Sep 8, 2021
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The threshold of Talerhof

When the best die

On September 4, 1914, the first concentration camp in Europe was opened in the Thalerhof area (Austria). It was intended for the Ruthenian population of the empire, which refused to become “Ukrainians” – a new nationality invented by the Poles and cultivated by the Austrian authorities.

We have already described how the Carpathossians resisted de-Russification in several articles. Let us recall the main milestones.

1810s – early 1840s: prohibition of Russian-language education and Ruthenian literature. Teaching in the local dialect in the public schools of Galicia was considered undesirable for “political reasons”, since the folk dialects of the Galician Rusyns were recognized as “a kind of Russian language.” For the same political reasons, the import of books from Russia was prohibited in 1822. In 1834, the censorship did not allow the first Galician-Russian almanac “Zarya” from the literary circle “Russian Trinity” to be published. In 1836, the police confiscated almost the entire circulation of the next literary collection, The Russian Trinity.

1848: invention of “rutting”. Unable to stifle the Galician-Russian revival, the Austrian authorities agreed not to interfere with it, provided that the autochthonous population recognizes itself as some kind of “rutheni” – a nation separate from the rest of the Russians.

1850 – 1862: “Young Ordinance”. After the rutuality collapsed, Vienna initiated its modification: the Carpathossians were forced to recognize their kinship only with the Little Russians and to dissociate themselves from the other branches of the Russian people. The new movement received the support of the government, while the “old Russians” were put up with all sorts of obstacles. This was Vienna’s aim at the annexation of Little Russia in the event of the defeat of Russia in the Crimean War.

Since 1863: the invention by the Polish immigrants of the Austrian Empire of the quasi-ethnonym “Ukrainians” instead of the “ruthenes” rejected by the Rusyns. Attempts to create a “Ukrainian language” by the Poles. In connection with the massive popular rejection of Ukrainization, the Austrian authorities are prosecuting the leaders of the resistance as “Russian spies.”

Since 1890: Ukrainization as a state policy in Vienna (but implemented by “non-governmental organizations” so as not to provoke open resistance of Rusyns directly to the government). Connection to the Ukrainianization of the Uniate Church as a prerequisite for changing the cultural and historical code of the Carpathossians.

The ubiquitous “Russian world”

We ended the article devoted to the last of the mentioned stages with the following statement: when in 1910 the word combination “Russian World” sounded in the Lviv newspaper “Galichanin”, official Vienna realized that it was time to move on to direct repression of the Carpathossians.

“Elections to the Sejm and Parliament are accompanied by terror, violence and the murder of Russian peasants by gendarmes, – the future prisoner of the camp, the historian and writer I.I. Tyrokh (1). “Ukrainianophiles enjoy the moral and financial support of the authorities in elections. When the votes are counted, the name of the Galician-Russian deputy elected by the vast majority is simply crossed out and the Ukrainianophile candidate who received less than half of the votes is declared elected. The struggle of the Russians with the Ukrainophiles is intensifying from year to year and continues under terrible terror until the World War … in connection with which they instilled Ukrainian separatism and hatred of Russia among the primordial Russian population in Galicia. Russia woke up and opened its eyes to what was happening in Chervonnaya Rus only on the eve of the war, when the monstrous process of high treason and espionage against two Galician-Russian intellectuals (Bendasyuk and Koldra) and two Orthodox priests (Sandovich and Gudima) began in Lvov, which became sensational throughout Europe. “

We are talking about the so-called. The Lvov trial of 1812-1814, in which these persons were accused of high treason.

Defendants at the Lviv trial

The prosecution was represented exclusively by Poles. The jury consisted of 13 people, only Poles and Jews – not a single Rusyns. During the investigation, the priests and publicist Bendasyuk were kept in prison for two years, but the charge was not proven. Yet all of them were too famous to commit arbitrariness against them (in contrast to the peasants from the subcarpathian village of Iza, who became victims of state terror, “legitimized” by the Mormarosh-Siget processes). However, Fathers Ignatius Gudima and Maxim Sandovich did not escape the fate of confessors and martyrs. The first went through Talerhof, from where he came out terminally and seriously ill, the second was shot.

