Polish-Ukrainian confrontation over historical past gains momentum

Portrait of Stepan Bandera with the Avenue named after him in the background 

History, International, More, Ukraine

As the anniversary of the Volyn tragedy approaches, Polish-Ukrainian confrontation regarding the historical past shifted from discontent and criticism to bans and clashes. Calls for forgiveness and reconciliation get lost in the noise of Poland shouting for revenge and Ukraine conducting unfortunate decommunization.

On 7 July Kyiv City Council renamed five streets, a lane and an avenue. The last one, in accordance with the  law on decommunization, will be no longer called Moskovsky Prospekt, but Prospekt Stepan Bandery. Naming the avenue after one of the most controversial personalities in Ukraine’s history, the leader of OUN-UPA Stepan Bandera took place days before Polish Memory Day of the Victims of the Volyn Tragedy. In Poland OUN-UPA members are considered “criminals.”

Brotherhood in bad times

On 4 July, Ukrainians received a letter from Poles. Active and former politicians, activists, and media persons responded to Ukraine’s letter of “repentance and forgiveness,” starting their appeal with “Ukrainians, brothers!”.

Forty-five signatories asked for forgiveness for the harm caused by Poles and paid tribute to the victims of Polish-Ukrainian fratricidal conflicts. The letter calls for establishing a „true brothership” of the two nations, in “good, but also bad times, which maybe are coming in our common Europe, endangered by nationalisms and Russian imperialism.”

The letter was signed by Polish intellectuals, namely: former presidents Lech Walesa, Aleksander Kwasniewski, and Bronislaw Komorowski; prominent representatives of the dissident Solidarity movement such as Wladyslaw Frasyniuk and Zbigniew Bujak; former and current politicians such as ex-minister of foreign affairs Radoslaw Sikorski and vice speaker of the Sejm Malgorzata Kidawa-Blonska, as well as editors of the key media outlets.

“Over time, our common misfortune, detachment was replaced by hatred and nationalism, and their bitter fruit – crime – which Poles and Ukrainians together experienced in Volyn, Eastern Galicia, Kholm, Bieszczady and Przemyśl. This is why we are very pleased to receive your letter with significant words “we forgive and ask for forgiveness,” where you do not avoid responsibility for the crimes and wrongdoings committed by Ukrainians against Poles in the 1940s,” the letter says.

Prayer for the victims

On the same day, Polish and Ukrainian priests called to pray for victims of Polish-Ukrainian confrontation and not let “the common enemy” separate the two nations. The signatories ask to conduct a memorial service on 10 July during commemoration of the Volyn tragedy.

The letter was signed by Sviatoslav (Shevchuk), the Major Archbishop of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church; Eugene (Popovych), the Przemysl and Warsaw Archbishop and Metropolitan of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church, and Volodymyr (Yushchak), the Bishop Ordinary of the Wrocław-Gdańsk Eparchy of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church.

The religious leaders remind, that Polish and Ukrainian Catholic hierarchs have been meeting and signing joint declarations aimed at preventing the tragic past, in particular, World War II events, serving as a sticking point on the road of Christian coexistence of the two nations.

“For almost 30 years, people of the good will from both our nations want to reach the hearts of all Poles and Ukrainians, to open them for forgiveness and reconciliation. The current moment in the political history of Poland and Europe seems to be especially unfavorable for those, who do not idealize their past. The old enemy of the Polish and Ukrainian nations that can dominion over us only by separating us, aims to open the wounds of the past, provoke a new whirl of tension and hatred between us and destroy our common European future.”

The appeal states, that “each Church that is faithful to its mission must implicitly accept the teaching of the Savior, that before making a sacrifice to God, one must first make peace with the brother that feels aggrieved” (referring to Matthew 5:23-24).


Poles unhappy with Ukrainian version of common history

However, such an unconditional reconciliation-oriented posture is not shared by whole Polish society. Two weeks ago, Michal Dworczyk, Poland’s MP and chief of the parliamentary Commission of Contacts with the Poles Who Live Abroad, presented a response to Ukrainian letter from the Polish ruling party “Law and Justice.”

According to the message, Poles accept apologies of Ukrainians, but find Ukraine’s version of a common history “a problem” and emphasize, that they will not accept “ideology and actions that allow murder of innocent civilians, even in the name of the highest goals, to which undoubtedly fight for state independence belongs.”

A number of Polish journalists expressed outrage caused by Ukraine’s letter of “repentance and forgiveness.” Publicists stated, that what Ukrainian side tried to do was nothing else but an attempt to rewrite history and replace the concept. They found the comparison between Polish and Ukrainian victims inappropriate, and the mention of a common enemy in the Kremlin as a manipulation and blackmail.

Very soon after, the negative reaction expanded from words to actions.

Ukrainian memorial procession intervened by Polish nationalists

On 27 June, the Polish town of Przemysl turned into a playground of the most recent Polish-Ukrainian anxieties. The southeastern Polish town is a home to a large Ukrainian minority and has been a hotspot of Polish-Ukrainian arguments. This time, a group of up to 20 people tried to intervene to the procession of Greek Catholic and Orthodox believers who were on their way to the local military cemetery following the memorial service to Ukrainian heroes.

Clashes during the memorial procession in Przemysl, Poland. Photo: Yevropeyska Pravda.

Clashes during the memorial procession in Przemysl, Poland. Photo: Yevropeiska Pravda.

“The commemorations dedicated to our heroes, The Sich Riflemen Halych-Bukovyna Kurin, date back to the 20th years of the XX century, with a break for the period of the Second Polish Republic. However, it has never sparked controversies. Only now some groups cynically use the fact that  the graves of UPA warriors are at the same cemetery and try to provoke a Polish-Ukrainian conflict,” Petro Tyma, the Head of the Association of Ukrainians of Poland, commented, the Polish Radio reports.

Tyma, who was present during the clashes, said that some of the attackers wore T-shirts of the nationalistic All-Polish Youth organization and were shouting offensive slogans. Another witness that the Polish Radio quoted told about local hooligans, so-called preudo-football fans, as well as persons that self-identify with the nationalistic groups. They were holding posters saying “Banderovites and their supporters – out of Poland!”.

A few days later, on July 2, the Ukrainian minority in Przemysl was planning to celebrate a traditional Ukrainian Ivana Kupala Day and invited a Ukrainian band Ot Vinta. However, the concert was banned. Representatives of the Association of the football fans of the “Polonia” team wrote a letter to the city mayor claiming that the band glorifies OUN-UPA. As a proof, the authors of the letter used photos of the band’s leader Yuriy Zhuravel and members of the band by the monument to Stepan Bandera and with the red-black flag on the background. Some nationalist activists even threatened to burn the stage, so Przemysl city mayor Robert Choma decided to ban the concert and cancel the festival.

Ukrainian band Ot Vinta banned from entering Poland

Thus, Ukrainians who live in Poland decided to invite Ot Vinta to Warsaw – the concert was planned in the center of Polish capital on 3 July. The musicians spent over 9 hours at the Ukrainian-Polish border to learn they were banned from entering the country, while their fans faced furious protesters at the place where the concert was planned. According to the note of the Polish Border Guard, the musicians present danger for the political regime and public order. The order came directly from the Ministry of Internal affairs.

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“This is a very personal and emotional thing to me,” Yuriy Zhuravel from Ot Vinta later told Polish Newsweek. “My family comes from Volyn. The topic of Volyn has been long used as a bargaining chip both in Ukraine and Poland. That is a lack of respect to the scale of that tragedy. We remember Polish-Ukrainian history and try to draw conclusions from it so that the same mistakes aren’t repeated twice. I believe that it is historians who need to deal with it, on both sides. There is a huge difference between a thorough analysis of a historian and opening wounds and unleashing hatred.”

