The Volyn Tragedy: Reconciliation or Confrontation?

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2016/06/22 • Analysis & Opinion, History, Ukraine

Article by: Bohdan Chervak, OUN President

The Polish Peasant Party is proposing to commemorate July 11 as the Day of Remembrance of the victims of genocide committed by the OUN and UPA in eastern regions of the Second Polish Republic (1918-1939). This is how some Poles have responded to the appeal  for joint repentance and forgiveness launched by Leonid Kravchuk, Viktor Yushchenko and other Ukrainian leaders.

In addition, three bills accusing Ukrainians of “ethnic cleansing and genocide” have been registered in the Polish Sejm. This is how some Poles are preparing to mark the 73rd anniversary of the Volyn tragedy, which they call the “Volyn massacre”.

What measures should be taken by Ukraine in this case?

First, we must abandon the “ostrich policy” and stop pretending that nothing important is happening in Poland. Second, we must defend our national interests… even if the Poles don’t like it.

I’d like to point out that there are no reasonable political grounds for raising such anti-Ukrainian hysteria in Poland. When Ukraine and Poland celebrated the 60th anniversary of the tragic events in Volyn, the parliaments and presidents of both countries adopted historic documents, which present a joint consensus and understanding between the Ukrainian and Polish peoples. The statement issued by both parliaments reads as follows:

“European history has many examples of national hatred, war, blood, and violence. At the same time, there are examples of understanding between nations that wanted and were able to overcome the most difficult tragedies in their common history. People who have been and are still affected by the Volyn tragedy have a moral duty to unite our countries for the future, for the sake of a common objective. May forgiveness and understanding forge the foundation for a better future, neighbourly relations and Ukrainian-Polish friendship!”

Polish Young Eagles Memorial at Lychakivsky Cemetary, Lviv, Ukraine

Polish Young Eagles Memorial at Lychakivsky Cemetary, Lviv, Ukraine

After the 60th anniversary of the Volyn tragedy, Ukraine took an unprecedented step with regard to Poland, its neighbour and “European advocate”. In June 2005, despite strong protests from certain locals, the Young Eagles Memorial was inaugurated at the Lychakivsky Cemetery in Lviv. It marks the resting place of Polish soldiers who perished in combat against Ukrainian partisans fighting for Ukrainian statehood in the early 1900s. Both Ukraine and Poland were then willing to reach an understanding in the name of a “common European future”, and even some government officials hurriedly declared that this was finally “an act of Ukrainian-Polish reconciliation”.

It’s absurd to deny that mass murders were committed during the 1943 Ukrainian-Polish war in Volyn. But, it’s even more absurd to disregard and ignore what motivated Ukrainians at that time.

In 1941, Volyn was occupied by Nazi Germany. Common sense dictated that under such circumstances the Poles who lived in the Volyn region should not enter into a conflict with the Ukrainian population. Instead, the Polish exile government in London ordered Poles to form underground militias in Volyn – a Home Army charged with keeping Volyn as part of the future Polish state.

Ukrainian nationalist militias were being formed at the same time. In July 1941, the UPA (Ukrainian Insurgent Army) organized the Poliska Sich division in Volyn, led by Otaman Taras Bulba-Borovets. OUN troops also launched attacks and raids in the area. Not only were Ukrainian organizations fighting against occupying troops, but they were also struggling to establish an independent country on ethnic Ukrainian lands. This would inevitably put them in direct conflict with the Polish Home Army and the Polish government in London, which continued to consider Volyn part of Poland.

In the spring of 1943, the Germans were preparing to ship another batch of young people to work in Germany. The Ukrainian police was supposed to take part in this operation, but they refused to help the Germans. In reprisal, the Nazis disarmed the Ukrainian police corps in Zdolbuniv – twelve people were shot, and the others were deported to the Reich.

This incident persuaded many Ukrainian police officers to join the ranks of the OUN and UPA and gave rise to even more repression of Ukrainians by the Germans.

The situation became even more complicated when Poles began massively joining the ranks of local police. They often formed punitive expeditions that travelled around Volyn villages and persecuted Ukrainian civilians. In April 1943, Polish police units took over many Volyn districts, towns, and estates. The Poles often provoked the Germans against the Ukrainian population.

The breaking point was reached on March 17, 1943 when the German punitive SS troops and the Polish police massacred Ukrainian civilians in the village of Remel, Rivne Oblast – 615 innocent villagers were shot, and only 70 survived. According to the testimony of some survivors, historians have been able to record the reasons for this pogrom – the Ukrainian villagers were “guilty” of helping and hiding their countrymen from eastern Ukraine, former prisoners of the Soviet Army.

The Germans and the Polish Home Army were not the only forces to openly oppose the local Ukrainian population. In 1942, special Bolshevik units charged with fighting the Germans and the UPA and counting many Polish communists in their ranks were dispatched to Polissia and Volyn regions.

Retaliation was quick… the UPA decided to “depolonize” Western Ukraine. Polish families were forced to leave their homes in 48 hours, and settle beyond the Buh and Syan Rivers. This marked the outbreak of the 1943 Ukrainian-Polish war in Volyn.

The conflict reached its peak in July 1943. Polish sources recorded that there were about 300 anti-Polish operations during that month, most of them in Sarny, Kostopil, Rivne and Zdolbuniv districts. Retaliatory attacks took place in Dubno and Lutsk districts. More operations were organized in Horokhivsky, Kovel and Volodymyrsky districts in July and August, and in Lyubinsky district in August.

These operations indicate that the UPA was determined to force the Poles beyond the historical lines of the Ukrainian-Polish border.

