Carpatho-Slavic Studies Group Newsletter #7, January 2001

Published with the assistance of Southern Connecticut State University
No. 7, January 2001

This newsletter is an occasional publication for researchers and others interested in the East Slavic inhabitants of the Carpathian mountain region of Central Europe and their descendants wherever they may be. These people have been called at various times in various places, in several versions of the Roman and Cyrillic alphabets, Lemkos, Boikos, Hutsuls, Lemaki, Rusnaks, Rusins, Rusyns, Carpatho-Rusyns, Carpatho-Ukrainians, Carpatho-Russians and other names.
The Carpatho-Slavic Studies Group is an informal collection of scholars and others interested in the topic. There are no political, religious, or other requirements necessary to take part in any activity of the group except, of course, and interest in the Slavic portion of the Carpathian region. The Group does not and cannot take any stand regarding national, ethnic, religious, or linguistic or other questions concerning the Carpatho-Slavic area. Any and all viewpoints are welcome as long as they are defended in a courteous way and on a scholarly level.
If you are interested in receiving our Newsletter by surface or electronic mail, being
informed about our publication, Carpatho-Slavic Studies, or would like to take part in our activities,
please contact:

Prof. Paul J. Best
Secretary, Carpatho-Slavic Studies Group
Political Science Department
Southern Connecticut State University
New Haven, Connecticut 06515-1355
Phone: 203-392-5660
FAX : 203-392-5670

There is a registration form on the last page of this newsletter. If you have already filled out a registration form, there is no need to send in another one.

A name, a name, what’s in a name?

In organizing Carpatho-Slavic Studies Group meetings rather interesting difficulties arose.
Originally our Studies Group used the term “Rusyn,” which all parties agree was an old and honored term for the East Slavic inhabitants of the Carpathians. However, despite that, both orally and in writing, some Worried about the use of the term “Rusyn” today, lest it be viewed as a device to attack those of a Ukrainian orientation. For example, the “First All-Ukrainian Congress of Lemkos” meeting in Ternopil, June 6,1992, protested, in point 9 of the concluding declaration, against “anti-Ukrainian provocations in Poland, Slovakia and Transcarpathia” which used the name “Rusyn” in an anti-Ukrainian way.
At the meeting of the Group in July 1992 in Cracow and later at the Institute of Ethnic Studies in Lviv the question of our name was thoroughly discussed. Since the whole idea of the Studies Group is to provide a forum for discussion of all problems relating to the East Slavic inhabited Carpathians and since there is no wish to debar anyone who has a defendable point of view from taking part in our activities, it was decided to modify our name. It is hoped that use of the broad them “Slavic” in place of Rusyn will make it clear, once again, that the Carpatho-Slavic Studies Group is neutral, not a tool in support of any particular cause. It is certain that not everyone will be satisfied with this resolution but it appears to be as close as we can get to an unbiased, impartial term in Standard English. Additionally, immediately bordering West Slavic Poles and Slovaks, insofar as they influence the Carpathian East Slavic Region, cannot be ignored in our deliberations, further supporting the use of a generic “Slavic” term.
People who are genuinely interested in the Carpathian Slavic Region ought to be able to discuss mutual concerns in a civilized manner.

I. Conference Papers Published-at last
The papers of all three conferences concerning the Lemko Region of Poland held in the
1990s have at last appeared in a single volume, accompanied by maps and illustrations.

A Book Announcement, Table of Contents and an order form can be found at the end of this Newsletter (Appendix III).

