Ukrainian Women in Austria and Attempts to Resume the Activities of the Union of Ukrainian Women (1945-1957)

DOI: 10.46493/2663-2675.31(5).2021.35-43

Authors:

Iryna Rybachok , National University of Ostroh Academy

Abstract.

The present study investigates the predicament of Ukrainian women in post-war Austria, where numerous Ukrainian refugees found themselves after the end of the Second World War. Ukrainian women were active in public life, which led to attempts to resume the activities of the Ukrainian Women's Union. The relevance of this study is conditioned upon both the lack of its research and its importance for the history of the Ukrainian women's movement. The purpose of this paper is to consider the attempts to consolidate Ukrainian women, intensify the Ukrainian women's movement, resume the activities of the Union of Ukrainian Women in emigration, the main tasks and vectors of Ukrainian women's activities in post-war Austria. The study is based on the use of documentary materials stored in the Central State Archives of Ukraine in Lviv, the memories of people who were in DP camps and materials of the then Ukrainian press. The study employed general scientific methods of cognition (analysis, synthesis, induction, and deduction) and special-historical methods – problem-historical, chronological, comparative-historical, which enabled a comprehensive analysis of the problem. In the first post-war years, the Ukrainian women's movement was revived in camps for displaced persons and refugees in Austria and West Germany. The intensification of women’s activities was connected both with the need to solve a number of social and national problems of refugees and with the continuation of the traditions of the Ukrainian women’s movement. It was in Austria in 1945 that the Union of Ukrainian Women resumed its activities and the idea arose to establish a single organisational superstructure that would unite Ukrainian women in new political circumstances and emigration conditions (a project of the Union of Ukrainian Women of Europe). The authors of this study draw attention to the need to review the tasks of Ukrainian women in exile. Although the post-war living conditions of Ukrainian refugees in Austria did not allow for the implementation of part of the programme of the Ukrainian Women's Congress in Feldkirch, the activities of local branches of the Union of Ukrainian Women in DP camps were important for the life of Ukrainian communities, as women themselves were actively engaged in support activities, social work, organisation of cultural and educational activities, preservation of Ukrainian traditions in emigration. The present research can be used to write summary works on the history of life of Ukrainians in camps for displaced persons in Germany and Austria after the Second World War, the history of the women's movement and Ukrainian emigration

Keywords : Ukrainian women, women's organisation, Union of Ukrainian Women, refugees, camps for displaced persons and refugees

Language of the article : ukrainian

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