Massacres of Poles in Volhynia

Massacres of Poles in Volhynia
Volhynian massacre

Monument in memory of Polish citizens of Janowa Dolina, Volyn
Location Volhynia
Date March 1943 - 1944
Target Poles
Death(s) 35,000+
Perpetrator(s) Ukrainian Insurgent Army

The Massacres of Poles in Volhynia (Polish: Rzeź wołyńska, literally: Volhynian slaughter; Ukrainian: Волинська трагедія- Volyn tragedy) and Eastern Galicia were part of an ethnic cleansing operation carried out by the Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UPA) West in the Nazi occupied regions of the Eastern Galicia (Nazi created Distrikt Galizien in General Government), and UPA North in Volhynia (in Nazi created Reichskommissariat Ukraine), beginning in March 1943 and lasting until the end of 1944.[1][2][3][4][5][6][7][8] The peak of the massacres took place in July and August 1943 when a senior UPA commander, Dmytro Klyachkivsky, ordered the liquidation of the entire male Polish population between 16 and 60 years of age.[9][10] Despite this, most of the victims were women and children.[2] The actions of the UPA resulted in 40,000-60,000 Polish civilian casualties in Volhynia,[11] from 25,000[12] to 30,000-40,000 in Eastern Galicia[11] Ukrainian casualties at the hands of Poles are estimated at 2,000-3,000 in Volhynia,[13] 1,000-2,000 in Eastern Galicia.[13]

The killings were directly linked with the policies of the Bandera faction of the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists, whose goal, specified at the Second Conference of the OUN-B, was to purge all non-Ukrainians from the future Ukrainian state,[14][15] and the perpetrators did not limit their activities to murdering of Polish civilians, as they wanted to erase all traces of hundreds of years of Polish presence in the area. 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".[16]



Polish-Ukrainian tensions date back several hundred years, with territorial, religious, and social dimensions,[17] and the Khmelnytsky Uprising of the 17th century persisted in the national memories of both groups.[17] While not always harmonious, the Poles and Ukrainians interacted with each other on every civic, economic, and political level throughout hundreds of years. With the rise of nationalism in the 19th century, the ethnicity of citizens became an issue, and the conflicts erupted anew after the First World War. Both Poles and Ukrainians claimed the territories of Volhynia and Eastern Galicia. The political conflicts escalated in the Second Polish Republic during the interwar period, particularly in the 1930s as a result of a cycle of terrorist actions by the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists, formed in Poland, and the ensuing state repressions.[18] Collective punishment meted out to thousands of mostly innocent peasants resulted in exacerbation of animosity between the Polish state and the Ukrainian population.[19] At the onset of World War II, and soon after the Soviet annexation of that area in 1939–1941 (see: Polish September Campaign), new doors of opportunity for Ukrainian nationalists began to open. Killings of Poles in Volhynia and Galicia started soon after the Soviet annexation of the territory, and reached its pinnacle during the German occupation. The mass murder of Poles did not end when the Red Army pushed the Wehrmacht out of the current territory of Western Ukraine. The massacres lasted well into 1945.

Polish-Ukrainian relations after World War I

As the Austro-Hungarian government collapsed following World War I, Poles and Ukrainians struggled for the control over the city of Lemberg (today Lviv), populated mostly by Poles,[20] but surrounded by a Ukrainian majority.[21] Until 1772 the area belonged to the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth, but later, with the Partitions of Poland, was annexed to Austria. The conflict, known as the Polish–Ukrainian War, spilled over to Volhynia with the Ukrainian leader Symon Petlura attempting to expand Ukrainian claims westward. The war was conducted by professional forces on both sides, resulting in a relatively minimal number of civilian deaths. On July 17, 1919, a ceasefire was signed. On November 21, 1919, the Paris Peace Conference granted Eastern Galicia to Poland. The lost war left a generation of frustrated western Ukrainian veterans convinced that Poland was Ukraine's principal enemy.[22]

