Rivne State Humanitarian Universitу
International University of Economics and Humanities Academician Stepan Demianchuk
During the interwar period, Taras Shevchenko was established as a symbol of
the struggle of Ukrainians of Western Volyn for their rights. On the basis of archival
sources and interwar periodicals, the article analyzes the symbolic role of
Taras Shevchenko in the development of the Ukrainian national movement on the
territory of the Volyn Voivodship. It was proved that in the 1920s the Shevchenko
holidays were mostly of a confrontational nature with the Polish authorities, and
a rise in the poet’s praise in the mid-1930s was the consequence of the liberalization
of government policy outlined in the framework of «the Volyn experiment».
In the late 1930’s, Shevchenko commemoration turned into a manifestation of
Ukrainian sovereignty against the Polish state. During the Shevchenko holidays,
initiated by both Ukrainian political parties and non-governmental organizations,
the practice of using Ukrainian national symbols was widely used. The method ology of the research is based on the principles of science, historicism, and verification.
In the course of the study, the such methods of historical science were
used as the search, identification and systematization of historical material obtained
from archival documents and the press sources, followed by criticism and
applying historical-comparative, historical-typological, historical-chronological,
historical-geographical, and other research methods. The scientific novelty
lies in the fact that the first attempt to reconstruct the commemoration of Taras
Shevchenko in the West Volyn region has been made. Attitude of Polish authorities
has been shown.
The author concludes that after unsuccessful attempts to overcome the cult
of Shevchenko in the 1920s, the Polish authorities tried to use the «Shevchenko
factor» to form political loyalty of the Ukrainians of the Volyn Voivodeship to the
Second Polish Republic, allowing a number of his commemorations in the 1930s
during the «Volyn experiment». The Ukrainian political emigrants, the natives
of the Naddniprianshchyna region, played a significant role in honoring Kobzar
in the Volyn Voivodship. The spread of the cult of Taras Shevchenko was central
to the growth of the national consciousness of the Ukrainian population of the
region in the Second Polish Republic.
Keywords. Volyn Voivodship, Taras Shevchenko, memory, academy, burial
service, «the Volyn experiment».