Organizers of the concert in Warsaw, knowing that Ot Vinta were stuck at the border and banned, brought another Ukrainian band, Joryj Kloc from Lviv. The band and the audience had to deal with representatives of Polish nationalist groups shouting anti-Ukrainian slogans and wearing symbols of Falanga National Radical Camp.

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  1. Avatar laker48 says:

    “The letter was signed by Polish intellectuals, namely: former presidents Lech Walesa, Aleksander Kwasniewski, and Bronislaw Komorowski (…)”
    None of them is an intellectual and only Komorowski, a suspect RuSSian agent who may soon face criminal charges in Poland, holds a university degree, albeit he became notorious for his gaffes and persistent misspellings of the most common Polish words.

    As far as the cult of Bandera in Ukraine is concerned, it will never be positively received by almost 100 of Poles and this issue will nave to be addressed by Polish and Ukrainian historians as well as the politicians. The 1943 Volhynia massacre o Poles by the Bandera splinter of the OUN/UPA has to be called by both parties a genocide, albeit it must be put into a wider context of the Soviet/RuSSian genocide inflicted on both ethnic Poles and ethnic Ukrainians in the years 1919-1955. Bandera is politically responsible for the Volhynia massacre.

    1. Avatar Mykola Banderachuk says:

      if only 100 Poles are bothered by Bandera that is not bad considering there are 39,000,000 people living there. that means for the rest Bandera is not an issue-they have moved on to recognize that the greater evil is putin and his hordes of terrorists

      1. Avatar laker48 says:

        It was a typo that I edited and fixed single minutes after the original posting and it should read “100%”. Bandera is totally despised in Poland, considered a terrorist and one of the brains, together with Roman Shukhevych, behind the Volhynia massacre of Jews and Poles. He was assassinated by an NKVD agent in Germany in 1959, where he was living under assumed Polish last name Popiel as a Polish national. No love was lost, though. The Bandera splinter of the OUN/UPA gave a black eye to the whole Ukrainian liberation movement and were guilty of killing of over 10,000 Ukrainians who were helping Jews and Poles save their lives from Shukhevych’s murderous thugs.

        1. Avatar Mykola Banderachuk says:

          another funny comment from a misguided russo-troll, you guys are just getting funnier and funnier the more this russian crisis goes on. Just a question:how could Bandera be involved in an operation by OUN if he was in a nazi concentration camp at the VERY same time.? Can you answer that?

          1. Avatar laker48 says:

            Just another bout of insults instead of bona-fide arguments. Bandera was a terrorist and a war criminal such as Radovan Karadzic, Ratko Mladic and Slobodan Milosevic, jus to name those three Serbian war criminals. His ideology was behind ethnic cleansing of Jews and Poles throughout western Ukraine. http://www.volhyniamassacre.eu/

          2. Avatar Mykola Banderachuk says:

            the russians supported Milosevic and Karadzic and how come you did not answer my question? nice try

          3. Avatar Quartermaster says:

            His was not even a good effort at deflection. It was much too obvious.

          4. Avatar laker48 says:

            Intelligible English, please!

          5. Avatar Quartermaster says:

            That was excellent English. You seem to be decently proficient in English, so that should have been intelligible.

          6. Avatar laker48 says:

            Sorry, my misreading or your editing and correcting :). It happens to me from time to time. It was excellent English indeed :).

          7. Avatar laker48 says:

            What question? Yu answered it yourself. Rudolf Hess was arrested i Scotland in 1941, so he didn’t take part or even remotely supervise most German atrocities committed throughout Europe but he died in the Spandau prison in Berlin in 1987. Do you need more analogies?

    2. Avatar Tony says:

      Hey lakker, here is a update, you may or may not like it:

      Basically, it seems Ukrainian government is annoyed with what it perceives as a unilateral approach by the Polish government regarding this issue that apparently aggravates the situation. Of course, their renaming of the street to Bandera didnt help either.
      In my opinion, this is a sensitive issue that can easily be hijacked by populists and nationalists at the cost of reconciliation. I have seen similar problems in the WW2 disputes between Korea/Japan and these issues can continue forever regardless of the number of apologies issued, this is why I fear the populism.

      1. Avatar laker48 says:

        I know of this. This is probably the Bandera faction in the Rada. This attempt will not likely stop the Polish parliament and the governments in their effort to legislate the Volhynia massacre as an act of genocide. I don’t expect any significant deterioration of any Polish-Ukrainian relations in a long run either. Poland is too key an ally for Ukraine for any but RuSSian and German-imposed Ukrainian government to risk any serious fuming. Such a piece of legislation will be not even adequate response to progressing “banderisation” of Ukraine. BTW, what did the Ukrainians did towards heir defence after that? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ls0fTk9HZ-c
        The late President of Poland Lech Kaczynski did see the writing on the wall and warned them. He likely paid for that with his life in the Smolensk crash of the Polish government jet. Wake UP, Ukraine, until it’s too late!

        1. Avatar Tony says:

          Well the legislature (according to attached document) doesn’t do anything other than state the problem from what I can tell. They wanted a bilateral solution but the Polish side ignored the proposal and did their unilateral thing.

          What does ‘Banderisation’ even mean? Ideology? Idolising?(in which case I really hope you don’t insist on cherry picking from a self centered perspective again).

          1. Avatar laker48 says:

            The Polish party in this confrontation has the right to call the Volhynia and other western Ukrainian massacres of Jews and Poles, at that time still legally Polish citizens, genocide and has the right to officially commemorate it by the Polish state. Period. Ukraine keeps glorifying Bandera and Shukhevych, two major architects of the genocide, despite Polish diplomatic actions.

            Fair is fair. It’s Ukraine that needs Poland much more than Poland needs Ukraine, albeit I don’t expect any deterioration in the mutual strategic relationship. The situation will change dramatically after 2018 when Poland comes up with over 50 million tons (375 million barrels) of cheap Iranian and Saudi crude surplus ready to be shipped from the Gdansk Naftoport to the Adriatic and Black Sea regions through a high volume pipeline able to replace the Druzhba pipeline from RuSSia.

            Polish energy conglomerates Lotos and Orlen own all oil refineries in Lithuania, Poland and former East Germany, and process betwen them up to 50 million tons of crude per year. They also own refineries in the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Hungary, and are sitting on piles of cash and waiting for the privatisation of the Ukrainian energy sector they’re going to buy out, and there will be nothing Ukraine can do, if if the price is right and they come up as the highest bidders (freedom of transfer of people, capital and ownership in the EU). This may lead to a change in government in Ukraine and bring a non-ultranationalist one into power. This scuffle may take another three to five years to get settled because any long-term relationship has to be built on mutual trust and truth, what hasn’t been the case so far.

          2. Avatar Tony says:

            “any long-term relationship has to be built on mutual trust and truth”

            There is the problem, you only care about “truth” from your perspective and dont understand that trust is a two way street.
            You speak of “truth” yet claim that the current Ukrainian government is “ultranationalist”, yet in reality the ultranationalists lost the Ukrainian elections by far and isnt the current Polish government right wing?

            You speak of “truth” yet you say ” Ukraine keeps glorifying Bandera and Shukhevych, two major architects of the genocide”, I dont know about Shukhevych but Bandera isnt glorified for his massacre of Poles (and its well understood that this did happen, even if soviets inflated it with covert methods and propaganda) but for his struggles for Ukrainian independence and fighting the nazzis and soviets, but you ALWAYS ignore that and insist on a self centered perspective, I have told you many times that Bandera is not only about YOU.

