2012 | 1(19) | 477-494
Article title

Przekształcenia ekonomiczne na Ukrainie Zachodniej w latach 1939–1941

Title variants
Economic transformations in Western Ukraine in the years 1939–1941
Languages of publication
In September 1939, in accordance with secret agreements concluded with Germany, the Soviets occupied the territories of so-called Western Ukraine, meaning Poland’s eastern voivodeships. In November, those territories were annexed by the USSR. Soviet administrative structures were introduced there, and the process of implementing radical socio-economic transformations was launched. The process of changes began by profound ownership transformations, comprising nationalisation of industry, transport, telecommunications, banks. Transformations also affected agriculture. Latifunds, lands of convents and owned by high-ranking state officials, were confiscated. Lands were nationalised. The authorities started creating state farms and farming co-operatives. All land purchase/ sale transactions were forbidden. In December 1939, the ruble became the official currency. The Polish zloty was withdrawn from official circulation. The introduced changes set the foundations for a new economic system. The second aim of Soviet authorities was to industrialise Western Ukraine. In the plan for 1940, the development of the industrial potential of Lwów (Lviv) – a city that had until then been primarily an academic and cultural centre – was deemed a task of particular importance, for ideological reasons. Economic transformations triggered radical social changes, an element of shaping society to emulate the Soviet model. Implemented changes met with ambiguous reactions of different social groups. For example, the collectivisation of agriculture was opposed by peasants-owners of private farms. However, the process was supported by the rural poor, that hoped for a better life thanks to socialism. The authorities suppressed all types of resistance with ruthless administrative methods.
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Publication order reference
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