Eine Tafel gegen das Vergessen
Until 1918 the East Slavic, Ukrainian speaking citizens of the Austro-Hungarian Empire were officially called „Ruthenians“. Around 1910 about 3.2 million „Rusyny“, as the Ruthenians called themselves, lived in Eastern Galicia (today situated in south-eastern Poland and western Ukraine). Galicia was one of the poorest provinces in the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy. Their Russophile attitude was often the result of grievances. Taking a Russian newspaper was already enough to be considered a Russophile.
During the First World War (1914-1918), Galicia saw heavy fighting. Large parts of the Ruthenian population were classified as not loyal to the emperor by the Austro-Hungarian Army. The suspicion of being a traitor was sufficient to be persecuted. Although citizens of the same state, they were exposed to the atrocities of the armed forces. Many of them were shot. To remove the „Rusyny“ from the contested territory, they were interned in camps far away.
At that time the civilian internment camp Thalerhof (1914-1917) was an airfield under construction. In the beginning there were neither barracks nor blankets for the prisoners, there was no hygienic infrastructure and not enough to eat. Closely guarded, the prisoners were not allowed to leave the site. Epidemics and diseases carried off the people – a result of the inhuman deportation.
About 30.000 „Rusyny“ were imprisoned in the internment camp Thalerhof, 1.767 men, women and children died there. Since 1937 their mortal remains are to be found in the ossuary at the cemetery of Feldkirchen.
Eine Tafel gegen das Vergessen [details]
Nazar Hončar [artist]
Eine Tafel gegen das Vergessen, 2010-12-09 12:00:00 [event]