The Ukrainian Legal Press of the General Government: The Case of Krakivski Visti, 1940-1944

  • Author / Creator
    Gyidel, Ernest
  • The dissertation is a narrative history of Krakivski Visti (Cracow News), the leading legal Ukrainian newspaper of the General Government, which was created out of German-occupied Poland after September 1939 and headed by a prominent Nazi party member Hans Frank until the end of World War II. Unlike most of the legal press in the General Government Krakivski Visti was not published by the occupational authorities directly. Instead it was an unofficial organ of an umbrella organization allowed by Germans, the Ukrainian Central Committee, headed by Ukrainian geographer Volodymyr Kubijovyč throughout the war. The newspaper was born out of Kubijovyč’s desire to have a press organ similar to Dilo, the largest Western Ukrainian daily newspaper during the interwar period. The daily edition of Krakivski Visti appeared in Cracow (January 1940 – October 1944) and Vienna (October 1944 – April 1945). With exception of the first month its chief editor was Mykhailo Khomiak (Michael Chomiak after his immigration to Canada in 1948) for entirety of its existence. Compared to other Ukrainian legal press of the General Government the newspaper enjoyed slightly more freedom, attracted more (and better) contributors among whom were the most prominent Ukrainian cultural figures of the 20th century. It still had to follow Nazi ideological imperatives of the German occupiers, but it also contained its own ideological layer of Ukrainian nationalism (not to be equated with OUN nationalism), which was realized primarily through two groups of original texts. The first was anti-Polish, anti-Russian/Soviet and anti-Jewish materials, which identified the “historical enemies” of the Ukrainian nation. On the surface these texts appear as a reflection of the official ideology, but the authors of Krakivski Visti had their own Ukrainian-specific reasons, which had nothing to do with National Socialism, to write them. The second group was texts on Ukrainian history, historical memory and national identity, which were aimed at promoting and strengthening Ukrainian national consciousness. Thus, the ideological space under German occupation was monolithic only on surface and in reality it was multi-layered. Krakivski Visti also proves that besides OUN it is important to recognize the role of other actors in the history of Ukrainian nationalism during the war.

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
    Fall 2019
  • Type of Item
  • Degree
    Doctor of Philosophy
  • DOI
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