O. Salata, І. Tarnavskyy The Theatrical Collectives Activities Under the Nazi Occupation of 1941–1943: ideas and realities (According to the Ukrainian Reality magazine)

DOI: 10.20535/2307-5244.50.2020.210144

Borys Grinchenko Kyiv University

National Technical University of Ukraine «Igor Sikorsky Kyiv Polytechnic Institute»

The purpose of the study is to analyze the activities of theatre groups in the Ukrainian occupied territory on the basis of the emigration periodicals, in particular, the magazine «The Ukrainian Reality» as well as archival documents and materials. Comparative-historical and quantitative content analysis of the press were used to explore the documents of occupied institutions, such as orders, notices, statements which regulated the operation of the theaters and their repertoire, financial statements of the actorsʼ groups. The analysis of these documents shed light on the activities of cultural and educational organizations in the Ukrainian territories occupied by the Nazi army.

As the results of the content analysis of the magazine about culture «The Ukrainian Reality», which was published in Prague during the Second World War, it was found that the editors and the authors of the magazine provided a special vision of the theatersʼ activity, framing the development of theater groups in a positive way. In this article, the discrepancies between the published information in the magazine and the real situation within the Ukrainian theaters is shown.

The article also provides an extensive analysis of historical research previously done by Ukrainian scholars about theatre groups on the basis of periodicals issued under the rule of the occupation government. The author argues that such sources can not be the only foundation for the research, since all the editors of newspapers and magazines in the occupied territory of Ukraine were appointed by the German administration, and all articles and materials published on the pages of the periodical were subjected to strict censorship.

It was concluded that under the occupation, at the beginning of the German-Soviet War, the Ukrainian theater used a legitimate position to communicate with the widest range of civilians. As a result, the theater had become an artistic mechanism for the self-preservation of national traditions. Furthermore, the Ukrainian theaters adapted to the conditions of occupation and transformed into a new system of national theatrical culture.

Keywords: Nazi occupation regime; press; theater; acting team; cultural and artistic life.


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