Heroes and Villains

Heroes and Villains

-

English
386 Pages

Description

Certain to engender debate in the media, especially in Ukraine itself, as well as the academic community. Using a wide selection of newspapers, journals, monographs, and school textbooks from different regions of the country, the book examines the sensitive issue of the changing perspectives – often shifting 180 degrees – on several events discussed in the new narratives of the Stalin years published in the Ukraine since the late Gorbachev period until 2005. These events were pivotal to Ukrainian history in the 20th century, including the Famine of 1932–33 and Ukrainian insurgency during the war years. This latter period is particularly disputed, and analyzed with regard to the roles of the OUN (Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists) and the UPA (Ukrainian Insurgent Army) during and after the war. Were these organizations "freedom fighters" or "collaborators"? To what extent are they the architects of the modern independent state? "This excellent book fills a longstanding void in literature on the politics of memory in Eastern Europe. Professor Marples has produced an innovative and courageous study of how postcommunist Ukraine is rewriting its Stalinist and wartime past by gradually but inconsistently substituting Soviet models with nationalist interpretations. Grounded in an attentive reading of Ukrainian scholarship and journalism from the last two decades, this book offers a balanced take on such sensitive issues as the Great Famine of 1932-33 and the role of the Ukrainian nationalist insurgents during World War II. Instead of taking sides in the passionate debates on these subjects, Marples analyzes the debates themselves as discursive sites where a new national history is being forged. Clearly written and well argued, this study will make a major impact both within and beyond academia." - Serhy Yekelchyk, University of Victoria


Subjects

Informations

Published by
Published 23 January 2013
Reads 8
EAN13 9786155211355
License: All rights reserved
Language English
Document size 1 MB

Legal information: rental price per page €. This information is given for information only in accordance with current legislation.

Report a problem
Cover

Heroes and Villains

Creating National History in Contemporary Ukraine

David R. Marples
  • Publisher : Central European University Press
  • Year of publication : 2007
  • Published on OpenEdition Books : 23 January 2013
  • Serie : Hors collection
  • Electronic ISBN : 9786155211355

OpenEdition Books

http://books.openedition.org

Electronic reference:

MARPLES, David R. Heroes and Villains: Creating National History in Contemporary Ukraine. New edition [online]. Budapest: Central European University Press, 2007 (generated 17 December 2013). Available on the Internet: <http://books.openedition.org/ceup/523>. ISBN: 9786155211355.

Printed version:
  • ISBN : 9789637326981
  • Number of pages : 386

© Central European University Press, 2007

Terms of use:
http://www.openedition.org/6540

Certain to engender debate in the media, especially in Ukraine itself, as well as the academic community. Using a wide selection of newspapers, journals, monographs, and school textbooks from different regions of the country, the book examines the sensitive issue of the changing perspectives – often shifting 180 degrees – on several events discussed in the new narratives of the Stalin years published in the Ukraine since the late Gorbachev period until 2005. These events were pivotal to Ukrainian history in the 20th century, including the Famine of 1932–33 and Ukrainian insurgency during the war years.

This latter period is particularly disputed, and analyzed with regard to the roles of the OUN (Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists) and the UPA (Ukrainian Insurgent Army) during and after the war. Were these organizations "freedom fighters" or "collaborators"? To what extent are they the architects of the modern independent state?

"This excellent book fills a longstanding void in literature on the politics of memory in Eastern Europe. Professor Marples has produced an innovative and courageous study of how postcommunist Ukraine is rewriting its Stalinist and wartime past by gradually but inconsistently substituting Soviet models with nationalist interpretations. Grounded in an attentive reading of Ukrainian scholarship and journalism from the last two decades, this book offers a balanced take on such sensitive issues as the Great Famine of 1932-33 and the role of the Ukrainian nationalist insurgents during World War II. Instead of taking sides in the passionate debates on these subjects, Marples analyzes the debates themselves as discursive sites where a new national history is being forged. Clearly written and well argued, this study will make a major impact both within and beyond academia." - Serhy Yekelchyk, University of Victoria 

David R. Marples

University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada. 

