Saturday, June 14, 2014

Lemkos In Their Own Words: The Post-World War II Deportations (1944-1947)


SPEAKER: Corinna Wengryn Caudill
WHEN: Wednesday, June 25, 2014, 6:30 p.m.
WHERE: Room 4130 Wesley Posvar Hall 
[formerly Forbes Quadrangle] 
230 South Bouquet Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15260
COST: Admission is Free!

In the fall of 1944, the Soviet Union and their Polish communist cohorts began a population-exchange campaign that mandated the removal of Poland’s Ukrainian minority. What began under the guise of “voluntary” relocations soon escalated into terror and state-sponsored ethnic cleansing, fueling resistance from the rapidly expanding Ukrainian underground.  In the process, the unique regional culture of the Lemkos, who had inhabited the Carpathian mountains for centuries, was virtually destroyed in its original autochthonous form.

From 2010-2013, independent researchers Corinna Wengryn Caudill and Richard Garbera Trojanowski interviewed ethnic Lemkos currently living in North America, Ukraine and Poland who experienced the deportation campaigns, including people who were deported to Soviet Ukraine during 1944-1946, as well as those who were deported to Poland’s “Recovered Territories” during the 1947 “Akcja Wisła" operation. On Wednesday, June 25, 2014 at 6:30 p.m., Ms. Caudill will present a multimedia presentation featuring English-captioned film segments from the interviews. The first part of the presentation will focus on the experiences of Lemkos who were resettled to Soviet Ukraine between 1944-1946, and how the so-called “voluntary” resettlement program quickly evolved into a forced deportation campaign. The second part will focus on the 1947 resettlement operation known as “Akcja Wisła,” the final and most comprehensive campaign to deport the remainder of Poland’s Ukrainian population from their historic settlement territories. She will discuss: (1) the motivations and tactics used by the Polish government to resettle and disperse those who were deported; (2) the Lemkos’ experiences before, during, and after resettlement; and (3) the aftermath and impact of these events on the people who experienced them as well as common historical misconceptions about the nature of the resettlements. The presentation will be followed by a discussion and Q&A session with the audience.

SPONSORED BY: Ukrainian Cultural and Humanitarian Institute (UCHI), University of Pittsburgh Center for Russian and Eastern European Studies (REES) and the Pittsburgh-Donetsk Sister Cities Committee.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Lemkos In Their Own Words: A Multimedia Presentation. Sat. May 17th, 1 p.m. Palos Park, IL

On Saturday, May 17, Richard Garbera Trojanowski will present a multimedia presentation based on original oral history research conducted through The Lemko Project.  The presentation features subtitled video clips of interviews with ethnic Lemkos who experienced the forcible expulsion from their homeland in southeastern Poland between 1944-1947.  The recordings showcase our participants' experiences in their own words and include subtitles for an English language audience.

WHEN: Sat. May 17, 1:00 p.m.
WHERE: Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary Ukrainian Catholic Church, 8530 W. 131st Street, Palos Park, IL. 
COST: Admission is Free!

Richard's presentation is part of a larger roundtable discussion sponsored by Carpatho-Rusyn Society/Lake Michigan Chapter. There will be four presenters in total: two presenters, including Richard, who will talk about the Lemko region in Poland and two presenters who are speaking about trips to Rusyn villages in Slovakia, how they have realized their dreams of visiting their ancestral homelands, and what remains there today.

Refreshments will be provided and items such as books (including Diana Howansky Reilly's "Scattered,") CDs, embroideries, etc., will be on sale.  

Monday, May 5, 2014

Don't Miss the Upcoming Lemko Genealogy Workshop! - June 1, 2014, Stamford, CT

The Lemko Genealogy Workshop by Mike Buryk is coming up quickly - don't miss your opportunity to sign up! It happens Sunday, JUNE 1, 2014, 12:00 - 2:30 p.m. at the Ukrainian Museum & Library of Stamford. 161 Glenbrook Road, Stamford, CT 06902. Cost: $20 per participant.


