The project "Дрогобич–Drohobycz–דראָהאָביטש: Interethnic Relations and Public Space of the Galician District City in the Late Nineteenth to the Early Twentieth Centuries" aims to create a three-in-one interactive map of Drohobych to show how the Jewish, Polish, and Ukrainian communities each perceived the same city and how these mental maps overlap each other, creating a shared multiethnic space of Drohobych. To highlight the content with which representatives of each of the three communities assigned a particular place, street, or building, visual materials and information from the local press, memoirs, letters, and various archival documents will be included as well.

The economic development associated with the rise of the Galician oil industry in the late nineteenth century led to the formation of the local public space in Drohobych. Its specificity was determined by the characteristic structure of the population, the relative compactness of the city, and its remoteness from the center of Galicia.

Here, as in most provincial towns of the district, Jews made up the majority, while the Greek Catholic population in the early twentieth century predominated over the Roman Catholic one. Symbolic for the Galician government of that time, the domination of the Polish language was maintained through the assimilation of the Jewish and Ukrainian populations. However, in Drohobych these processes were not swift. Among the Jewish elite loyal to the Austrian authorities, the German language retained its popularity until the early years of the twentieth century. Furthermore, most Jews in Drohobych communicated with each other using Yiddish, which was similar but not officially recognized. Ukrainians, who preserved their language and culture, mostly lived in the suburbs, and despite its size had relatively little influence in the city. This situation created a symbolic balance in which none of the communities had absolute influence on public life.

The advent of modernity in Galicia provided a defining meaning to places of urban space, which prompted the activation of linguistic, religious, cultural, social, political, and other differences in each of the three communities, resulting in the formation of many new identities in the members of the communities. This process resulted in the final destruction of closeness and unity of the traditional "communities." Groups were formed that were in conflict internally, but they often found common ground with other communities. In this context, places of interaction that allowed Drohobych residents to socialize with one another played a no less important role. In terms of the above mentioned limited space of the district city, the residents, regardless of their ethnicity and religion, established not only formal (economic and political) contacts, but also personal (friendly and even family) relationships among one another. Mutual proximity reduced the likelihood of ethnic conflict. Therefore, the national campaign that came to Drohobych from Lviv experienced significant changes, was softened due to the local realities.

Thus the project is focused on:

"Places of action" (separately for each of the three communities)

  • streets and areas of the city that are important to a certain community or settled mainly by its representatives;
  • monuments; memorials associated with historical events;
  • religious buildings and places (Roman Catholic churches, synagogues, Greek Catholic churches, cemeteries, places of religious pilgrimage);
  • institutions of religious education and private schools;
  • accommodation of national leaders and people important to the community (rabbis, priests, teachers, doctors, editors, lawyers, judges);
  • the locations of national societies, reading rooms, casinos, clubs;
  • editorial offices;
  • centers of political parties.

"Places of interaction"

  • streets and market squares;
  • parks, places for picnics and recreation;
  • public schools and high schools;
  • restaurants, cafes, restaurants, shops;
  • post office and railway;
  • government agencies.

In making a single plan for the city, the sites will be put in such a way to allocate places that are meaningful to each individual community. In the cases where one and the same place (for example, a high school, tavern, or post office) is found in the sources of more than one community, the above mentioned information will vary according to which of the three maps is used by the user. On the other hand, the main map will show all these sites together, outlining the overall picture of public space in Drohobych in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.

Project manager: Yevhen Polyakov

Contact: y.polyakov@lvivcenter.org