Table of contents
  1. Preface

  2. Acknowledgements

    David R. Marples
  3. Chapter 1. Independent Ukraine Reviews the Past

    1. Rethinking Perspectives in Ukraine
    2. The Ukrainian Diaspora: The Example of the Famine-Genocide
    3. Western Scholarship
  4. Chapter 2. The Famine of 1932-33

    1. Introduction
    2. Soviet Revisionism, 1988-1991
    3. Transition of Interpretations, 1992-95
    4. Memoirs
    5. Transition of Interpretations after 1995
    6. The 70th Anniversary of the Famine
    7. Famine in Non-Ukrainian Villages
    8. Anti-Semitic Tracts
    1. James E. Mace
    2. Kul’chyts’kyi’s Analysis, 2005
  1. Chapter 3. The OUN, 1929-43

    1. Introduction
    2. Writings of the Late Glasnost Period
    3. OUN under Polish Rule
    4. Konovalets’
    5. Stepan Bandera
    6. Writings on other OUN Leaders
    7. The Nazi-Soviet Pact and its Aftermath
    8. The “Akt” of 30 June 1941
  2. Chapter 4. Making Heroes: the Early days of OUN-UPA

    1. Introduction
    2. The Late Glasnost Period
    3. How the UPA was formed
    4. Personalities and Heroes
    5. Myths of UPA Warfare
    6. Actions in Eastern Ukraine
    7. UPA-German Relations
    8. The Death of Soviet Heroes
    9. Summary
  3. Chapter 5. UPA’s Conflict with the Red Army and Soviet Security Forces

    1. Introduction
    2. The Long Struggle: Soviet Security Forces versus UPA
    3. OUN-UPA in the GULAG
    4. SS Division Halychyna
    5. The Moderation of the OUN Program
    6. Evolution of the OUN
  4. Chapter 6. The Ukrainian-Polish Conflict

    1. Introduction
    2. The Soviet Perspective
    3. Perspectives from Independent Ukraine
    4. The Transfer of Populations between Poland and Ukraine
    5. The Debates on the 60th Anniversary of the Volhynia Massacres
    6. Summary
  5. Chapter 7. Writing New History in Ukraine

    1. Introduction
    2. School Textbooks
    3. Reviewing the Issue of the OUN and the UPA
    4. OUN-UPA in 21st Century Ukraine
    5. The Great Patriotic War Commemorations
  6. Chapter 8. Assessments

    1. Kas’yanov on OUN Ideology
    2. Comment
    3. The Government Commission Report of 2004
    4. Comment: the GCWGR and OUN-UPA
    5. Assessment
  1. Conclusion

  2. Bibliography

  3. Index

Preface

Image img01.jpg

Map of Ukraine
Source: Clem, Ralph S., Craumer, Peter R. “Shades of Orange: The Electoral Geography of Ukraine’s 2004 Presidential
Elections,” Eurasian Geography and Economics, Vol. 46, No. 5 (July-August 2005), p. 368.
Reproduced with permission of V. H. Winston and Son, Inc.

1Independent Ukraine emerged in August, 1991, and was ratified by a national referendum in December of this same year. However, the roots of the modern state are to be found in the period of Perestroika, under Mikhail S. Gorbachev, when civil society first began to emerge. Ukraine began the process of building a new nation, accepting the existing borders as “inviolable” and eventually agreeing to be a non-nuclear state with its own currency and constitution. The latter suffered a few crises, and at the time of writing, Ukraine appears to have opted for a parliamentary system over a presidential one, though the ramifications of that change—effective in 2006—have yet to be seen. Several scholars have offered analyses of the newly independent Ukraine and the respective presidencies of Leonid Kravchuk (1991-1994) and Leonid Kuchma (1994-2004), leading up to the mass uprising in Kyiv in November-December 2004 known as the Orange Revolution.1 In January 2005, when Viktor Yushchenko became the third president, he announced his intention to have Ukraine join Euro-Atlantic structures such as the European Union and NATO, which implied—to what degree is a moot point—a move away from the Russian orbit. Ukraine’s grassroots population had demonstrated its resistance to what was perceived as corruption, authoritarianism, and the restrictions on the media by the government of the day. But it has also appeared to support a fundamental change of direction from the Soviet period, some fifteen years after acquiring independence.