The Poles didn’t just sit around and wait. More than 100 self-defense units were created in Volyn in 1943. Polish resistance movements operated in Pshebrazhe (Lutsk district), Huta Stepanska and Stara Huta (Kostopil district), Panska Dolyna (Dubno district), Zasmyky (Kovel district), Bilyn (Volodymyrsky district), and others. Most of them were unable to resist the UPA and were destroyed. The UPA ceased attacks in late 1943.

It should also be noted that, seeking to take revenge on Ukrainians, many Poles joined the Soviet partisans. 7,000 Poles served in the ranks of different “red” guerrilla groups. This also added fuel to the fire as UPA partisans and the Ukrainian civilian population considered the Soviet forces their greatest enemy.

I’d like to conclude by saying that Ukraine has every reason to ask Poland to consider the following aspects of this tragedy:

  1. The OUN and UPA had only one goal – to liberate Volyn of occupying forces, including Poles and the Polish Home Army, which considered Volyn an integral part of Poland.
  2. It’s important to note that Poles worked closely with the Communists and red guerrillas whom the OUN and UPA saw as their greatest enemy, which only intensified the Ukrainian-Polish conflict.
  3. The OUN and UPA did not launch retaliatory attacks on traditional Polish territory.
  4. Most importantly, the OUN and UPA are recognized and protected by Ukrainian law and the Ukrainian government will not allow anyone to denigrate their dignity and honour.

Ukraine and Poland have enjoyed good relations in the 21st century, including the evaluation of the 1943 Volyn tragedy. In conclusion, I’d just like to remind Ukrainians and Poles of the joint statement issued by both parliaments five years ago (see above).

There’s nothing more to add…

 


Related:

Translated by: Christine Chraibi
Source: Radio Liberty

Tags: , , ,

  • laker48

    Chances are slim to none that Poland will change its course as far as the Volhynia genocide is concerned. It’s ahistorical issue that has to be analysed against a wider backdrop of Soviet genocide of Poles in the Soviet Union between 1937 and 1939 when over 110 thousand of Polish men were executed by the NKVD because they were Poles. Also during the Soviet occupation of eastern Poland the Soviets managed to kill between 50 and 100 thousand of ethnic Poles and deported to Kazakhstan and Siberia over a million of them, thus setting the stage for the OUN/UPA to ethnically cleanse that territory.

    Not all UPA units took part in that genocide, and the main ideologist of the cleansing was the late Roman Shukhevych, a faitful follower of the brain behind the genocide, Stepan Bandera, who was jailed by the Germans at that time. This controversy should be meticulously settled by historians of both nations, not by their politicians. All Ukrainian arguments notwithstanding, the slaughter in the cruelest manner imaginable of close to 100,000 Polish civilians by dehumanised Ukrainian hordes was nothing short of genocide.

    • Mister Rahool

      Who you call ‘dehumanized Ukrainian hoards’ were just a few short years prior living under Polish occupation and apartheid.

      • laker48

        There was not a single case of genocide in the over a millennium long written history of Poland, what cannot be said about Ukraine or RuSSia.

        • laker48

          Not all acts of violence constitute genocide and only Germany, RuSSia and the OUN/UPA have committed genocide against Poles and Jews. There were Polish acts of violence or reprisal against Ukrainians but you cannot call them genocide by any means.

          • laker48

            The holocaust did happen but the numbers given by the Soviets were grossly exaggerated, especially about Auschwitz (the Soviets claimed total five million, while the actual number was lower than 1.2 million). One of the most cruel guards in Sobibor was Ukrainian Ivan Demyanyuk nicknamed Ivan the Terrible, extradited by the US to Israel and sentenced there to be hanged but later released on the reasonable doubt clause. Transferred later to Germany where he faced similar charges, was sentenced to five years in prison, but pending the appeal he was transferred to a nursing home where died as a free man. http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/18/world/europe/john-demjanjuk-nazi-guard-dies-at-91.html

          • laker48

            It seems to me that you should be institutionalised, at least temporarily, as your paranoia may result in acts of violence against people who interact with you or even self-aggression. Now, it seems quite obvious to me that you were tightly convicted as a wife beater.

          • laker48

            Exactly. Poles were much better organised, trained and armed, but only those who were military reservists settled there, who managed to survive the beginning of the war or avoid deportation to Kazakhstan or Siberia by the Soviets. Those were mostly people living between 1939 and 1941 to the west of the German-Soviet demarcation line established in September of 1939, so they often inflicted heavy losses on poorly trained and armed UPA “fighters” and local Ukrainian peasants armed with farm implements. There were very few and far between adult male Poles left by the Soviets in June of 1941 throughout their occupational zone, so most of OUN/UPA victims there were children, youths, women and older people of both genders. Sometimes local Polish Home Army (AK) partizans defended unarmed Polish civilians, but there were too few of them and deployed too far between to save more Poles from the Ukrainian genocide.

          • laker48

            Thank goodness idiots of your ilk don’t have a say in Ukrainian politics. I’ve never claimed that Poland or Poles weren’t guilty of some serious violations of the rights of Ukrainians, but there has never been a single case of Polish genocide committed on Ukrainians.

          • laker48

            “Do I hate Poles! — Of course not!”
            You’re a walking time bomb filled with hate and waiting to explode. You’re also a totally ignorant person who even doesn’t speak Ukrainian on a decent level, let alone know Ukrainian culture. You’re a good candidate for institutionalisation if your mental state doesn’t improve.

          • laker48

            You’re such a pathetic mental case in a dire need of professional help.

        • laker48

          Are you OK mentally?

          • laker48

            “You did NOT (as usual) reply to my above — merely writing, VERY WEAKLY:”
            That was much more than you had really deserved.

