I arrived in Lviv about a week ago. As I was talking to the people around me and while visiting friends it became clear to me, that there is a distaste for government and politicians who really aren’t politicians but greedy money grabbers who insist on profiting from the people they were elected by, and robbing the nation they run. There is no interest on the part of government to represent anyone but themselves. They are businessmen. They are billionaires.
Ukraine has been experiencing this for a long time. One might say nonstop since the Tsars ruled over Eastern Ukraine and the Austrians and other neighbors afterwards until August 24th, 1991. What really happened that day? They say hindsight is 20/20 funny we are about three years away from 2020 we should see perfectly by then.
On August 24, 1991 Ukrainian proclaimed its independence at noon. From that moment on there were people who immediately became part of the government and immediately started robbing, plundering and leading Free Ukraine down a path of no return for its inhabitants. Russia was well aware of what was happening and that is why they held Gorbachov hostage. They were preparing for the major regrouping of themselves, and there was no way they would let go of Ukraine. For them this meant get rid of Gorbi, change their name and continue down the imperial path. For them freedom was all a hoax.
During Maidan, the Revolution of dignity where the young people of Ukraine almost a quarter of a century later, said enough of this , we want Ukraine. Not a hybrid Ukraine, not a crime ridden Ukraine, simply a dignified European Nation. For this they were beaten and killed. Because Russia could not contain them, they marched in Krym, annexed it to Russia and invaded Donbass and Luhansk….. They had no alternative. The new post-Soviet generation had spoken.
On November 21, 2016, I attended a funeral mass for all those who have perished and are fighting for this free and independent European State they wish to live in called Ukraine. The prayers included statements such as, we needed angels to watch over what was to come after February 19th 2014 and we got them. We got 100 of them called the heavenly hundred. We needed to understand we have nations on our borders who don’t want to coexist with us, they want to simply march in and take a piece of us. The Ukrainian people in east, west south and north realized it is in no one’s interest for Ukraine to exist.
The Ukrainian people came to realize that there are global forces who are coming up in the world, that will control the new governments in different countries, and no matter who gets elected where, Russia will stay on the Eastern front and be responsible for world chaos and turbulence. They often refer to the Malaysian airplane M-17 that was brought down by Russian Turbulence, and no one cares about, not the European Dutch and not the Asian Malaysian…as a prime example of how Russia is in power and can do as it pleases.
Isis was born during the period of the Ukraine Revolution of dignity the Euromaidan 2014. It was at this time that Russia started to annex new lands and take charge in Syria and Iran, yet no one seemed concerned. The battle was named a battle on terrorism from the Middle East. Russia walked away from this chaos clean as a whistle. Does anyone pay attention to the fact that Russia was in Afghanistan before the USA? Does that not mean anything to anyone? There are elections taking place. People are voting, but there is no change.
There was a very meaningful sign at Maidan that read we need a system change not a toilet. In Ukraine as the Russians were in the process of invading, Poroshenko was elected President. I ask people about it. The response is brilliant. The response has been experienced in Ukraine since the so called fall of the iron curtain in 1991.
A businessman is out for his own pocket. In this case out for his chocolate factory. He has no interest in running a country. I ask so what can be done. The answer is nothing, we are at war. We are in a war with a super power that the rest of the world calls Hybrid, but we are dying. We elected him and we are busy fighting. His term is four or five years and we have opportunity then, to elect someone who isn’t a businessman surrounded by his buddies who are, all looking to fill their pockets at our expense. We shouldn’t elect a businessman again.
In conclusion again, the Ukrainian people are way ahead of this world game. They were ahead three years ago when they stood at Maidan. They are ahead now. They know a businessman can’t run a country……
Ukraine and Turkey; Roksolana and Suleiman the Magnificent
My thought about Turkey on this day of Thanksgiving Eve 2015. Long ago when I was a student in New York I had friends from Turkey who were students too. I was a young whipper snapper who knew little about the world and had so much to learn. I was asked to go to the Public library on 42nd street with Ali and Mehmet to read to them.
