Bogdan Horbal
"Dzialalnosc Polityczna Lemków na Lemkowszczyznie 1918-1921", 188 pages, soft cover, Wroclaw 1997
[11 Mb]

"Działalność Polityczna Łemków na Łemkowszczyźnie 1918-1921", 188 pages, soft cover, Wroclaw 1997, in Polish only.

SUMMARY The end of World War I and more importantly, the fall of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, brought about profound changes in the European political order. Among these was the establishment of nation-states on the ruins of the old Empire. This post-War frenzy of "state-building" inspired even small peoples like Lemkos to dream of self-determination and statehood. The desire to determine their own collective fate was primary motive behind the formation of the two Lemko republics on which this book focuses.

The Lemko Rusyn Republic, on which the first three chapters focus, was the larger and longer-lived of the two Republics. It emerged out of the Russophile movement in late 1918 and dominated almost the entire Lemko region. The Lemko Rusyn Republic was created to act on the desire that an autonomous administration be formed to present itself to the Polish authorities as the only institution legally and morally empowered to represent the Lemko people. The Republic's primary goal was to keep the Carpatho-Rusyn population and territory on from being divided by the new borders of the recently created or reemerged states of Poland and Czechoslovakia. As changing international political conditions warranted, the Lemkos hoped to ensure the unity of their region originally by incorporation into Russia and then into Czechoslovakia. They finally committed themselves to Russia. The Lemkos continually and resolutely rejected the option of becoming part of Poland. Following the forcible incorporation of the Lemko region into Poland, the Russophile leaders made one last attempt to assert their independence. In March of 1920 they founded the Executive Committee (acting as the Lemko government), in order to reestablish administration over their homeland. This act prompted pacification of the region by the Polish military, which culminated in the arrest of Lemko Russophile political leaders. A show trial was staged in Nowy Sacz in June, 1921. The defendants were subsequently acquitted; the court ruled that they had been following the desires of their people.

Meanwhile, a second Lemko Republic, the Komancza Republic, had been founded in the eastern Lemko region in November, 1918. This political structure, described in Chapter Four, subordinated itself to the Ukrainian national movement and fought for incorporation into the Western Ukrainian National Republic. From virtually the first moment of its existence, it had come under direct military attack from the local Polish authorities determined to expand their political control over the Eastern Lemko region. In January, 1919 the Lemko population of the region was subject to a bloody pacification campaign, which ended the existence of the Komancza Republic.

Icon Lemko Page

Document Information

Document URL:

Page prepared by Walter Maksimovich

Copyright © LV Productions, Ltd.

LV Productions, Ltd.
c/o Walter Maksimovich
730 Pennsylvania Avenue, Apt. 706
Miami Beach FL 33139

Originally Composed: October 7th, 1997
Date last modified: February 19th, 2008