      • http://culture.pl/en Gryzelda Wrr, III RP

        We have a slightly different view on our history. I doubt you find many Poles who would call Western Ukraine under Polish rule an occupation and apartheid :)

        Our views on history are distorted by our national mythologies on both sides of the border. The funny thing is that both nations -in the modern meaning of the word – were born more or less at the same moment, in XIX and both considered themselves victims of foreign occupation. The difference is that Ukrainians dreamt on a national state while we were struggling to restore the multinational I Republic of Poland in its XVIII shape. From our point of view, Ukrainian or Lithuanian nationalists were traitors of the big Cause we had fought for.

        It’s a complex story. And I would be thrilled to read something comprehensive and objective on the topic but I am afraid nobody has written it yet.

        • http://culture.pl/en Gryzelda Wrr, III RP

          Well, if you want to put it this way :) But believe me at the time when it happened we were not aware of your existence :) We were to busy fighting against Russians and Germans to notice your aspirations :)

          • http://culture.pl/en Gryzelda Wrr, III RP

            I knew this was going to piss you off, dear Adrew. Just checking if you are in good shape :)

          • laker48

            LOL! :)

        • slavko

          http://euromaidanpress.com/2016/06/10/polish-religious-leaders-support-ukraines-letter-of-repentance-for-volyn/#

          There are many stories of cruelty between the two nations and as you say the myths abound from both sides. I believe that people can move on now towards a deeper friendship. Sincere apologies mean a lot. Both Ukrainian churches actually signed this letter to the Polish people.

          • laker48

            I’m a son of Volhynia massacre survivors saved by their Ukrainian friends and neighbours and I’m the last one to paint all Ukrainians with the same brush. I also heard hundreds of stories of those who survived the massacre and hosted in our place in Poland my parents’ saviours and their families.

            The hordes of Bandera and Shukhevych worshippers who murdered Poles in the Volhynia region displayed the unseen even among Germans and Soviets cruelty towards their victims whom they often tortured for long hours until they actually killed them, or the victims died from the loss of blood. Those Ukrainian friends of ours did corroborate those stories.

            We cannot reverse time and change history, but the bestiality of those murderous thugs has to be displayed to the whole world and it has to be acknowledged by contemporary Ukrainians. There’s still a code of secrecy among Ukrainian inhabitants of Volhynia who refuse to show all places where the bodies of their predecessors’ victims were buried.

            These issues have to be carefully researched by reputable historians of both nations and Ukrainian archives opened, as the Polish ones are wide open and we may establish the exact number of Ukrainians killed by Polish resistance movements and self defence groups. It’s noteworthy that the OUN/UPA “rezuns” didn’t dare to attack those Polish villages where the self defence units were strong and many of them were killed during their attempts of slaughter. Since almost all western Ukrainians were fluent in Polish, they often tricked Polish villagers into believing that that they were Polish partisans in order to infiltrate them.

            There were also cases when they didn’t know that usually well-armed and trained self defence units were in those villages, so there were quite a few cases of them being wiped out to the last murderous thug by those Poles, but in most cases it was the other way around and the villages were burned to the ground with their inhabitants cruelly slaughtered to the last one. That was a collective insanity and amok that possessed those brainwashed Ukrainian people.

          • slavko

            The mentality of such atrocity in human history cannot be rationalized or excused. Yet we can try to understand the “workings” of the thoughts that spurred such behavior and the origins lie in protectionism of that which is deemed “ours”. It is racism, extreme nationalism and a fundamentalist thinking pattern which promotes “us” over “them”. Sadly religion was also such a filter and used as an excuse. My understanding is that this cr*p has happened all over the globe and is a brutal reminder of humanity’s barbarism. Ukrainians are not saints in this circumstance. But seeing this in many other histories as well, is one of the key reasons that I simply choose not to affiliate with any type of nationalism. Sometimes it is hard as ethnic and national identity is ingrained from an early age.

            My mother’s family is from Dubno in Rivne oblast and my father’s family from Stariy Sambir in Lviv oblast on the Dniester. This whole area was always in a state of flux with allegiances. One year it was under Hungarian rule, some time later it was under Polish control, then Russian control and so on and so forth. As a kid I heard many stories about how Ukrainians through the ages were victims at the hands of its many conquerors. Now I’m reading your story and how the Polish have suffered at the hands of Ukrainians.

            What you wrote, I wholeheartedly agree with and hope that Ukrainians could put aside all their past grievances and excuses and just truly appreciate the extended friendship of the Polish people in today’s time in spite of the their treatment by Ukrainians in Volhynia. For my part strictly as a descendant, I am very sorry for the pain that your family and people had to endure in Volhynia. That was wrong of “us”.

          • laker48

            Thank you for a really thorough introduction into the feelings of many Ukrainians. I was born and raised in the now over 800 years old city of Jaroslaw in Poland where different nations have lived in harmony for centuries. I had Ukrainian friends and nobody cared about others’ nationality or creed. There was no hatred towards Ukraine or Ukrainians in Poland. Local radio stations in Rzeszow broadcast in Ukrainian several hours a week. Ukrainians are now very well received and seen in Poland, what drives the Kremlin nuts, but the picking its national heroes by the Ukrainian government fuels this fire.

            The problem with Ukraine and Ukrainians is that imperial Russia has stolen its history on totally false claims and pretenses. The Kyivan Rus’ has its civilised history as long as Poland does. The Grand Prince of Kyiv, Sviatopolk, Yaroslav the Vise’s brother, was Polish King Boleslaw I the Brave’s son-in-law. They fought but they respected each other as well, and that was going on for centuries. Ukraine has a glorious, over a millennium long history that was stolen and bastardised by RuSSia that also succeeded in pitting the Ukrainians against the Poles and some Lithuanians. http://www.britannica.com/biography/Boleslaw-I
            A blacksmith was at fault, a Gipsy was hanged.

