Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv
In this article, the principles of functioning of the Ukrainian Educational Societies (UOT), which became alternative cultural and educational associations in the General Government, are clarified on the basis of archival materials. Ukrainian Educational Societies were initiated by the Ukrainian Central Committee after the liquidation of the Prosvita Society, the Ridna Khata Society, Ridna Shkola, the Kachkovskyi Society, Union of Ukrainian Women, etc. that operated in Zakerzonnia and Galicia since the late nineteenth century. Without the inclusive exploration of UOT’s activities, their place in the cultural life of Ukrainians in 1940–1944, it is difficult to say that the knowledge of the history of Ukrainian lands during World War ІІ is comprehensive.
A systemic approach, the principles of historicism, methods of source analysis and synthesis, historical-chronological and historical-comparative methods were used to provide the exhaustive factual basis and comprehensive description of the processes of UOT functioning. The general outcome of the research is revelation of the relationships between the cultural, educational, and public activities of the Ukrainian Central Committee during the creation of a network of Ukrainian Educational Societies.
It was concluded that the Ukrainian Central Committee managed to create an efficient UOT network with the structure most adapted to the conditions of the occupation regime. Through the operation of UOT structural units and implementation of stated tasks, UOT contributed to the national and physical education of Ukrainian youth, establishing of preschool institutions, and solving social issues. UOT played a key role in preserving the national identity of Ukrainians, despite its dual subordination to the Ukrainian Central Committee and official representatives of local authorities.
Keywords: World War II, Ukrainian Educational Society (UOT), Ukrainian Central Committee, General Government, occupation policy, associations, youth, national identity.