Military Review

The history of the destruction of Russian Galicia

The history of the destruction of Russian Galicia
General view of the Talerhof concentration camp in 1917. Album of photographs from the concentration camp for the military-arrested Russian Galicians and Bukovinians in Talerhof, Styria, 1914-1917. Edition of the Talerhof Committee. Lvov, 1923

The Austrian authorities suspected the Galicians, Rusyns-Russians of sympathy for Russia, and with the outbreak of the First World War they attacked "Russian spies and agents of influence", although the Russians simply wanted to remain Russians. The fight against the "Russian threat" led to the genocide of Russians and the creation of the first concentration camp in Europe.

Russian Galicia

Galicia-Volyn Rus was divided between Poland and Lithuania (The Rise and Fall of the Russian Kingdom). From the lands of the former Russian principality in Poland, the Russian Voivodeship was formed with the center in Lviv, which was part of Lesser Poland. The Russian Voivodeship included: Lvov, Przemysl, Galicia, Kholm and Sanok lands. Also Russian and Belz Voivodeships in historical documents of the XV-XVIII centuries were often united under the conditional name Chervonnaya (Red) Russia. Russian people lived in these lands. The population of Galicia, Bukovina, Transcarpathia called themselves the adjective "Rus" or the noun "Rusyns". No mythical "ukrov-Ukrainians".

During the First Partition of the Commonwealth in 1772, Galicia was ceded to Austria. The capital of the new Austrian province, called the Kingdom of Galicia and Lodomeria, was the city of Lvov. According to the third partition of Poland in 1795, Austria got the northern part of Galicia up to the Western Bug River, called Western Galicia. There was religious tolerance in Austria, so the Galician Russians were equalized in rights with the Catholics. During the Napoleonic Wars, Galicia temporarily became part of the Grand Duchy of Warsaw, a French satellite. When Napoleon was defeated, the Duchy of Warsaw was divided between Russia, Prussia and Austria. Western Galicia was transferred to the Kingdom of Poland, which became part of the Russian Empire. The rest of Galician Rus remained part of Austria.

Foreign Russia. Ethnographic map compiled by D. N. Vergun. 1915

The fight against the Russianness of Galicia

As part of Austria and Austria-Hungary, Russian Galicia was subjected to the processes of Polonization and Ukrainization (through the Uniate Church). The Western Russian nobility in many respects became Polonized and adopted Catholicism. In order to achieve a position in society, it was necessary to accept Catholicism, to become Polish. But in general, the population retained Russianness. So, at the congress of Galician-Russian scientists in 1848, the question was raised of studying the history of Galicia as part of the general history of Russia on the basis of the national unity of the Russian people. The existence of a single literary language for all of Russia (from the Carpathians to Kamchatka) was confirmed. Ruthenian leaders rejected the existence of a separate Ukrainian nation and ranked the Little Russians, like the Galicians, as a single Russian people.

Russophiles or "Muscovites" - public and political figures sympathetic to Russia, and ordinary people, pro-Russian organizations - in the 1860s - 1880s were a noticeable force in the social life of Galicia. Rusyns looked at Russia as a possible liberator, which became especially noticeable after the successes of the Russians in the fight against Turkey. The Galicians called their land "Under the yoke" and secretly hoped that the Russian tsar would unite all of Russia.

It is clear that the Austrian government did not like this. The "patchwork empire" of the Habsburgs was afraid of Russia's success in the Balkan direction, which led to the liberation of the Slavic peoples from Turkish rule, and potentially from Austrian. At first, the Austrian authorities in Galicia supported either the Poles or the Ruthenians in order to maintain a balance of power. Then the Austrians developed Ukrainianism, mainly through Uniatism. In fact, the Austrians continued the project "Ukraine", created in Catholic Poland. Galician governor Count Stadion von Warthausen told the Rusyns in 1848 that they should renounce national unity with the Russians in Russia and develop their own culture as an independent one. The Austrian authorities began to support the "Ukrainians", those who broke with their Russian past. Ukrainians (they are also “true Galicians”) became a counterweight to the remaining Rusyns and Poles.