Sunday, February 9, 2014

The Population of Karlykiv (Карликів) Before and After World War II

by Dr. Stephen Rapawy

The village of Karlykiv (Pol: Karlików) is located in Sanok County (Powiat) in the Subcarpathian province of Poland (eastern Lemkian region.) It is an old village that likely dates back to the 15th or 16th century, although the exact date of its founding is uncertain. [1.] The Austrian Cadastral Records of 1787 report that at that time, Karlykiv had 43 families, indicating a lengthy period of existence. By the mid-twentieth century, the number increased to 66 families, and the increase likely resulted from farms being divided between sons and the physical expansion of the village over time. Karlykiv is located in the forested Carpathians and some woods would have been cleared for cultivation at the time of the village's founding. The village stretched along a creek on the east–west axis for several kilometers (in the mountainous Lemkian region, villages were typically built along creeks.)

Karlykiv today.  The village is now inhabited
exclusively by ethnic Poles. (Photo by C. Caudill)
In the Middle Ages, the eastern Lemkian region was part of the Galicia (Halych-Volhynia) Principality and therefore part of the medieval kingdom of Kyiv’an Rus, but the western Lemkian counties were settled later on nominal Polish territory. Medieval records indicate that the area belonged to the Polish Crown but had either not been settled or was settled only sparsely. During that period, Lemkos who had migrated from the east cleared the forests, built settlements, and began farming there.  

Ethnic and National Identification Among Lemkos: Around the turn of the century, people in Galicia called themselves Rusyny, usually rendered in English as Ruthenian, but in the Lemkian region the name Rus’nak was more prevalent. In the first half of the twentieth century, Ruthenian lands were undergoing a rapid re-identification, and regional identities were being abandoned for national identities - a trend that also extended to the Lemkian region.  Older generations frequently used the term Rus’nak in Karlykiv, although those who had matured between the wars usually referred to themselves as Ukrainians, yet retained the name “Lemko” as a secondary identification.  Ukrainian nationalism in the region increased during World War II and especially when the deportations commenced in the postwar period.  For deportation purposes, the Polish and Soviet governments considered all Rus’naks/Ruthenians (including Lemkos) to be Ukrainians, and they were therefore all subject to removal regardless of their actual political views or services to the Polish State (including whether or not they had previously served in the Polish Army.)  In an effort to avoid being deported with the Ukrainian population in Poland, some who retained the regional identity of “Lemko” (without self-identifying also as “Ukrainian”) wrote to the Polish authorities claiming that they were a separate identity group (Lemkos); however, most of those attempts were fruitless.

Surnames and Household Names: As was customary in Lemko villages, most households had dual names: the surname of the family and name of the farmstead.  Typically, farms were not sold. The family surname changed when a family did not have a male heir and one of the daughters married and remained on the farm. At the same time, retention of household names indicates the emphasis that was placed on the land by the local population. A comparison of the two sets of names indicates greater diversity during the earlier history of the village.  The 1787 Austrian data show even greater diversity, but later some family names disappeared and others were retained as modified household names, e.g., Bavoliak became Bavliak and Pstrak changed to Strak. There are some family names that become more numerous over time: by 1939, four Rapawy families had increased to six, two Hoysan (Hojsan) families increased to six, Hulych/Gulych from two to four, and Stefura from two to three.  These three families comprised approximately 29 percent of Karlykiv’s population. 

Parish: The name of the Greek Catholic church in Karlykiv was St. Paraskevia. Historically, St. Paraskevia had been part of the Sianik (Sanok) Deanery, but became part of the Bukivs'ko (Bukówsko) Deanery after World War I. The parish was part of the Lemko Apostolic Administration in 1934, and the parish priest at the time was Oleksiy Maliarchyk (1878-1946.) Filial churches to Karlykiv were located in neighboring Prybyshiv (Przybyszów/St. Paraskevia Church) and Volia Petrova (Wola Piotrowa/St. Michael's church.) The church in Karlykiv was burned down in 1946.