            You speak of “trust” and yet you openly advocate for twisting Ukraine’s arm into submission by financial means, political or other means(by the way, this approach is really unattractive, as they say, ‘catch more flys with honey than vinegar’. Also I remind you that people dont necessarily follow rational choices, so Ukraine could really go it alone even if its not smart and that wouldnt be to Polands benefit either)

            Im starting to think you are a Polish ultranationalist who only cares about the Polish perspective.

            About the legislature. Again, if you go back to the document, they were speaking of making a ‘joint statement’ about the Volyn tragedy where both Poles and Ukrainians died. Wouldnt such a bilateral approach go further towards healing this problem? Why reject it?
            What if for example, the Ukrainian government unilaterally declared Pawłokoma massacre to be a genocide of Ukrainians in that small area? If you say Poles also died there then I will tell you that Ukrainians also died at Volyn.
            What if Ukraine treated Jozef Pilsudski in a similar manner to how you treat Bandera, focusing only on his “pacifications” of Ukrainians and ABSOLUTELY IGNORING EVERYTHING ELSE? Would this approach help or hinder a reconciliation and friendship between Poles and Ukrainians? If hinder, then why do you do it?

            About calling it a Genocide, maybe it was but we should keep in mind that OUN-B would probably have been satisfied if the Poles just left, in this case they main objective was to evict the Poles from Volyn, not kill them and this can only be understood by including the events of 1918 and Ukraine’s struggle for independence.

          3. Avatar laker48 says:

            I don’t know if you have any command of the Polish language, but this lady has spent most of her research as a historian about OUN/UPA crimes against Poles and Poles against Ukrainians. She doesn’t take sides and she has written statements of Kyiv-based Ukrainian historians who didn’t deny anything she had published and only tried to justify the genocide. The OUN/UPA was a criminal organisation sice its inception and this is the brutal truth.

            She is not against the Ukrainian nation, but she’s sincerely hated by the hardcore western-Ukrainian ultranationalists. This truth-seeking movement will eventually air the crimes of OUN/UPA all over the world, as plenty of original documents are still in American, Belarusian, German, Lithuanian, Polish, RuSSian and Ukrainian archives. This is just the beginning of this process. Here’s the link to Dr. Lucyna Kulińska’s presentation, unfortunately in Polish. http://www.dlapolski.pl/kazdy-kto-byl-polakiem-mial-zostac-unicestwiony

          4. Avatar laker48 says:


          5. Avatar laker48 says:

            Remember, rabid shill! Friends come and go, but enemies accumulate. Your Ukies kiss and lick too many and mostly wrong butts. It’s their country that is at stake, not mine. You may bring a horse to water …

    3. Avatar Nowhere Girl says:

      Komorowski was no Russian agent. I’ll say it in Polish: he was a “ciepłe kluchy”, not a great president – but he never placed the Russian interest above Polish. And if he faces criminal charges, than only because PiS considers any other authorities and policies ILLEGITIMATE.

      1. Avatar laker48 says:

        Komorowski will become Bronislaw K. and put behind bars on the evidence gathered by investigative journalist Wojciech Sumlinski alone. The list of his crimes against Poland is arm-long. I also suspect that it was Komorowski, not Tusk behind the April 10, 2010 crash of the Polish government jet near Smolensk, killing all on board.

  2. Avatar Nowhere Girl says:

    I can understand the reasons behind the will to change the avenue’s name, still – “Moscow Avenue” is NOT a communist name and as such doesn’t fall under the decommunization law. Yes, it carries memory of colonial dependence of Ukraine, yes, Ukraine has reasons to be not-too-enthusiastic about everything Russian, but nobody was obliged to change the name. And during all these tensions between Poland and Ukraine renaming the avenue after Bandera was the worst possible solution. Really, sometimes it’s necessary to bite one’s tongue. Klichko’s “Nemtsov Avenue” was much less divisive, still – as I said – there was no requirement to change the name at all, the city council was just being over-zealous about it.
    And sorry – don’t accuse everyone who criticizes Bandera of being a Russian troll. I’m not going to demonize Bandera, but I also don’t consider him a great hero. Bandera as a person can’t be blamed for the Volhynia tragedy because at that time he was in concentration camp, but he was a nationalist ideologist who believed that anything can be forgiven when fighting for the good of the nation. And it isn’t so. It’s necessary to draw a line and Bandera didn’t do it.
    Nope, at this time those who are – deliberately (such as Polish nationalists, who “happen to be” almost 100% pro-Russian) or out of ignorance (such as the Kyiv city council) – working against Polish-Ukrainian reconcilliation, are the ones working in the Kremlin’s interest. As it was often said, there is no free Poland without free Ukraine and no free Ukraine without free Poland. Reconcilliation and cooperation is a necessity and those who are trying to stir up conflict between both nations are pushing the other side right into Putin’s arms.

    1. Avatar Tony says:

      I think one cannot understand the name change from a self centered perspective. From the Polish perspective, Bandera was nothing more than a mass murderer but from the Ukrainian perspective he fought the [email protected], Soviets, Poles(they werent on Ukraine side at that time and wanted Volhynia for themselves, Polish side conducted collective punishment, those lands were seen as historically Ukrainian, etc) and who ever else tried to subjugate Ukraine.
      Yes the genocide was despicable and it must be labeled as such but lets not simply demonize and insist on a self centered perspective, reconciliation can only come from understanding each others perspectives and admitting past mistakes.

      1. Avatar slavko says:

        Very well stated Tony! And you bring in an excellent perspective, which is the awareness of the self centered perspective. More of this is needed.

        1. Avatar laker48 says:

          It’s neither my circus nor my monkeys but, IMHO, the federal government in Kyiv will never unite Ukraine with Bandera as its national hero. Bandera is a divisive figure in Ukraine too. He’s never been a statesman either, hence the muted reaction in Kyiv. http://www.politico.eu/article/the-dirty-dozen-12-people-who-ruined-ukraine/

          1. Avatar slavko says:

            I really do feel that if Ukraine wants to name a street after Bandera or whoever, then we on the outside should just let it be. Did Ukrainians complain to Poland when a bridge was named after Dmowski or a statue of him was put up? He did incite in Poland anti-Semitism as well as anti-Ukrainian sentiments in the decade preceding the Volhynia Massacre. Dmowski inspired Polish ultra-nationalists. And so what? Those times are long gone. In my opinion… who cares? For now, Bandera is uniting those nationalists to feel part of a radically changing state looking to adapt to a new world. They held a gay parade in Kyiv just a month or so ago. This would not have happened 5 years ago without incident. 10 years from now the street name shall be changed.

          2. Avatar laker48 says:

            I’m really appalled by naming anything in Poland after Roman Dmowski, while I can put up with naming streets in Ukraine after Stepan Bandera, but I strongly oppose the heel-digging by the Ukrainians about the cold blooded and planned in advance 1941-1945 western Ukrainian genocide of the non-Ukrainian population there. The smooth swallowing of the July 22, 2016 resolution of the Polish Sejm by Ukrainian politicians seems promising.

            BTW, I may be wrong, but it’s next to impossible to unite eastern and western Ukraine with Bandera as its national hero. We may witness the total and ultimate decomposition of the fascist RuSSian Federation within single years, as well as growing tensions between Muslim and local population in western Europe. Central and eastern European states will be bringing balance to Europe. Ukraine has to get ready for this without sectarian fights between its Ukrainian and Russian-speaking population. Any kind of a cult of Bandera won’t facilitate such a change.