            The most unnerving problem in the contemporary Ukraine is that Ukrainian historian Volodymyr Viatrovych’s works have gradually evolved into a kinda OUN/UPA hagiography, a Ukrainian version of Hitler’s Mein Kampf. Calling the Volhynian slaughter a “Polish-Ukrainian war” is like calling the Holocaust a “German-Jewish war” (there was the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising where tens of thousands of Germans were killed by the Jewish insurgents). Let’s hope that real historians of both great nations will find a common ground and common language in this matter, thus cutting short any RuSSian efforts of pitting our nations against one another. We cannot change the past, but we can learn a lot from it.

          • laker48

            Have you developed PTSD after your wife left you?

          • laker48

            You do need a lot of professional help.

          • laker48

            You’re such a pathetically insane person who even cannot read with understanding to notice that I’m here because I know that even in 1943 most Ukrainians weren’t UPA, or at least its Bandera-Shukhevych fraction worshippers.

            My late parents were saved from those murderous thugs by their Ukrainian friends and neighbours, so I’ll be grateful to the Ukrainian nation for that until I die. I know that many Ukrainians were treated unfairly by the government of the Second Republic of Poland, but so were many native Poles, and it wasn’t even a remotely justifiable reason for murdering with previously unseen cruelty at least 60,000 unarmed Polish civilians, mostly women, children and elderly people for the sole reason of them being Polish. There’s nno explanation for that.

          • slavko

            Well it appears to me that your interpretation and my interpretation of some of the history behind Poland, Russia and Ukraine has a lot to do with sibling rivalry that was never out grown by Russia, as well as by ourselves in history. Russians, Poles, Ukes, Byelarussians among other Slavs, are related by genetics, blood, marriages, language, common origins and war. That’s pretty much the gamut of human experience. I’m not familiar of Volodymyr Viatrovych’s works and read very little history anymore as any history is simply an interpretation by the victor. And the victor within Ukraine is the Ukrainian perspective, as I’m sure that there is also a Polish perspective. Perhaps the most mind boggling re-interpretation of history would be the Russian perspective as that is presented at all costs to any other ethnic group besides their own. Sadly the experience of equanimity doesn’t permeate thoroughly through most of the planet. I feel that humanity in its most primitive form is heavily tribal, lacks confidence, is distrustful and fearful. Hence the warlike stance of many leaders and governments. Something else too that I note, that the more primitive the mind then the quicker the warlike stance. North Korea is an example and Russia too when Russian divisions and battalions were displaying their war maneuvers alongside Ukraine’s eastern border. Such a massive display against such a small neighbor. Nations like people, first have to realize their own humility in order to learn anything at all. But to do that we need to create space for each other.

          • http://culture.pl/en Gryzelda Wrr, III RP

            History does not have to be an interpretation of victors. You are interested in India. You may find interesting how this lady talks about history of India https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leela_Gandhi

          • slavko

            Well thank you for that link! You reminded me of some past conversations with others :) And I’ve dug into it somewhat and have started to read some of her poetry. She’s quite good actually.

            Postcolonial theory. In a way India’s history is a little similar to Ukraine’s or to any country that was dominated for hundreds of years. And it’s interesting how Indians even that they have suffered through countless Mongol invasions, persecution filled with torture of all kinds. Then through life with the British with famines every few years even with plentiful grain production, yet they persevered. And today India is slowly rising out of the ashes of colonialism without anger or complaints or blame. I have spoken with quite a few Indians on this topic and the general attitude is a thankfulness to their enemies as that just made India stronger. It’s a different approach from the Western to the harsh realities of life.

          • http://culture.pl/en Gryzelda Wrr, III RP

            I wouldn’t be that hard on Viatrovych.

          • laker48

            How come?

          • http://culture.pl/en Gryzelda Wrr, III RP

            He is willing to begin an honest scientific dialogue. This is a merit.
            He’s not objective, but neither are we. No matter how much open minded we try to be.
            I have learnt a lot about our common history for that two years on discus. I believe in dialogue.
            I don’t believe in objectivity of individuals. Let’s wait for the effects of the dialogue.
            Patience is needed from both sides.

          • laker48

            Well, he’s turned himself into a hagiographer of the OUN/UPA. A do know that not all UPA fighters were Bandera and Shukhevych worshipers and didn’t promote ethnic cleansing of Poles who had often lived there for several generations, but those murderous thugs who are guilty of that genocide should be named and condemned by Ukrainian historians as the “Action Vistula” has been condemned by many reputable Polish historians as a gross and major criminal act against Hutsul, Ukrainian and Lemka civilians. The action was basically the forced resettlement of those people to western and northern Poland with giving them equitable agricultural land as compensation. Casualties were few and far between, nevertheless they did happen and their cumulative number was quite high. We must also take into account that the “Action Vistula” was carried out mainly by the Soviets and the hardcore Polish communists who were despised by most ordinary Poles.

          • http://culture.pl/en Gryzelda Wrr, III RP

            Right but let’s not hurry to condemn historians for the stories they tell. Let’s listen to the stories first.
            Personally I know Viatrovych only from a few interviews and I had the impression of dealing with someone who can tell an interesting story and who is ready to listen our stories too. I give him credit.

          • slavko

            Geeesh… you DO need to lighten up :) have a smile, chill.

