Współczesna tożsamość etniczna i kulturowa Łemków na obszarze Łemkowszczyzny - uwarunkowania i konsekwencje
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Lemkos are a group of the Ruthenian population that reach furthest west and stand apart from the Polish and the Slovak populations as far as culture, religion and language are concerned. From the 14th century until 1944, they had been densely inhabiting a territory that spread in the form of an elongated wedge on both, the Polish and the Slovakian sides of the Carpathians from the Solinka and the Laborec rivers in the east, up to the Poprad river in the west. Ethnically, it was a homogeneous Lemko region. The Polish and the Slovak populations occupied only a few towns. The territory on the Polish side of the Carpathians inhabited by the Lemkos is called Lemkos’lands (Łemkowszczyzna). It covers the eastern part of the Sądecki Beskid, the Lower Beskid and the western edge of the Bieszczady Mountains. A different culture, language and religion distinguished Lemkos from the Poles. On the basis of distinct consciousness of Lemkos from the Poles it started to develop a national consciousness among them. In the first half of the 19th century there arose in East Galicia an Old Ruthenians orientation - also called the Russophiles - propagated Orthodox Church and the idea of integration of all Ruthenians under tsar’s domination. This orientation appeared in Lemkos’land as well. In the second half of the 19th century a new political orientation sprang up among Ruthenians’ intellectuals in Lvov, that emphasized the separateness of Ruthenians from Russians. It proclaimed building an independent Ukrainians country. However, most people in Lemkos’land were against this idea. The Ukrainian propaganda lead mainly by the Greek Catholic Church caused many conflicts between the Lemkos and Greek Catholic clergy. It became a reason for conversion of most Lemkos into Orthodox Church, especially during the period between the two World Wars. Arrangements of a new political order in Europe after the Second World War meant mass depopulation. Poland belonged to the group of states that completely changed their ethnic structures at that time. Both changes to the countries’ borders and extensive migrations of its populations had great influence on this process. In the years 1940-1947 the Lemkos’land became desolated as a result of the third phases of Lemkos displacements. They moved to the Ukraine and north-west Poland. The Greek Catholic Church had been liquidated and Orthodox churches were taken over by the Roman Catholic Church. It provoked the conversion of many Lemkos into the Orthodox Church. Few Lemkos’ families came back to Lemkos’land after 1956. They are a national minority there now. As a small national group they face many problems - mostly on the religion and national base. They are sub-divided into Ukrainians-Lemkos and Nationalists-Lemkos. The results of the search led among Lemkos’ showed, that despite their displacements and discrimination they had a very strong nationality, language and culture identity.W artykule zawarto teorie na temat genezy ludności łemkowskiej w Beskidach. Przedstawiono strukturę i przemiany religijne Łemków, rozwój ich świadomości narodowej, przyczyny i konsekwencje tragicznych przesiedleń w latach 1940-1947. Głównym celem było ukazanie współczesnej sytuacji Łemków na obszarze Łemkowszczyzny - struktury religijnej, stopnia tożsamości etnicznej i kulturowej, konfliktów.