2This book examines a question related to the concept of nation building, namely the construction of a national history. Arguably, there are several national histories and several interpretations of the past, and it may not be possible to determine which particular version is in the ascendancy. However, in Ukraine’s case, the version in place—the Soviet narrative—has clearly been superseded and is obsolete. Yet that interpretation has remained influential in certain regions, particularly those of the east and south, and continues to sway the way residents of Ukraine perceive their state. By the mid-1990s, Mykhailo Hrushevs’kyi’s magisterial History of Ukraine could be found in Kyiv book-stores, offering a sweeping interpretation of some ten centuries of history that refuted the Soviet version of Kyivan Rus’ as the birthplace of modern Russia, to the exclusion of the other East Slavic peoples: Ukrainians and Belarusians. Instead, it provided a Ukrainian conception of Ukrainian history, ostensibly for Ukrainians. The merits of this version need not be debated here, nor even the symbolic importance of such pre-20th century heroes as Bohdan Khmel-‘nyts’kyi, Ivan Mazepa, or even the “true” founder of the modern Ukrainian state, the bard Taras Shevchenko, whose statue is now almost as common as that of V. I. Lenin used to be in times past. Instead, the focus is limited to the 20th century, and what I consider to be the most formative period, the leadership of Stalin (1928-53) and its impact on what was then termed the Ukrainian SSR and independent Ukraine. This period represents the most tragic era in the history of Ukraine, and one of the most profoundly influential in the formation of contemporary thinking about the modern nation and its relationship to the past. For it is in this period that Ukraine suffered its most dramatic and tragic experiences: the Famine of 1932-33, the Purges, the impact of the Nazi-Soviet Pact that saw its western territories incorporated into the USSR; the German invasion; and the bitter fighting as a result of national insurgency in the western regions that saw conflicts between several players: the retreating Germans, the advancing Red Army, the local Polish population, and the local Ukrainians.

3How are these events portrayed in contemporary Ukraine? That question forms the backbone to this monograph because the raison d’être of the modern state seems predicated on the way it views its past. This perspective introduces two common elements of Ukraine’s association with the past: glorification and victimization. The former was also a hallmark of Soviet writing and has simply been emulated, but the objects of glorification have changed radically. In the case of the victimization, Ukraine is portrayed as a pawn of the Soviet regime, and more specifically of a Russian government based in Moscow. In turn, victimization implies an element of suffering. The argument in the modern context might run something like: because of our past suffering under a Moscow-based regime, we are now entitled to an independent state. The suffering has permitted the prevalence of a national conception of history that perceives and isolates Ukraine’s past as a lengthy struggle against foreign oppressors, principally Russians and Poles, but also for a time Germans as well. It is simplistic in that the residents of the territory that currently comprises Ukraine included many groups,2 and the towns in particular were noted for the virtual absence of ethnic Ukrainians, at least until the Soviet period. One could argue, however, that the victimization theory adds both legitimacy and propriety to the modern state. Levko Luk’yanenko, Ukraine’s first ambassador to Canada, recently compiled a lengthy list of foreign repressions in Ukraine in an article that claimed in essence that the leaders of the former Soviet Union were largely members of a single ethnic group, namely Jews.3 His article can be considered an extreme form of this same theory of outsiders controlling Ukraine until recent times.4

4Though it is postulated here that the defining moments for modern Ukraine may have occurred in the Stalin period—also the high point of persecution and suffering—there were other events which could be fitted into the general pattern. These include a general phenomenon in the USSR of the 1960s and 1970s, i.e., Dissidence, which took numerous forms including national, religious, and scientific.5 Dissidence was limited, however, in that it did not seek to replace the Soviet state, but only to ensure that it abided by the Constitution. Nevertheless, as discussed in Chapter 5, the Dissidents to some extent were the successors of the wartime generation of Ukrainians, some of whom fought a lengthy campaign against the Soviet occupants in the western areas for more than a decade after the “Great Patriotic War” ended. Also significant was the Chornobyl (Chernobyl) disaster in the Gorbachev era—an event that likewise affected Belarus. Chornobyl was also perceived as a result of the operation of outside forces, this time Moscow-based ministries and officials who ran nuclear power stations in Ukraine.6 It could therefore be appended to the chronology of Ukraine as victim. Chornobyl was also a precursor of the modern Rukh movement, which like the Popular Fronts in the Baltic States was linked closely to concern over environmental issues. Though the uproar over Chornobyl and especially official secrecy about the aftermath soon died down, it should not be forgotten that the mass demonstrations that ensued and the political formations that resulted—such as the Green movement and Green Party—played an important role in undermining the Soviet regime.7 Chornobyl also united several republics that suffered its consequences, most notably Belarus and the Baltic States.

