National and political activity of the Jewish prisoners from the Russian Army at the Freistadt Camp, Austria-Hungary in 1916 – early 1918

Срібняк, Ігор Володимирович and Яковенко, Наталя Леонідівна and Спіцин, Євгеній Сергійович (2021) National and political activity of the Jewish prisoners from the Russian Army at the Freistadt Camp, Austria-Hungary in 1916 – early 1918 Przestrzeń Społeczna / Social Space (2(22)). pp. 157-179. ISSN 2084-1558

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The article deals with the national and political activities of the prisoners Jews from the Russian army in Freistadt prisoner-of-war camp (Austria-Hungary) in 1916 – early 1918, the deployment of which was made possible by the assistance of the Ukrainian organisation of this camp. Mostly soldiers from today's Ukraine with Orthodox and Jewish beliefs, who were members of all classes, lived in the camp. There were also Jews in the camp who had been members of the Jewish revolutionary parties before the war and, accordingly, had distinctly anti-tsarist political convictions. It was with this category that the Ukrainian activists of the camp hoped to cooperate in their organisational and educational work in the future, and these hopes soon came true. The efforts of the members of the Jewish Educational Circle, founded in Freistadt, were to conduct a series of theatrical performances, concerts and various promotions of national educational content. From the outset, a Jewish organisation in Freistadt made efforts to extend its influence to other prisoner-of-war camps as well as to Ukrainian lands. To this end, a Jewish circle was established in the camp of captive Ukrainian soldiers from the Imperial Army of Rastatt (Germany), and a “Provincial Central Bureau of the Union of Jews in the Occupied Territories of Ukraine” was established in Freistadt. The authors stress that the captive Jews and Ukrainians were united by the common idea of a joint struggle against Russian great power and tsarist despotism. It was very important that the leaders of Jewish and Ukrainian organisations were aware of the urgency for political awakening of the peoples enslaved by the Russian tsarism (in particular, Jewish and Ukrainian), as well as the importance of Ukrainian-Jewish understanding. In the article, certain attention is paid to the activities of Aron Vaks, the Head of Jewish “initiative group”, who was a consistent adherent of the Jewish-Ukrainian rapprochement in Freistadt. Jewish-Ukrainian national and political as well as cultural and educational interactions at the Freistadt camp became a successful example of cross-ethnic understanding in the difficult conditions of camp everyday life between captive Jews and Ukrainians. Unfortunately, in spite of mutual recognition of national and political aspirations of both Jewish and Ukrainian, the course of state and political transformations in Ukraine caused the Jewish organisation to distance itself first and then declare its rejection of the idea of Ukrainian independence.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information:
Uncontrolled Keywords: Jewish and Ukrainian prisoners; circle; educational work; Jewish national movement; Freistadt Camp; Austria-Hungary
Subjects: Статті у наукометричних базах > Erih Plus
Статті у наукометричних базах > Index Copernicus
Divisions: Факультет суспільно-гуманітарних наук > Кафедра всесвітньої історії
Depositing User: професор Ігор Володимирович Срібняк
Date Deposited: 15 Feb 2022 08:19
Last Modified: 04 Dec 2022 17:52

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