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Lviv born. Can Polish ancestry be claimed?


wannsee 1 | 4
16 Dec 2012  #1
I am sure this topic has been covered many times so I apologise for what may be a repeat of previous threads. I am attempting to advise/help a Young person who was born in Lviv explore the possibility of obtaining Polish Citizenship.

The information I have is as follows: They were born in Liviv (Ukraine) Mother and Father Ukrainian. Grandmother Ukrainian (Born 1946) Great Grand parents Polish. My thoughts are firstly to obtain whatever records I can on the Great Grand parents no easy task but I believe possible. My question is this should I be successful in producing the documents would this be enough to start the process?

I would also be very pleased to hear from any other members of this forum who have followed this route and to hear of their experiences.

I would be also grateful for any leads to archives in Poland that might hold records to this end.

I will obviously be consulting the Polish consulate in Lviv.

Any thoughts or suggestions would be most welcome.

I thank you all in advance.

Martin
Mykhaylo UA - | 56
16 Dec 2012  #2
Hello, Martin!
"Mother and Father Ukrainian. Grandmother Ukrainian". Wouldn't you like to obtain Ukrainian citizenship?
Greetings from Lviv.
FlaglessPole 4 | 669
16 Dec 2012  #3
'coz having Ukrainian citizenship is twice in a life time opportunity.....?

Martin

pardon my curiosity, for a brief moment I thought you might have been from Ukraine, but Martin doesn't sound very Ukrainian, where you from?
OP wannsee 1 | 4
16 Dec 2012  #4
I am English living in Ukraine. I have lived here for the last couple of years and love both the Country and it's people. I am trying to help a young person to trace her Polish roots and if possible get a Polish passport. I hope that in years to come Ukraine will gain it's place in the European Family.
FlaglessPole 4 | 669
17 Dec 2012  #5
Is your friend's case an isolated incident or are there more young Ukrainians trying to trace their Polish roots in hopes of obtaining Polish passport, which, I presume, they do for the EU perks it may provide?
OP wannsee 1 | 4
17 Dec 2012  #6
Yes This is 100% genuine. I fully understand that a lot of Ukrainians and other nationalities would try anything to get into the EU for all the benefits it offers. I do not condone this.

In my profession I am used to people trying all sorts of ways to convince me they are genuine. Most are desperate and just want a better life.

This interests me in the research and history side
Zibi - | 336
17 Dec 2012  #7
They were born in Liviv (Ukraine) Mother and Father Ukrainian. Grandmother Ukrainian (Born 1946) Great Grand parents Polish.

Not very consistent a heritage, but quite possible. However if she's orthodox or greek-catholic she is Ukrainian by origin as well. Anyhow, if none of her parents never held polish citizenship then chances now for her to get PL papers are totally slim.
OP wannsee 1 | 4
17 Dec 2012  #8
Many thanks. We will have to see where the search takes us..........
hudsonhicks 21 | 346
17 Dec 2012  #9
Another Ukrainian heading to the United Kingdom or Ireland (rolleyes)
Zibi - | 336
17 Dec 2012  #10
And you obviously crave that....
OP wannsee 1 | 4
17 Dec 2012  #11
No just one Ukrainian who wants to live and work in Poland. I am English and live in the Ukraine as well as make monthly visits to Poland for business. Not every young Pole wants to go to the UK or Ireland. Poland needs more young people to balance its losses.
berni23 7 | 379
17 Dec 2012  #12
Dont mind him wannsee, he is the forums resident xenophobe Nazi.
Mykhaylo UA - | 56
17 Dec 2012  #13
Martin (or Martyn) is a name of an average popularity (or even lower - I knew only some 10 persons having the name) in UA, the corresponding female name - Marta - is much more popular.
vegar - | 1
28 Apr 2017  #14
@wannsee
Hi, I'm dealing with the same things... I'd like to know what happen with her.
NoToForeigners 6 | 987
28 Apr 2017  #15
She obviously ISN'T Polish. She OBVIOUSLY wants to get Polish Passport to become EU citizen. It OBVIOUSLY has nothing to do with her heritage. She OBVIOUSLY is Ukrainian and therefore there should be NO WAY she becomes Polish citizen because of her ancestry. I really hope she will never get the Polish passport this way.
delphiandomine 83 | 17,625
29 Apr 2017  #16
She OBVIOUSLY is Ukrainian and therefore there should be NO WAY she becomes Polish citizen because of her ancestry.

Obviously? According to who?

Mixed marriages were routine and commonplace in L'viv before the war, and it would have been nothing unusual to have Polish great-grandparents.
Bieganski 17 | 901
29 Apr 2017  #17
She OBVIOUSLY is Ukrainian and therefore there should be NO WAY she becomes Polish citizen because of her ancestry.

Very good point.

Generations of inhabitants of prewar Lwów and the surrounding environs of Galicja maintained their distinctiveness ethnically, linguistically, culturally, and religiously.

