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Andrzej Smolarchyk. The Belarusian School Society in the province of Palesie, 1926-1933

The Belarusian political, cultural and educational life in the province of Palesie was quite modest and poorly developed. This was mainly due to a weak national awareness of the Palesie population and its low level of political culture. Also, the policy of Polish authorities in relation to Palesie in which it was to act as the “Polish wedge” between the Belarusian and Ukrainian nations, did not allow the free activity of legal Belarusian political parties and cultural and educational associations either.

The Belarusian School Society was the most dynamic Belarusian cultural and educational organisation to be worked within the province of Palesie between 1926 and 1933. A major impact on its activity was the ‘Belarusian Peasants and Workers’ political party.The elimination of this political party had weakened the structure and the range of activities of the Belarusian School Society.

Other organisations that were managed by some moderate parties could not carry on their activity. After its dissolution, the control over institutions of the Belarusian School Society was taken by the Communist Party of Western Belarus. In the region of Palesie almost all organisations were under the control of the Communist Party of Western Belarus. This deep involvement in cooperation with the Communists had contributed to the rapid elimination of the structure of the Belarusian School Society making it impossible to reconstruct a rudimentary form of organisation in 1934.