          • slavko

            Neither serfdom, nor oppression of any sort are welcome even that there is a historical pattern. If we are to get away from such behavior that you described, then we need to reset our thought patterns and establish new higher values instead of the typical tribal mentality that has existed between Slavic people. The fact remains that Poles are Slavs and just as much a Slav as a Ukrainian, a Russian or Belorussian. This is scientific fact. So whether one lives here or there, what does it matter? Brothers are welcome in each others homes. The problem that you speak of has NOTHING to do with the Polish people that got slaughtered in Volhynia. The problem that you speak of has everything to do with GOVERNMENTS. Governments are the source of the troubles in that whole region. At the time, there was the Soviet Union of which Ukraine was a republic of and Poland was under occupation by both Germany and the Soviet Union. The question that I find most interesting to answer is from where did the orders really come from to attack Polish in Volhynia? Was it from Stalin and was OUN/UPA merely a tool used by the Kremlin? Even today historical Ukrainian freedom movements are being used as a tool by Putin’s Russia to disparage Ukrainians. For many questions to be answered Ukraine must open up her archives and promote a free and unbiased study of history. History can be debated forever and a day by nationals. And whatever truth is uncovered is only relevant and not absolute. Look around you today and see how Putin’s Kremlin is placing wedges between different nations. And even you are being used as Putin’s tool by allowing the past to complicate a potentially brighter future for Ukraine.

            So tell me now, what is that which you really want to promote?

          • laker48

            Imperial RuSSia or the Soviets didn’t invent the tool. Ancient Romans used to say “divide et impera”.

          • slavko

            I’m not going to debate with you the points that you have listed. The gist of my statement is that in today’s time Ukraine has troubles and countries such as Poland have stepped up to the plate in friendly support for Ukraine’s successful emergence from those challenges. In fact while France, Germany, Italy and Greece have squawked about the hardship upon their peoples from supporting Ukraine, Poland has become steadfast as a friend and without complaint to Ukraine and remains by Ukraine’s side in her challenging situation with Russia. What has happened in the past is in the past. How much longer do we have to cry about lands that were taken away (which were returned later through force)? Of what value is there to continue reliving the past and how will that help everyone’s future? International law has set country’s borders to be inviolable. So far Russia has broken that international agreement. Poland has respected it.

          • Geralt von Riva

            Germany didn’t squawked. I was for long very pro-ukraine, but here is the point were you lost me completly good luck on your trip.

          • laker48

            Not necessarily! Germany, since Frederick I of Prussia, through Frederick William I, Frederick II of Prussia to Chancellor Bismarck have tried to divide central and eastern Europe, with the help of the Austrian Habsburg dynasty, between Germany and RuSSia. That eventually resulted in the partition of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth and erasing Poland from the map of Europe in 1795 for 123 years.

            After Poland raised like Phoenix from ashes in 1918, Germany and the Bolshevik RuSSia started plotting another partition of the Republic of Poland as early as in the mid 1920s, right after signing the Treaty of Rapallo. Since Ukraine was divided between Poland and the Soviets, the Germans didn’t care about it no more then, as it cares now.

            Germany is interested in a huge, well educated and speaking foreign languages young pool of Ukrainian labour on its way to forge another strategic alliance with RuSSia that worries the UK, the US, and the former Soviet republics and bloc countries. Also China doesn’t like this idea, hence its government’s decision to locate the main European hub of the New Silk Road in Poland, not Germany, what was eventually sealed in Warsow less than 10 days ago. Watch this China state TV show and you’ll understand it all.

            The only true strategic allies of Ukraine are the former Soviet republics and block countries, the Scandinavians, Finland and Turkey, with strong support of Canada, the US and the UK. Thanks to Chancellor Merkel, Germany is now in deep trouble due to the uncontrolled invasion of Muslim migrants what, I suspect, tipped the scales in Poland’s favour, a Poland will not let them in without careful screening every prospective immigrant outside Poland’s borders.

            Brexit may change a lot and lead to a serious reverse of EU integration policies, and a return to the pre-Lisbon EEC format. Ukraine may become less interested in joining the EU, nevertheless it may speed up its race towards NATO membership. http://www.atlanticcouncil.org/images/publications/SFRC_NATO_Testimony_Submitted_160623.pdf

            Germany has been also “cajoled” by the US into increasing its defence budget from the current 1.2% to full 2% of its GDP by 2020, what you may not like whatsoever. http://www.defensenews.com/story/defense/policy-budget/budget/2015/03/20/germany-budget-defense-spending-increase-nato-terrorist-merkel/25073443/ .

          • Geralt von Riva

            from your link above. to the rest of your facts twisting or interpreting, no comment^^

            “It will be important for Europe, particularly Western Europe, to make a significant contribution to the Alliance’s forward enhanced presence.Reports that Germany, Canada and the United Kingdom are the only allies able and/or willing to contribute battalion level elements to this effort is disturbing. France (whose generals command NATO’s second strategic command, Allied Command Transformation), Italy, Spain and others need to make similar contributions

            Failure to incorporate a robust West European element
            into NATO’ enhanced forward presence would risk transforming a
            needed demonstration of Alliance resolve and determination into
            a reanimated and divisive issue of burden”

          • laker48

            It’s exactly what has happened and it for sure wasn’t a German initiative, but strong US pressure and arm twisting. Canada, where I live, is extremely anxious about RuSSia’s aggressiveness in the Canadian Arctic zone, hence its increase in military spending and reconsideration of the acquisition of F-35 fighter jets its PM Trudeau promised to cancel during his election campaign. Canada also warns that RuSSia is readying for a conventional, ground war. https://intelnews.org/2016/06/16/01-1920/

          • Geralt von Riva

            sure, and this is also the reason that danemark is actually anti russian, because it shares a border with russian in the arctic region^^. it is the race for the arctic resources of all this big ukraine supporters^^

            i for sure don’t oppose this 2% defense spending. military research and development is never bad.^^

          • laker48

            In politics there are no friends or enemies; there are national or group interests that count. Germany’s national interests are not aligned with national interests of Canada, China, the US, the UK, the Scandinavians, the Finns and the belt of countries between the Baltic Sea, the Black Sea and the Adriatic that separate Germany from RuSSia. This geopolitical issue has been hot for over three centuries now.