On the one hand, Russian schools and Galician-Russian organizations were closed, it was forbidden to study Russian. Instead of closed societies, others were opened, in particular, “Ukrainian” ones. The fight against the Russian literary language, Russian books, magazines and newspapers intensified, their distribution was equated with high treason. Many Russian Galicians were arrested and thrown into prison. On the other hand, support for the Ukrainian movement has increased. Under the auspices of the Austrians, the Ukrainian Party was created.

"Ukrainian Piedmont" - "AntiRussia"

After the Russian Empire realized the danger of the Ukrainian ideology and began to limit the Ukrainian language in print (1860-1870s), the publication of Ukrainian literature began to move from Russia to Austria-Hungary, which turned into a kind of refuge for the Ukrainian intelligentsia. It is worth remembering that “Ukrainianism” was then widespread only among an extremely small, marginal, Ukrainian intelligentsia that had practically no influence on the people. This situation continued until 1917 ("Russians and Ukrainians are one people"). Among the people, in Galicia, Poles and Rusyns-Russians prevailed, in Little Russia-Ukraine - Russians-Little Russians. In Galicia itself, in the western regions, the majority were Poles and Jews, in the eastern regions, Rusyns.

Therefore, by the end of the XNUMXth century, Galicia began to be called "Ukrainian Piedmont", comparing it with the Sardinian kingdom (Piedmont), which played a leading role in the unification of Italy. Thus, the historian and one of the leaders of the Ukrainian movement M. S. Grushevsky, who moved from Kyiv to Lvov in 1894, noted that Galicia was “advanced part of the Ukrainian people, which has long overtaken the poor Russian Ukraine».

The ideology of the "Ukrainian Piedmont" was Russophobia.

“If we are talking about Ukraine,” Galician Ukrainians wrote, “then we must operate with one word – hatred for its enemies... The revival of Ukraine is a synonym for hatred for one’s Muscovite wife, sisters Katsaps, to their father and mother Katsaps. Loving Ukraine means sacrificing Katsap relatives.”
Ulyanov N. I. The origin of Ukrainian separatism.

The Ukrainizers denied the unity of the Little Russians (Ukrainians) with the Great Russians and propagated hatred for Russia. This suited the Vienna court. To spread this anti-Russian, misanthropic ideology, the authorities tried to appoint "Ukrainians" as teachers in schools and priests in Galician parishes. Also, the Austrian authorities contributed to the formation of an artificial language from local Russian dialects, later called "Ukrainian". In addition, the "Ukrainians" began to play the role of Austrian scammers, policemen, who fought against the Russophilia of the Galicians. This is how the project "Ukraine - AntiRussia" began to take shape.

However, in general, pro-Russian sentiments prevailed among the common people. Only the intelligentsia was infected with Ukrainianism. Even about half of the Greek Catholic clergy and parishioners also identified themselves as Russophiles, despite aggressive pressure from the Catholic Church. On the eve of World War II, the Austrian authorities increased pressure on the Russian population of Galicia, fearing that they would support the Russian army. In 1910, the Austrian authorities closed all pro-Russian organizations in Bukovina: the Society of Russian Women, Karpat, Russian Orthodox People's House, Russian Orthodox Orphanage, Russian Orthodox Reading Room, Russian Squad. The fight against the "Russian threat" and spy mania began.

In addition, during this period, the German Empire also showed interest in the “Ukrainian issue”. The Second Reich planned to actively support the processes of separatism in Russia. In particular, a plan arose to create a "Ukrainian kingdom" under the Austro-German protectorate. Thus, the Germans wanted to dismember Russia and the Russian people, to pit Russians against Russians. Austrian and German intelligence services began to finance and direct the activities of Ukrainian organizations. During the First World War, this activity was greatly intensified.

In the modern world, instead of Austria and Germany, the Ukraine project is supported by London, Washington and Brussels (with the participation of Paris and Berlin). But the ideology, plans and goals are the same. The split of the Russian civilization (Rus-Russia), the Russian super-ethnos, the pitting of the Russians, their maximum bleeding, and as a result - the complete solution of the "Russian question".

