According to the general population census carried out in the USSR on January 17, 1939, White Russia, within the borders of 1926 (ie over an area of 126.8 thousand sq km), had 5,567,976 residents (44 per sq. Km.), Of which 25% represented by Ukrainians (against 17% in 1926). The rural population passed, in the period 1926-39, from 4,135,000 to 4,195,000 (an increase of i %). The major inhabited centers all marked strong population increases: Minsk rose from 131,803 to 238,772 (increase of 181.2%), Vitebsk from 98,857 to 167,424 (169.4%), Gomel ′ from 86,409 to 144,169 (166.8 %), Mogilev from 50,222 to 99,440 (198%), Bobrujsk from 51,296 to 84,107 (164%).
In September 1939 the Russian troops occupied, during the German-Polish conflict, all the Polish territory east of the Narew and Bug rivers, and on the 28th of the same month they agreed on the partition of Poland (see poland, ussr, in this App.). From the part that fell to the USSR, the territories to the north of the upper Pripyat basin (Rokitno Marshes) were incorporated into White Russia on 2 October 1939, essentially corresponding to the former governorates of Minsk, Grodno and Vilna, except for one area around the latter city (6656 sq. km. with 458,000 residents), which was ceded to Lithuania.
According to FINDJOBDESCRIPTIONS, the western border of White Russia was then moved westward to the course of the Bug from Włodava to Malkinia (to S. of Ostrów), from which it passed into the Narew basin to reach the Lithuanian-Polish border at N. of Grodno, also it was then modified in several places (the salient of Suwałki passed to Germany). The White Russia was thus increased by 101,148 sq. Km., On which lived about 3,809,000 residents; its extension thus rose to 226,948 sq km. and its population at about 9,248,400 residents (41 per sq. Km.). In July 1941 the German troops invaded and occupied the region, which on the following 17 November was incorporated into the Ostland police station, except for the former voivodeship of Białystok (26,600 sq. Km. With 1,346,000 residents), which passed under the direct control of the Reich.
In June-July 1944 the Soviet troops put an end to the Germanic occupation and the Belarusian republic was reconstituted within the limits of 1940, which it kept until August 16, 1945, when the Soviet government, by rectifying the border of 1940, surrendered to the new Poland. a small strip of land between the Niemen and Bug rivers, including Suwałki and Białystok, but excluding Grodno (about 11,000 sq km, with around 600,000 residents). The current White-Russian Soviet Republic therefore measures 215,000 sq km. (according to Soviet official figures 207,600 sq. km.) with about 9,400,000 residents in October 1945 and 10,400,000 (48 per sq km) in 1948.
The new border with Poland leaves the course of the Bug near Niemirów (NW of Brześć) and goes to Białowieża and from here on a straight path, regardless of topography or hydrography, reaches the vicinity of Grodno, where it joins on the Lithuanian-Polish border. The border with Lithuania also rectifies and simplifies the dividing line established in November 1939. Administratively, White Russia is divided into 12 oblasts, 11 of which are named after their respective capital: Bobrujsk, Gomel ′, Minsk, Mogilev, Polotsk, Vitebsk (old White Russia), Baronoviči (Baranowicze in Polish), Brest (Brześć), Grodno, Molodečno (Małodeczno) and Pinsk, the last five belonging to the recently annexed former Polish area. The oblast ′ Della Polessia has Mozyr as its capital, on the Pripyat ′, within the old border.
The enlargement of the territory has not produced profound changes in the economic structure of the country: White Russia essentially remains an agricultural country, whose industrial evolution is limited by its natural vocation, but at the same time stimulated by its transit function (moreover directions) and contact with foreign countries. The increased population density (compared to the old White Russia) indicates that the new provinces have an economic potential that is no less than the rest of the country. But the war events of 1939-45 practically annihilated the evolution made between the two great wars by the territories that now make up White Russia. At the end of 1947, however, over 6000 industrial enterprises were restored to efficiency.
After the end of the war, following the large population displacements, made obligatory by the peace agreements, the remnants of the Polish population, who survived the war, left White Russia, to contribute to the repopulation of the non-German regions, incorporated into Poland. White Russia therefore presents today – even taking into account the massacre of a large part of the Jewish population – an ethnographically very compact aspect. For war operations, see russia, in this App.
Literature. – During the October Revolution, the White-Russian language received new impetus, publishing houses, cultural centers and a national theater were built. Poetry biancorussa socialistic began with the collection of poems Zavirucha (The snowstorm) of Michas’ CAROT (1896) and Pes ‘ ni Pracy i Zmagan ‘ nja (work songs and struggle) of tiska Gartnyj (1887). On these examples developed the lyric of the young V. Dubovka (1900), Ales ′ Dudar ′ (1904), Michas ′ Zaretsky (1901), which reflects the events of Soviet life. The best of these Komsomol ′ cy poets is Andrej Aleksandrovič (1906), author, among other things, of the collection of short stories Sutaren ′ ni (Cellars) and the poem Paustancy (Rioters). Tiška Gartnyj excels in prose with the trilogy Soki caliny (The moods of the virgin land). The new Biancorussian literature was grouped in the early years around the three magazines Uzvy šš a (The ascent), Polymja (The flame), Maladnjak (The coppice), the latter of which was the organ of a very active trend that had ramifications in Riga, Kovno, Prague. The entire Soviet thirty-year period is dominated by the figures of the two national poets Jakub Kolas and Janka Kupała. The former (also known as Taras Gušča) is the author of the poem Novaya Zjamlja (The new land), the story of a peasant who, even before the October revolution, was looking for new horizons, and the stories of Na prastorach zyc ′ cja (On the spaces of life). The second, which after the revolution had sung the end of the old Polessia, exalting Soviet reconstruction with an art close to popular forms, died in 1942.