5Lastly, a key factor for Ukraine has been the maintenance of certain perceptions of the past outside the country by a large and politically active Diaspora that arrived in its new homes during or immediately after the Second World War and whose life experience and outlook were conditioned by their experience of the 1920s-1940s. For the most part these new arrivals emanated from the Halychyna (Galicia) region of Western Ukraine, a population with no experience of Soviet rule prior to 1939, but with very firm views on the events that had affected their compatriots in Eastern Ukraine, particularly the Famine of 1932-33, the Purges, and the Soviet occupation of 1939-41 and post-1944. Notably, the interpretation of the Famine as genocide8 was initiated in the North American Diaspora, whence it emerged in Ukraine after Perestroika opened up contacts between Ukrainians and their relatives abroad—we will explore this issue in more detail below. Similarly, journals such as Suchasnist’ provided national interpretations of organizations such as the OUN (Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists) and the UPA (Ukrainian Insurgent Army), and the émigrés who left Ukraine during or after the Second World War, though often politically divided, provided a plethora of works about the tyranny of the Stalin regime, the Famine, etc. On a more academic level, institutions like HURI and CIUS9 have issued numerous publications about critical events, many of them by émigré political scientists, historians, and economists but others by scholars of non-Ukrainian background.10 The result has been the elaboration of a national history (and other disciplines) outside Ukraine that could be taken up as part of the contemporary state and its official past following the collapse of the Soviet regime and its own version of history, with Russia as the benevolent elder brother and friend of Ukraine. The new histories issued in Ukraine virtually all take up these émigré themes and interpretations to a greater or lesser degree. For a time, after independence, Ukrainian schools relied completely on textbooks by Western academics such as Orest Subtelny, whose book, Ukraine: a History, published originally in 1988, became an international best seller. More recently, however, domestic historians have provided a broad variety of new histories of Ukraine geared to all levels of the population. The latter part of this study examines some of these histories in more detail in order to discuss their contents and omissions.

6Any monograph that concentrates on discourse and narratives about events, rather than the “reality” of what actually occurred will face some criticisms. It is necessary to be selective—which discourses, and why? Are some sources more important than others? Conceivably the historian could study interpretations almost endlessly without coming to a conclusion or even approaching the end of the sources themselves. And what sort of time period should be imposed? The earliest writings on the Stalin period that attempted serious revisionism, as opposed to Khrushchev’s reinterpretation of Stalin’s crimes, occurred in the late 1980s after Gorbachev’s decision to deepen “de-Stalinization” throughout the Soviet Union by allowing discussion in the official media. In Ukraine’s case, some newspapers and journals proved very dilatory about changing long-held views, particularly the two central Kyiv newspapers: Pravda Ukrainy and Radyans’ka Ukraina. However, such obduracy was also instructive in demonstrating the influence of hard-line Soviet interpretations during a period of change. It seemed logical to begin around 1987-88, when the media in Ukraine began to open up to new debates, often pushing the limits of what could be discussed to new levels, but at a time when the Famine, for example, had just been acknowledged by the party leadership, thus signaling discernible progress in dealing with “blank spots” in Ukrainian history. Thus this book monitors the media, journals, and monographs, and offers an illustrative survey of school textbooks from 1987-88 to the present (2005-06).

7In what ways was the study to be restricted in terms of content? My decision was to focus on those events that were most crucial and most controversial in terms of the construction of a new national history in the modern state. Two key issues stood out above all. The first was the Famine of 1932-33, known to one school of analysts as the Holodomor and an act of genocide against the Ukrainians as a nation, and to another as more a reflection of the ruthlessness of the regime but without a national component per se. While this study was being researched, on the 70th anniversary of the event several international governments recognized the Famine as genocide and issued acts or laws to say so.11 Accepting the Famine as an act of genocide would also sever irrevocably the history of the Soviet state centered in Moscow from Ukraine, with its then capital of Kharkiv and, from 1934, Kyiv. Like no other event, it would portray Ukraine as a victim of a foreign nation and an outsider on Ukrainian territory. The inclusion of the Famine was thus self-evident, and the question is examined in detail in Chapter 2. The second event covers a much longer period and is more complex in its evolution, namely the development of integral nationalism in Ukraine, and its interwar and wartime formations in the shape of the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists, and later the Ukrainian Insurgent Army, often simplified in Soviet and post-Soviet works by the acronym OUN-UPA. OUN-UPA in general occupies the bulk of this book, and significantly it has been evoked by Viktor Yushchenko as an organization whose members merit rehabilitation and full recognition as veterans of the Second World War.