Commemorations of the First World War military experiences in interwar Lviv

Commemorations of the First World War military experiences in interwar Lviv

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Marcin Jarząbek

Jagellonian University

April 11, 2018 / 4.00 pm

Center for Urban History, Lviv

As it is well known, Lviv in interwar period was a city where Polish and Ukrainian war narratives intersected. Not only the 1918-1919 war but also commemoration of the victims of 1914-1918 conflict were used for the purposes of nationalisms: dominative – Polish, and minority – Ukrainian. Poles possessed strong institutional state support and therefore managed the dominate the urban symbolic spaces , especially on holidays as November, 1 or November, 11. Ukrainian commemorations functioned therefore as a keystone for different social organisations (not only of commemorative or veterans’ character) that constituted Ukrainian collective live in the city.

The paper presents selected case studies of Polish and Ukrainian commemorative practices in a city landscape and interprets their meaning in the context of framing the past within national identities. It also explains the other side, i.e. the practices of oblivion which were adopted in regard to former Austrian memory about the World War one.

Marcin Jarząbek

is an assistant professor at the Department of Historical Anthropology in the Institute of History of the Jagiellonian University in Krakow. He holds a PhD in history from the Jagiellonian University and MA in Central European History from the Central European University in Budapest. His main research interests are: veterans of the First World War and their collective memory, oral history, problem of war trauma and its social and medical treatment, social and cultural history of the railway. He is the author of a recently published book “Legioniści i inni. Pamięć zbiorowa weteranów I wojny światowej w Polsce i Czechosłowacji okresu międzywojennego” [The Legionnaries and the Others. Collective memory of the First World Veterans in interwar Poland and Czechoslovakia] (Kraków 2017).

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Сover Image:  Former Austrian Military Cemetery, 1915. Collection of Volodymyr Rumyantsev / Urban media archive