The Lemko Region came under German control during World War II. The Germans, accepting the Ukrainian understanding of the population's identity, set up Ukrainian technical schools in Sanok and Krynica, and a Ukrainian teacher's college in Krynica. The Lemko Apostolic Administration received a new pro-Ukrainian administrator. Because of the German's anti-Russian feelings, around 4,000 Lemkos voluntarily emigrated to Soviet territory beyond the San River.
After the Germans were driven out in 1944, a "voluntary" population exchange was set up with the Soviet Union to "repatriate" peoples, including Lemkos, and to make the new Polish and Soviet states ethnically homogeneous. As a result of the agreement, between the spring of 1945 and the summer of 1946 about 130,000 Lemkos (mostly from Ukrainophile Sanok and Lesko counties and the war devastated Jaslo and Krosno counties)25 were resettled in former Polish villages of Soviet Ukraine (especially in the districts of L'viv, Ternopil, and Sambir). 26
Return to Table of Contents