Read meaning there were books and papers written by Tatary in Cyrillic and they couldn’t read it. I read it, but had no clue about what I was reading. There were no computers or cell phones at the time. They wrote down what they needed for their research paper and then asked me to edit their translation into English. That is how my going to Ukrainian school all my life, helped that day.
We have a lot in common with Turkey. Professor Prycak of Harvard, was a Turkologist and went on to be the first Chair of the Ukrainian Studies Chair at Harvard. He used to say alot of our history is in Turkish archives.
Both Turkey and Ukraine have been snubbed by Europe, even though Ukraine saved Europe from invasion in Vienna by the Turks and Tatary, and Turkish workers rebuilt Germany because it was bombed flat during WWII.
Today if Turkey and Ukraine became partners wouldn’t that be nice. The Black Sea would be ours just about, and we could say FU to the Putin and his Russia . Turkey managed to improve economically without Europe and so can Ukraine.
Let Merkel and Hollande melt in their VW ‘s and BMW’s and Mistrals.
Holodomor; Genocide because of a man-made famine
Ukrainians have been immigrating to the United States for over a hundred years. A very determined
group arrived after WWII. They were Europeans without a homeland, because Ukraine had been
consistently occupied for the last 200 years or more, so they arrived in the USA as Poles, Austrians,
Russians, Byelorussians, Hungarians and whatnot.
The group that came from the American DP camps in Germany were convinced that Stalin’s wrath and
genocide tactics would surely destroy Ukraine this time, so their mission was to preserve everything Ukrainian;
the language, the music, the art, the crafts, the traditions, the religion and family ways because the idea
of Ukraine not being was a possibility in their eyes.
They arrived between 1949 and 1964. By 1964 they had raised enough money to build a Shevchenko
monument in Washington DC. Shevchenko to the Ukrainian language is like Shakespeare is to the
English language. This was a writer, a poet, a painter who was persecuted by the Russian Tsars yet wrote
in such away that even today, at a concert in Washington’s Georgetown University Lisner Auditorium,
when the Bandura Chorus sang “the Testament” by Shevchenko 1500 people in the audience stood up
and joined in the singing.
These were people who remembered the Great Famine of Ukraine, as it was called then, and then saw/witnessed
the Stalin purges and executions of the 40’s and they were terrified of what would happen to Ukraine.
They were the builders. In every community of the USA where Ukrainian people lived, there were two
churches, Orthodox and Catholic, and a Ukrainian School, and a Ukrainian national home, for meetings,
dances, dinners and social events. They bought land and built resorts, so that during the summers they
could enjoy and exchange their cultural creativity and vacation together.
After the Shevchenko monument was built and dedicated with Dwight Eisenhower attending, they
raised money for the Ukrainian Studies Chair at Harvard, and then proceeded to have the Great Famine
of the 30’s acknowledged as a genocide and a name was given to this horrendous event, it became
known as the Holodomor. Around 2012 the Ukrainian people realized that 80 years have passed, and
soon there would be no survivors to testify to this event. So a committee was formed to have a
Holodomor monument built in Washington DC in order to commemorate the over 10 million who
starved that year between 1932-33.
At the time the committee did not know that Russia would invade Ukraine in 2014. Ironically almost 80
years after they tried to starve the Bread Basket of Europe , systemically and consistently. They did this
so as to empty the Ukrainian Eastern Provinces. Once this was accomplished Stalin sent in the Russian
delinquents, and unwanted citizens into exile. This newly emptied land was filled up with these strange,
foreign people who were not familiar to Ukrainian ways of farming and cultivating life. They didn’t want
to farm. They began to form gangs and violent communities.