Extermination of Russians in Galicia

The First World War went badly for the Austro-Hungarian Empire. The Russian army crushed the Austro-Hungarians and occupied Eastern Galicia and part of Bukovina. In the future, the Austro-Hungarian army was able to hold the front only with the help of German divisions. In Vienna, they panicked, spy mania began, they were looking for Russian agents of influence. They blamed the defeat at the front. The Austrian secret services and courts-martial began a “hunt” for Russians in the remaining part of Galicia under their control. The authorities promised from 50 to 500 kroons to anyone who denounced a suspicious Rusyn-Russophile.

Those who did not hide their positions and sympathies for Russia were the first to be hit. Orthodox priests, activists of already banned pro-Russian organizations. People were caught simply because they used to read Russian newspapers and go to Orthodox services. The courts did not even examine the cases of the defendants. It was military time: they simply read out the accusation of espionage, treason, and passed the verdict. Extrajudicial killings, kidnappings and torture became commonplace. The Poles and "ukry" denounced the Rusyns, who were arrested on suspicion of sympathy for Russia. There is nothing new under the sun. We see the same thing now in post-Soviet, pro-Western and Nazi Ukraine.

In September 1914, Orthodox priest Maxim Sandovich (Gorlitsky) was executed in Gorlitsa. The priest was arrested back in 1912, allegedly he was passing intelligence to the Russians. Sandovich and his comrades-in-arms were accused of Russophilia, of teaching everyone the Russian language and propagating Orthodoxy. Court - Lvov process, lasted two years. No evidence was found, the defendants were acquitted. But soon the war began and a new wave of repressions began. Someone was able to escape to Russia, others ended up in prisons and concentration camps, Maxim Sandovich was executed. An Austrian soldier tore off the cross and drew a target for archers with chalk on the priest's chest. As the members of the priest's family present at the execution recalled, in his last speech he said:

“Long live the Russian people! Long live the holy, Orthodox faith!”

Maxim Gorlitsky

There were so many arrested that it was impossible to execute all suspicious ones, so the Austrian Germans organized the first concentration camp in Europe. The technology of concentration camps was already tested by the "enlightened" British when they fought the Boers in South Africa. Thalerhof was located near Graz. 30 thousand people passed through it. Another concentration camp for Russians was created in the Czech fortress Terezin. Every fourth prisoner was killed by the guards, died of starvation, disease and torture.

The first prisoners were brought to Talerhof in September 1914, and the barracks were set up only in the winter of 1915. At first it was just a field in the foothills of the Alps, fenced with barbed wire. People survived for half a year in the open air, in rain and snow. Prisoners died en masse from disease and starvation. Torture was also practiced. The guards had fun killing people. The prisoners were crucified on poles.

Vasily Vavrik, a former prisoner of Talerhof, recalled:

“It was the most cruel dungeon of all the Austrian prisons in the Habsburg Empire… Death in Talerhof was rarely natural: there it was inoculated with the poison of contagious diseases. Violent death triumphantly walked along Talerhof. There was no talk of any treatment for the dead. Even the doctors were hostile towards the internees. There was no need to think about healthy food: tart bread, often raw and sticky, made from a mixture of the meanest flour, horse chestnuts and grated straw, red, hard, stale horse meat twice a week in a small piece, blackly colored water, the meanest slop rotten potatoes and beets, dirt, insect nests were the cause of an unquenchable infection, the victims of which fell thousands of young, still quite healthy people from among the peasantry and intelligentsia.

Thus, the Austrian authorities organized the genocide on a national, religious basis. They killed, maimed, tortured and expelled Russians, Orthodox in Galicia. The first to be hit were representatives of the Russian intelligentsia, more or less educated people - priests, teachers, doctors, social activists, people who had influence in society. Galician Rus lost tens of thousands of people only dead. Tens, hundreds of thousands became refugees. The Russian movement in Galicia was almost completely crushed. Its remnants were finished off after the catastrophe of 1917, after the large-scale Austro-German occupation of Little Russia-Ukraine, when the bacchanalia of Ukrainians began, and then the Polish occupation. The terror was so devastating that today the "Rusyns" in Ukraine remained only in Transcarpathia.