          3. Avatar slavko says:

            There are things that we can control and then there are things that we can’t control. History should be left to the historians to be researched and accepted, good or bad. It doesn’t make sense to hold onto old painful history and to just remember only that. If we reflect back to the common history between Ukrainians and Polish people we note that from both sides behavior has changed over the years. And in many ways it is a positive change towards a mutually accepted good relationship. Polish governments are no longer taking over Ukrainian lands. Polish people come to Ukraine, some to visit and some to live. Borders are there and respected. Likewise with Ukrainians go to Poland. So today it’s all good. And we know each others stubbornness well enough to not push towards violent confrontation. Let’s face it violence can be a reality and we can each act to avoid it. So wisdom has entered both populations in that way. It’s a learning process for both peoples. And in all relations, both parties have to accept the good and bad about each other. Both sides have the capacity for violence, so we encourage each other towards better understanding

            As to your 2nd paragraph, I was with you up until the last sentence 🙂 …my understanding after conversations with both sides, there really isn’t a problem between Russian speakers and Ukrainian speakers in Ukraine. The language issue is more of a false trigger used by the Russian government. But the people get along well enough. The Russian side have their Stalin, who was probably worse than Hitler in his policies. The Ukrainians have their Bandera. The Polish have their Dmowski. Now we move on. You are very correct that sectarian division needs to end in Ukraine. I feel that for now Russia has to stop intruding into Ukrainian politics, trade and religious issues and so on to allow the hot spots to cool. Meddling into the internal business of our neighbors does not make good neighborly relations. This is why I say that each must allow each others “bad” points to just be without continually criticizing from outside. Hopefully a culture of introspection within each nation can flourish.

          4. Avatar laker48 says:

            What I see as a problem is nor Dmowski in Poland, as his ideas are totally obsolete and discredited there except for some pro-RuSSian, fringe movements, while Bandera is in western Ukraine a superhero. It took Poles some time to figure it out that Roman Dmowski was a highly destructive and disruptive political figure in Poland, while in Ukraine it may take it a generation to arrive at the same conclusion about Bandera. Bandera is so unacceptable for eastern Ukrainians that they’re ready to forget about the 1932/1933 Great Famine (Holodomor) in order to hate Bandera.

            I do applaud the Ukrainian government’s muted reaction to the Polish parliament’s resolution about the western Ukrainian genocide and suspect that its timing was quietly coordinated by moderate politicians of both nations to fall not on the 11th, but the 22nd of July, just before the Verkhovna Rada went on its summer break in order to let the time quell the emotions on the Ukrainian side. Both parties know this all too well that the gravest peril they both face is the fascist RuSSian Federation, and that the resolution will, in the long run, disarm the Kremlin of one of its most effective weapons, i.e, the Volhynia genocide.

            The late President of Poland Lech Kaczynski was right in Tbilisi on the 5th of August 2008 and paid for his courage with his life less than two years later. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ls0fTk9HZ-c

          5. Avatar slavko says:

            I live in the US. Here there is one “hero” celebrated with a national holiday every year. He is Christopher Columbus. The man did NOT discover America. In fact he was lost during his voyages from Europe. Historical research shows that he was a violent oppressor of the Native people he met along the way and in the Americas. Not only that, Columbus was a known rapist of women and a trader of slaves. He was an incompetent administrator. He was documented as extremely cruel towards those that violated his laws and used torture along with mutilation as punishment. Certainly not a personage to look up to in my opinion. Yet Columbus now stands in the national memory as what NOT to be as a governor of people. Today we have a presidential candidate that threatens to use waterboarding and other forms of torture if elected, to extract information from the enemies of US and contrary to the opinion of various military personnel and psychologists that claim these methods do not aid to gain information. :/ There’s no one holy on this planet. Gives us reason to reflect on how can each of us improve according to our personal highest aspirations.

            That video clip is inspiring and a powerful example of lofty goal setting. It’s a shame that Kaczynski left us so soon! Russia wants us to be divided and angry with each other. We should not give it to them. I feel that the language issue (in my opinion minor) will sort itself out more as Ukraine is exposed to the broader European experience.

          6. Avatar laker48 says:

            We can’t compare medieval standards to 20th century genocide. I’m, for example, a member of the Knights of Columbus, but I always keep saying that Christopher Columbus was a murderer and a robber who brought an unmitigated disaster to the native population of both Americas.

            The key issue is the denial of many Ukrainians that, despite all wrongs they believe they’ve suffered in the hands of Poles, there was no justification to the 1941-1945 western Ukrainian genocide of non-Ukrainians. There’s no reconciliation without truth and repentance.

            If you go back in history, it was always Russia that betrayed Ukrainians, not Poland, and it started with the 1654 Treaty of Pereyaslav Russia blatantly reneged on. The only shameful exemption on the Polish side was forcing Pilsudski by the Dmowski government to betray Petlura in 1921 during the negotiations of the 1921 Treaty of Riga. This is one of the reasons I sincerely despise Roman Dmowski.

            My late parents were saved back in the fall of 1943 from Bandera and Shukhevych thugs by their Ukrainian friends and neighbours I had an honour to meet in person, so I’m the last person to paint all Ukrainians with the same brush,

          7. Avatar slavko says:

            I also wanted to share this video with you that shows the how little the issue of language really is. It also shows the early days of Russian infiltration into Donetsk and Luhansk and how the Ukrainians and ethnic Russians of that region tried for peaceful solution. But yes the people in Eastern Ukraine have to be properly supported by Kyiv, as they themselves state that Ukraine remains united and Putin go home.

          8. Avatar laker48 says:

            I was in eastern and western Ukraine many times, most recently in the fall of 2008, and I found Kyiv and Kharkiv much more openminded than Lviv, while the Donbas area was overrun and ruled by the same Russian-Ukrainian zhulia, as it was the case in the early 1980s.

            Western Ukraine was terribly anti-Russian and many people in Lviv seemed to be upset when we spoke Polish. We also had problems with Ukrainian police, then called ” militia”, that tried to gouge bribes, but we travelled in a column of five vehicles with EU licence plates and equipped with dashboard cameras, so they eventually backed off, albeit very reluctantly.

            My friends in eastern Poland who often travel to Ukraine say that corruption throughout western Ukraine is still well and kicking. It’ll take at least a generation before Ukraine meets EU and NATO standards.

          9. Avatar slavko says:

            “If we could change ourselves, the tendencies in the world would also
            change. As a man changes his own nature, so does the attitude of the
            world change towards him. … We need not wait to see what others do.” Those words were spoken by Mahatma Gandhi

            Relax and listen to some music! 🙂 This is something different that I found. Mostly I listen to Latin or Indian music because I don’t understand the lyrics and so I must use other senses to understand 🙂

          10. Avatar Scradje says:

            I love that band! They are absolutely awsome live.

          11. Avatar slavko says:

            Yeah. I just happened to find them and gave them a listen. Am impressed! The music runs in the blood spontaneously.

          12. Avatar laker48 says:

            Look! There’s a deafening silence in Ukraine, Polish and Ukrainian presidents will meet in Kyiv on the 24th of this month and sign many deals, Polish movie “Wołyń” will hit the theatres in a month, while several banderite Tornado battalion members and commanders are now on trial in a Ukrainian court and many of them face life in prison for their war crimes.