It is in these lands, populated with the descendants of those exiled Russians, who no one wanted, not
the Russians, and not the Ukrainians who were left, that Putin sent in his troops. It is in these lands, that
Ukraine is fighting the Russians This memorial is not only a memorial to the starved and dead of the 1930’s. This memorial is to the
living, the not living, and the not yet born Ukrainians (Taras Shevchenko). It is a memorial to their plight.
Five thousand Ukrainians, and their friends gathered at Union Station in Washington, DC, this past weekend
to dedicate the Holodomor Memorial. Just about 50 years after the Shevchenko dedication. Five
thousand people prayed, held funeral masses, and sang their National Anthem, in the presence of their
church leaders, the first Lady of Ukraine Mrs. Poroshenko, and Representatives Sandy Levin of
Michigan, and Marcy Kaptur of Ohio who spoke live on the screen.
The dedication culminated with a “walk” down the street past the monument to the White House where
people continued to gather and express their sorrow. On Sunday services were held in all the Ukrainian
churches, and in the afternoon there was a wonderful concert. Three generations of Ukrainians,
descendants of immigrants, and new immigrants celebrated their plight in song and art as Ukrainians
know how. They can best express themselves in poetry, music and art. The haunting “Melodia” of
Skoryk a living composer resonated throughout the program.
November 8, 2015
It is interesting how in life you make plans to have an effect on an event and in the end the event has an effect on you. Well that is exactly what happened to me.
I have learned so much since having been invited to speak at the Ukrainian Festival here in Dickinson, ND that I can’t begin to tell you how impressed, pleasantly surprised and happy I am to have been a part of it.
I came with the intent to explain what I saw and experienced in our ancestral homeland Ukraine this past year, well actually since December 2013. I toiled over how much to say and how much not to say so as to leave a clear picture in the peoples’ minds of what is and has been really happening in Ukraine. There were other excellent speakers who spoke of Ukraine’s dilemma in relation to its big powerful neighbor on the east, Russia.
Growing up in New Haven, Ct. in a Ukrainian community I was sure I was well informed about all our “hromady” and emigre passions. Well I was wrong. I never knew about this community in North Dakota. Not only did I not know about it, I never even heard about it until I visited Ellis Island with my grand daughter and saw a big picture of Ukrainian Immigrants standing in front of their tiny church on a hill a few years ago. It was a picture from North Dakota. i said to my grand daughter someday we will go see that church and that hill.
Well a few years went by, life took me to Kyiv Maidan and the events in Ukraine that lead up to war with Russia now. Little did I know, that these events would lead me to Dickinson, ND in 2015 but they did. Those who attended my presentation know what I have experienced, but I would like to briefly share my experience with you that I have had over the past few days. I visited the UCI (Ukrainian Cultural Institute, Dickinson, ND), the University, the churches, the cemeteries, and Agnes Palanuk who is author of “Ukrainians in North Dakota In Their Voices”. Members of the community lent me a car to use and invited me to see the place they lived in which stretches for miles and miles. Col. Dolenko the military attache from the Ukrainian Embassy was here as well. On the last evening of the festival we were summing up our thoughts and experiences and we came to this conclusion;
This “hromada” this community this Parish of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church, and Ukrainian Orthodox Church, are a unique “Hromada” unlike any other in the world. It may be similar to the communities in Parana Brazil, or Misiones Argentina, or Western Canada, but because this was in the United States it has it’s own character. After 1861 when slavery was abolished in Ukraine there were millions of peasants without land and work. The rulers were the Tsars in the East and Austrians in the west. The Austrians weren’t as domineering as the Tsars but they too were rulers over Ukrainians in Ukrainian lands. The Ukrainian peasants owned nothing, had little if any land, the countryside was populous and families weren’t able to feed their children or provide a home. Between 1870 and 1914 hundreds of thousands left Ukraine from the Dnister Bukovyna areas mainly, and nad Dniprianshchyna in Central Ukraine. These are the people who came to North Dakota to homestead in 1896 via Europe, Canada and Winnipeg, and some from Eastern USA. Agnes Palanuk’s family dates back to one of the first settlers from Ukraine in North Dakota from Halychyna where the Zbruch River meets Dnister. Her grandmother came with her husband and little daughter in 1897. That little daughter Paraska (Polly) is Agnes’ mother.
