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Volodymyr Kubijovych's Ethnographic Ukraine: Theory into Practice on the Western Okraiiny

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Volodymyr Kubijovych's Ethnographic Ukraine: Theory into Practice on the Western Okraiiny

This paper analyzes two hitherto under-researched aspects of Ukrainian life prior to and during World War II. First, it describes the personage of Volodymyr Kubijovych, a geographer and intellectual whose pre-war academic and scholarly work had a profound impact on the idea of Ukrainian ethnographic territory and on his personal ethnic self-ascription. Second, this work analyzes the role of Kubijovych as leader of the Ukrainian Central Committee, the only legally functioning Ukrainian representative organisation in Germanoccupied Poland. The context of this activity was set through earlier Ukrainian-German relationship and the hopes and intents of both sides. Here it becomes clear how Kubijovych put into effect his ethnographic perception of Ukraine in attempts to reawaken and strengthen Ukrainian national consciousness in what he regarded to be the western historical ethnic peripheries of Ukraine. The article shows that Kubijovych's early choices were not accidental. In his role as leader of the Ukrainian Central Committee, he played an enormous part in revitalizing Ukrainian national consciousness in the ethnographic territory which fell under the Generalgouvernement in 1939–1941, but during the interwar period had belonged to Poland and subsequently been polonized.

The author exploited archival materials found in Canada, Ukraine and Poland as well as the official newspaper of the Central Committee, Krakivs'ki Visti, alongside literature on the topic. To understand Kubijovych and his early life, the author critically relied on two memoirs written by him. Many questions about Kubijovych's early life, his interests and education as well as his activities during the wartime period can be answered; others nevertheless remain and should be the focus of more intense research.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: April 1, 2016

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  • The Jahrbücher für Geschichte Osteuropas ("East European History") present the discipline in its entire breadth; for thematically focused articles the emphasis lies on the territory of the former Russian Empire and the former Soviet Union. A double-blind review process with international experts ensures adherence to the annals' recognized high quality standards. An extensive section devoted to reviews informs the reader about current trends in German and international research. In addition, the editorial board publishes an electronic review supplement under the title jgo.e-reviews at
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