            Bandera will disappear from the Ukrainian public space in less than a generation. Symon Petlura has recently been exonerated and I’ve already come across a few vicious attacks launched at him by some Kremlin propaganda mouthpieces. Ukraine is a very young and fledgling democracy, and it’ll take at least a generation to place it where Poland was in the early 1990s. It’ll be a long and bumpy ride.

          13. Avatar laker48 says:

            “AS ALWAYS —- you LIE!!! A REAL disorder!
            Nothing about Azov…. no “WAR CRIMES!!!” — As you claimed…
            AFTER your BS “EAST–WEST “divide” didn’t “sell” —-
            given the Battalions.”
            Well, translate this! http://kresy24.pl/gwalcili-nawet-niemowleta-zapis-seksualnych-orgii-i-gwaltow-dowodem-w-sadzie-wideo/

            Once the Ukrainian army becomes more professional and better trained, the so called volunteer battalions will be disbanded or incorporated into it with all the consequences flowing out of such an incorporation. It’s coming. I’m actually sorry for all banderite Ukrainian nutjobs of your ilk, but it’s neither my circus, nor my monkeys.

          14. Avatar laker48 says:

            Your insane hatred and stupidity are not even funny.

    2. Avatar Y K says:

      Wise words, Nice Girl.

  3. Avatar Dirk Smith says:

    Every country has a Bandera. He fought against Poles, Germans, Hungarians, Austrians, and the mongol-muscovite in order to give Ukrainians the right to exist and develop their own country. The genocide by Nazi German and Soviet ruSSia are well-documented, but why aren’t the raids and genocide of Ukrainian villages by the Polish military ever mentioned? Volyn was in response to these transgressions.

    1. Avatar laker48 says:

      “(…) why aren’t the raids and genocide of Ukrainian villages by the Polish military ever mentioned?”
      They’re well documented and are public knowledge available on the Polish Institute of National Memory (IPN) website. The same is true about the Action Vistula (Akcja Wisła). It’s Ukraine that still maintains a code of silence about secret burial sites of the Polish Volhynia genocide victims.

      1. Avatar Mister Rahool says:

        Ukraine doesn’t have a “code of silence” – the country has already made statements condemning it and asking for forgiveness, and the president was just as a Volyn memorial in Poland.

        The only people denying what happened are in Poland, not Ukraine.

        1. Avatar laker48 says:

          Talk is cheap. Poland doesn’t owe Ukraine anything and doesn’t want anything from Ukraine except for admitting to genocide of Poles in Volhynia and throughout western Ukraine.

          1. Avatar Tony says:

            I hope it will be legally recognized as a genocide by Ukraine’s government and soon. Perhaps it would be best if Bandera’s monument is altered to include a Volyn genocide memorial, it should reduce misunderstanding, improve historical education and be a very sobering experience in general.

            Now about Bandera, I get the impression that Poles have a very self centered perspective about him (from their perspective, Bandera was nothing more than a mass murderer). However, in reality he fought not only against the poles (historical context: the collective punishment and territorial disputes) but also against the soviets and [email protected]
            Now we can all agree that Banderas actions against ethnic civilian Poles was a genocide and I think few Ukrainians have problems condemning it. But please dont think Bandera is only about Poland, its just not true.

            Reconciliation cannot happen when understanding is only one sided.

            I fear this may all devolve into cherry picking and populism.

          2. Avatar laker48 says:

            100% true!

  4. Avatar Rick says:

    The 1943 massacres in what was then eastern Poland have left a lot of skeletons in the cupboard for those Ukrainian nationalists who blindly continue to venerate the memory of people like Bandera and Shukhevych. 200 000 isn’t quite on the scale of the Rwandan genocide of 1994, but genocide it most certainly was. In German-occupied Poland Ukrainian forces carried out a mass slaughter of Polish villagers who posed no military threat and whose only crime was that they were not ethnic Ukrainians.

    The slaughter was as horrifying as it was methodical. No one was spared. Ukrainian men with Polish wives were ordered to kill them or face execution themselves. Worse still, many of the Polish villagers were brutally tortured and mutilated before they died. When the killing was over, it was time for the wives and children of the killers to come and help with the looting.

    Men, women, children, old people and babies all shared the same fate. Pregnant women’s babies were often ripped out of their bodies before they themselves were finished off. Any Ukrainians who dared to defend their Polish neighbours — and there were not a few of them — were also killed as traitors to the Ukrainian nationalist cause.

    There’s only too much evidence in the archives, including photographs of young children’s bodies strung up together on village fences as some sort of macabre trophy. The massacres were so appalling that even some members of the German army were moved to secretly provide Poles with arms so that they could defend themselves!

    Perhaps the most disturbing aspect of this genocide was the fact that it was condoned by many members of the Uniate or “Greek Catholic” clergy, who actually held services to bless the perpetrators and their weapons before they set out to do their deeds. Perhaps that explains why this church is still in denial about Bandera, who later in his life never expressed any sorrow for what he and his comrades-in-arms did.

    By clumsily attempting to doctor the historical truth, Ukrainian “historians” and journalists are doing a great disservice to the Ukrainian nation. How are Ukrainian teenagers going to feel when they eventually learn what their so-called national heroes really did? Fortunately at least one impartial Ukrainian historian — Viktor Polishchuk / Poliszczuk — has steadfastly refused to fall in line with the Ukrainian Canadian UPA propaganda machine and has left them an account of what really happened.

    Glorifying Bandera is a road to nowhere. It’s time to ditch “heroes” like Khmelnytsky and Bandera, who were stupid enough to sell Ukrainians into slavery and ignominy.

    The sad truth is that between the two world wars some Ukrainian nationalists (and no, I have nothing against nationalism!) succumbed to the temptation to side with Germany in return for German support. That explains why they assassinated any Pole or Ukrainian who actively worked for Polish-Ukrainian understanding.

    When Poland was divided up between Germany and Russia they continued to play the German card. And play the German card they did! Many Ukrainian nationalists became guards at Nazi death camps, going down in history as unparalleled sadists, while others took part in massacres of Poles and Jews, whose presence spoilt their dream of an ethnically pure Ukraine.

    1. Avatar laker48 says:

      Thank you for a detailed and true report! I have heard hundreds of similar but fragmentary stories like yours from my late parents and other Volhynia genocide survivors.

      1. Avatar Rick says:

        Sooner or later the Ukrainians will have to come out of denial — the sooner the better for their youngsters!

        Actually I’m pleasantly surprised to see that the Euromaidan people still haven’t deleted my two posts on this page. Almost two years ago I posted similar comments under another ridiculous article of theirs and not only were they deleted almost immediately, but I was also banned, so that I couldn’t post anything more comments. Curiously, some time later that page was archived in such a way that all the deleted posts became visible again:


        1. Avatar Mister Rahool says:

          Have Poles come out of denial of the genocide they committed against Ukrainians yet?

          1. Avatar laker48 says:

            There was no Polish genocide committed on Ukrainians and the death count was likely one Ukrainian killed for for dead Poles. Poland never ethnically cleansed any territory and always was a multicultural and multi ethnic kingdom or republic. Acts of violence against other nations were rare and far between. It was for centuries the most democratic and tolerant state in the whole Europe.

    2. Avatar Mister Rahool says:

      200,000? It was more like 60,000 if you go by actual historians, not drunken Polish nationalists.

      This narrative also conveniently omits the Poles who collaborated with the Nazis, the Home Army massacring tens of thousands of Ukrainian civilians, and so on.

      Poles need to get over it if they dont want to admit to their sins in starting the conflict.

      And Bandera? Newsflash, but he was in a German concentration camp when this happened.

