Оlena Коrzun

Оlena Коrzun

Candidate of Historical Sciences, Docent, Doctoral student of the National ScientificAgricultural Library of the National Academy of Agrarian Sciences of Ukraine.

ORCID: 0000-0003-2869-9549

DOI: 10.17721/2522-4611.2019.40.14


Abstract. Agricultural research as a system of permanent research institutes for agricultural needs during the Second World War on the territory of Ukraine has proved to be a remarkable period in the study of the history of science. Within 6 years it changed its structure several times to meet the needs of the party that captured Ukrainian territories: in Western Ukraine from the Polish model to the Soviet one; under fascist occupation - to meet the needs of the Germans and Romanians; evacuation and re-evacuation, which also required reorganization, re-institutionalization of the institutions to new climatic conditions in the critical situation of the war time. A separate aspect of the research is an analysis of changes in the organizational structure of the agrarian research institutes during the German occupation. This article is aimed at analyzing the organizational structure of agricultural research in the period of the German occupation during World War II on the territory of the Reichskommissariat «Ukraine» on the basis of original sources.

The analysis of these issues will allow us to reflect on the events of the World War II more closely, better understand the plans of Nazi Germany on the development of Ukrainian lands meant for the prospective settlement of the Germans, the organizational drawbacks of the Soviet agricultural research and Nazi’s attempts to overcome them.

Utilization of the Ukrainian arable farm lands became a major geostrategic and military aspect German invasion plans. For the effective exploitation of this territory, all German scientific forces were united to study the agricultural potential of the occupied lands.

With the establishment of new occupation authorities in Ukraine, their primary actions were to collect maximum information from scientific documentation and materials on breeding, to involve the best local scientists to projects aimed at deep study of the occupied territories for the prospective German settlers.

The main organization responsible for the collection and export of scientific material from the occupied territories was the Rosenberg Operational Headquarters, which collaborated with the Imperial Ministry of Occupied Eastern Territories. The departments of this ministry belonged to the Central Research Service of the East, under supervision of all German scholars who came for scientific work on the territory of the Reichscommissariat «Ukraine». In order to study the scientific potential of the agricultural sector in the autumn of 1941, the Center for Research of Agriculture and Forestry for Northwestern Ukraine was created. During 1942-1943 agricultural scientific institutions accounted to the Institute of Local Lore and Economic Research, and later to the National Research Center with the allocation of a separate Special Group on Agricultural Research.

This structure allowed the occupational authorities to control the institutional, financial, personnel and scientific issues of the institutions and integrate domestic agricultural research with the German science management. Despite the presence of the Ukrainian administration representatives in each agricultural research institute, all issues were resolved solely by the German authorities subordinated to the Imperial Ministry of Occupied Eastern Territories The occupation authorities planned to use the scientific potential of these institutions for better development of the invaded territories. This issue was in the center of attention, both for economic, scientific and ideological benefits of the new government. With approaching military actions, German curators were ordered to export scientific records, elite seed funds and valuable literature. At the beginning of 1945, researchers of agricultural research institutes and scientific documentation were scattered among different German institutions in Poland and Germany.

Thus, despite numerous difficulties caused on the territory of Ukrainian lands by the Second World War and German interference into the organizational framework of agricultural science, this situation proved to have a positive turn, because Ukrainian scientists never ceased their work, managed to preserve the agricultural potential of Ukraine.

Key words: science, agricultural research, The Second World War, German occupation 1941-1943, Reichskommissariat «Ukraine», Rosenberg Operational Headquarters, Central Research Service of the East, Imperial Ministry of Occupied Eastern Territories.

Received by the editorial board: 5.04.2019


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