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Displaced Memories

Remembering and Forgetting in Post-War Poland and Ukraine


Anna Wylegała

The book is a comparative case study of collective memory in two small communities situated on two Central-European borderlands. Despite different pre-war histories, Ukrainian Zhovkva (before 1939 Polish Żółkiew) and Polish Krzyż (before 1945 German Kreuz) were to share a common fate of many European localities, destroyed and rebuilt in a completely new shape. As a result of war, and post-war ethnic cleansing and displacement, they lost almost all of their pre-war inhabitants and were repopulated by new people. Based on more than 150 oral history interviews, the book describes the process of reconstruction of social microcosm, involving the reader in a journey through the lives of real people entangled in the dramatic historical events of the 20th century.

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Biographical Index of Respondents



Nationality and religious affiliation are given in accordance with respondents’ own declarations. Unless stated otherwise, interviews were carried out in Ukrainian by the author.

Z1Af – born in 1930 in Rzeszów, Poland, to a wealthy Polish-Ukrainian household from Lwów (post-war Lviv). Greek Catholic. Before the war, she frequently visited Żółkiew on holiday. In summer 1939, her family was unsuccessful in an attempt to leave Żółkiew because of the outbreak of war, and she remained in the town. Her husband, a native of Żółkiew, was active in the UPA. Worked as a teacher.

Z1Bf – born in 1951 in Zhovkva. Ukrainian. Daughter of Z1Af. Higher education in a technical field. Retired at the time of the interview, though still working for a charity. During Soviet times, had several work contracts abroad, alongside her husband.

Z1Cf – born in 1973 in Zhovkva. Daughter of Z1Bf. Ukrainian. Higher education in humanities. Poet and translator (including from Polish). Living in Lviv.

Z2Am – born in 1922 in Żółkiew, to a peasant family. Ukrainian, Greek Catholic. Active in the UPA, was deported to Siberia in 1952. Returned to Zhovkva in 1957 after receiving an amnesty. Worked in a factory.

Z3Af – born in 1928 in a small town in Polish Subcarpathia. Ukrainian, Greek Catholic. Her parents died during the war. Her sister, who was active in the UPA, spent seven years in a Polish prison after 1945. In 1945, the respondent and her...

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