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Liberation of Ukrainian and Belorussian lands from Polish landlords

Film | Accession Number: 2001.355.1 | RG Number: RG-60.3112 | Film ID: 2487

Prewar Lvov. Several of the city's landmark churches, including the Church of the Assumption (Orthodox), St. George's Cathedral (Ukrainian Greek Catholic), the Church of St. Olha and Elizabeth (Greek Catholic), with visible damage. Workers with spades. Polish POWs on road. Refugees from Poland. People mingling, CU. Farms, cemetery, demonstration. The filmmaker, Aleksandr Dovzhenko (white hair). VS and angles of Jewish faces. Damage: ruined town, damaged railroads. Khrushchev visits, he laughs. Camouflaged. Marshall Timoshenko and POWs. "Redistribution" of estate from landlords to peasants. VS of cows being given to peasants.

Translation of narration:
Ukrainian city - Lvov. A monument to the King Yan Sobetskyi, should not be confused with Bohdan Khmelnitskiy. Since the earliest times Ukrainian, Russian, and Byelorussian people shared the same cultural, political, and economic life. Throughout history people in Western Ukraine have perceived of themselves as part of Kievan Rus'. The history of Kievan Rus' is the shared, early history of the Russian, Ukrainian, and Byelorussian peoples. Various historical facts prove this statement, such as: people's struggle against the spread of Roman Catholicism and against the Polish landlords' rule in the 16th to 17th centuries. The unemployed Lvov civilians, which comprise a third of Lvov's population, are going to work in the USSR.

There is much that the old Lvov has seen: it has seen Cossack Ivan Pidkova deceived and tortured by the Polish landlords. It has seen the victorious army of Bohdan Khmelnitskiy and Maxim Krivonos [these are the national heroes of Ukraine who fought against Polish rule]. With 'joyful trembling' Lvov waited for the cavalry of Alexander Parhomenko.

With bread and salt and exclamations of happiness Lvov greeted the iron divisions of Semyon Timoshenko.

The long struggle of the Ukrainian people for unity has come to an end. The artificial wall that separated people has fallen. Lvov has become Soviet.

How many different questions we received from people in the streets! "Is it true that all are equal? Is it true that education is free in the USSR? Are we allowed to get married? Do we [Soviets] kiss? Do we use lipstick? Can we worship God?" We didn't laugh but answered seriously. Yes, we can worship God. And whatever authority people will choose that one will be. Education is free indeed!

This is the Lvov University. Students are coming from classes. Some of them will go left; some will go right.

Russian and Ukrainian writers are visiting the grave of the great Ukrainian democratic writer Ivan Franko. Following them is a crowd of twelve thousand workers. Ukrainians, Poles, and Jews - all are together as a symbol of Stalin's ideal of friendship among the peoples of the USSR.

The monument to Adam Mickiewicz [Poland's national poet-large crowds turn out to honor this monument]. At this monument Polish nationalists swore an oath of their hatred against the Ukrainians and Jews. We pronounce Lenin and Stalin's words here. People are deeply moved.

This is Boreslav - an oil production city. " 'Work, work, we need any kind of work! Let it be the lowest paid work, let it be the worst work, but some kind of work! Just to keep ourselves alive.' - This was the cry of thousands of hungry and desperate people." Franko wrote in his book Boreslav is Laughing. This is the very picture we saw when we arrived in Boreslav. An engineer was begging for a position as a bricklayer; a turner would agree to be a chimney sweep.

Fire and smoke have gone with the wind. Boreslav and Drogobych are doing much better now. New owners of mines and factories - the workers - rebuild roads, bridges, houses and phone wires. The world is being born again.

This is a new borderline on the San River near old Peremyshl' [Ukrainian town]. The Secretary of the Communist Party of Ukraine, comrade Khruschev, is visiting Peremyshl. Commandant Timoshenko is inspecting Peremyshl's forts.

Soon these castles that once belonged to Polish landlords will turn into hospitals, schools, and houses for peasants.

Stolen goods are being returned to their true owners. Everything that landlords could not or were not able to take to Romania when they ran away has been divided among the people.

People talked, listened, and dreamed about the land. The land was so dear: fertilized with their sweat and blood.

Event:  1940
Production:  1940
Lvov, Poland
Accessed at United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, courtesy of Central State Film, Photo & Sound Archives
Record last modified: 2020-08-04 09:21:04
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