Union Fédéraliste des Communautés Ethniques Européennes
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ul. Jagielly 2 • PL-38-300 Gorlice
+48 18 353 29 06

Trochanowski Grzegorz Chairman

The Union of Lemkos was founded in 1989. The Union aims at stimulating, cultivating and extending cultural and educational activities both in the Lemko region and other centres of Lemko people in order to keep, to develop and to transmit their national identity, to represent and to defend the interest of the minority. Some highlights of the activities of the Union of the past years are the Annual Lemkiska Vatra, a social and educational meeting of eastern and western frontier cultures, held under the motto "through the tradition to the future"; Teaching the native tongue; Publishing of the quarterly magazine "Vatra", poetry, leaflets, postcards as well as cultural workshops. The Union of Lemkos is a member of FUEN since 1996.

The Lemkos are one of the nine recognised national minorities in Poland. According to census from 2002, there are 5,863 Lemkos in Poland, which corresponds to a population share of 0.01%. They originate from the Lemkowszczyzna region in the Beskids, a mountain range in the Western Carpathians. This mountainous area in south-eastern Poland stretches from the town of Salinka and the San River in the east to the mouth of the Solyanka and Proprad Rivers in the west. Other parts of Lemkowszczyzna are located in Slovakia and Ukraine. After the First World War, the Lemko-Rusyn Republic existed for a few months, which was then annexed by Poland. During the "Operation Vistula" in 1947, the Lemkos were forcibly resettled in other areas of Poland: Lower Silesia, Pomerania and Masuria, among other things to promote the assimilation of the Lemkos. Not all Lemkos identify themselves as an independent minority, some see themselves as part of the Carpatho-Ruthenians or count themselves among the Ukrainian minority. A Lemko newspaper is published as a supplement to the Ukrainian weekly newspaper Nasze Słowo. Other magazines appear independently four times a year. 





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