Translated by Ollie Richardson & Angelina Siard
The right-wing conservative wPolityce.pl publication, which as a rule expresses the point of view of the ruling Law and Justice party in Poland, published an article entitled “Ukrainian mania concerning criminals from UPA made its presence felt in Lvov”.
Recently Kiev was enriched by a new street with the name of Roman Shukhevych (nickname Taras Chuprynka). “Chuprynka” began his “military” career as a captain of the 201st battalion of the Schutzmannschaft. According to some Ukrainian historians and political scientists, his division participated in punitive actions at Volyn and in Belarus. He specialized in committing crimes concerning the Jewish, Belarusian, and Ukrainian civilian population.
Most likely, it is they who razed to the ground the Ukrainian village of Kortelisy (on September 22nd, 1942) and burned 2875 people alive there. Later already as the commander-in-chief of UPA he bears direct responsibility for the acceptance of the Volyn massacre as tactics of the UPA against the Poles. It is necessary only to congratulate the Ukrainian people on the hero who they canonized. But, if that wasn’t enough, the Ukrainian mania concerning criminals made its presence felt in Lvov.
The affair is so bad that local nationalists are eager for a painful, connected-with-UPA atmosphere where they can. Even at international events that seemingly have nothing to do with the activities of the anti-Polish groups that committed genocide. For example, the festival of retrocars “Leopolis Grand Prix” organized on June 2nd-4th, 2017, which took place in Lvov.
The event is connected to the first races organized in 1930 by the Lesser Poland Automobile Club. It is the only race in the history of races, besides Monte-Carlo, of the “Grand Prix F1” of that time to take place on the city streets. That’s why, like every year, a big group of retrocars from Poland and wide comments in the automobile press are quite justified.
Already at its very beginning, the “Elegance Competition” for the most beautiful crew met with a loud applause and shouts of delight via the compere the fourth in turn reconstruction group dressed as … the SS “Galicia” division! As it is widely known, among Ukrainian patriots this formation enjoys high honour. It is difficult to understand this because the fighting “merits” of the 14th Waffen Grenadier Division of the SS (official name SS “Galicia”), in the very least, are doubtful.
Firstly, in particular, 2 branches of the auxiliary police (4th and 5th) that were included in its composition massacred innocent Polish civilians in Guta Penyatskaya. Other crimes are added to this also. When it came down to it (real military operations) the SS “Galicia” was surrounded in a cauldron near Brody by Soviet troops and were smashed by them into dust and ashes. After this all traces of the 7,300 soldiers of this formation disappeared. Only a few escaped, generally from the rear units that weren’t in the cauldron.
Anyway, no other team that participated in the “Elegance Competition” in the Leopolis Grand Prix collected such applause that the performance of the re-enactors of the SS “Galicia” did. It is necessary to add that the performance of the crew in the equipment of the SS wasn’t announced neither in the program, nor in lists of participants earlier published on the Internet. Probably, the organizer – the Ukrainian club “ZAZ-Kozak” (Lvov’s car fan club) – understood that an international scandal can erupt, or that such a nationalist impregnation in the program won’t be liked by the Polish participants of the event.
“In Ukraine already right in the beginning, at the first car park in Zhovkva we were met by posters with Bandera, but the participation in a single event of re-enactors of the memory of the SS Galicia, for me as a Pole, was especially disgusting, and simply a pity that I couldn’t pretend that nothing was happening,” said Igor Skrzhynsky, a participant of the event from the crew of SAAB 99 Grand Lux of 1979.
“The only possible reaction I could have,” said, Skrzhynsky, who continued to be indignant, “was a full boycott of this event, and in memory of my killed fellow countrymen leaving from it saying loudly: ‘My grandfather didn’t fight in the Warsaw uprising so that I could have fun with Ukrainian SS-men’.”
The vast majority of the Polish readers expressed a negative attitude to such a promotion of fascism in Ukraine. Here are some examples of comments:
“We need to disassociate ourselves from them and not rave about a ‘strategic partnership’ against Russia, ‘a third force’, etc., etc. By looking at this through our fingers, we cultivate for ourselves a ‘devil’, more dangerous than Russia,” wrote the user with nickname ember11.
“Poland must stop encouraging its enemy, which is what Ukraine is in the EU. Because the elite of the EU are madmen because they help terrorists, in the same way that the elite of Poland are madmen because they help supporters of the cult of Bandera,” considers a reader with the nickname super.
“Why today do we help fascist Banderists so much? Let’s give them to Putin!!! And get out of Poland!!!” wrote kairos.
It should be added that this crew in a SS uniform were not the only ones at the event in Lvov. Thus, the crew of the car enthusiast Igor Savich, who, by the way, is a constant participant of the retro-festival in Lvov, arrived in a SS “Galicia” uniform in a German military Kubelwagen car.
However, the SS uniform became the business card of this event already long ago. Here, for example, is a photo from the 2013 “Leopolis Grand Prix”:
It should be noted that ordinary Poles long ago noticed Banderists and fascists in Ukraine, however the Polish authorities for a long time tried not to notice them. Here is what the Polish user wrote about this on Facebook Wojtek Sosnowski, who posted the following meme:
Translation: “Meanwhile in Ukraine, nothing changed. Some Ukrainians having a good time”.
“In this way I derive pleasure and satisfaction when I see how now journalists/politicians open their eyes and distance themselves from Banderists. Earlier the ordinary person was for them a Russian troll, a footcloth, a katsap, a bastard, and a Valenki…,” notes Wojtek Sosnowski.
It is possible to note that three years after Maidan, Polish politicians and journalists, at last, noticed fascism in Ukraine.
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