When the Austro-Hungarian monarchy and Kaiser Germany were left shattered, alt the Slavic peoples began building their own nations. Lemkos were gladdened by the prospect of a popular democratic state, some leaning toward Russia, others looking to America from where they expected aid and support. Russia was undergoing a revolution and civil war. there was little to hope for there. The chances for help were better in America, especially after President Wilson promised self-determination for all peoples. Lemkos put their trust in this concept of self-determination and began forming committees that created "national councils", on both sides of the demolished Austro-Hungarian border. The representatives of the old regime had fled from Lemkovina, and the people sensed freedom.
The focal point of Lemko organizing was Pryashev. Convening there was the so-called Carpatho-Russian National Council, which was composed of representatives from the various local councils in all of Lemkovina, that is, all of western Carpathian Rus'. The chairman of this Council was Dr. Antoniy Beskid, former delegate to the Hungarian Parliament. He went to the Paris Peace Conference, to present the wishes of the Carpathian people. The principal desire of these people was to unite all of Carpathian Rus' into a single entity and gain autonomy. All these efforts came to naught, however. In the end, Carpathian Rus' was divided into three parts, with Lemkovina being divided in two, one part on the Polish side the other on the Slovak side. The American Lemko delegates to the Peace Conference at San Germane also achieved nothing.
In the meantime, in that part of Lemkovina on the Polish side of the Carpathian Mountains there began organization of some Lemko republics, evidence of the strong desire of Lemko people for freedom and independence. Such republics sprang up in Florinka, Gribow County, in Gladyshow, Gorlice County, in Wislok Nizhny, Sanok County. At first, the Poles were favorably inclined toward these republics (for example. Dr. Ramolt in Gribow). But they soon strengthened their own organizational forces, and these republics were abolished, while the organizers and administrators were arrested and charged with treason to the Polish state. In his "Red Virgin" almanac, Fr. Kokovsky mentions other such republics (Peremyshl. Tarnobzheg).Soon to be published in Lviv [this history was printed 30 years ago and probably written years before] is a work by Peter Kohutov, from which the reader can learn more detail about this subject.
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Date Posted: August 27th, 1998
Last Revision: May 29th, 1999
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