II The Lemko Region in the Years 1939-1947, War, Occupation and Deportation is the name
of a conference to be held at the end of May 2001 at the Jagiellonian University in Cracow, Poland.
Scholars who wish to contribute a paper or comment are encouraged to attend. A “call for papers” statement is attached in Appendix II. All contributors will be accommodated free-of-charge. If you wish to take part please send your name, etc. with your topic and an attendees information packet will be sent to you by return mail.
The papers from this conference will be published in English, as a volume of Carpatho-
Slavic Studies.
III. Electronic Mail List Serve

Given that electronic mails (e-mail) is becoming universal around the planet it seems to us that a “List Serve” for group members would be useful. This List-Serve would be modeled on that of the successful Early Slavic Studies Association one, and our group’s secretary would be the moderator. Please send your e-mail address to <> Please be patient, a List-Serve may take several months to get up and running. Initially only Roman alphabet and attachments will be able to be transmitted. It may well be that Cyrillic messages will be accepted and it is at least theoretically possible that understandable machine translations will become available, that will take effort, software and money. Nonetheless, let us establish our virtual community now!

IV. Study Centers in the Lemko Region, Slovakia, Transcarpathia

Readers are asked to submit any ideas they may have about establishing or assisting the establishment of Carpathian studies in the three areas where Carpathian East Slavs exist, The Lemko Region of Southeast Poland (and in Diaspora in West and North Poland), in the Presov Region of Northeastern Slovakia and in the Transcarpathian Region of Ukraine. The US Federal government docs fund academic activities in post-Soviet areas and why not the Carpalho-Slavic Region.

V. The American Association for the Advancement of Slavic Studies will meet in Crystal City, just across the Potomac River from Washington D.C., November 15-17, 2001. Perhaps a meeting/discussion can be held if enough people who are attending or who live in the greater Washington area would like to meet. Please e-mail the secretary if you are interested.

VI. Help
Comments, oral histories, documents are needed for a Lemko-Rusnak history-please see
Appendix I for a statement of the scope of the project.

Request for Assistance for The Lemko-Rusnak Project

The Lemko-Rusnaks are the people who were the most Western situated of East Slavs. They originally lived on the north slope of the Carpathian Mountains of what is now Southeast Poland.
They adhere to Byzantine-Slavonic Christianity, sometimes referred to as “Greek” (as opposed to Roman/Latin) Rite Christianity. Their Slavic language is written in the Cyrillic alphabet. The mountainous nature of their homeland influenced the development of a rather unique culture. These people are autochthonous to their region, provably being in residence since the 13th century. From that time to the mid-19th century the Lemko-Rusnaks were little touched by external events. They eventually ended up in the Austrian part of Austria-Hungary after 1867, but their Byzantine-Slavonic Rite and their customs helped them retain their identity. The winds of change and war soon began to blow strongly through the mountain valleys. Despite the transfer, by the hierarchy, of the church’s allegiance in the 17th century from Constantinople to Rome, Lemko-Rusnaks continued to have strong feelings of East Slavic unity. This feeling was shared by many of the married parish clergy. From the second half of the 19th century to 1917, the Russian state and its official Orthodox Church carried the standard of Pan East-Slavism and Pan Orthodox-Slavonic Christianity. During this period large numbers of Lemko-Rusnaks began to immigrate to North America, to manual labor in mines and factories. Of special note are the Pennsylvania mines and factories in New York, Connecticut, and Ontario.
In North America the new immigrants were greeted by opposition from the Roman Catholic hierarchy which rejected the possibility of a “Catholic”, albeit Greek-Catholic, married priesthood. The Russian Orthodox Church, however, was more than (willing to accept converts to Orthodoxy and Russian state money poured in. In Europe the Ukrainian movement began to be felt in Austria-Hungary, a movement which rejected Russian Pan-Slavic hegemony. In the early 20th century these two movements began to clash in the homeland, with adherents of Russia battling with Ukrainophils, while the majority of the Lemko-Rusnaks stood aside. World War I struck the homeland a near mortal blow. The Austrians interned thousands of Russophils in what were, initially, death camps. An unknown number of Russophils or ordinary Rusnaks, who were often confused with “Russians” perished in those camps, in transit to camps, after field courts-marital and on-the-spot shooting. Major battles were fought between to Austro-Hungarian and Russian armies over the Lemko Region’s mountain passes.

