Zloczow Arrests

Research Zloczow Arrests


The Martyrs of Zloczów

The following information was extracted from the book:  W Obronie Lwowa i wschodnich Kresow -   Polegli od 1-go Listopda 1918 Do 30-go Czerwca 1919 R. published in Lwow 1926, which translated is: In Defense of Lwow and the Eastern Borderlands - Those Who Died from 1 November 1918 to 30 June 1919


is provided as a public service by PolishRoots who makes no claim about the accuracy of the information or takes any stand on the political views expressed in the article.  PolishRoots would like to provide some context surrounding the events taking place in Galicia at the time the article below was written.


With the fall of the Hapsburg Empire in November 1918 a state called the West Ukrainian People's Republic (known in Ukrainian as the ZUNR) was established by ethnic Ukrainians.  The ZUNR claimed sovereignty over eastern Galicia, Bukovyna and Transcarpathia, plus what are now the Polish territories of Peremyshyl, Kholm, Pidlachia and the Lemko region (a maximum definition of ethnographic Ukraine)1.  The Poles also declared their independence in November 1918 which lead to a conflict with the Ukrainians that was won by the Poles in July 19192.


For more information about these tumultuous times, see Chapter 7, of 1,2 The Ukrainians: unexpected nation, by Andrew Wilson (Yale University Press, 2000).


The following list is compiled from data in the chapter entitled:


The Martyrs of Zloczów
by Wanda Mazanowska


Who writes,


November 22nd, 1918, ie. the day of expulsions of Ukrainians from Lwow, is connected with the signal for revengeful retaliation by the enemy and starts the terrible martyrdom record of Poles in Zloczów and neighboring counties [powiat].


On that day, the Ukrainian authorities ordered the emptying of the prison in the Sobieski castle where criminals had been kept by the Austrians. During the night of November 23rd/24th, at nine o'clock at night,  the roundup of Poles started in the dark. Patrols of four armed soldiers with an officer were breaking into homes, dragging often already sleeping Poles out of their beds and taking them to the castle. By 2 am two large prison cells were full - 73 people were arrested.


In the morning of November 24th and on the following days the arrests continued. Many landowners, peasants, clerks, priests, state officials, high school pupils and university students were brought to the prison in Zloczów. The castle prison was soon full and the high school [gimnazjum] building, with the Sokól and Kosciuszko dormitory had to be used as well.


The arrests were ordered by the Ukrainian civil authorities, blaming the army for them. A Ukrainian officer, when asked on whose order he acted, said that it was the order of the Ukrainian National Committee.


The reasons for arresting were trivial: open admission of being Polish, lending money to Poles who had been dismissed from work and had no means, etc.


Those arrested were told they would be out on bail. The bails were very high (tens of thousands of crowns) and never returned to anyone. So the purpose of the arrests was - besides increasing the hatred - to improve the state of the Ukrainian treasury with ready money, which was always needed, as well as driving Poles to despair which, however, was unsuccessful.


We are giving the list of the arrested, many of whom were kept in prison until the Polish relief arrived on May 27th, 1919.


To share or request more information, contact Dr. Paul Valasek


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Copyright © 2000 Dr. Paul S. Valasek. All rights reserved. Used by permission.