Since then, Galicia began to turn into a stronghold of Ukrainian nationalism. The first poisonous fruits sprouted during the Second World War - the Galician SS, the Ukrainian punishers-policemen, the occupation administration of the "eternal Reich". The Red Army crushed the "black-brown plague", but the roots remained. The project "Ukraine - AntiRus" was not liquidated. He went underground, "repainted". Ukrainian Nazism fully revived and flourished during the years of independence. And now the Ukrainian "ram" was pushed against Russia in order to destroy it, to completely destroy the Russians.

Warped, sick, Russophobic and Nazi Galicia, and now most of Little Russia, is a great example of the future that the West has in store for us.
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  1. bistrov.
    bistrov. 13 March 2022 06: 46
    I agree with the author, but the question is what to do with the Bandera-Galicians now? The Bolsheviks planted a good pig on the Russian people ...
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      1. bistrov.
        bistrov. 13 March 2022 07: 19
        Quote: tatra
        Why, under the Bolsheviks-Communists, citizens of the RSFSR and the Ukrainian SSR

        Look at you like "lodorvalo" ... You don't attribute "anti-Russian" to me, but about "peaceful coexistence", you remove the blinkers from your eyes, the division of a single people into some kind of "outskirts", "Belarusians" and actually Russians , clearly an ideological sabotage, which led to the current situation. Who laid a mine under the Russian people, if not the Bolsheviks? They also transferred the so-called. "Ukraine" vast territories of Russian lands, together with the Russian population, which, now, is a hostage in the hands of the Ukronazis? The anomaly is you, silent compromisers, where were you in 91, along with 30 million Bolshevik communists?
        1. tatra
          tatra 13 March 2022 07: 27
          Yes, the Communist Bolsheviks created a single Soviet people. And YOUR anti-Soviet people are united only in meanness and crimes, in slandering the history of our country, and outside of them you hate each other, and each only for himself.
          How much I have been in VO, not one of you was able to defend your anti-Soviet people, always "but I have nothing to do with it", "I did not capture the USSR" /
          And your general ideology after your capture of the RSFSR "and we have nothing to do with it, it's all the communists' fault."
          1. bistrov.
            bistrov. 13 March 2022 08: 00
            Quote: tatra
            , the Bolshevik-Communists created a single Soviet people.

            You are grossly distorting and misrepresenting obvious facts. It was the Bolsheviks who introduced the concept of "nationality", which was indicated in all personal documents. And in tsarist Russia, the concept of nationality did not exist, there were estates and religions, which the Bolsheviks abolished in November 1917, literally immediately after the revolution.
            1. tatra
              tatra 13 March 2022 08: 08
              AND WHAT ? How did this prevent the peaceful coexistence of the Soviet people of different nationalities, and your anti-Soviet people of different nationalities, including Russians and Ukrainians, from spreading anger and hatred against the Soviet people?
              1. bistrov.
                bistrov. 13 March 2022 08: 22
                Quote: tatra
                How did this prevent the peaceful coexistence of the Soviet people of different nationalities

                How did you fall from the moon, creating "specific principalities" and "specific princelings", did you hope to preserve a single state? Read, at least, the history of Russia, it was feudal fragmentation that caused the destruction of Russia by the Tatar-Mongols. In fact, this was the main reason for the collapse of the USSR. This is absolutely obvious.
                1. tatra
                  tatra 13 March 2022 08: 35
                  Enough of the cowardly anti-Soviet nonsense.
                  According to your "logic", Putin, the benefactor of the Russian anti-Soviet people, having divided the Russian Federation into 7 federal districts and republics, thereby created
                  "specific principalities" and "specific princelings"
                  , and the Russian Federation will necessarily fall apart "by itself"?
                  1. Procopius Nesterov
                    Procopius Nesterov 15 March 2022 03: 53
                    benefactor of the Russian anti-Soviet people Putin
                    For you, the Russian people are an enemy, because they do not want to lose their identity and become Soviet?
                    In the USSR, the right of the republics to secede from the USSR was recorded in the constitution, each republic was considered an independent state within the USSR, open the constitution of the Ukrainian SSR for example. There is no such thing in Russia. So you voice only your dreams of the collapse of Russia, it is clear that you are an enemy of Russia.
    2. tatra
      tatra 13 March 2022 07: 10
      That is, it is the Bolsheviks-Communists who are to blame that YOU, their enemies, after your capture of the RSFSR and the Ukrainian SSR, plant anger and hatred against the history of our country, against each other, pit the Russian and Ukrainian peoples against each other?
      The Soviet people in the republics of the USSR coexisted calmly and peacefully, except for YOU, for all 70 years after you captured the USSR in your Perestroika, just like after you captured the USSR, you planted anger and hatred, unleashed wars.
      1. Catfish
        Catfish 13 March 2022 07: 33
        The Soviet people in the republics of the USSR coexisted calmly and peacefully