    3. Avatar Mister Rahool says:

      There is such irony when a devout fascist, anti-semite, and Ukrainophobe like Roman Dmowski has a bronze statue in Warsaw, and Poles turn around and complain about Ukrainian history.

      1. Avatar Rick says:

        I know it’s very painful and difficult for Ukrainians to accept that some of their national “heroes” — albeit inspired and abetted by the Nazi SS — organized the methodical extermination of non-Ukrainian civilians on a vast scale and saw that it was carried out with unheard-of ruthlessness and barbarian savagery.

        We all wish it hadn’t happened, but unfortunately it did — and no amount of semantic wriggling on the part of bogus historians and journalists can change the facts. The first step is to realize that you’ve been brainwashed by the UPA / OUN propaganda machine. For starters I suggest you read the Ukrainian edition of Polishchuk’s book “The Bitter Truth”.

        Recently a Ukrainian delegation to the Czech Republic was shocked to discover that the Czech president called Bandera a mass murderer and refused to have anything to do with them until they got their facts straight!

        Eventually you’ll realize that it’s in your own ***Ukrainian*** interest to ditch bogus heroes like Bandera and Shukhevych, who are in the same category as German Nazi war criminals. What we’re talking about here is not tit-for-tat reprisal raids but terrorist genocide that was planned in cold blood — purely in order to rid the Ukraine of all “foreigners”.

        Fortunately, after the first murders Polish civilians were able to put up some armed resistance and were sometimes even given weapons by ordinary German soldiers who themselves found the savagery of the Ukrainians difficult to stomach.

        In German schools children are told the bitter truth about German Nazi war crimes and German war criminals. Can’t you see that having a “Bandera Avenue” in Kiev is like having a “Hitler Avenue” in modern-day Berlin?

      2. Avatar Nowhere Girl says:

        There is a Dmowski Roundabout in the very central part of Warsaw – next to Metro Centrum station, so it’s one of the most important transportation hubs in Warsaw – and I make weird linguistic maneouvers (“under the Rotunda” etc.) to avoid using this name.

        1. Avatar laker48 says:

          Roman Dmowski and his ultranationalist followers are Polish counterparts of Stepan Bandera and his followers in Ukraine, the only difference being that Dmowski didn’t promote any genocide of other nations or ethnic cleansing. Ultranationalists in Poland are a narrow, albeit quite noisy and vocal margin, as the banderite extremists are in Ukraine. The banderite extremists hijacked the mainstream of Ukrainian politics, what is totally impossible in Poland.

          1. Avatar Rick says:

            Yes, I think you’ve put your finger on it. Ukrainian independence is now being HIJACKED by Canadian-(?)-financed Banderites (i.e. Neo-Nazis) parading as Ukrainian patriots, just as Polish independence was hijacked by Soros-financed “liberal democrats” (i.e. ex-communists) parading as Polish patriots. Just as Poland is now shaking off its home brand of ex-communist usurpers (the Gazeta Wyborcza people), so the Ukraine should learn from Poland’s mistakes and shake off their own brand of usurpers (along with their fraudulent version of history), who are really no better than the Yanukovitch people.

            What use is toppling statues of Lenin if they are immediately replaced by monuments to mass murders such as Bandera and Shukhevych?

            Yesterday I listened to a “discussion” on a Ukrainian satellite TV channel (Shuster TV) which tried to reassure Ukrainian viewers that the latest “bad news” from Poland (i.e. all this talk of genocide having been perpetrated by the Bandera people in 1943) was nothing much to worry about. I was amazed by the low standard of this “discussion” — it was reminiscent of that of our Mister Rahool, despite the presence of former president Kravchuk and the dean (!) of a university faculty of history. I’m sure that Savik Shuster himself would have done a much better job of getting at the truth by letting the voices of all sides be heard, but no doubt he values his life too much for that to happen in this case.

          2. Avatar laker48 says:

            Ukraine and its fledgling democracy have a long way to go, but they seem to move in the right direction. Democracy is a never ending process.

          3. Avatar laker48 says:

            This historian, who devoted most of her university research to Polish and Ukrainian nationalist movements, is afraid to travel to Lviv, as she received multiple, credible death threats from there. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gWOS1Glx2yY

      3. Avatar laker48 says:

        Roman Dmowski didn’t promote or support genocide of other nationals within the Polish borders. I despise him, BTW.

  5. Avatar Rick says:

    The sooner Ukrainian politicians (and, even worse, members of the Uniate clergy) realize that glorifying those Ukrainians who took an active part in Nazi (i.e. German) -inspired genocide against Poles and Jews is a road that will get them nowhere, the better for the Ukraine and for Polish-Ukrainian relations, for the whole truth *will* come out in the end.

    Rather than erect monuments to people like Bandera — who never expressed any sorrow for what happened (even later on in his life) — Ukrainians should be erecting monuments to Petlura, who was Poland’s ally in the Polish-Soviet war.

    The sad truth is that some Ukrainian leaders were stupid enough play the German card and side with Hitler. That explains why — before WWII — they assassinated all Ukrainians or Poles who worked for Polish-Ukrainian understanding and during the war they were only too eager to distinguish themselves as exemplary guards in German death camps, going down in history as incomparable sadists. As one Ukrainian once put it on Radio Free Europe: “Like the Poles, we Ukrainians are in dire need of a book entitled ‘The History of Stupidity in Our Country’.”

    All attempts to create a false version of Ukrainian history will ultimately fail. By trying to doctor the truth, Ukrainian historians are merely playing into the hands of Russia and Germany, neither of which want a strong Ukraine or a strong Poland. Indeed, what they fear most is a new European Union of Central and Eastern European states on the lines of the old Polish Republic. No one is more aware of this and no one fears this “danger” more than Vladimir Putin.

    Intelligent politicians like Tiahnybok should make a radical re-think of their overall strategy. The first step is to ditch “heroes” like Chmelnytsky and Bandera, who sold Ukrainians into slavery and ignominy. Bring back Petlura and put him together with the heroes of the Maidan. And — while you’re at it — replace “Ukraine” with a statue of Our Lady on that big column in the middle of Kiev.

    Deleting readers’ posts will not solve the problem. By clumsily attempting to doctor the historical truth Ukrainian “historians” are doing a great disservice to the Ukrainian nation. How do you think Ukrainian teenagers are going to feel when they eventually discover what the Bandera people really did?

    1. Avatar Rick says:

      Yes, you’re right, of course. In the case of the planned genocidal massacre of Poles by the UPA in 1943 the German authorities simply turned a blind eye, while at the grass roots level ordinary German soldiers sometimes even secretly provided Polish villagers with weapons so that they could defend themselves against the Ukrainians. In the case of the mass murder of Jews, the Ukrainian organizations actively collaborated with the Germans as soon as they occupied western Ukraine.

      1. Avatar laker48 says:

        The Germans didn’t give a dead rat’s a$$ to the wellbeing of Poles, but most Poles were more successful and productive farmers than their Ukrainian counterparts, so the Germans were protecting Poles to secure adequate food supplies, as a dead farmer doesn’t produce food.

    2. Avatar Y K says:

      I never fail to be amazed by the relative lack of appreciation given to personalities from the democratic Ukrainian People’s Republic in today’s Ukraine, especially in comparison to the Banderites. May this be due to the fact that the former were almost universally from Central Ukraine, as opposed to Galicia?