The Impact of German Occupation on the Village Population: In the fall of 1939, the German army arrived in the village and soon after began recruiting people for labor in Germany. Initially, they found many young people who were willing to go voluntarily, given the strong tradition in the region for working abroad. Earlier there had been heavy emigration primarily to the U.S., many had found work in coal mines and steel mills of Pennsylvania. Between the wars, emigration was curtailed and many young adults lived with their families, an offer to work in Germany became an attractive employment option.  During the early phase, most young people went voluntarily, although there was forced recruitment later in the war.  Altogether, 52 people from Karlykiv went to work in Germany, and only 14 returned to the village after the war. This large exodus of young people (most were single) reduced the formation of new families and impacted the natural growth rate of the village population.  Roundups of Jews in the Sanok county area began in the fall of 1942.  Karlykiv’s two Jewish families (totaling 12 people) were taken by the Germans and disappeared without a trace. [2.]

The Front: In September of 1944, a major battle between the Germans and Soviets took place in Karlykiv, lasting a total of eight days. During the summer, the Germans had forced Soviet POWs and villagers to dig World War I type trenches on the hills to the south and west of the village, since the Carpathian mountains provided a natural defensive position. For about a five-day period in September, Soviet war planes bombed and strafed the area, destroying all but a few homes in the village. On the sixth day, as the Red Army infantry approached the village, approximately half-a-dozen Germans went into the village and burned any remaining houses in order to make a clear field of fire. Since the Germans moved out quickly with the front, some residents were able to extinguish the fires.

Fr. Oleksiy Malarchyk (priest on left holding the cross).
The little boy on the far right, in the suit, is the author.
 (August 1939 from the personal collection of S. Rapawy)
Polish Raids and Deportations: In the summer of 1945, as the Polish government was deporting the first groups of Ukrainians to the east, the Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UPA) began recruiting in the area and a number of local young men went voluntarily to the forest.  After several weeks, most of them returned after having presumably received training, while a few remained with the partisans.  The two who remained were Josaphat (Josef) Szpynda and Stefan Sywyi.  Both were sent to the NCO school and received the title of senior rifleman. Szpynda was killed in 1946 and Sywyi became a squad leader in 1947.  Another village man, Fedir Hudak, served in a self-defense unit and was hanged by the partisans for killing a farmer while attempting to steal his horses.  The largest loss of people occurred during the first half of 1946.  In January, the Polish Army conducted their first raid on the village, killing about 15-16 people, including the village priest (Fr. Oleksiy Maliarchyk) and his family, and burned perhaps half a dozen houses.[3.]  During the subsequent months, the Polish army usually killed any man they found in the village. The raids were apparently designed to terrorize the population and induce them to leave. In total, 42 villagers from Karlykiv were killed during and after World War II.  The deportations that occurred between 1945-1946 were billed as voluntary and people were forced to sign a document that indicated voluntary resettlement.  In the spring of 1946, some of Karlykiv’s villagers fled to the forest and later entered Slovakia only to be turned over to the Polish Army by the Czechoslovak Army. [4.]  At that point, most of the village population headed to the deportation point at the railroad station. A handful managed to evade deportation again and eventually returned to the village, only to be deported to western Poland in the spring of 1947, during Operation Vistula.
Karlykiv cemetery, 2011.  (Photo by C. Caudill)

Karlykiv Today: By 1947, all of Karlykiv's inhabitants had been deported to Ukraine and Western Poland as part of Soviet and Polish deportation campaigns. None of the original structures exist, although excavation would likely reveal their foundations. Today, Karlykiv is still a rural village inhabited exclusively by ethnic Poles, and the village name is now rendered in Polish as Karlików  The cemetery still contains headstones, with telltale Cyrillic inscriptions, of the Lemko families who once lived there although it appears to be in disrepair as of 2011. The ski slope, located on the northern end of the village where it borders Prybyshiv (Przybyszów), attracts seasonal tourism.