        And who gave Hitler a white stallion, who served in the national legions of the SS, Martians? Ira, I'm sorry, but sometimes you carry such nonsense that your ears wither.
        1. tatra
          tatra 13 March 2022 07: 40
          So my comment never reached your intellect?
          I clearly divided the Soviet people and YOUR, anti-Soviet, which is always the same, either under Soviet power or after your capture of the USSR.
          1. Catfish
            Catfish 13 March 2022 07: 49
            And why on earth and with whose permission do you mold any stigma to completely unfamiliar people and dare to divide the people into YOURS and OURS? The 37th year doesn’t let you sleep peacefully, didn’t you cook up enough then, helping Hitler to reach the Caucasus and the Volga, are your paws itching again? Well, they gave you already on these paws, with the full approval of the entire Soviet people and all the union republics, but it still doesn’t reach you, you can’t calm down in any way. laughing
            1. tatra
              tatra 13 March 2022 07: 50
              Ha, that's it, and all 30 years after the capture of the USSR by the anti-Soviet people.
              You have nothing FOR yourself, for all 30 years you have only been AGAINST the Soviet people.
              1. Catfish
                Catfish 13 March 2022 08: 07
                Very convincing. laughing That’s why the entire Soviet people don’t see you guardians point-blank and don’t take you seriously, but I won’t even talk about modern youth, they are at you ... In general, I hope it’s understandable. As for the rest, yes, you live in your virtual reality, honestly, I have nothing to talk about with such a relic, I am having fun out of boredom. request
                1. tatra
                  tatra 13 March 2022 08: 13
                  Ha, so this is YOUR, the anti-Soviet people, only capable of malice AGAINST, and cowardly whining that you all "have nothing to do with" what you have done in 104 years of the Soviet and your anti-Soviet-Russophobic periods.
                  And even 30 years after your capture of the RSFSR, even according to polls by Putin's VTsIOM and FOM, most of the citizens of the Russian Federation are for the USSR and Stalin, because for 30 years you have not GIVEN anything to Russia and the Russian people, you just destroyed everything, destroyed, took away from Russia and the people.
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      2. bistrov.
        bistrov. 13 March 2022 07: 42
        Quote: tatra
        The Soviet people in the republics of the USSR coexisted calmly and peacefully,

        It seems that you are poorly informed, nationalism has always existed in the national republics of the USSR, was skillfully fueled by the national communist elites, Russophobia was nurtured and latently matured there, which was expressed in mass persecution, persecution and even murders of Russians by nationality after the collapse of the USSR. Where did your Bolshevik-Communists, who were in Moscow, look at such a situation? Moreover, they destroyed the USSR. Maybe Gorbachev, Yeltsin, Kravchuk, Shchushkevich, Shevardnadze and others were not Bolshevik communists?
        1. tatra
          tatra 13 March 2022 07: 58
          Why do the anti-Soviet people always cowardly blame others for what they themselves have done?
          So, for the anti-Soviet people who seized the RSFSR, and for 30 years they have been imposing members of the CPSU into power in Russia and the Russian people, the Soviet communists are to blame for everything, and for the anti-Soviet people who seized the Ukrainian SSR, who voted for Kravchuk, a member of the CPSU, for the sake of the "famine" Yushchenko, a member of the CPSU, who started the "Orange Revolution", all 30 years, the "Muscovites" are to blame for what he did to Ukraine and the Ukrainian people.
          Maybe because your anti-Soviet people themselves admit that everything you did under Soviet rule, and during your anti-communist Perestroika, and 30 years after you captured and dismembered the USSR into your separate States, is your crimes against your country and the people?
          1. Procopius Nesterov
            Procopius Nesterov 15 March 2022 03: 58
            The anti-Soviet people are the Russian people. You do not hesitate to say directly that the Russians are enemies of your Soviet project.
        2. mz
          mz 13 March 2022 08: 24
          Quote: bistrov.