In the inter-war period the Lemko Region barely had a chance to partially recover before it was struck by WWII. The Nazis thrust through the region during their attack on Poland in September 1939. Pro-Nazi Ukrainians were called in to administer the region while pro-Polish, pro-Soviet and Ukrainian nationalist partisan bands fought all over the area. After another set of mountain pass battles the Soviets occupied the region and drafted all the young men into the Red Army. Between 1945 and 1947 Ukrainian Nationalist (UPA) groups holed up in the mountains fighting both Soviet and Polish communist forces. In the same time period perhaps half of the population volunteered or were forced into “repatriation” to Soviet Ukraine. In spring 1947 the rest of population, perhaps 50,000 people, were forcibly dispersed in Western and Northern Poland, into the so-called reclaimed, post-German, lands.
Until 1989/90 the Lemko-Rusnaks were repressed in a communist and ethnically ”pure” Poland-a state cleansed of “uncertain elements” along its borders-a situation long desired by Polish nationalists. In the last decade of the 20th century and at the beginning of the 21ac century there has been something of a renaissance of Lemko-Rusnaks, along with their brethren south of the Carpathian crest, in Slovakia and Transcarpathia (now in the Ukrainian state), A two volume monograph is proposed which will cover in detail the topic outlined above to give, for the first time in any language, a detailed narrative concerning the Lemko-Rusnaks whether in their homeland or in diaspora.
People who have written materials, oral histories, memoirs or comments about the history of the Lemko-Rusnaks are urgently requested to contact:

Paul J. Best, Professor
Political Science Department
Southern Connecticut State University
501 Crescent Street
New Haven, Connecticut 06515, USA

tel: 203-392-5660
fax: 203-392-5670

Book Announcement

The Lemkos of Poland – Articles and Essays

Edited by
Paul J. Best, Political Science Dept, Southern Connecticut State University,
New Haven, CT USA


Jaroslaw Moklak, History Institute, Jagiellonian University, Cracow, Poland
This paperback book contains, in 245 pages (including maps and illustrations), 25 separate studies, many translated from Polish, Ukrainian, Rusyn, and German, dealing with some aspect of the Lemko people. The Lemkos are an East Slavic ethnic group which formerly was the majority population of that area of the Carpathian mountains still called the Lemko Region (Lemkovyna in the local language, Lemkowszczyzna in Polish, Lemkivshchyna in Ukrainian).
These articles come from scholarly sessions held at the World Congresses for Central and East European Studies (Harrogate, England, July 1990 and Warsaw Poland, August 1995) and at a specific conference at the Jagiellonian University of Cracow (July 1992). Some related material has been included.
The sponsors of this book, the History Institute of the Jagiellonian University and the Carpatho-Slavic Studies Group of New Haven, have published it solely to disseminate information about the Lemko Region and not to further any specific opinion or views about the Lemko people.

Order from: .
Inter-Ed, Inc., 184 Old Country Road, Higganum, CT 06441 USA

Checks/money orders should be made out to “Inter-Ed, Inc.”, sorry no credit cards accepted. Cost
per copy, including postage and handling, is $25.00 – U.S. funds only, please.
Please send __ copy (copies) of The Lemkos of Poland (I enclose $25 per copy) to:


street address apt. number

town state

E-mail address, if you want to receive our announcements

Table of Contents
PREFACE …………………………………. 7
Paul J. Best
An Introduction to Lemko Studies ……………………… 11
Volume I Carpatho-Slavic Studies, papers delivered at the IV World Congress for Central and East European Studies, Harrogate, England 21-26 July 1990, and related materials
Zdzislaw Konieczny
Materials in the Polish State Archives in Przemysl Concerning the Lemkos …… 21
Jaroslaw Moklak
Political Orientations Among the Lemkos in the Inter-War Period
(1918-1938): An Outline ………………………….. 27
Andrzej Zieba
Poland and Political Life in Carpatho-Rus and Among Carpatho-Rusyns in Emigration in North America: 1918-1939 ………………… 33
Leszek Mnich
The Secrets of the Village of Wolosate ……………………. 41
Wieslaw Wojcik
The Lemko Question on the Pages of Polish “Country Knowledge”
[Krajoznawstwo] Publications ……………………….. 47
Paul J. Best
Moscophilism Among the Lemko Population in the Twentieth Century ……. 55
Paul J. Best
The Lemko-Rusniak Mountaineers And The National Question
In People’s Poland ……………………………… 61

