Representation of Wartime Experience in Memory of the “Galicia” Division Veterans (1943-2013).

Хом`як, Оксана Володимирівна (2017) Representation of Wartime Experience in Memory of the “Galicia” Division Veterans (1943-2013). PhD thesis, Київський університет імені Бориса Грінченка.

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Abstract

History of the Waffen SS “Galicia” Division, created on April 28, 1943, and postwar activities of its former soldiers are still one of the most controversial topics in Ukrainian history. In the aftermath of the Second World War, Division surrendered to British and American troops and was not repatriated to the USSR. Instead, its members were allowed to settle in the West. This study focuses on formation, instrumentalization, and representation of wartime experience in the collective and individual memory of the Division veterans. The research uses methodologies of historical anthropology, history of everyday life, and memory studies. It derives from Jefrey Olick’s suggestion about individualistic understanding of collective memory. It says that memory of some group members has more collective value than those of others. Division veterans, united worldwide into the Brotherhood of the former soldiers of the 1st Ukrainian Division of the Ukrainian National Army, are having their official memory and private memory that is neglected or not articulated on the public level. The research is based on memoirs and conducted autobiographical half-structured oral history interviews with the Division veterans living in Ukraine, Canada, Great Britain and the USA. It also relies on archival materials mostly from the state archives in Kyiv, Lviv, Ternopil and Ukrainian-Canadian Research and Documentation Centre in Toronto, Canada. Interrogation materials and criminal records from the Ukraine's security service archives (former KGB archives) are used as well. The study examines in detail various factors that influenced formation of the veterans’ collective identity in Diaspora and Soviet society. It confirmed the role of memory and identity as consolidating agents for overcoming external threats. Dissertation also focuses on representation of the wartime experience in collective memory of the Division veterans. The research finds out that their narrative combines glorification of their past activities as of “fighters for Ukrainian independence” and its victimization through being victims of the violence managed by the Soviet state. Representation of being a possible perpetrator is almost missed or silenced in their collective memory. Since 1992, the Galician Brotherhood in Ukraine has become a consumer and a distributor of the Division narrative created in Diaspora. Instrumentalization of the veterans’ memory took place in the form of the Brotherhood and is explored through the study of their commemoration practices and “memory places.” Individual memory of the veterans is examined through their motivations to join Division at different stages of the recruitment campaign. The research shows that joining Division has become the most important strategy of survival for its members during the war. Moral atmosphere, relationships between Ukrainian recruits and Ukrainian officers, German and Ukrainian personnel illustrate everyday life in the Division.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Waffen SS “Galicia” Division, “Galicia” Division, collective memory, individual memory, wartime experience, narrative.
Subjects: Abstracts > Спецради Університету
Divisions: НМЦ > НМЦ досліджень, наукових проектів та програм
Depositing User: Ганна Сало
Date Deposited: 09 Mar 2017 13:19
Last Modified: 09 Mar 2017 13:19
URI: http://elibrary.kubg.edu.ua/id/eprint/19053

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