Belarusization (Belarusian: Беларусізацыя) was a policy of protection and advancement of the Belarusian language and recruitment and promotion of ethnic Belarusians (a type of affirmative action program) within the government of the Belarusian SSR (BSSR) and the Belarusian Communist Party, conducted by the government of the BSSR in the 1920s.
Together with the 1920s policy of Ukrainization in the Ukrainian SSR, as well as other similar policies in other parts of the Soviet Union, it constituted the Soviet policy of korenization, an attempt by the Communist Party of the Soviet Union to win favor with non-Russian ethnic groups by temporarily reversing the effects of centuries of forced Russification within the Russian Empire and promoting national cultures and languages in Soviet national republics. All policies of korenization were radically reversed with the onset of Stalinism and Soviet government's promotion of Russian language as the sole state language and the required language of interethnic communication.
Plan for Belarusization
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|History of Belarus|
The official policy of Belarusization was instituted in 1924 by the Central Executive Committee of the BSSR by creation of a special commission headed by A. I. Khatskevich. The special commission recommended the following measures:
- Transition of the Belarusian Republic's institutions and Belarusian units of the Red Army to the Belarusian language
- Promotion of ethnic Belarusians to leadership positions within the party, government and labor unions
- Organization of educational institutions in the Belarusian language, development of Belarusian literature and more.
The transition of Belarusian republic's institutions to the Belarusian language was planned to take place over a period of one to three years.
Results of Belarusization
- By 1927, 80% of the BSSR's civil servants were fluent in the Belarusian language.
- By 1928, 80% of schools in the BSSR were transitioned to Belarusian as the language of instruction.
End of Belarusization
However, with the rise of Stalinism in the 1930s, and the concurrent return of the policies of forced Russification, Belarusization was quickly reversed, along with Ukrainization and all the other programs of korenization within the Soviet Union.
After the breakup of the Soviet Union in 1991, Belarusization came into full effect, with Belarusian becoming the only state language, and children started receiving education in Belarusian. However, after the accession to power of Aleksandr Lukashenko, in 1995 a referendum was held on Russian language, most people voting for Russian to become the second state language in Belarus. After a while, the use of Belarusian has dwindled, and in today's Belarus, Russian is dominant in everyday life.
- Нарысы гісторыі Беларусі. Ч. 2. — Мн., 1995. С. 119-123 (in Belarusian)
- Запруднік Я. Беларусь на гістарычных скрыжаваннях. Минск, 1996. С. 93-94 (in Belarusian)
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