new website about Lwow #galicia

Rivka Schirman <capitetes@...>

Hello Brian and Alex,

As this is not directly linked to genealogy, I'll try to be as short
as possible.

(A) I do not know about Belorussia and the then Soviet Ukraine
(now East Ukraine), as my research focuses on Galicia, now West
Ukraine, but for that particular geographical area, the description
you are so shocked by, i.e., "entering of soviet troops on
territory of Western Ukraine and release of Ukrainian [...] earths
from the burden of the Polish pans and reunion of
people-brothers" is an absolutely factually documented historical
fact of how the local Ukrainians lived the arrival of the Soviet
troops in 1939. I am speaking about contemporary historical
testimonies about cheerful welcomes committees to the Soviet
Troops by the Ukrainians all over the three Provinces of Lwow,
Stanislawow and Tarnopol and not because they were happy to
see the communists arrive, but because they believed that they
were going to be reunited with their Ukrainian brethren >from
the East and finally obtain their Ukrainian Independence. And the
Ukrainian Nationalists indeed, saw the Soviet as liberators >from
the Polish Second Republic. The Yizkor Books of East Galicia are
full of eye-witnesses' descriptions of the joy of of the local
Ukrainians when the Soviets arrived because they believed that
they finally were going to have their Independent Ukraine. And it
was not only the peasants - Jan Thomas Gross quotes The
Metropolitan Andrei Sheptyckii, the then Head of the Greek
Catholic Church of East Galicia and a great supporter of the
Ukrainian Nationalist cause, as having said "shortly after the
Soviet arrived [...] 'we occupied only a few rooms on the ground
floor until recently and now we have it all to ourselves. There is
still a tenant on the first floor, but when we push him out, the
entire house will finally be ours'" (see Jan T. Gross, "Revolution
from Abroad, The Soviet Conquest of Poland's Western Ukraine
and Western Belorussia", Princeton University Press, New Jersy,
2002, p. 31). That the Soviets propaganda presented the
invasion as being welcomed as if because everyone was happy to
receive communism is one thing. the majority of the Ukrainians
in Galicia (West Ukraine) were happy to receive the Soviets
because they thought it meant that they were going to have an
Independent Ukraine. That they were mistaken doesn't change
anything to the fact that their joy in the films is genuine.

(B) Historical Revisionism concerning Western Ukraine,
unfortunately, is, indeed a huge problem. Since the declaration
of the State of Ukraine in the 1990's, the Ukrainians have been
working on it very hard using the very same Soviet methods and
techniques they are so keen on accusing the Soviet historians
for... You might be interested in reading an excellent recent
research: Marples David R., Heroes and Villains: Creating
National History in Contemporary Ukraine, New York, Central
European University Press, 2007. You may also be interested in
a shorter publication, not less revealing: Himka John-Paul, "War
Criminality: A Blank Spot in the Collective Memory of the
Ukrainian Diaspora," Spaces of Identity, vol 5 no. 1, 2005, Special
Issue: War Crimes, available at

All this to say that had the web site been only in Ukrainian or in
English, just as real sense of caution would have been
warranted here... It all depends on the sources used.

(B) As for Russian and not Ukrainian language - I just think you
might be interested to know that all the recent immgirants >from
Ukraine (the last 20 years) I know in Israel do not speak Ukrainian
at all, they all speak Russian. They understand Ukrainian, a little,
and only the East Ukrainian, not the Ukrainian of West Ukraine,
that is completely different. Survivors who came >from Galicia
after WWII, like my late father, of course, spoke Polish,
West-Ukrainian (not the Soviet-Ukrainian at all), Russian, Yiddish
and German.

As I do not read Russian, I do not know who are the people who
created this web site, but the fact that it is in Russian and not in =20
Ukrainian, does not mean it is donr by former KGB agents.

In any case, when sending the address, I only referred to the
films and photos about Jewish Lwow, which were the only ones
of interest to me and the only ones I recommended.


Rivka Schirman nee Moscisker
Paris, France
Searching: MOSCISKER >from Brody, Budzynin, Buczacz, Okopy
Szwietej Trojce, Krakow, Lwow), WEISSMANN and REINSTEIN >from
Okopy Szwietej Trojce (Borszczow, Tarnopol)

On 9 March 2011, Brian J. Lenius wrote:

I would be very cautious of any website today about L'viv that is
currently using the Russian language and not Ukrainian. This
site is apparently available is Russian, Polish, and English, but
not Ukrainian! The English page uses poor grammar and all
names and places use Russian versions. This tells me that the
author is not >from L'viv or western Ukraine. People in L'viv today
would not create a website in Russian about their city. People
from L'viv do not refer to their city now as Lvov (Russian).
Some of the videos tend to be pro-Soviet, the download site is a
Russian URL, and descriptions are for example:

"... Taken off the eyewitnesses of events, a record film (historical
chronicle) is devoted entering of soviet troops on territory of
Western Ukraine and release of Ukrainian and Byelorussian
earths >from the burden of the Polish pans and reunion of
people-brothers into single monogynopaedium...."

The above description gives a flavor of the poor grammar used
on the site, but this description in particular gives the
impression that the Soviet troops *saved* the Ukrainian and
Belarusian lands >from the Polish landlords and reunited the
people in the *brotherhood* of the Soviet Union. BTW, as you
know, while many were, not all landlords were Polish and not all
landlords were tyrants.
MODERATOR'S NOTE: This thread is moving >from Galician-Jewish
genealogy to Ukrainian-Russian language and politics. Please
continue it privately.

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