REGIONAL INSTITUTE OF AGRICULTURE BOTANICS (1941-1943):
ESTABLISHMENT, ACTIVITIES, SCIENTISTS
Abstract: Some scientists as well as some property of the Institute of Botany of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR stayed in the occupied by fascists Kiev because of bad evacuation measures taken by the Soviet authorities. In order to accelerate the development of the occupied territories, the German authorities used the remaining human and material resources of the Institute. During the reorganization of the Ukrainian research institutions carried out by the Nazis, the Institute of Botany changed its name from the Institute of Botany of the Ukrainian Academy of Sciences to the Institute of Agricultural Botany and the Regional Institute of Agricultural Botany.
The purpose of the study is based on archival sources, using historical and chronological, biographical, prosopographical, socio-cultural research methods in order to find out the process of organization, results of activities, personnel of the regional Institute of Agricultural Botany, which operated during the German occupation of 1941-1943 in the city of Kiev. It has been found out that in the late autumn of 1941 the material and technical base of the institution was prevented from destruction, which enabled the local authorities to announce the continuation of the institution's activities under the supervision of the newly formed Ukrainian Academy of Sciences (UAS). The Institute at that time employed 20 staff members in 5 departments. The scientists continued the scientific theme, started in the prewar period. It is proved that after the dissolution of the UAS, the Institute subordinated to The Center for Agricultural Research, that coordinated agricultural experimental work in the Reichskommissariat «Ukraine». The scientific research of the institution is confined to applied issues related to the study of agricultural crops. During the next stage of reorganization of the organizational component of Ukrainian science, which lasted from June to September 1942, the Institute received the status of «Regional», which meant its final integration into the German structure of science management.
During 1942-1943. The regional Institute of Agricultural Botany (CSGB) had the staff of 40 employees. They prepared a volume about the Ukrainian flora in German and Ukrainian, focusing on agricultural and technical plants; maps of vegetation of Ukraine; continued the study of economic and biological properties of agricultural crops, focusing more on the culture of Kok-Sagiz. On the basis of the Institute on June 4-6, 1942, the first during the occupation scientific conference was held with participation of 120 agricultural specialists. The scientists of the Institute worked closely with other Ukrainian research institutes of agricultural sphere, taking part in conferences and expeditions.
It was found that Ukrainian scientists were forced to cooperate with German scientists, who were an instrument of Nazi policy in Ukraine. Working at this time within the walls of scientific institutions, performing scientific tasks of German specialists, providing them with scientific advice, Ukrainian botanists sought to survive under the harsh conditions of the occupation regime, trying to save their lives, continue their scientific research and the like. It is specified that the Ukrainian botanists were forced to carry out orders of the German management and to accompany property of Institute during its exportation by Nazis from the Ukrainian lands. The author provides the names of the emigrant-researchers of the Institute and the reasons for their departure. Stages of repatriation of the Institute's property are traced.
Thus, with the aim of the fastest possible development of the occupied territories and feeling the lack of its own scientific forces, the occupant authorities used the scientific potential of the Institute of Botany of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR, limiting its activities only to the agricultural needs and turning it into the Regional Institute of Agricultural Botany. However, it enabled to continue the development of botanical science on the Ukrainian lands, though already in other political realities. In the stern conditions of the occupation policy the research institutions managed not only to survive, but also retained their material and technical base, continued the research commenced in the pre-war period, which enabled them to quickly resume the work in the postwar period. The proposed recommendations and practical advice on the development of agricultural crops have become further significant contribution to the revival of the agricultural sector of the USSR. All this taken into account, we consider the activities of the Regional Institute of agricultural botany as a dignified page in the history of Botanical and agricultural science of Ukraine.
Keywords: science, agricultural research, World War II, The German occupation of 1941-1943, The Reichskommissariat «Ukraine», botany, The Institute of Botany, The Institute of Agricultural Botany, The Regional Institute of Agricultural botany, The Academy of Sciences of Ukraine.
Received by the editorial board: 2.12.2019
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