          nationalism in the national republics of the USSR has always existed, skillfully fueled by the national communist elites,
          Communism does not have nationalism in principle.
          Maybe Gorbachev, Yeltsin, Kravchuk, Shchushkevich, Shevardnadze and others were not Bolshevik communists?

          Were not. Neither communists nor Bolsheviks. They were traitors.
          1. mz
            mz 13 March 2022 08: 25
            About communism is the answer to the quote.)
        3. Antonina Ignatenko
          Antonina Ignatenko 13 March 2022 11: 14
          In the late USSR, there is generally apathy in relation to communist values ​​among the elite, including in relation to internationalism. The Soviet Union, in its heyday phase, paid much attention and spent a lot of money on national policy, encouraging the development of national culture, language, and history. But it was a positive nationalism, the principle of which was unity in diversity, pride in one's own national roots without arrogance towards other nations. Then - already in the early 90s - this positive attitude towards cooperation and acceptance of each other's uniqueness was removed and replaced with vulgar nationalism. In Russia, these tendencies did not take root, although they were actively imposed on us, and there were many offended among the limitrophes who gratefully supported such degradation.
        4. frog
          frog 13 March 2022 20: 59
          And where does the awareness of your opponent? Between awareness and the topic .... acoustic radiation is sometimes not a small abyss. You are trying to communicate with the TV, this is unproductive)) all the more, he (the TV) has only one program, EMNIP, "Lenin's University of Millions". Moreover, all those who participated in this show treated him accordingly, knowing full well the real. But the show, as we know, must play somewhere ... so in this case.
      3. Procopius Nesterov
        Procopius Nesterov 15 March 2022 03: 56
        after the capture of the USSR
        Actually, you captured Russia in 1917.
  2. populist
    populist 13 March 2022 09: 57
    Good article.
    Correctly describes the process of the emergence of Ukrainianism in Galicia and the essence of Ukrainianism as Russophobia and anti-Russia. At the same time, a somewhat different, but parallel process of the emergence of Ukrainianism was going on in the Republic of Ingushetia.
  3. Evgen Medenko
    Evgen Medenko 13 March 2022 10: 28
    There was religious tolerance in Austria, so Galician Russians were equalized in rights with Catholics
    - at that time, the "Galician Russians" were Uniates. Why not equalize them?
    1. Sergej1972
      Sergej1972 14 March 2022 10: 01
      The Orthodox Serbs-borderiers (analogue of the Cossacks) were Orthodox and religious tolerance was observed in their respect in the Austrian Empire. I studied this issue a little, there really was moderate religious tolerance in the Austrian Empire.
      1. Evgen Medenko
        Evgen Medenko 14 March 2022 19: 51
        Maybe. But the "Galician Russians", at that time, were, in fact, Catholics. With some other than Roman Catholic rites.
  4. Sergej1972
    Sergej1972 14 March 2022 09: 59
    If my memory serves me right, then not all of Western, or New (according to Austrian terminology) Galicia, following the results of the Vienna Congress, became part of the Kingdom of Poland as part of the Russian Empire. Part of it was nevertheless included in the Austrian Empire. There was a region in Austria called the Kingdom of Galicia and Lodomeria. It consisted of two parts. One was dominated by the Polish population, the other (Eastern Galicia) had a rural Ukrainian population and a mixed Polish-German-Jewish-Ukrainian urban population. Krakow had the status of a Free City for another two and a half decades, and then was also included in Austria, in the Kingdom of Galicia and Lodomeria.