          • Geralt von Riva

            sure, but to politics belong also the voters.
            so what will happen when the voters of one country will find out that their country was used as tool by another country?

          • laker48

            It’s exactly what is now happening in Poland, where the government has started buying controlling interests in German-controlled Axel Springer and other German holdings that own major Polish private media companies and news outlets in order to stop German medial aggression by Polish-language German propaganda tools.

          • Geralt von Riva

            Possible, but Axel Springer is no Holding under the influence or control of the German Gov. It is a private Company and so supports not German interests but its wallet. When now your Gov starts to buy this newspapers this newspapers will become gov newspapers. and gov newspapers are propaganda. didnt you know this? or are you trying to twist facts?^^

          • laker48

            Sure! Who pays the piper, calls the tune.

          • Geralt von Riva

            ,… And the newspapers from Axel Springer in Poland were paid by polish readers 😉

          • laker48

            Not anymore. They’re now deep in the red for the lack of government adds and subscriptions, and the government is patiently waiting for their near-collapse state in order to take them over for peanuts.

          • Geralt von Riva

            gov adds? i didnt knew that polands economy is such state driven or communistic. we should follow the brits^^

          • laker48

            Well, there’s no censorship in Poland, as it’s been in Germany for over a year now about massive misbehaviour, rapes and assaults on Germans by the most recently admitted migrants from North Africa and the Middle East.

            BTW, government ads are the bloodstream of most MSM around the world, Canada, France, Germany, the UK and the US included. Poland isn’t an exemption from this rule and its democratically elected government has full mandate of its electorate and discretion how to spend its taxpayers’ money.

          • Geralt von Riva

            again a fact twister i would have expect more from u^^. there is no censorship about rapes. best example are you yourself because u talk about it. or ie this one as example.

            “05.05.2016 A 16-year-old is said to have sexually harassed two eleven-year old girl in a Dormagener indoor pool. On Wednesday, the criminal investigation police of the Rhein-Kreis Neuss arrested the young man.”

            http://www.focus.de/panorama/welt/unsittliche-beruehrungen-16-jaehriger-fluechtling-belaestigt-zwei-elfjaehrige-maedchen-in-schwimmbad_id_5503677.html

            the rest of the “censorships” u can google yourself.

            ok laker. this it was. you are also just doing propaganda and dont like the truth :(

          • laker48

            The news release by the German media about the New Year’s eve excesses were delayed by sometimes up to three days and if it weren’t for the correspondents of foreign media, a lot would have been swept under the carpet in the name of political correctness. This is just one example. I don’t have time to search for more, but I remember reading such reports in British, Canadian, US and even Polish MSM. What German MSM publish are just tips of many icebergs.

          • Geralt von Riva

            u can read her in our media every little ass grabber of the refugees.

            another incident, another indoor pool. do you think msm checks every german indoor pool and published it?

            “At the experience pool “Arriba” in Norderstedt (Schleswig-Holstein) there should have been a case of sexual assault and rape. Two men allegedly raped a 14-year-old and a 18-year-old girl. Police said: “The victim turned to men of the security personnel, who then clung the two accused.”
            The District Court Norderstedt issued against both accused warrant on suspicion of rape. The strong suspicion was confirmed. Grounds for detention are escape and re-offending. The 14-year-old was brought already to the Jail in JVA Schleswig, the 34-year-old to the Jail in JVA Neumünster.

            there went nothing under the carpet. quite the contrary. There was really a public call by Merkel to go with every little delict of the refugee and northern africans to the policestations. similar in sweden. it was a real witch hunt. And this should tell you something about the real “welcome refugees” movement.
            what we have until now and you call political correctness is, that our police publish no stats about crimes related to certain immigrant groups or germans. not every muslim like to be call rapefugee similar to not every pole like car theft jokes and people like them simple dont deserve it.

            http://www.zdf.de/ZDFmediathek/beitrag/video/2675404/Nariman-Reinke-Fights-Against-Prejudices#/beitrag/video/2675404/Nariman-Reinke-Fights-Against-Prejudices

          • laker48

            I happened to live for almost two years in then West Germany in the late 1980s, and I know that it’s a great and compassionate nation, but this doesn’t change the fact that it’s very easy to manipulate by any authority and the media. I was working for an international civil engineering company doing business with US Army and Navy bases in Germany, so I was an objective observer from behind the sidelines. I was amazed to see how sometimes uncritically the Germans trust their government and mass media. I try to spend a week or two in Germany with my German friends every time I fly to Europe.

          • Geralt von Riva

            laker, we have since the 70th turk and kurd immigrants like the brits have polish ones now. one of my classmates was from iran. i had turk collegues and met with them private, my father as a teacher had economy classes with only turks and met with them private also. my gf grew up in hamburg-veddel:
            “The school in Veddel (formerly Slomanstieg School) is a neighborhood school with associated elementary and preschool. It is the only school in Veddel for about 450 students. The secondary level is a whole day school. Around 90 percent of students speak German not as a mother tongue. In the school 25 different nations are registered and the total of students speak 26 different languages”. we can read turk or muslim chats here, we have googletranslate also for farsi.
            do you think we need mass media, while we simple could look out of the window? 😉
            Chancellor Schmidt, who invited the turks later said it was a big mistake. Chancellor Kohl, whose son is married to a turkish women, said he don’t want the turks in the EU. Merkel some years ago said no to a turkish membership in the EU and offered a special partnership.
            And suddenly Merkel turns from Saulus to Paulus and invites all Muslims? Who believes this nonsense in the massmedia? For sure no German. but perhaps trump and comrades?^^
            the mass media tried to calm the germans down, because its not so good to burn down refugee camps. one could call this a pogrom. they have a voluntary press codex for some reasons here. why i as a german should critisize this political correct action of our mass media?