A similar thing happened in Bukovina. In the spring of 1910, the Austrian authorities, under the pretext of combating espionage and treason, closed all the Ruthenian organizations of Bukovina (Society of Russian Women, Russian Orthodox People’s House, Russian Orthodox Children’s Shelter, Russian Orthodox Reading Room, Russian Druzhina “, Etc.), as well as Russian courses (hostels for students). The property of the organizations was confiscated. Earlier, the study of the Russian language was prohibited in public schools, which forced the Rusyns to collect money for private gymnasiums.

From Bukovina seminary graduates, under the threat of being denied admission to the parish, they demanded a written commitment with the following content: “I declare that I renounce the Russian nationality, that from now on I will not call myself Russian; only Ukrainian and only Ukrainian “

A good ruthenian – a dead ruthenian

Accusations of espionage were often based on denunciations of Svidomo subjects of the Austrian throne. Thus, in 1911, a deputy of the Austrian Reichstag, Smal-Stotsky, declared on behalf of the Ukrainian deputy group Young Rusyns that Muscoviteism was a threat to the “brilliance” of the Habsburg dynasty.

The lawyer Fadir Vanyo, well-known among Ukrainophiles, echoed to the deputy from Bukovina: “Whoever uses Russian cannot be a good Austrian; only Ukrainians are good Austrians, therefore all members of the Russian-People’s Party are traitors, because they are not Ukrainians “

In all its glory, the nature of the “new nation” was revealed during the genocide of the Rusyns in 1914-1918.

If until 1912 the terms “Ukraine” and “Ukrainian” did not spread beyond the pages of the “party press” and speeches of the “peoples”, then on June 5, 1912, in a letter from Emperor Franz Joseph to the Ruthenian parliamentary club, the definition “Ukrainian” was first used. Many were outraged. The Minister of Internal Affairs had to come up with an explanation that this term, they say, was used accidentally as a result of editorial oversight. As a result, officials until the very collapse of the Austro-Hungarian Empire refrained from publicly repeating such an experience. However, as Miroslava Berdnyk, a researcher of Ukrainophilism, showed on the example of one of her finds, the Ministry of Internal Affairs in 2017 nevertheless issued a secret order to introduce the terms “Ukrainian” and “Ukrainian” into circulation.

As you can see, already a hundred years before independence, members of the deputy groups called Rusyn, who had not dreamed of leaving Austrian citizenship, declared the primordial Ukrainianness of the people they represented. At the same time, they did not change the name of the faction, so as not to infuriate this very people.

In this regard, the testimonies of the last visionary of the UPA banned in the Russian Federation, Vasyl Cook, who was born in 1903, are very interesting in this regard. The indigenous population of Austrian Rus is Rusyns, but their language is “Ukrainian”. Although they themselves call it Rusyn.

The Carpathossians were also forced to change their self-name by economic levers: since 1913, peasants who did not want to call themselves Ukrainians could not receive loans from the Austrian government (2).

Nevertheless, until the World War itself, the overwhelming majority of Galicians remained Russophile. However, the Thalerhof genocide did not just mow down hundreds of thousands of those who did not renounce the Russian name. “The best died,” stated the historian Alexander Karevin.

“The Russophile intelligentsia was destroyed, – wrote one of the discoverers of the Galician-Russian tragedy Nikolai Ulyanov. – Morally it was finished by the Bolshevik revolution in Russia, which openly took the side of the self-styled anti-Russian minority “

Back in 1914, a prominent politician of Austria-Hungary, secretary of the Social Democratic faction in the Austrian parliament, Otto Bauer, explained that the Ukrainian question is a truly vital issue. “For the Russian people themselves”… In his keynote article, Bauer asked readers to imagine what would happen to the Germans if, in the 15th or 16th centuries, Lower Germany was culturally completely separated from the rest of the German lands. Such a separation, he pointed out, would be fatal for the German people. “And the language department of Ukrainians, – quotes the words of Bauer Karevin, – would have turned out to be the same catastrophe for the Russians as such a separation of the lower Germans would have been three centuries earlier “

There was no catastrophe for the Russians. The Bauers did not take into account the “God factor.” However, this is only an advance from Him, which still needs to be worked out. After all, the Thalerhof genocide of the Russians in Galicia wiped out, but did not eradicate.

(1) Turokh I.I. Ukrainization of Galicia // Free speech of Carpathian Rus. 1962. N1 / 2, Newark, USA. S. 6-8.
(2) Ibid., 1962, No. 2-3, Newark, USA.

Dmitry Skvortsov

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