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Searching For Place

Searching For Place: Ukrainian Displaced Persons, Canada, and the Migration of Memory

Lubomyr Y. Luciuk
With a foreword by Norman Davies
Copyright Date: 2000
Pages: 616
  • Book Info
    Searching For Place
    Book Description:

    Luciuk delineates the efforts of the established Ukrainian-Canadian community to rescue and resettle Ukrainian refugees, despite the indifference and even hostility of the Canadian government.

    eISBN: 978-1-4426-7967-2
    Subjects: History

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  3. Foreword
    (pp. vii-viii)

    History and Geography are siblings. Indeed, in some countries such as France, they have traditionally been taught together, as one subject. Time and place are essential constitutents of all events. Good historians need a sound grasp of geography; and good geographers need a sharp sense of history. For this reason, Lubomyr Luciuk, who is a professional geographer, makes an excellent candidate for analysing the complicated story of Ukrainian migration to Canada.

    Ukrainian history is often misunderstood simply because Western readers have never learned the basic ′where′ and ′when′ of the context. Few people know, for example, that Ukraine first gained...

  4. Acknowledgments
    (pp. ix-xvi)
  5. Introduction
    (pp. xvii-xxvi)

    People are attached to place. Humans either are territorial or, at least, tend to behave territorially. It may be in our nature or it may be in our nurture. Certainly, whether as an individual or as a member of a family, clan, tribe, nation, or state, each person has, and needs, a place, a niche, a hearth, a home, a homeland. Most of us identify with someplace, with somewhere, and with others fromthere. And we can usually identify others as being from somewhere else.

    People have explored and made maps of many kinds and varying quality in...

  6. Abbreviations
    (pp. xxvii-xxviii)
  7. [Map]
    (pp. xxix-2)
  8. 1 The Plan
    (pp. 3-10)

    According to plan they gathered together in Toronto in the spring of 1949. No written record of their meeting was preserved. No photographs were taken. Their deliberations were covert. The participants believed in secrecy. Yet the talks held by this carefully picked group profoundly affected the nature and development of Ukrainian Canadian society. For on May Day, 1949, they created the League for the Liberation of Ukraine.¹

    Very little was known at the time of their meeting about the Leagueʹs founders. Today we have their names; most of them were recently resettled refugee immigrants to Canada.² Since the time of...

  9. 2 ′From a Police Point of View′: The Origins of the Ukrainian Canadian Community, 1891–1920
    (pp. 11-25)

    Few of the peasants lured from Ukrainian lands in eastern Europe who came to Canada′s prairie frontier at the turn of the century weresvidomi ukraintsi, or nationally conscious Ukrainians. Most came from the illiterate and downtrodden masses which had been exploited in the Austrian-ruled crownlands of Galicia and Bukovyna. So unpromising were conditions there that many Ukrainian peasants welcomed the chance of building a better life for themselves and their families by emigrating to America: ′When the Ukrainian peasant looked up, he could see above him, riding on his back, the Polish noble, the Romanian boyar, the Jewish innkeeper-lender,...

  10. 3 ′The Man Who Knew′: Organizing the Ukrainian Canadian Community, from the 1920s to the 1940s
    (pp. 26-55)

    Self-imposed quiescence did not appeal to everyone in the Ukrainian Canadian community. Aroused by the struggle for independence waged in their homeland between 1917 and 1921, some Ukrainians in Canada attached themselves to the cause of self-determination for Ukraine. Others, entranced by the reputed achievements of the Bolshevik Revolution and the formation of a Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic, gave their personal allegiance to and entwined their ethnic identity with support for socialist and pro-Soviet groups.¹ Though a number of organizations were to emerge among Ukrainians in Canada during the interwar period, only three secular groups, each exceeding several thousand dues-paying...

  11. 4 ′Saskatchewan′s Son′: Ukrainian Canadian Soldiers Encounter the Displaced Persons 1941–1945
    (pp. 56-74)

    When the S.S.Strathernsailed for England in December 1941, carrying troops and war materiel across the Atlantic, it also ferried over the twenty-seven-year-old son of an early Ukrainian pioneer in Canada. This man was not in search of freedom or free land. He was headed to war. He believed it was the duty of every able-bodied Ukrainian Canadian to serve in this moment of great peril. Over a quarter of a century before, his father had travelled in the opposite direction, leaving behind the poverty and wars of his Western Ukrainian homeland, planning to homestead in a heavily Ukrainian-populated...

