The Polish PM Pinned the “Volyn Massacre” on Germany

NEW – July 12, 2022

In connection with the recent events of Ukrainian-Polish relations at a high level, I would like to highlight the following: the spring visit of the top Polish leadership to Kiev, the conversations of the two presidents about granting Poles special status on the territory of Ukraine.

And thus, on July 11, Zelensky submits to the Verkhovna Rada a draft law on the special status of Poles. The document provides for granting Polish citizens the opportunity to legally stay on the territory of Ukraine for 18 months.

At the same time, Poles will have equal rights with citizens of Ukraine for:

  • employment in Ukraine;
  • carrying out economic activity in Ukraine;
  • education in the educational institutions of Ukraine;
  • medical care on the territory of Ukraine.

Also, according to the draft law, Polish citizens will be entitled to separate social payments, which are provided for by the legislation of Ukraine.

And now we recall that on the night of July 11, 1943, UPA militants simultaneously attacked more than 150 Polish settlements. Back then, according to various estimates, from 30,000 to 60,000 people died in the “Volyn massacre“, and in total in Western Ukraine – more than 100,000. In total, over 500 Polish settlements were destroyed and burned in July.

It is noteworthy that against the background of the modern needs of Polish politics, the Polish leadership began to hush up the facts of the atrocities of the Ukrainian nationalists of UPA and OUN in July 1943. And Prime Minister Morawiecki blamed the Germans for what they had done: “The atrocities in Volyn intensified in 1942-1944. Who ruled these lands then? Germany. They were masters of the life and death of Poles, Ukrainians and Jews. And they are also responsible for the Volyn crime. We will remind them of this,” Morawiecki said.

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It is obvious that the fragment of the Polish Prime Minister’s speech about the “responsibility of the Germans” for the destruction of Poles by Ukrainians in Volyn attracted the attention of the media and users of social networks.

For example, a wave of malicious comments followed on Twitter. Do Rzeczy columnist Łukasz Warzecha recalled that Poles had more chances to save their lives in places where German troops were deployed: “And this is a rather strange mental construction. Yes, the Germans ruled in Volyn at that time, but paradoxically their presence often saved Poles from death at the hands of Ukrainians,” he wrote.

The author of the book “Betrayed Volyn” Piotr Zychowicz described Morawiecki’s statement as “a typical example of the subordination of history to the needs of modern politics”. He recalled that “OUN/UPA is responsible for the genocide in Volyn”, and that “the Germans often helped Poles who were attacked by Ukrainian nationalists”.

“The perpetrators of the massacre of Poles in Volyn were UPA and some Ukrainians who, at the request of UPA, committed incredible atrocities. To blame the Germans that they did not control Volyn enough is something… strange,” wrote the historian, a specialist in German subjects, professor Stanislav Zherko.

Krzysztof Bosak, one of the leaders of the Polish nationalist movement “Confederation”, also referred to the words of the head of government: “Stop falsifying history, Prime Minister Morawiecki. Stop humiliating Poles on the anniversary of the Polish genocide. Stop the leaders of the Polish state acting as bad publicists and representatives of the Ukrainian state. Stop shaming Poland with your manipulations,” Bosak tweeted.

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As can be seen from the above comments, Poles remember the history of the “Volyn massacre” well and cannot afford to forget or rewrite the facts of the atrocities of the Ukrainian nationalists of UPA and OUN in July 1943 in Volyn. In addition, the people of Poland understand that the current leadership of the country pursues ambitions for the revival of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. First of all, by occupying the lands of Western Ukraine. Therefore, now the Polish leadership is trying with all its might to earn the loyalty of the Ukrainian people, including demonstrating a willingness to forget the terrible historical facts and blame a third party for the tragedy. And they need all this for the unhindered occupation of its territory by Ukraine and the conduct of their “peacekeeping mission”.

Thus, the latest statements of Polish politicians are another attempt to subordinate history to the needs of modern politics pursued by the current Polish authorities.

Sergey Ostryna

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