Table 1.   Number of People by Household in Karlykiv, 1939 and 1946

The population table shows a significant population reduction (about one-fifth) during the war and deportations.  The data in Table 1 were generated in 1962 by my uncle Andrew (Andrii Puzyk) and myself.  Starting from the lower end of the village, we went house by house, noting the number of people in 1939 and 1946.  There may have been some undercounting, but the discrepancy is not likely to be significant. 







Year


1939
1946






Totals

469
385





Surname

Household Name


Voloshanovskyi

Mel’nyk
7
7
Zakhar

Fys’o
7
4
Luchka

Koliada
7
6
Hoysan

Antoshko
6
3
Hoysan

Fetsynko
7
4
Kravchuk

Voytko
10
10
Stefura

Tkach
9
6
Shmul’ko

Shmul’ko (Jewish Family)
7
0
Pylat

Diak
6
4
Gulych

Pyskir
10
9
Gaydosh, Khyr

Bavliak
10
8
Salak

Bavliak
3
2
Hoysan

Kleban
3
3
Hoysan

Kleban
8
5
Stefura

Kushnir
12
8
Gulych, Dudus’

Liakh
7
7
Syvyi

Bretskan
6
6
Zakhar

Fys’o
6
6
Havryla

Fys’o
9
6
Gulych

Khutko
5
4
Rapavyi

Bezdetsko
5
5
Tymts’o

Tymts’o
10
10
Syvyi

Syvyi
10
6
Myts’o

?
1
0
Tymts’o

Koliada
4
4
Shpynda

Rohach
8
7
Shpynda

Strak
8
5
Maliarchyk

Pop
6
1
Marx

Marx (Jewish)
5
5
Tymts’o

Kopts’o
8
5
Voloshanovskyi

Slipachok
5
6

7
6
Rapavyi

Knysh
9
8
Syvyi

Hyrkyn
9
4

2
2
Rapavyi

Koval’
6
4

7
6
Holota

Popovych
9
7
Dudus’

Kibak
6
8
Ostafiy

Semayts’o
7
9
Krill

Kharaman
10
9
Puzyk

Puzyk
6
6
Puzyk

Puzyk
1
1
Pylat

Puzyk
4
4
Ilts’o

Daniach
6
5
Ostafii

Goyda
10
9
Syvyi

Kunych
5
5
Ostafii

Ostafii
9
8
Baranych

Hotsul
7
4
Hudak

Hudak
8
6
Vengryn

Vengryn
10
6
Dudus’

Slipachok
6
6
Salak

Pavlo
6
6
Rapavyi

Ivants’o
14
12
Gaydosh

Styrts’o
4
3
Gulych

Rayts’o
9
8
Zheliunka

Sudyk
10
10
Hoysan

Maychak
7
6
Stefura

Hoysan
6
6
Gimak

Zahaniach
8
7
Hoysan

Hryn’
7
6
Levytskyi

Levytskyi
7
5
Levytskyi

Levytskyi
8
7
Stefura

Hoysan
7
10
Vashchyshyn

Sudyk
12
11
Rapavyi

Tsanok?
5
3

                                                 





Notes:
  1. According to SŁOWNIK HISTORYCZNO-GEOGRAFICZNY ZIEM POLSKICH W ŚREDNIOWIECZU the village was founded in the late 15th century.  
  2. In 1942, as the Nazis enacted “The Final Solution” in Poland, most Jews in the Sanok area were taken to labor camps such as Zwangsarbeitslager Zaslaw (known as Zagorz-Zaslaw) and eventually shipped to Belzec extermination camp, where they were murdered by the Nazis.
  3. For more information about the individuals murdered in the raid, see: http://www.apokryfruski.org/kultura/lemkowszczyzna/karlikow-2/
  4. The Polish government was closely cooperating with the Czechoslovak government.

Dr. Stephen Rapawy is a retired Census Bureau ethnographer and an independent scholar of Eastern European history. Originally from the eastern Lemko village of Karlykiv (Karlikow), he personally experienced the 1947 "Akcja Wisla" forcible deportation and resettlement campaign before immigrating to the United States.  He holds a Ph.D. in Soviet and Russian Area Studies from Georgetown University.