CAMPAIGN OF RENAMING SETTLEMENTS OF UKRAINE IN 1946 (ON THE EXAMPLE OF LVIV OBLAST)

Keywords: renaming, toponyms, Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic, Lviv oblast

Abstract

The article is devoted to a review of the major campaign of renaming settlements of Ukraine, which was conducted shortly after the end of WWII, in the spring and summer of 1946 and spread the entire Ukrainian SSR. As a result, thousands of cities, towns, villages and hamlets were renamed. In the Lviv oblast, 313 settlements were renamed under the provisions of the decree of the Presidium of the Verkhovna Rada of the USSR of July 18, 1946. Lists of settlements were formed on the basis of proposals sent to the regional authorities by the heads of district executive committees. The proposals were based on an appeal to folk etymology and local traditions. It was found that the renomination concerned mainly the names that indicated the presence of national minorities in the region (Poles, Germans, etc.). A number of toponyms with a negative connotation were also renamed. Instead, radical ideological renamings (in honor of Soviet leaders, holidays, symbols, the Red Army, etc.) were rejected. The analysis of reference materials indicates that in reality many more settlements (61 more) were actually renamed, than were mentioned in the Decree. The main motivation of the campaign was the „Ukrainization” of the motivational basis of toponymy against the background of the unprecedented growth of postwar patriotism (based on the principle of „Soviet people – the victorious people”). In fact, new names, based on common vocabulary (motivational basis includes names of landforms, tree species, rural microtoponyms), led to the depletion of semantic load and loss of flavour of the local toponymicon, which was based on the interethnic diversity of the region. Many names were duplicated. The reverse process of returning the historical names of the Lviv oblast took place in the late 80’s and early 90’s of the 20th century.

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Published
2020-12-27
How to Cite
Smereka, B. (2020). CAMPAIGN OF RENAMING SETTLEMENTS OF UKRAINE IN 1946 (ON THE EXAMPLE OF LVIV OBLAST). Zaporizhzhia Historical Review, 2(54). Retrieved from https://istznu.org/index.php/journal/article/view/921