  12. 5 ′A Subject Which We Cannot Ignore′: Unexpected Problems with Ukrainian Canadian Relief Operations, 1945–1946
    (pp. 75-110)

    Ukrainian Canadians brought a different perspective to their work for the displaced persons, if only because they were becoming increasingly alarmed about the forcible repatriation of thousands of Ukrainian refugees to the Soviet Union. By late summer of 1945 the Bureau′s staff were lobbying selected British parliamentarians, such as Rhys Davies, to protest not only against the ′shanghaiing′ of Ukrainians deemed to be ′Soviet citizens′ under the terms of the Yalta Agreement, but also against that of Western Ukrainians who, being of Polish citizenship, were not legally subject to compulsory repatriation.¹ Even the doughty Tracy Philipps, now back in London...

  13. 6 ′The Least Inspiring of Postwar Problems′: The Anglo-American Powers, Ukrainian Independence, and the Refugees
    (pp. 111-148)

    Until recently, one of the most persistent beliefs held by members of the postwar Ukrainian diaspora was that the Anglo-American powers knew very little about Ukrainian aspirations or affairs prior to, during, and after the Second World War. Yoked to this belief was another, that none of these governments developed a consistent policy with respect to the ′Ukrainian Question,′ that is, the issue of Ukrainian independence, or, more particularly, how to deal with its advocates in the West.

    Nothing could be further from the truth. Throughout this period, with the possible exception of the wartime years – when access to...

  14. 7 ′Ironing Out the Differences′: Changing Ukrainian Canadian Attitudes towards the DPs, 1946–1950
    (pp. 149-197)

    They were gone. Many had been ′shanghaied, literally kidnapped by the Russians.′¹ Whereas, in the early months of 1946, Ukrainian Canadian observers had noted quite routinely that the ′number of Ukrainians from Eastern (Greater) Ukraine is equal to if not larger than that from Western Ukraine,′ by the end of that year the forcible round-up and repatriation of tens of thousands of Eastern Ukrainian DPs had tellingly altered the nature of the refugee population.² A CURB memorandum written in early 1947, which dealt with the Ukrainian refugee population in Austria, took notice of how overwhelmingly Western Ukrainian in composition that...

  15. Illustrations
    (pp. None)
  16. 8 ′Locking Horns on Canadian Soil′: The Impact of the DPs on Ukrainian Canadian Society, 1949–1959
    (pp. 198-244)

    Believing, as they did, that they had proved their loyalty to Canada during the war, few Ukrainian Canadians entertained any serious reservations about lobbying the country′s gatekeepers to secure the postwar admission of Ukrainian refugees from Europe. To strengthen their case about the suitability of Ukrainian displaced persons as immigrants, these Ukrainian Canadians widely circulated a portrayal of the DPs as highly resourceful, religious, hard-working, educated, morally and psychologically fit individualists, whose recent experience under Soviet rule had confirmed them in their anti-communist and pro-Western ideological orientation.¹ Advocates of Ukrainian refugee immigration were sure that Canada′s provincial and federal authorities...

  17. 9 ′The Vexed Ukrainian Question′: Curbing Ukrainian Nationalism in the Postwar World
    (pp. 245-263)

    Well before the warʹs end British Foreign Office officials reviewed the ′minorities problem′ in Europe and concluded that the continued existence of such separatist and irredentist elements was ′dangerous to peace.′¹ Contemplating their options for dealing with the predictable difficulties which would arise once a peace settlement was reached, the British decided that, no matter how ′drastic′ the peace terms might be, minorities would remain who could not easily ʹbe gotten rid of.ʹ They judged, therefore, that only large-scale population transfers would provide what was termed – rather ominously, to modern ears – as the ′final solution′ to the ′minorities...

  18. 10 ′A Good Canadian′: The View from Ottawa
    (pp. 264-272)

    The men who congregated in Toronto in the spring of 1949 and fashioned the League for the Liberation of Ukraine believed that their action would give succour to the ongoing liberation struggle in their homeland, Ukraine. They also hoped to rally support among Ukrainian Canadians for this independence movement. They thought that somehow, using what they believed were officially recognized Ukrainian Canadian institutions, they might even secure the patronage of the Canadian government for their course. Seeing themselves as thedruha liniia, or second line, of the Ukrainian national liberation movement, they expected that the Cold War would soon offer...

  19. Epilogue
    (pp. 273-280)

    I first went to Ukraine in 1989. There was no independent Ukraine then. But you could already sense that there would be, soon. The Soviet Empire was disintegrating. I welcomed that. I had been raised to believe that a free Ukraine would be a good thing, and that sooner or later there would be such a place. ′Freeing Ukraine′ was, in essence, ′the cause.′ Indeed, theonlyreally important cause. Most of my generation, the sons and daughters of the DPs, had been pledged to that end by our parents and grandparents. We were to carry on, if necessary, what...

  20. Notes
    (pp. 281-492)
  21. Sources
    (pp. 493-524)
  22. Index
    (pp. 525-576)