          • slavko

            These are some of the articles that I have read. And I know that you are pro-Ukraine as well as some of my other German friends here. Yet it appears that there are some within these countries that are more concerned about “lost” profits rather than establishing a firm footing upon which to build future relationships and in their ignorance are willing to forgive violation of borders and sovereignty.
            http://www.euractiv.com/section/global-europe/opinion/germany-looks-to-ease-russian-sanctions/

            http://www.euractiv.com/section/europe-s-east/news/france-germany-concerned-about-russia-sanctions-policy/

            http://www.reuters.com/article/us-ukraine-crisis-sanctions-germany-idUSKCN0WJ2VY

          • Geralt von Riva

            i will later write more.

            “A European army? Quite so far went Mogherini not. Member States remain sovereign in its decisions in the defense policy, it says. However, the chief diplomat calls for significantly improved cooperation. She is surprisingly clear for a European defense industry: “The EU
            will systematically encourage cooperation in defense matters and create a powerful European defense industry, which is crucial to ensuring that Europe can independently decide and act.”

            Mogherini will also expand cooperation of the EU and NATO. In case of emergency, the chief diplomat said, the Europeans must be able to act without the military alliance. “While NATO is for to protect its members from external attacks, the Europeans must in future be better equipped, trained and organized to act alone, if necessary.” Europeans must be able to respond to crises quickly and in accordance with the UN Charter. “We must develop the ability to intervene quickly.”

            An important challenge also applies to the management of the relationship with Russia. “We
            will not recognize Russia’s illegal annexation of Crimea and do not accept the destabilization of eastern Ukraine,” it says. Another focus in Mogherinis paper is to strengthen the ability of European countries and their neighbors to resist propaganda from Russia and other countries and to counter ( “resilience”). “A resilient society with democracy, trust in institutions and Sustainable Development is the basis for a robust state.”

            Also, the design for the new White Paper for the Armed Forces of Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen (CDU) provides for enhanced European cooperation in defense policy.”

            http://www.spiegel.de/politik/ausland/eu-will-zusammenarbeit-bei-verteidigung-ausbauen-a-1099920.html

          • laker48

            Talk and paper are cheap. The European defence industry isn’t homogeneous and will never be in the setting of national states. The German pipe dream of uniting Europe around Germany has already been delivered a fatal blow by the Brexit, the migrant crisis and the most recent stratification of the now 27 state union into the upper crust of the six founding member states and the second-tier of 21 pools of cheap labour.

            This dream is now dead in the water and indicates the utmost importance of the presence on NATO’s eastern borders its strongest member states, namely the UK and the US as France, given its WW2 and postwar history, cannot be trusted. Also Turkey and rapidly building its military muscles Poland have to be factored into this equation.

          • Geralt von Riva

            quite possible. but buying a f35 don’ t create jobs. and as we have to raise our nato contribution to 2% it would make sense to get some ROI from it. dont know how much other european nations think also this way.

          • laker48

            Poland, for one, has an almost 90 years old tradition of cooperation with the US industrial complex, as its south-eastern Central Industrial District (COP) was built from the grassroot level in the 1930s in cooperation with the US industrial sector. We have an extremely visible US presence in the aviation industry in the Carpathian Region where the COP is located. Anti-tank missiles Spike are manufactured in Poland under the Israeli Rafael’s licence. F-16 fighter jets are manufactured in Turkey under the US licence and I haven’t heard of a European project to design and manufacture a fifth generation fighter jest such as F-35 of F-22. Adequate defence’s price tag is sometimes very prohibitive.

          • Calibra

            You forgot us ; ), we took over a sizeable troop deployment to Mali so the french would have more troops free to combat ISIS and we fly against ISIS in Iraq.

          • Geralt von Riva

            sry, though mali were only we^^.

          • Calibra

            No problem, but nope, we are also there with special forces, apache helicopters, chinooks, intelligence and police trainers.

          • slavko

            Sometimes we just need to chill and smile Andrew and realize that we are all on the same side.

          • laker48

            Genocide and ethnic cleansing are not self-defence; they’re crimes against humanity.

          • laker48

            Actually, FYI, I’m one of the staunchest Dmowski’s bashers, as he is guilty of having the Polish government force Pilsudski to betray Pelura in Riga in 1921. Both Poland and Ukraine paid dearly for that less than two decades later and the falloffs of that betrayal still haunt our nations.

          • slavko

            Correct – self defense is not evil. However, murder of innocents is. Peasants, villagers, women and children are innocents. Many of them were murdered in Volyn. Yesterday, I spoke to an older Ukrainian gentleman, 94 years old and of sound mind and sharp memory. We talked about Volyn. His opinion was that on the one hand there was the German army, on the other there was Stalin’s army. Ukrainian and Polish peasants and villagers were caught in the middle. According to him, Ukrainians and the Poles were living rather peacefully for the most part, side by side. The Bolsheviks were killing Ukrainians as traitors as there was intermarriage between the two populations and telling Ukrainians that the Polish were behind that. And they were killing the Polish and telling the Polish population that the Ukrainian nationalists were behind that. Now who to believe?

          • laker48

            Here’s the link to, IMHO, an objective and factual writeup about the Volhynia massacre. The Germans and the Soviets contributed more than their fair share into that insanity. The Bandera movement, on the other hand, was a terrorist organisation from its inception. http://www.tabletmag.com/scroll/165455/why-are-jews-so-afraid-of-stepan-bandera

          • slavko

            Interesting article. And only a brief comment for now… I don’t have enough data to call his movement “terrorist”. And apparently that kind of nationalistic behavior was and is common, with the intention of liberating an oppressed people, but not to just sow terror without reason. At the time it was not defined as terrorism, but as liberation. Now in today’s time we have “referendums” as a tool for liberation as governments are now more keen to listen to people BEFORE they turn violent. Brexit for example, which by the way shows more how a referendum should be done rather than Russian version of referendums. Of course limits are always being tested.
            Anyway…. it’s late here. Good day.