Even though Polish statehood had just been re-established by the Treaty of Versailles after a century of partitions, the frontiers between Poland and Soviet Russia had not been defined by the Treaty. As a result the Polish-Soviet war of 1920 broke out with the Soviets claiming both Ukraine and Belarus, which they viewed as a part of the Russian Empire, currently under civil war.[23] The Soviets forced Ukrainian forces to retreat to Podolia, and the Ukrainian leader Symon Petlura decided to ally with Poland's Józef Piłsudski. On April 21, 1920, Piłsudski and Petlura signed a military alliance accepting the Polish-Ukrainian border on the river Zbruch.[23] Following this agreement, the government of the West Ukrainian National Republic went into exile in Vienna,[24] viewing it as betrayal. At the end of the Polish-Ukrainian war with the Soviets, the Peace of Riga was signed with Vladimir Lenin in 1921. Volhynia and Eastern Galicia were eventually joined to the Second Polish Republic, whilst the rest of contemporary Ukraine, known as the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic became part of the USSR. Meanwhile, the exiled Ukrainian government was disbanded on March 14, 1923, by the Council of Ambassadors at the League of Nations. After a long series of negotiations, on March 14, 1923, the League of Nations decided that eastern Galicia would be incorporated into Poland, thus "taking into consideration that Poland has recognized that in regard to the eastern part of Galicia ethnographic conditions fully deserve its autonomous status."[25] Their promise was not fulfilled by the Polish government. In the following years, the historical discourse between Polish and Ukrainian researchers has often been based on historical stereotypes stemming from ethnic conflicts during the First World War and the interwar period, making it difficult to draw an objective account of bilateral Polish-Ukrainian relations during World War II.[26]

The rise of the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists


Decisions leading to the massacre of Poles in Volhynia and their implementation were primarily attributable to the extremist Bandera faction of the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists (OUN-B) and not by other Ukrainian political or military groups.[27] The OUN-B's ideology involved the following ideas: Integral nationalism, that a pure national state and language were desired goals;[28] glorification of violence and armed struggle of nation versus nation;[29] and totalitarianism, in which the nation must be ruled by one person and one political party. While the moderate Melnyk faction of the OUN admired aspects of Mussolini's fascism, the more extreme Bandera faction of the OUN admired aspects of Nazism.[30][31]

At the time of the OUN's founding, the most popular political party among Ukrainians was the Ukrainian National Democratic Alliance which, while opposed to Polish rule, called for peaceful and democratic means to achieve independence from Poland. The OUN, on the other hand, was originally a fringe movement within western Ukraine, condemned for its violence by figures from mainstream Ukrainian society such as head of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church Metropolitan Andriy Sheptytsky, who wrote of the OUN's leadership that "whoever demoralizes our youth is a criminal and an enemy of our people." [32] Several factors contributed to the OUN-B's increase in popularity and, ultimately, monopoly of power within Ukrainian society, conditions necessary for the massacres to occur.

Events during the times of the Second Polish Republic

Mother tongue in Poland, based on 1931 census

Until the Soviet invasion of 1939, Volhynia belonged to the Second Polish Republic. According to Yale historian Timothy Snyder, between 1928 and 1938, Volhynia was "the site of one of eastern Europe's most ambitious policies of toleration".[33] Through supporting Ukrainian culture, religious autonomy, and Ukrainization of the Orthodox church, Piłsudski and his allies wanted to achieve Ukrainian loyalty to the Polish state and to minimize Soviet influences in the borderline region. This approach was gradually abandoned after Piłsudski's death.[33][34]

In the 1930s the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists, formed in Vienna, Austria, conducted a terrorist campaign in Poland, which included the assassination of prominent Polish politicians such as Interior Minister Bronisław Pieracki, and Polish and Ukrainian moderates such as Tadeusz Hołówko.

