German Labor Front

German Labor Front (Deutsche Arbeitsfront or DAF). A compulsory organization of employers and employees set up in 1934 by the Nazi regime after its abolition of trade unions (1933); it had departments for foreign workers. In 1941 a special DAF department—Betreuungstelle für ukrainische Arbeiter—for Ukrainian conscript workers from the Generalgouvernement and from countries allied with Germany was established; its head office was in Berlin. Kurt Graebe, assisted by B. Bilynkevych, was in charge of the department. Through offices in Berlin, Dresden, Breslau (now Wrocław), Hamburg, Hannover, Frankfurt, Munich, Vienna, and Stuttgart, Ukrainian DAF officials provided social and, to a lesser extent, cultural services for thousands of Ukrainian laborers (see Ostarbeiter) in 15 German provinces. These officials co-operated closely with Ukrainian civic organizations in Germany—the Ukrainian National Alliance and the Ukrainian Hromada—in serving the workers’ cultural needs and defending their limited rights. Under A. Kishka’s supervision the Ukrainian officials of the Reich Food Office (Reichsnährstand) looked after the needs of farm workers. From 1942 to 1945 Visti (Berlin), a newspaper for industrial workers, was published in Berlin under Hryhorii Stetsiuk’s editorship; it was followed in 1943 by Zemlia, a weekly for farm workers edited by Sylvestr Nykorovych.

Volodymyr Maruniak

[This article originally appeared in the Encyclopedia of Ukraine, vol. 2 (1988).]

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