« 2022. # 2 (164)

The Ethnology Notebooks. 2022. № 2 (164), 294—303

UDK 811.161.2’373’42:[[82-94:39](477.83-21)]:[314.15.045:343.262](430=161.2)”1939/1945″ 

DOI https://doi.org/10.15407/nz2022.02.294



  • ORCID ID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-0512-6388
  • Doctor of Sciences in Philology
  • (Ph. D. in Folklore Studies), Senior Scholar,
  • The Ethnology Institute of the
  • National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine,
  • Leading Research Associate
  • of the Department of Social Anthropology,
  • 15, Svobody Avenue, 79000, Lviv, Ukraine,
  • Contacts: е-mail: kuzmenko.oksana@gmail.com

Abstract. The article focuses on oral (auto)biographical narratives about labor slavery in the Third Reich during World War II. The theme of the man of Resistance is considered on the example of modern stories and legends that originate from the local cultural tradition of Yavoriv region (Lviv state). The main focus is on features of stories of Galician employees, in particular the textual analysis of typical stories about responsible manual labor in Germany, helping the starvers, and understanding the justice, which are the object of this study. The conflict of works is based on the antinomies crime — punishment, man — nonhuman, which are manifested through the concepts (help, robbery, deception, escape), which are the subject of research. They are important for the formation of behavioral patterns and building a positive ethnic complementarity of Ukrainians in relation to «foreign» / «other». Therefore, the relevance of the article is due to the need to study the image mechanisms of «man of resistance» (S. Grabovsky), who is guided by the right to choose, as well as ways to verbalize positive survival experience and solidarity of people during the wars.

The purpose of the study — to identify and investigate the elemental protest types of Galician Ostarbeiters, who construct the artistic image of the Ukrainian slave as a man of Resistance. The task — to single out episodes about labor slavery in narratives about the insurgent struggle, to classify stable folklore motifs and concepts that determine the anthropological perspective of the ethnography of war; to identify forms of expression of humane behavior and moral gestures of the heroes; to analyze stories through the prism of the twoness of the characters: journeyman — employer, Ukrainian — Galician — Ukrainian-Ostarbeiter, slave — ​​enslaver.

The scientific novelty of the work consist in the study of folklore ways of representing the memoirs of the working slaves of the Third Reich and stories about them from the perspective of transmitting artistically expressive images and knowledge of solidarity and dignity, which are important for modern society life; as well as the introduction into scientific circulation inaccessible to general public field materials from 1999—2016 years by folklorist Eugene Lunio (1960—2021), which are the main source of the current study.

The methodological basis of the article is a conceptual approach that combines narrative, structural-semantic, historical-typological, biographical methods of studying texts of modern oral narrative tradition on the military-historical subjects.

Keywords: folklore of resistance, oral narrative, plot, motif, concept, World War II, Third Reich, forced laborer, ostarbeiter.

Received 6.05.2022


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