We were shown the land that these Ukrainian families own. They stretch as far as the eye can see. They are beautiful. They are farmed with sunflowers, wheat, canola, and more….. The hay is bailed now and looks beautiful on the plains. Since 1950 oil wells have been found. The land that was so difficult to plow and seed and reap, is now plentiful and has made our Ukrainians comfortable.
The first families lived in sod houses (a style of building they knew from Ukraine), and those houses still speck the landscape. They don’t speak of addresses here, they speak of the Palaniuk, the Havreluk, the Gregory etc homestead. This is how they settled and build North Dakota. They got 160 acres of land, and had to live on it. This broke the tradition of “selo” (village) in Ukraine since now they would be surrounded by the fields and not neighboring houses. In Ukraine the villages were surrounded by the fields. Often the first settlers experienced loneliness, especially the women. Within 5 years 40 acres had to be farmed so as not to lose the homestead. They pitched in and helped each other. To plow and seed 40 acres of grassland often without a horse was not an easy task. They had no money to start with so many didn’t have a horse. They did all the work by hand.
Today these families own Western North Dakota and rightfully so. They have mineral rights for their land, and they continue to hold onto it in their families and in their community. This is America. This was cultivated and cared for and cherished by immigrants from Ukraine. No other community in the United States has this quality. This is their bat’kiwshchyna (homeland). Ukraine is in their hearts.
July 21, 2015
featured image is my friend Agnes Palanyuk standing in front of her Aunt’s house saying Welcome “Zakhodit'” so I did. Agnes was the local teacher and would stop by her Aunt’s house here on her way to the school house. She was on horse at the time………
The post War Emigration from Ukraine to the world via Germany and what made German Hromady different……..
Many younger people don’t understand so I tried to write it down simply for my friend’s daughter who asked.
There were millions of people in DP camps and out of DP camps in Germany after WWII. Many many of them were Ukrainians. Since Ukraine did not exist this was the first place they were able to register not as Poles, not at Soviets or Russians, but as Ukrainians. It was here that they had Ukrainian schools, Ukrainian trade schools, churches, plast and CYM, theater, drama gymnasia, and music, all in Ukrainian. That hadn’t happened before. They escaped and got their first wif of freedom in the American and British zones. It wasn’t all hunky dori, because there was spying and killing and sending back etc. but it was from here they moved to all over the world.
Australia, South America, England, France, Belgium, Canada and last but not least to the USA. Many who left Germany after 1950 were on their way to the USA or Canada or they had to stay. Who stayed? My father in law said , the bandyty the prostitutky and the sick. My father in law belonged to the sick. 75% of his lungs were not working because of the conditions in the coals mines in Dortmund. He was an ostarbeiter which means slave laborer from the east.
Australia like England were new and they built up quickly and sustained themselves more or less, Australia was simply far from Europe. They worked bought property and built schools churches and narodni domy. South America had old iimmigrations but they were poor and tried to go to America. Many did. The Venezuelan one is just about gone unless there are new people there and then there is Argentina and Brazil with surviving hromady to this day. Canada and the church work with them.
The USA and Canada have old emigrations from Austrian times in the late 1800’s. They were basically economic but after WWI political as well. They built churches schools and narodni domy that still stand today. They came to stay and really were not going to go back. Some did but few.
The hromady in France are old as well. Petlura was in France. They are the debaters and the talkers. They will talk you to death at the dinner table and don’t be surprised to have 6 opinions among 4 people all talking at once. It is lovely and normal. I loved being a guest in France. Especially at the Mitrovych house.
