The series aims to introduce Western and broader audiences to Ukrainian explorations and interpretations of historic and current domestic as well as international affairs.
The purpose of these books is to familiarise non-Ukrainian readers with how some prominent Ukrainians approach, research and assess their country’s development and position in the world. The series was founded in 2019, and the volumes are collected by Andreas Umland.
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