          • William

            Where you from Slavko?
            Arizona U.S. here

          • laker48

            Well, both Babiak and Snyder’s publications support my take on the Volhynia genocide and ethnic cleansing of Poles there, not yours. Hrushevsky is irrelevant, as he died in the interbellum period in Moscow and was actually an indirect co-villain in the 1932-1933 Holodomor in eastern Ukraine.

        • http://culture.pl/en Gryzelda Wrr, III RP

          Slavko is a nice, wise and magnanimous person. And you?

          • laker48

            Concur 100%. When Poland and Ukraine fight one another, RuSSia is strong by their weaknesses, but when they team up, RuSSia is weak and falling apart.

          • http://culture.pl/en Gryzelda Wrr, III RP

            I don’t consider myself God.

          • http://culture.pl/en Gryzelda Wrr, III RP

            To avoid any confusion: no, I don’t like Dmowski.

          • laker48

            Neither do I. :)

  • Alex George

    Good to see that various people are making efforts to resolve this. It is clearly being exploited by Putin.

  • http://culture.pl/en Gryzelda Wrr, III RP

    “there’s nothing more to add…”

    On the contrary. There is everything to add if we want to reach deep and mutual understanding. What we have now are two national narrations. What we need is courage to look at our image in the other part’s eyes like in a mirror. There are many unpleasant surprises ahead for both of us in such process but I strongly believe it will lead to real reconciliation.

    • laker48

      Agree! There’s no other way around this historical issue.

      • Tony

        Now im just hoping to see the political will to launch a comprehensive reconciliation commission, its the only real way to put this skeleton to rest.

        • laker48

          Yes, but it takes two to tango. There’s no quick fix to this problem. It’s for sure in the best interest of the Kremlin to feed this fire, but the Ukrainian government seems to use adverse selection in picking its national heroes.

          There are tens of prominent Ukrainians/Ruthenians who were heroes of the three nations (Lithuanians, Poles and Ukrainians) and champions of freedom. Ruthenian crown prince Michal Korybut Wisniowiecki was king of Poland and his father Yarema was among the most prominent Commonwealth’s commanders beating sh*t out of Russian, Tatar and Turkish armies.

          Hetman Ostrogski, whose tomb is in Kyiv Lavra, was one of the best ever Commonwealth field commanders and, in the most recent history, Ataman Semen Petlura was a statesman and military leader who unfortunately didn’t manage to unite all Ukrainians and establish a sovereign Ukrainian state. Eastern Ukraine, lured away by the Bolsheviks, paid dearly for its mistrust in Petlura less than five years later in the winter of 1932/1933, when the Bolsheviks starved to death at least 3.5 million Ukrainians, but the real number is probably more than twice as high.

          I’m afraid that a serious reset will have to be made in the field of Ukraine’s Pantheon of national heroes before any meaningful Polish-Ukrainian dialogue about long and quite often glorious common history bears fruit. This treaty was torpedoed by the Russians too. When Poland and Ukraine stick together, RuSSia is weak, when they start a fight, Russia looks and seems strong, but its “strength” is derived from our homelands’ relative weakness. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Treaty_of_Hadiach

          • laker48

            Khmelnitsky incited a rebellion because his wife left him for another Polish gentry man, Czaplinski, very much like yours. Khmelnitsky was a Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth military commander and was never discriminated against. Ruthenian aristocrat Michał Korybut Wiśniowiecki was elected King of Poland and the Grand Duke of Lithuania, while his father Yarema was one of the greatest military commanders of th Commonwealth. Your utter ignorance doesn’t deserve my time.

          • laker48

            Yes, I’ve just wanted to tease the crazy wife beater. The Khmelnitsky rebellion was much more than Khmelnitsky losing his wife to Czaplinski. Here’s the link to, IMHHO, a quite fair description of the Khmelnitsky rebellion, its background and outcomes. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Khmelnytsky_Uprising

            It was Russia that fraudulently ticked Khmelnitsky into signing the Treaty of Pereyaslav to latter renege on all its clauses, as the fascist RuSSian federation has reneged on the 1994 Budapest Memorandum RuSSia never changes, a s leopard never changes its spots.

          • slavko

            The Ukrainian people have been lamenting that Treaty of Pereyaslav with the Russians. In fact there’s a poem about that by Taras Shevchenko. Will find and post it for you.

            On another note… I’m trying to calm him down and you are teasing the crazies out of him. Hmmmm. It’s all good.

          • laker48

            Why won’t we have some entertainment? He’s irreformable and totally unwilling to listen. His “historical” knowledge of Ukrainian history can be only compared with the Soviet mythology that has been taught in Soviet and RuSSian schools instead of real history since the end of WW2.

          • laker48

            You’re so pathetic in your denial! Neither you nor I can change history, but sane people can agree on it and draw lessons in order to avoid such heinous crimes if the future. I don’t wish you death, as it wasn’t me who brought you to this world, but I wish you the best institutional care available, as you deserve it dearly..

          • laker48

            Utter garbage and nonsense, dear dog catcher and wife beater!

          • laker48

            What a sick idiot! Beyond pathetic!

          • laker48

            Keep ranting and regurgitating the same garbage of yours!

          • laker48

            Keep ranting and regurgitating the same garbage of yours!

    • http://mosquitocloud.net/ aprescoup

      Wow…

      You ought to really try hard to take your own advice on board, there, Grizzz…

      • http://culture.pl/en Gryzelda Wrr, III RP

        Would you mind being a bit more specific? What are you actually accusing me of?