Belgium were the holders of the fort. They all worked hard, and educated their kids. I was so happy to go back two years ago and find all my junaky were lawyers, doctors, scientists, teachers, honest workers and more. I have always admired and been fond of the hromady in Belgium. In Holland there were unique families of strong individuals namely Kushpeta and Antonovych. These two families and a few others put Ukraine on the Dutch map.
Now we come to Germany;
Germany never bought any property or buildings. They watched as the people left from 1945 to 1965. It was a depletion of people from year to year. They felt the Germans and the diaspora owed them because they got out or because they were Germans. So everything Ukrainian was paid for by kultur amt, and social amt etc. most people did not work or they worked on zeppelinstr or dachauerstr or isarring 11. This too was money from the govt or diaspora. This makes for a weak group. They felt they were the chosen politicians of Ukraine and immediate connection to the east. They kind of were. This created an aura of we are special. I was very shocked to observe this when I married and moved to Germany in 1977.
I lived there from 1977 to 96 and kept telling them if they don’t buy a domiwka, if they don’t buy a ploshcha if they don’t buy a church they will disappear. This was the plan of the Germans. Look at your church on Shoengau str. or whatever I forgot already. Take off the dome and you have an instant Walmart. It was a plan. We already lost Krefeld which Sheptytskyj bought, and Essen and Ratingen and Braunschweig and Regensburg and I don’t know what is in Duesseldorf anymore. I don’t know about Hannover or Hamburg now either. They were pretty strong and I think the pravoslavni and katolyky actually bought their own church in Hannover.
So that is why “Uli” your German hromada looks different now than the rest of the world. It is the old capitalist philosophy Money talks where nobody walks. The Hromada in Germany never had ownershipl They supposedly wanted to go back to Ukraine. but they died or were murdered by the Russian KGB….. the young ones don’t really know what happened. Someone should write a history, because the whole diaspora in the world began in Germany…… so it is an interesting phenomena …..
There were hromady in Poland, Czech Republic, old Yugoslavia that one was mainly funded by Rome. But I don’t know much about them…. I know they go back to WWI and Ruskyj Krstur to 1750 or so. They were economic migrations under Austria. Maybe others will fill in…
Post Script next day Oct. 5th 2014.
The sad thing about Germany is they had tons of money from the USA and Canada and England and Australia diaspora. they spent it and bought nothing. I think Slava bought Yaroslaviv Val in Kyiv with some of the money. But the people who buzzed around in Munich spent it frivolously in my opinion. They don’t have a piece of land in germany they can call their own. That is shameful.
Moral of the story is If you own property you have a chance at survival That is why Ukraine is fighting for it’s land because it belongs to Ukraine. Israel fights for its land because they say God gave it to them. The USA fights for its land because the founding fathers said they should. So in Germany whatever the reason may have been resulted in the fact that there is no ownership and this lead a a weakened hromada. Simple lesson learned from downtown New York. Those that bought their buildings like Surmach and Bachynsky , resulted in their businesses surviving. Those that paid rent, couldn’t any more, and thus were forced to close. The Ukrainian store Arka folded, and Orchidea the infamous Orchidea which was home to hanging out for decades folded it simply became to expensive. There is something to be had for real estate and ownership…….
Rakovets’ through Germany to London, Ontario
Anna came from the village of Rakovets’ near Pidhajtsi in Ukraine, but in 1944 it was Poland. Anna is a prime example of a Ukrainian person who in the eyes of the western world is really homeless. This is her story. “They took us from our “selo” village we were barefoot and started chasing us to the next village and the next and the next until we got to Pidhajtsi” I asked her “what, who chased you , how , where and why?” and the story began.
