Activities of ‘Zminovikhivtsi’ in Traditions of Social and Political Life of Ukraine in the 1920s

Keywords: emigrant intelligentsia, zminovikhivstvo, culture, national movement, povorotnytstvo, Ukrainization, Ukrainian SSR

Abstract

The peculiar features of zminovikhivstvo (‘change of signposts’) in the social and political life of Ukraine in the 1920s are shown in the paper. An attempt is made to analyze Ukrainian zminovikhivstvo as a social and political movement among the Ukrainian emigrant intelligentsia, which supported the program of national and cultural construction in the Ukrainian SSR proclaimed by the Bilshovyks. The factors that influenced the decision of some Ukrainian emigrants to return to Ukraine are identified.

It is analyzed how zminovikhivstvo had influenced the differentiation of certain groups of emigrant intelligentsia in their attitude to political, social, economic and cultural processes in the Ukrainian SSR. It has been found out that the totalitarian regime sought to tightly control all spheres of public life, but members of the intelligentsia still managed to find an opportunity for creative search. During that period, new trends in party policy in the field of culture came into being. This phenomenon in Western historiography was called the ‘NEP in culture’, and was characterized by the recognition of various groups and trends, the rejection of the dichotomy of war, the recognition of interim forces (poputnyky), state support for various doctrines and styles in art, etc. The intelligentsia of Podilia did not stand aside from those processes, but became an active participant in them, played an important role in the construction of Podilia cultural life and the development of creative cultural processes in the Ukrainian SSR.

The return of zminovikhivtsi to Ukraine intensified the movement for the development of national culture in the republic. Various strata of Ukrainian society, which had previously avoided cooperation with the Soviet authorities, began to participate in the work of state bodies and public organizations. The active involvement of Ukrainian intelligentsia in scientific work, literature, teaching, etc. took place. That gave impetus to the intensification of all cultural life: there appeared various literary organizations and groups, as well as publishing houses, theaters, and new cinematography. Undoubtedly, zminovikhivstvo caused the weakening of Ukrainian emigration, which continued to fight for the freedom of Ukrainian people by available means. Ukrainian zminovikhivtsi were constantly under the supervision of Soviet punitive authorities and later became victims of the first wave of Stalin’s mass repressions.

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Published
01.10.2020
How to Cite
GutsolD. (2020). Activities of ‘Zminovikhivtsi’ in Traditions of Social and Political Life of Ukraine in the 1920s. Eminak: Scientific Quarterly Journal, (3(31), 122-131. https://doi.org/10.33782/eminak2020.3(31).441
Section
History of Ukraine