Wołyń Voivodeship (1921–1939)
Wołyń Voivodeship or Volhynian Voivodeship (Polish: "Województwo Wołyńskie", Latin: "Palatinatus Volhynensis") was an administrative unit of interwar
Poland(1918-1939). It ceased to exist in September of 1939, following German and Sovietaggression on Poland (see: Invasion of Poland)
Its capital was
Łuck, Volhynia(now: Lutskin Ukraine). It consisted of 11 powiats( counties), 22 towns and only 103 villages. In 1921 was inhabited by 1 437 569 people, and the population density was only 47.5 persons per sq. km. Around 68% of population was Ukrainian, 17% - Polish, Jews(mainly in towns) - made around 10%. There were also German (2.3%) and Czech (1.5%) settlers, who arrived in the 19th century. In 1931, the population grew to 2 085 600 and the density - to 58 persons per sq. km.
The religion practised in the area was primarily
Eastern Orthodox Christian(69.8%). There were also Roman Catholics(15.7%) as well as adherents of Judaism(10%), some Protestants(2.6%) and a few Tatarsof the Islamicfaith.
Location and area
Initially, Voivodeship’s area was 30 276 square kilometers (until 1930). In this year,
Sarnycounty from Polesie Voivodeshipwas moved to Volhynian Voivodeship. The Sarny county's area was 5 478 km² and due to this change, region's area grew to 35 754 km² (which made it the second largest in the country). It was located in south-east part of the country, bordering Soviet Unionto the east, Lublin Voivodeshipto the west, Polesie Voivodeshipto the north, Lwów Voivodeshipand Tarnopol Voivodeshipto the south. Landscape was flat and hilly in parts. In the north, there was a flat strip of land called the Volhynian Polesie, which spread for some 200 kilometers from the Western Bugriver to the Polish-Soviet border. South was more hilly, especially extreme south-east, around the historical town of Krzemieniec, which is located in the Gologorymountains. Main rivers - the Styr, the Horyń, the Słucz.
Cities and counties
Its capital was Luck, with population of around 35 600 (as for 1931). Other important centers of the voivodeship were:
Równe(in 1931 pop. 42 000), Kowel(pop. 29 100), Włodzimierz Wołyński(pop. 26 000), Krzemieniec(pop. 22 000), Dubno(pop. 15 3000, Ostróg(pop. 13 400) and Zdołbunów(pop. 10 200).
Dubnocounty" (area 3 275 km², pop. 226 700),
Horochówcounty" (area 1757 km², pop. 122 100),
Kostopolcounty" (area 3496 km², pop. 159 600),
Kowel" county (area 5682 km², pop. 255 100),
Krzemienieccounty" (area 2790 km², pop. 243 000),
Lubomlcounty" "" (area 2 054 km², pop. 85 500),
Łuckcounty" (area 4 767 km², pop. 290 800),
Równecounty" (area 2898 km², pop. 252 800),
Sarnycounty", which in 1930 was moved from Polesie Voivodeship(area 5 478 km², pop. 181 300),
Włodzimierz Wołyńskicounty" (area 2 208 km², pop. 150 400),
Zdołbunówcounty" (area 1 349 km², pop. 118 300).
Railroads and industry
Volhynian Voivodeship was located in the so-called Poland “B”, which meant that it was underdeveloped, with non-existing industry and it should be more accurate to call it Poland “C”. Large part of population, especially Ukrainian, was poor, with high level of illiteracy (in 1931 as much as 47.8% was illiterate, with the national average of 23.1%).
The situation was much better among Czechs and Germans, whose farms were highly efficient. Railroad network was scarce, with only few junctions - the most important one at Kowel, also at Zdolbunow, Rowne and Wlodzimierz. Total length of railroads within Voivodeship's boundaries was 1 211 kilometers, which was only 3.4 per 100 square kilometers. Forested was 23.7% of area (as for 1937).
Stanisław Jan Krzakowski14 March 1921 – 7 July 1921
Tadeusz Łada7 July 1921 – 12 August 1921 (acting)
Stanisław Downarowicz13 August 1921 – 19 August 1921
Tadeusz Dworakowski10 October 1921 – 15 March 1922 (acting)
Mieczysław Mickiewicz22 February 1922 – 1 February 1923
Stanisław Srokowski1 February 1923 – 29 August 1924
Bolesław Olszewski29 August 1924 – 4 February 1925
Aleksander Dębski4 February 1925 – 28 August 1926
Władysław Mech28 August 1926 – 9 July 1928
Henryk Józewski9 July 1928 – 29 December 1929
Józef Śleszyński13 January 1930 – 5 June 1930 (acting)
Henryk Józewski5 June 1930 – 13 April 1938
Aleksander Hauke-Nowak13 April 1938 – September 1939
eptember 1939 and its aftermath
On September 17, 1939, following German aggression on Poland and
Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, Sovietforces invaded eastern Poland. As bulk of Polish Armywas concentrated in the west, fighting Germans, the Soviets met with little resistance and their troops quickly moved westwards, occupying Voivodeship’s area with ease. In the years 1942-1944 Volhynia was the scene of several massacres.
Later, Voivodeship was incorporated into
Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic. Now most part of the region is divided between the Rivne Oblastand Volyn Oblastof Ukraine.
Ukraine’s current Volyn Oblast
Massacres of Poles in Volhynia
* Maly rocznik statystyczny 1939, Nakladem Glownego Urzedu Statystycznego, Warszawa 1939 (Concise Statistical Year-Book of Poland, Warsaw 1939).
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