Polish School Girl in an Exam Wrote the Truth About the Crimes of UPA

Translated by Ollie Richardson & Angelina Siard



The Polish schoolgirl Katarzyna Nowak unexpectedly became a heroine on social networks after during a final examination she wrote the truth about the action “Vistula”. As a reminder, this action, which Ukrainians call historical injustice, is mainly a dimension of propaganda. Actually, it was military operation code-named “Vistula”. By the summer of 1946 the resettlement of Ukrainians from Poland to Soviet Ukraine generally ended. Despite this, the terrorist activity of UPA didn’t stop, villages also continued to burn, and the murder of the Polish and Ukrainian population continued.

The action was carried out against the Ukrainian Insurgent Army, which terrorized the peaceful Polish and Ukrainian population in the southeast regions of Poland. During the operation the Banderist hordes were completely liquidated, and the Ukrainian population (about 150,000 people) were moved on the northern and western territories, which were earlier a part of Germany. During the examination graduates of schools had to answer a question, in particular: “What rights and freedoms of people were violated during the action Vistula?”

“Today I did extended final examination in social science. Ukrainophiles completely penetrated into our life, even in final examinations. The task involved condemnation of the action ‘Vistula’ by L. Kaczyński and V. Yushchenko,” reported Katarzyna Nowak on social networks after the examination on.

“Unfortunately, I wrote the truth, and instead of criticizing the action ‘Vistula’ I approved of it, and reminded about of the gangs of UPA killing Poles at Volyn. I called this act of a crime ‘genocide’. Probably, they won’t grade me on this, but my conscience is at least clean. Let them think that not everyone swallows their propaganda!” added the graduate.

Katarzyna Nowak and her social network post

After the girl made this post on Facebook, she began to receive words of support from all over Poland.

“This day, Kasya, is your great and important day. Today you are a contemporary heroine for many people. You opened a new chapter in the fight for the truth and freedom,” wrote the famous writer Stanisław Srokowski – author of the novel “Hatred”, which the movie “Volyn” was based on.

The existence of the question “What rights and freedoms of people were violated during the action Vistula?” in a final examination revolted both many ordinary Poles and Polish politicians. The famous public figure priest Tadeush Isakovich-Zalesky wrote about it:

“Such propaganda, which is drummed into young citizens, suits Gomułka and Jaruzelski’s era, but not for the times of ‘good changes’ that were promised at Polish schools by the present team of the government”.

A priest also demanded to remove this task from the examinations in social science. In turn the Deputy of Sejm Robert Vinnitsky from the National Movement stated:

“Condemnation of the action Vistula is an aberration! I had an impression that some rather hate more commune than love Poland, supporting the Polish national interest. It is necessary to finish with this definitely!”

The leader of nationalists sent a request for the Minister of Education Anna Zalewska, asking in it:

“Did the Ministry of Education on this matter address the opinion of historians who are engaged in research on prosecutions and genocide committed by OUN-UPA concerning Małopolska’s population and Eastern Kresy in 1939-1947? If yes, to which one? How did their opinions sound? The Ministry of Education recognizes that condemnation of the action ‘Vistula’ is support for the historical policy glorifying the criminal formation OUN-UPA, which committed genocide?”

The Ministry of Education of Poland already answered these accusations, stating that not it is not responsible for questions in final examinations, but it’s the central examination committee. At the moment in the country there is an investigation into this matter.

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In 1990 the Polish Sejm condemned operation Vistula, and in 2007 presidents L. Kaczyński and V. Yushchenko signed a joint declaration condemning it. However, recently the attitude towards it in Poland has sharply changed. In the country more and more people say that this operation was a compulsory measure to stop the criminal activity of bands of UPA.

Ukrainian nationalists themselves are simply in shocked by such a “betrayal”, and in comments promised revenge, but how exactly, so far is unclear.

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