Society was quite stratified too because of this and mixed marriages were an extremely rare occurrence.

This diversity was not a strength but rather a large factor in the lack of social cohesion which easily facilitated the expulsion of ethnic Poles from the region during successive occupations by Soviets and German Nazis as well as the completely unjustified and unforgivable massacre of nearly 100,000 Poles by Ukrainians at Wołyń.
delphiandomine 83 | 17,625
29 Apr 2017  #18
Generations of inhabitants of prewar Lwów and the surrounding environs of Galicja maintained their distinctiveness ethnically, linguistically, culturally, and religiously.

That simply isn't true. The only distinction was religion, as most inhabitants of Galicia had little to no comprehension that they spoke "Polish" or "Ukrainian". Ethnic differences were minimal, which is one reason why the inter-ethnic strife was so shocking to many inhabitants of Galicia.

The only people today claming that there were significant differences are the same people that attempt to justify the discrimination that the Ukrainian minority suffered in Galicia, both during Austrian and Polish rule.
Ironside 48 | 9,695
29 Apr 2017  #19
The only distinction was religion

No, the main distinction was religion. In fact even that is only a superficial difference - Ukrainian ethnicity is so fresh out of the box that if you relax criteria half of the Ukraine would be able to claim Polish cintziship if not more. Let them declare for Poland en masse and then they can join Poland with the territory they live on.

Otherwise no way Jose.
--
"to justify the discrimination"
What are you even talking about? Blow out of the proportion BS.
Take your meds.
Bieganski 17 | 901
29 Apr 2017  #20
The only distinction was religion, as most inhabitants of Galicia had little to no comprehension that they spoke "Polish" or "Ukrainian". Ethnic differences were minimal

You're wrong.

People back then were keenly aware of what side of the tracks they lived on and who lived on the other side. In most cases there was limited communication. Not only due to limitations in transportation but because of the language barrier.

Even traditional folk garments among the different ethnic groups were very distinctive. But granted, such important details are often lost on oblivious and indifferent Anglo-Westerners.

Therefore language itself was absolutely crucial to social mobility.

Although Ukrainian evolved from the at-one-time language of court Ruthenian it eventually became the language for peasants as the region went through Polonization. It could have been worse like Yiddish being consigned to the sztetl and Hebrew in the local gog.

The business of church and state though was conducted primarily in Latin and Polish until Austrian rule introduced German as an official language. The language of commerce was Polish. If you only spoke Ukrainian or Yiddish then your opportunities were extremely limited. Since most Ukrainians worked the land there was little need and opportunities for them to learn other languages spoken in major cities like Lwów. Since Jews specialized in leather or metal works which would be marketed in the Polish speaking towns and cities this limited interaction spurred them to learn other languages while still preferring to live apart.

Ukrainians back then simply had a distinct ethnic identity but not yet a sense of a Ukrainian nationality. As for the Jews, the earliest roots of Zionism and call for an independent homeland can also be found in Lwów and surrounding Galicja all due to the entrenched social divisions.

Poles on the other hand have always cherished both a distinct ethnic identity and nationality.
delphiandomine 83 | 17,625
29 Apr 2017  #21
Nice fantasy Bieganski, but the reality is that there was a huge class of Polish and Ukrainian peasants who were almost indistinguishable, particularly as they spoke the same local dialect and only really differed in religion. They didn't care much about what someone nominally was, and the ethnic strife provoked by Poles in L'viv didn't rear its ugly head elsewhere.
Bieganski 17 | 901
29 Apr 2017  #22
but the reality is that there was a huge class of Polish and Ukrainian peasants who were almost indistinguishable

Yeah, sure. If according to your totally unfounded claim that they were "almost indistinguishable" then why are you still attributing terms like Polish and Ukrainian to them at all? Oh, that's right, because they were always VERY DISTINCT from each other. They knew it back then and you are in denial about it now.

Just like people living today, they too had ancestors who passed on language, history and other traditions down successive generations in their homes, local communities, schools and places of worship. They were also aware of who had ownership and wealth and who didn't and how this fell along ethno-linguistic lines.

Do you count Jews and Armenians among this "huge, almost indistinguishable, peasant class"? They were there too after all and certainly weren't running society from the top. No, of course you don't.

It doesn't matter what you want to believe anyway because you can't erase and rewrite history.