Volume 2 Carpatho-Slavic Studies, papers delivered at the conference on The Carpatho-Rusyns of Poland, Cracow, Poland July 2-24 1992
Paul J. Best
The Carpatho-Rusyn Question in Poland ………………….. 73
Michal Parczewski
The Beginnings of the East Slavic-West Slavic Differentiation in the Carpathians ………………………………… 83
Zofia Szanter
From Where Did The Lemkos Come? ……………………. 89
Bohdan Strumitiski
The origin of the Lemko dialect ……………………… 101
Jaroslaw Moklak
The Phenomenon of The Expansion of Orthodoxy in the Greek Catholic Diocese of Przemysl: Missionary Activity of the Orthodox Church, 1918-1939 ………………………………… 107
Anna Krochmal
The Greek Catholic Church And Religious “Sects” In The Lemko Region, 1918-1939 ………………………………… 119
Susyn Y. Mihalasky
Lemkos in the Polish Press 1987-1992 ………………….. 129
Zofia Szanter
An Essay on the Carpathian Church in the Family of European Churches …. 143
Helena Duc-Fajfer
Contemporary Lemko poetry and the problem of so-called “Lemko Separatism” ……………………………….. 151
Volume 3 Carpatho-Slavic Studies, papers
from the V World Congress for Central and East European Studies
Warsaw, Poland 6-11 August 1995 and related materials
Jaroslaw Moklak
Lemko – an historical-ethnographic idea …………………. 179
Susyn Y. Mihalasky
Ethnonational Orientation Among Lemkos In Poland:The Results
of a Survey ………………………………… 181
Oleksandr Zaitsev
The Lemko Problem as seen in the activities of Ukrainian Political
Parties in the 1920s and 1930s ……………………….. 189
Agnieszka Korniejenko
Literature of the Lemko Cultural Sphere …………………. 197
Bernadetta Wojtowicz
The Role of Religion in the Development of National Consciousness
Among the Lemkos ……………………………. 207
Paul J. Best
The Apostolic Administration Of The Lemko Region 1934-1944 ……… 219
Paul Best
The Rusyn Movement
A Ten Year Retrospective 1989-1999 …….. … ………….. 225
Paul Best
Resources for Lemko Studies
English Language Print and Non-print Materials …………….. 233
Call for Papers
The History Institute of the Jagiellonian University of Cracow, Poland
– and –
The Ending Prejudice and Achieving Reconciliation Project
of Southern Connecticut State University, New Haven, Connecticut, USA
are sponsoring a conference:
The Lemko Region in the Years 1939-1947: War, Occupation and Expulsion
at the Polonia Institute of the Jagiellonian Univerity, Przegorzaly, Cracow, Poland
Monday, May 28-June 1, 2001
Academicians who may wish to contribute by preparing a paper or a comment about some
aspect of the War years in the Lemko region, are invited to submit proposals by April 1, 2001;
scholars from non-European areas please contact:
Prof. Paul J. Best
Political Science Department
Southern Connecticut State University
New Haven, CT 06515 USA
telephone: 203-392-5660
fax:203-392-5670 ;.
Scholars from Europe please contact:
Prof. Jaroslaw Moklak
History Institute
Jagiellonian University
ul. Golebia 13
Cracow 31-007, Poland
telephone: 48-12, 648-4051
fax:48-12, 422-6306

The basic conference language will be Polish, but participants may give their contributions in whatever language they prefer.

All those submitting acceptable proposals will receive an information packet about the conference. A small stipend, room and partial board will be available to all who present papers or comments at the conference. Successful papers will be published, in English, in a volume of Carpatho-Slavic Studies.

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