The Germans were then the occupying force. The Nazi’s were on the run from Stalin and they were still rounding up workers for Germany. Many Ukrainian people had no citizenship at all. It was war and the occupying country at the moment was providing travel and documents for whatever reason. In this case it was for labor in German factories, farms, coal mines and whatever was needed. This is how they did it. They came with their arms and dogs and literally chased people (herded them together like cattle) from their homes, churches, schools, fields etc. Age did not matter. Anna was 8 at the time and had a mother. The father had died. Their group kept getting bigger and bigger as they were chased from village to village until they reached Pidhajtsi which was a town and had a train station. Here they were given a coat and wooden shoes, put on the train and off they went never to return.
Anna and her mother ended up in Mettman to work laying railroad tracks. It was cold, there was almost nothing to eat, and Anna contracted TB and her mother asthma. It took years to cure and was the cause of her not being able to emigrate out of Germany until the late 60’s. By 1945 the war ended and the people ended up in the British zone.
The English like the Americans had the task of sorting out all the people in the labor camps. They realized these were Eastern Europeans but what were they going to do with them? The Soviets had moved all the way into Berlin and were demanding that their citizens be returned. Poland had become communist as well as the other Eastern European countries and many of the these people had been involved in certain activities in their homelands and were simply afraid to be sent back. As a matter of fact many committed suicide rather than be returned to the soviets.
In order to resolve this chaotic situation, both the British and the Americans used old German army barracks to form Displaced Persons camps DP camps. Anna and her mother ended up in Reine. It was huge. The Ukrainian people immediately formed schools, theater groups, clubs, churches and had a community structure almost immediately. They kept being shifted from camp to camp. As people left to other continents, the ones that remained moved on into Augustdorf, then Lintorf and by the late 1950s little neighborhoods had been built with tiny apartments or tiny one family houses. This area of Germany is the Ruhrgebiet and was heavily bombed so there simply was no housing.
The disbursement of the Ukrainian people from the camps was cleverly done. The neighborhoods were far from one another, there wasn’t one church or one school, there would be many little ones with traveling priests and teachers. By 1958 the Dusseldorf /Wersten “oselia” block was built. Anna and her mother moved into an apartment, and other families moved into small houses. They the community continued to live together as a family and Anna became the Ukrainian school teacher and traveled between the neighborhoods as did the Ukrainian Catholic and Orthodox priests.
Another family she was very close was that Mykhajlo Chomiak was the leader of the local TSPUN ( central’ne predstavnytstvo ukrajintsiv nimechchyny) the Ukrainian Community in Germany group. Together they realized that as people were emigrating out something had to be done for those that stayed.
The status of these people was created in Geneva in 1951. Unlike other countries where they became citizens, Ukrainian people left in Germany were not stateless, because they had no Ukrainian state when they were kidnapped from their villages so they became the legal homeless population of the world. They became known in Germany as the “Heimatlose Auslander”. They had this status literally until the wall went down in Germany in 1989.
The Geneva Convention of 1951 issued a travel document called Heimatloseauslander. This literally translates to Homeless Foreigner. So Anna , her mother the Chomiak family and every single Ukrainian person left in Germany now got this new document. It was actually a travel document and stated that the people holding it had all the rights of a German Citizen, but could not vote, serve in the military or government, and when traveling Germany would not be responsible for him.
So a new life began with a new status. People had jobs, were traveling to meet one another, and organized summer youth camps through an organization called CYM. These camps were held in Bavaria, namely Shongau and for several weeks many people got intensive training in Ukrainian history, culture and politics. Some of the famous lecturers were Bandera, Lenkavskyj, Witoshynskyj, Kushpeta to name a view. The OUN B thrived and was highly respected. In order to be a member one had to have gone through intensive classes in what is means to be Ukrainian and how they were going to return and continue the struggle for independence. There was no talk of ever getting German citizenship or going elsewhere.