Indeed, if the linguistically-distinct, ethnically-aware denizens of Lwów & Galicja back then actually had a "we're all so much the same we don't know who we are" monoculture that you are trying to impose on them centuries later then you are the one who will have to explain, at the very least, the following:

- the Chmielnicki Uprising in 1648 and establishment of the Cossack Hetmanate;

- the establishment of a Ukrainian's People's Republic in 1917;

- the murder and displacement of tens of thousands of ethnic Poles from Galicja in 1943;

- the violent establishment of a "Jewish State of Israel" on Palestinian land in 1948 with both Zionist founders and subsequent waves of immigrants hailing from Galicja; indeed leaving Galicja in order to preserve their own identity with the ability to finally have political and economic power on someone else's land rather than remain in Galicja and continue to know their place
jon357 63 | 14,122
30 Apr 2017  #23
as most inhabitants of Galicia had little to no comprehension that they spoke "Polish" or "Ukrainian". Ethnic differences were minimal,

This is true. Before the late 1920s very few of the ordinary people round there claimed any sort of Polish or Ukrainian identity - they were just locals.
Bieganski 17 | 901
30 Apr 2017  #24
Before the late 1920s very few of the ordinary people round there claimed any sort of Polish or Ukrainian identity

But "locals" who were suddenly able to pick sides easily after the late 1920?

No.

There was no monoculture among Poles and Ukrainians while Jews stood apart.
jon357 63 | 14,122
30 Apr 2017  #25
There you go again with the redundant sarcasm Bieggers. Why not read up about the government's drive towards cultural normalisation during the immediate post-independence years. Norman Davies wrote well about this, including about the area round Lviv and about people's ethnicity ancestry, identity and citizenship.

It's actually quite interesting.
Bieganski 17 | 901
30 Apr 2017  #26
the government's drive towards cultural normalisation during the immediate post-independence years

You don't know what you are talking about.

There were already inhabitants in Galicja and other parts of today's Ukraine long before the Union of Lublin. They already had their own language and culture and it was Ruthenian spoken and practiced by the peasants and their princes alike.

Ruthenian identity and language in the region still survives today in the Carpathian parts of Slovakia and Ukraine.

Polonization did spread throughout these lands but did not extend to the peasant "locals" as you are calling them. It was the Lithuanian and Ruthenian gentry who adopted the Polish language, customs and converted to Roman Catholicism.

Ethnic Poles also migrated to the region but were not subsumed into the Ruthenian peasant class.

The Ruthenian peasants resented the presence and success of Poles on their lands and those who fled joined the Cossack resistance movement. The ability to live apart from Poles and Russians proper lead to the emergence of a Ukrainian identity.

As I already pointed out the language of the day for business and social mobility was Latin and Polish. Just like Poles were uninterested in learning Russian during the Soviet era so too were Ruthenians in becoming Polonized. The education system back then was far from being advanced, pervasive and integrated like it is today and those who worked the land their whole lives far away from the Polish speaking towns and cities had no access and no need to learn Polish anyway even if they were ruled by Poland.

During the reign of the Habsburg the Austrians actually introduced legislation in Galicja to give rights to the Ruthenian peasants to have information promulgated in their own language as well as have more equal rights. But because Galicja remained the poorest region in the Austro-Hungarian empire with no infrastructure investments and a hands-off approach to local rule the dictates from Vienna were largely ignored.

This preferred separateness in language and identity made it easy for the Nazis and Soviets to pit Ukrainians against Poles.

The Ukrainians have always wanted to be separate. Even the Soviet attempt to Russify Ukraine for decades never was effective and today the country is still linguistically and culturally partitioned.

There was never any "cultural normalization" because there was too much resistance to it.

So you and your fellow revisionist Brit Normie got it wrong.
jon357 63 | 14,122
30 Apr 2017  #27
You don't know what you are talking about.

Evidently more than yourself. Read Professor Davies on the matter; he covers it exhaustively and includes primary sources.
Bieganski 17 | 901
30 Apr 2017  #28
Read Professor Davies on the matter.

Normie only offers a leftist British perception of Poland's history with a revisionist kumbaya agenda and not a Polish understanding of it.
jon357 63 | 14,122
30 Apr 2017  #29
That view you just tried to express is certainly 'interesting' to say the least. The Polish government, who gave him the Order of the White Eagle, Poland's highest civilian award (among other honours) would strongly disagree.

Who to believe? A teenager in Canada who's never been to Poland or Professor Norman Davies of the Jagellonian University...

You really should read what he's written about identity and ancestry in rural Poland, especially the drive to normalisation.
Bieganski 17 | 901
30 Apr 2017  #30
recently gave him the Order of the White Eagle

Recently? Try 2012 when your lovey neo-liberal Tusk/Komorowski duo were running the show. Besides, handing Normie a Polish state honor is right up there with Victoria Beckham being given an OBE. The recipients tarnish the luster of the award.

especially the drive to normalisation

That's your and Normie's admission that there was a distinct Ukrainian presence residing on Polish lands. Otherwise there would have been no need for a "drive to normalization."

There was in fact no drive to "normalization" because Poles and Ukrainian always were and today remain distinct.

Face it, you and Normie are nothing more than immigrants. Cherry picking Polish history and ignoring critical details in a push to justify more future immigration into Poland so you won't continue to be reminded you are foreigners in Poland each time you walk outside simply won't wash.


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