  6. Avatar Nowhere Girl says:

    By the way: Andriy Portnov published a very interesting article outlining the need for a democratic criticism of Bandera. And it’s important because public debate can’t be reduced to “patriotism = Bandera” or “critics of Bandera must be Russian agents”.
    Actually, there are some inaccuracies in the article: as a minor example, Stashynsky (Bandera’s assasin) didn’t kill himself, he admitted to his crime, served time in prison and was later rescued and given a new identity, as CIA did with people useful for them. It is unknown what happened to him later (apart that he probably lived in South Africa) – given his age, he is likely to have died already, but nothing has been confirmed. A Polish ex-communist functionary who escaped to the West, Józef Światło, spent a long time in a similar situation and only later it was disclosed that he died in 1994.

    1. Avatar Nowhere Girl says:

      Sorry, but everyone has the same right to present their opinion. There is no objectivity and only by comparing as many “local”, subjective views as possible can we come closer to the truth.

  7. Avatar obserwator22 says:

    Norman Davies in No Simple Victory gives a short, but shocking description of the massacres. He writes:

    Villages were torched. Roman Catholic priests were axed or crucified. Churches were burned with all their parishioners. Isolated farms were attacked by gangs carrying pitchforks and kitchen knives. Throats were cut. Pregnant women were bayoneted. Children were cut in two. Men were ambushed in the field and led away. The perpetrators could not determine the province’s future. But at least they could determine that it would be a future without Poles.

    An OUN order from early 1944 stated:

    Liquidate all Polish traces. Destroy all walls in the Catholic Church and other Polish prayer houses. Destroy orchards and trees in the courtyards so that there will be no trace that someone lived there… Pay attention to the fact that when something remains that is Polish, then the Poles will have pretensions to our land”.

    1. Avatar laker48 says:

      I’m not a fan of Josh Cohen, but this time he’s right about Volodymyr Viatrovych who is more of an extreme right-wing, ultranationalist politician than an impartial historian. He may eventually crash-land in both fields if a kind of a national unity government raise to power in Ukraine.

  8. Avatar Y K says:

    This spat is most unfortunate. Nobody but the Putinoids can benefit from it. I wish both the Ukrainians and the Poles could look beyond the past and at least see the now, not to mention the future.

  9. I wonder how many things PiS will be able to screw up for the next three years…

    1. Avatar laker48 says:

      No idea what’s on your mind.

      1. “Thus, Ukrainians who live in Poland decided to invite Ot Vinta to Warsaw – the concert was planned in the center of Polish capital on 3 July. The musicians spent over 9 hours at the Ukrainian-Polish border to learn they were banned from entering the country, while their fans faced furious protesters at the place where the concert was planned. According to the note of the Polish Border Guard, the musicians present danger for the political regime and public order. The order came directly from the Ministry of Internal affairs.”
        Come on. That is disgusting. Methods directly from Kremlin.

        1. Avatar laker48 says:

          If something happens, it usually happens for a reason. The band officially apotheoses Bandera and his murderous Ukrainian nationalist thugs, what might have sparked riots and violence in Przemyśl where Polish and Ukrainian communities are openly on near-war terms. One ounce of prevention is better than a ton of the best medicine. http://info-europa.com/uncategorized/ukrainian-music-band-ot-vinta-banned-from-poland-due-to-local-ultras-protests/6064

          1. But it sounds like censorship.
            It’s really shameful that PiS have no guts to show our ultras where their place is.

            BTW What is wrong with Przemyśl? Such a beautiful city but poverty and apathy are striking.

          2. Avatar laker48 says:

            Judge by yourself! Any public display of Bandera symbols in SE Poland triggers very decisive reactions among the locals, as most Ukrainians living there holds so called charters of Poles what gives them many privileges, such as free education. Six of them were stripped off those charts and deported back to Ukraine for open pro-Bandera activities, uttering threats and inciting violence against Poles. http://inside-poland.com/t/campaingers-in-poland-fight-to-ban-symbols-of-the-ukrainian-nationalists-who-slaughtered-poles-in-second-world-war/
            BTW, It’s not the central PiS government, but he local self-government that calls the shots there and has refused the entry of the band into Poland.

          3. I wonder when we will react decisive against our own nationalists.

          4. Avatar Calibra says:

            No, he is showing the world how high the piece of shit was they pulled him from when he was ‘ born’.

          5. Avatar laker48 says:

            Who cares? He defends his country against invasion of criminals from North Africa and the Middle East, what may be the right thing to do. The eurokolkhos era seems to be over. The concept of the united states of Europe is already dead in the water.

          6. Avatar Geralt von Riva says:

            but funny. the leader in front (btw no pole), and the braindrained followed him^^

          7. Avatar laker48 says:

            LOL! Political correctness backfires.

          8. Avatar Geralt von Riva says:

            he is hungarian. and this gives also the answers to your sentence “Poland can afford being sovereign instead of becoming a modern General Government”.

          9. Avatar laker48 says:

            Agree! “Pole, Hungarian, two nephews for a saber and for a glass”. Hungarian crown prince elected Polish king Stephen Bathory initiated a long succession of victorious wars with Russia leading to the RuSSian Homage in 1611. https://justice4poland.com/2015/10/30/the-russian-homage/

            This traditions has been upkept for centuries and Hungarian soldiers fighting in the ranks of the German army during WW2 were never forced to fight against Poles, and that was the official German policy. Hungarians in the German Nazi army in the Volhynia supplied Poles with weapons and there were few cases of their direct fights against Bandera thugs in defence of Poles there in the years 1943-1944.

          10. Avatar laker48 says:

            How come?

          11. Article 256 makes anyone found guilty of promoting a fascist or other totalitarian system of state or of inciting hatred based on national, ethnic, racial, or religious differences, or for reason of the lack of any religious denomination, liable to a fine, a restriction of liberty, or to imprisonment for a maximum of two years.[2]

            Article 257 makes anyone found guilty of publicly insulting a group or a particular person because of national, ethnic, racial, or religious affiliation or because of the lack of any religious denomination liable to a fine, a restriction of liberty, or to imprisonment for a maximum of three years.[2]

            Assaulting a peaceful gathering of Ukrainians in Przemysl does not meet these criteria? And the marches of ONR in Bialystok? Burning the puppet of a Jew in Wroclaw? Beating up people from middle east?
            Accidentally it became very visible since the last elections. Apart from the constitutional crisis, this is the most worrying aspect of the PiS mandate.

            I’m not saying that everyone in PiS are xenophobes. Perhaps its only a limited minority. There are more extreme nationalists in Kukiz16. But they do nothing to stop the wave. Because they play on people’s low instincts and they noticed it is rewarding.

          12. Avatar laker48 says:

            Some 20 plus people were arrested in Przemyśl and it’s up to police to carry out proper investigations, collect and present evidence giving the prosecutors enough ammo in court to secure convictions. This is called a due process.

