Labor emigration from Poland to the Donbas in the early years of the Second World War

Labor emigration from Poland to the Donbas in the early years of the Second World War

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Stanislav Fedorchuk

Institute of Ethnology


Center for Urban History, Lviv

During the Second World War, almost immediately after the eastern territories of occupied Poland joined the USSR, the highest party leadership attempted to organize the first labor migration to the Stalin (now Donetsk) and Voroshylovhrad (Luhansk) regions of the USSR. The migrants were not only people who left the territories annexed by the Soviet Union but also fugitives from the German zone of occupied Poland who were persecuted on political, ethnic or other grounds. How was the labor migration organized? What political and economic reasons were behind these processes? Who dared to go to the "far east" of the Ukrainian SSR? How were the new workers met at the enterprises? What was their way of life and how were they perceived by the state and party bodies? These and other questions Stanislav Fedorchuk tried to answer during his lecture, at which he also presented little-known documents from the party archives of Donetsk Oblast, including copies of letters migrant workers sent home.

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Stanislav Fedorchuk

is a historian and political scientist, graduate student of the Department of Social Anthropology at the Institute of Ethnology. He graduated from the faculty of history at Donetsk National University. Currently he lives and works in Lviv. He is writing is dissertation on “Migrants from the Western Regions of the USSR to Stalin Oblast (1944-1951): Transformation of Identities of Ukrainians and Other Ethnic Groups.” Author of the book: Dismantling Hypocrisy. Articles: Preface Y. Sverstyuk Kyiv: Smoloskyp, 2012, 228 p. Research interests: migration processes in Ukraine, the transformation of identity, memory, and identity.

Lecture was a part of the lecture and discussion program of the DonKult cultural forum.


Сover Image: USSR propaganda poster. A Red Army soldier and a peasant jointly overthrow the border post