By 1964 more that half of all those left continued to emigrate out. Stalin had died, the Hungarian revolution was suppressed and there was little hope of any kind of uprising in Ukraine. After having millions of people together for years in these DP camps only a few thousand remained in Germany as heimatloseauslanders. They continued their ways, they were proud of their documents, they knew who they were and who they were not. But people being people always think the grass is greener on the other side of the fence. In 1966 three families from Dusseldorf Wersten, got visas to go to Canada. Anna Kekish, her husband Ivan and their baby Natalia moved to London Ontario. They joined the church, looked into the existing organizations and tried to include themselves. These were three families who were very important to the community in North Rheine Westphalia, but not here in Canada. They continued their ways in the beginning. They didn’t speak English. In church people pointed their fingers at them and called them the “Nimtsi”. So they would visit each other on Sunday afternoons, sing songs play tysiachka and cook together. Then the people in church said they were unsociable. So Anna tells me “we started to do as the local people did. We worked in CYM and liga”, and Ivan Anna’s husband was very active. He had held a certain position in the structures of OUN in Germany, and soon he found that everything had changed in Canada. The top ranking members were part of a masonic lodge. This shocked him at first, and he had no one to turn too. Anna said to me at that point his idealism was shattered. They continued to do the best they could in their new home London Ontario. They bought a house and a car and created debt like the other people in church. This was very difficult for them because in Germany if you didn’t have money for something you simply didn’t buy it in those days. After 2 years Anna wanted to go back to Dusseldorf but learned she couldn’t. When they accepted Canadian emigration they turned in that magical document from Geneva, thus giving away their right to ever going back to Germany. It was a very sad moment. She said now she is Canadian like her neighbors, but after spending 2 days with her I don’t think so.
I moved to Dusseldorf Wersten in 1977. So I continued to tell Anna what happened there. We continued to go to church and sing songs in the afternoon and play tysiachka with my father in law. He often beat us. We had a brief Ukrainian revival when I got there with my New York ideas. Europe was collapsing from the cold war and Ukrainian life was vibrant. Her eyes sparkled as I told her about the times from 1977 to 1996. We shared many memories. Anna and I are examples of Euro/American Ukrainians. She grew up Ukrainian in German labor and DP camps. From 1944 when she was 8 till 1966 when she was 30 her formative years were either in labor camps or dp camps in post war Germany. A post script to this is that when my children were born we had the choice for them to be heimatloseauslander or US citizens. This is a large group of Ukrainians that have been forgotten about. These are people who never bought any property. Not one church, not one domiwka, not one tabir or ploshcha. Everything was provided by the Germans for their use. Coming from America I quickly saw this was another plan to rid Germany of all the Ukrainian people as soon as possible.
By the year 2003 when we went back for a visit, Dusseldorf was full of Ukrainians. But they were not Christian they were Jewish. The Jews applied for visas to Germany on the the Ukrainian quota. So 85% of the new Ukrainian emigration who was subsidized by German funds were not ethnic Ukrainians and did join our Ukrainian community in Germany. As a matter of fact they tended to identify themselves as such; Ich bin von Kiev, Russland.
Then in 2006 when we visited Germany again for the Welt Meisterschaft (world cup) we saw something different. Germany was full of young educated people from the Lviv University who spoke German and Ukrainian beautifully. They had learned in Lviv. We were very pleased. That year was the first time I had been in Poland as well. Actually in Poland and not just driving through to go to Ukraine.
By this time no one in the community was a heimatloseauslander. All had become German citizens. But there was no longer a vibrant Ukrainian Community waiting to go back to Ukraine. After being occupied and persecuted by Poland, Germany, and Russia, even the Hungarians, they finally lived in peaceful united communited in the DP camps. This is where the Ukrainian Hromada was born and it thrived from 1945 from Germany and Austria where the DP camps were to the rest of the world until now. Those that started these communities and gave birth to “Ukrainian Hromada” had all died. Those that were in Germany were going no where. The huge oseredky Bielefeld, Hannover, Hamburg, Dusseldorf/Essen, Stuttgart have all just about disappeared. The new ones are found all over Germany since unification.