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Ukrainian POWs in Germany

Samostiina Ukraina [Independent Ukraine]. R.U.P. (= Revoliutsiina Ukrains'ka Partiia; The Revolutionary Ukrainian Party).

Vetsliar (Wetzlar): Vydanne Soiuza Vyzvolennia Ukrainy (Union for the Liberation of Ukraine), 1917. Duodecimo (14.2 × 10.9 cm). Original decorative wrappers; 43 pp. Wrappers separated and split along spine, some pages loose, handwritten ink notations to front cover and several internal pages; ex-libris of Prof. A. A. Granovsky to inside front cover; overall about good.

Published by the Union for the Liberation of Ukraine, this volume of poems was published for the benefit of Ukrainian prisoners of war in the camp at Wetzlar, Germany. The Wetzlar camp was one of three (in addition to Rastatt and Salzwedel) created at the behest of the Union for the Liberation of Ukraine, which housed some 50,000 Ukrainian prisoners from among the estimated 300,000 Ukrainian prisoners from the former Russian Empire which were held in German camps by the end of WWI. (See the Internet Encyclopedia of Ukraine, "Prisoner of war camps"). The SVU (Union for the Liberation of Ukraine) was behind a large-scale effort to bring healthcare, educational, information services to Ukrainian POWs in Germany and elsewhere.

The text is of major importance for the Ukrainian liberation movement. Authored by a young Ukrainian lawyer, Mykola Mikhnovskii in 1900, it was "the first outward expression of Ukrainian aspirations for political autonomy based on national statehood within the Russian Empire. It presented highly charged demands based on historical and legal grounds" (Zenon Wasyliw, "A revolutionary nationalist declaration: Mykola Mikhnovskyi's Samostiina Ukraina", in East European Quarterly, vol. 33, no. 3). The text is here republished with a lengthy postscript reflecting on its relevance after World War I, signed behalf of the publishers by Oleksandr Skoropys.

On publishing in the three Ukrainian camps in Germany, see: M. H. Palienko and I. V. Sribniak, "Knyzhkovyi rukh u taborakh polonenykh boiakiv-ukraintsiv u Nimechchyni pid chas pershoi svitovoi viiny" (2020). For more on the work of the Mission in Germany, see O. V. Molchanova, "Repatriatsiia polonenykh ta internovanykh voiakiv-ukraintsiv z Nimechchyny u 1919–1920 rr" (2015).

As of April 2023, KVK, OCLC show four copies in North America.

Book ID: 52730

Price: $350.00