          13. I’m glad to know it.
            But I would like you to read this account of what was happening in Warsaw a few days ago. Written by a friend of mine.
            I am sorry, it is in Polish and it is a bit long.
            “- Chciałem zgłosić doniesienie o przestępstwie – zatrzymuję patrol policji eskortujący marsz ONR’u
            – Jakim przestępstwie?
            – Propagowanie faszyzmu.
            – Naprawdę? Gdzie? – patrol idzie jakieś piętnaście metrów od platformy prowadzącej marsz.
            – A nie widzi pan?
            – Yyyy no, tak, dobrze, no dziękuję zajmiemy się tym.
            Obserwuję idąc za nimi. Nie robią nic. Zatrzymuję więc kolejny patrol, znów zgłaszam przestępstwo.
            – Aaa nie, wie pan to na komendę pan musi.
            – A panowie nic nie mogą?
            – Nic.
            Dzwonię na 997.
            – Chciałbym zgłosić przestępstwo. Propagowanie faszyzmu.
            – Ale gdzie?
            – Na marszu ONR’u.
            – A gdzie on jest?
            – Jak to gdzie? W Warszawie.
            – I kto tam jest i co robi?
            – Proszę pana idzie tu kilkaset, może kilka tysięcy osób. Organizatorzy jawnie propagują faszyzm.
            – A gdzie oni są teraz?
            – Skęcili w Nowy Świat.
            – Ale gdzie?
            – No w Nowy Świat. Z Jerozolimskich.
            – I gdzie idą?
            – W kierunku Świętokrzyskiej.
            – To musi pan na komendę.
            No to komenda. Jedna z wielu w Warszawie. Z szacunku dla spotkanych tam funkcjonariuszy pozostawmy ją anonimową.
            – Będzie trzeba długo czekać, wie pan? Bo dziś bardzo dużo interesantów. – rozglądam się po poczekalni, oprócz mnie jest jeden człowiek. – bardzo długo trzeba będzie czekać – funkcjonariusz patrzy mi wymownie w oczy.
            – No to poczekam, nie ma kłopotu.
            Po godzinie zostaję zaproszony do pokoju.
            – To jaki pan ma kłopot?
            – Przestępstwo chciałem zgłosić. Propagowanie faszyzmu na ulicach miasta.
            – Przez kogo?
            – Przez organizatorów marszu.
            – Jakiego marszu?
            – Tego co idzie właśnie przez Warszawę.
            – A to widzi pan ja nic nie wiem, nie orientuję się.
            – Marsz oenerowski, właśnie idą Nowym Światem.
            – I pan rozumiem, że ma jakieś pretensje do organizatorów? A kto jest organizatorem?
            – ONR.
            – KNR?
            – ONR.
            – A co to za skrót?
            – Obóz Narodowo Radykalny.
            – Aha. I pan się czuje urażony tym marszem? Że oni propagują faszyzm? Ale to w pana odczuciu tylko, czy ma pan jakieś dowody?
            – Dowody? Tam jest ileś stacji telewizyjnych, dowody pan może zaraz na telewizorze obejrzeć. Jakbym zrobił zdjęcie organizatorom i zamienił na czarnobiałe to mógłbym je podpisać „Berlin 1933”!
            – To ja zawołam starszego kolegę może.
            Przychodzi funkcjonariusz starszy rangą, niezwykle uprzejmy. Opowiadam mu brunatnych koszulach, celtyckich krzyżach i innych symbolach jasno kojarzących się z faszyzmem.
            – Tylko, że w naszym kraju nie ma symboli zabronionych.
            – Czyli mogę swobodnie biegać po ulicach ze swastyką na plecach?
            – Tak, dokładnie. Ale nawet jakby były to nic by to nie dało. Wystarczy zmienić kolor, lekko kształt i nie udowodni pan, że swastyka to swastyka. Jest za to definicja propagowania faszyzmu. Ale oni jej nie wypełniają, my nie możemy nic zrobić. To jest dla mnie tak samo smutne jak dla pana. – widzę, że mówi zupełnie szczerze – Są też na przykład znaki chronione prawem, jak flaga, godło. Takim znakiem jest też PW. Tylko co to znaczy znieważyć taki znak? Zauważył pan, że oni nigdy opaski PW nie noszą obok celtyka? Możesz mieć krzyż na plecach, opaskę na ramieniu i wszystko jest OK. Dopiero jak połączysz graficznie jedno z drugim to jest to przestępstwo. Ale oni to wiedzą i nikt tego nie robi. Swastyk też nie noszą, choć mogliby.
            – To co musieliby zrobić, żeby pan ich mógł zatrzymać?
            – Musieliby otwarcie nawoływać do wprowadzenia w Polsce faszyzmu. Do zmiany ustroju. Do mordowania Żydów, Czarnych i takie tam rzeczy. Dopóki tego nie robią, my mamy związane ręce.
            – Krzyczeli, że na drzewach zamiast liści… wie pan. To nie jest nawoływanie do mordowania?
            – Jest. Ale to za mało. Bo my mamy ręce związane również w inny sposób. Polityczny. Kiedyś były szkolenia z rozpoznawania i postępowania z takimi ugrupowaniami. Dostaliśmy nawet książeczki instruktażowe byśmy umieli odczytywać symbole. Bo tych jest dużo, czasami są zakamuflowane. Na przykład taki znak SS Totenkopf, nie wszyscy go znają. A kibice Legii wpisali go w swoje symbole. Ale tych szkoleń i książeczek już nie ma. Błaszczak zabrał. Rozumie pan?
            – Rozumiem. Aż za dobrze. Szkolą sobie przyszłe bojówki?
            – To nie są przyszłe bojówki. To już są bojówki. I tak, wkrótce będziecie się z nimi bić na ulicach.
            Rozstajemy się w milczeniu, tylko uścisk dłoni i wymiana spojrzeń przepełnionych przerażeniem.”

          14. Avatar laker48 says:

            LOL! It resembles me Canada or the US, where police never intervenes as long as demonstrations are peaceful. If other laws are broken, there are monitoring data available and police starts investigation. If there’s enough evidence of committing crime, the material is passed on to the prosecutors with recommendations to press charges. If the prosecutors decide that the chances of obtaining convictions are low, they usually stay or drop the charges. Most if not all all charges against Polish nationalists would have been stayed or dropped in Canada and the US.

          15. I know. But it smells ugly.

          16. Avatar laker48 says:

            Side effects od true democracy. 🙂

          17. Just like Hitler.
            I don’t find it funny at all. Nor I find democratic the flirting with brainless football fans.

          18. Avatar laker48 says:

            You’re becoming hysterical. The World Youth Days made your fears and claims null and void. Poland can afford being sovereign instead of becoming a modern General Government for the contemporary Fourth Reich. The EU is in a deep crisis, may be forced to scrap the Treaty of Lisbon and go back to the EEC format after the eurozone falls apart.

          19. Hysteria is a disease invented by men to discredit women. It doesn’t work 100 years after Freud.

            The World Youth Days left a beautiful message of real love among people. A love that requires sacrifice and open mind.
            I wonder if the message reached the ears of our current leaders. I seriously doubt it.

          20. Avatar laker48 says:

            “I wonder if the message reached the ears of our current leaders. I seriously doubt it.”
            They’ve made them such a spectacular success. Have a good laugh! He’s one of my favourite journalists and political commentators in spite of his slightly anti semitic slant. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EsD-DCLdNsI
            BTW, Kukunio = TW Bolek

          21. I don’t know. But contrary to what you think, cops in Poland are often rather bright fellows. They certainly don’t support radical nationalists. I have a few good friends working there.

            I can check this tomorrow.

          22. Avatar laker48 says:

            Your idiocy and sloppiness are beyond the pale. Your link doesn’t work, but I’ve found the piece you didn’t even care to read, you stupid and beyond pathetic Bandera parrot. There’s nothing even close to what you claim there. Go back to your dogs and hide under the slimy rock you dwell under!

          23. You see what you want to see if you didn’t live to hate, you would notice that there are at least 3 Polish people in this tread presenting 3 slightly different points of view, but none of us can be blamed for nationalism nor unfriendly attitude towards Ukraine.
            Don’t visit anything. Live on in your bubble of frustration. If you went out of it, you might see good, smiling people on the streets. I’m not sure if this kind of experience wouldn’t be dangerous for you:)