Beginning in 1937, the Polish government in Volhynia initiated an active campaign to use religion as a tool for Polonization and to forcibly convert the Orthodox population to Roman Catholicism.[35] Over 190 Orthodox churches were destroyed and 150 converted to Roman Catholic ones.[36] Remaining Orthodox churches were forced to use the Polish language in their sermons. In August 1939, the last remaining Orthodox church in the Volhynian capital of Lutsk was converted to a Roman Catholic one by decree of the Polish government.[35]

By 1938, thousands of Polish colonists and war veterans were encouraged to settle in Volhynia and Galicia. This number is estimated at 17,700 in Volhynia alone by Polish historians.[37] Ukrainian sources estimated the total number of Polish inhabitants in both Galicia and Volhynia at 300,000 including the 1930s settlers.[38] The short presence of the settlers, as all were forcibly expelled by the Soviets to Siberia, ignited further anti-Polish sentiment among the locals.[38][39]

Harsh policies implemented by the Second Polish Republic, while often provoked by the OUN-B violence,[40][41] contributed to a further deterioration of relations between the two ethnic groups. Between 1934 and 1938, a series of violent and sometimes deadly[42] attacks against Ukrainians were conducted in other parts of Poland.[43]

Also in Wołyń Voivodeship some of the new policies were implemented, resulting in suppressing the Ukrainian language, culture and religion,[44] and the antagonism escalated.[45] Although around 68% of the voivodeship's population spoke Ukrainian as their first language (see table), practically all government and administrative positions, including the police, were assigned to Poles.[46]

Jeffrey Burds of Northeastern University believes that the build up towards the ethnic cleansing of Poles that erupted during the Second World War in Galicia and Volhynia had its roots in this period.[43]

The Ukrainian population was outraged by the Polish government policies. A Polish report about the popular mood in Volhynia recorded a comment of a young Ukrainian from October 1938 as "we will decorate our pillars with you and our trees with your wives." [35] By the beginning of World War II, the membership of the OUN had risen to 20,000 active members and there were many times that number of supporters.[47]

Policies conducted by the Soviet Union (1939–1941)

In September 1939, at the outbreak of World War II and in accordance with the secret protocol the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, Poland was invaded from the west by Nazi Germany and from the east by the Soviet Union. Volhynia was split by the Soviets into two oblasts, Rovno and Volyn of the Ukrainian SSR. Upon the annexation, the Soviet Secret Police started to eliminate the predominantly Polish middle and upper classes, including social activists and military leaders. Between 1939–1941, 200,000 Poles were deported to Siberia by the Soviet authorities.[48] Estimates of the number of Polish citizens transferred to the Eastern European part of the USSR, the Urals, and Siberia range from 1.2 to 1.7 million.[49] Tens of thousands of Poles fled from the Soviet-occupied zone to areas controlled by the Germans.[48] The deportations and murders deprived the Poles of their community leaders.

During the Soviet occupation, Polish members of the local administration were replaced by Ukrainians and Jews,[14] and the Soviet NKVD subverted the Ukrainian independence movement. All local Ukrainian political parties were abolished. Between 20,000 and 30,000 Ukrainian activists fled to German-occupied territory; most of those who did not escape were arrested. For example, Dr. Dmytro Levitsky, the head of the moderate, left-leaning democratic party Ukrainian National Democratic Alliance, and chief of the Ukrainian delegation in the pre-war Polish parliament, as well as many of his colleagues, were arrested, deported to Moscow, and never heard from again.[50] The elimination by the Soviets of the individuals, organizations, and parties that represented moderate or liberal political tendencies within Ukrainian society left the extremist Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists, which operated in the underground, as the only political party with a significant organizational presence among western Ukrainians.[51]

Policies conducted by Nazi Germany (1941–1943)

The areas of eastern Poland occupied by the Soviet Union were attacked by German, Slovak, and Hungarian forces on June 22, 1941. Soviet forces in Volhynia were better armed and prepared than in more northerly areas and were able to resist, but only for a couple of days. On June 30 the Soviets withdrew eastwards and Volhynia was overrun by the Nazis, with support from Ukrainian nationalists carrying out acts of sabotage. The Ukrainian pro-Nazi militia staged pogroms and assisted the Nazis in executions of Poles and Jews.[14] In 1941, two brothers of Ukrainian leader Stepan Bandera were murdered while imprisoned in Auschwitz by Volksdeutsche kapos.[52] In the Chełm region, 394 Ukrainian community leaders were killed by the Poles on the grounds of collaboration with the German authorities.[53]

During the first year of German occupation, the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists pursued a policy of infiltrating the German police units with its members. In this role they obtained training in the use of weapons, and as a result would also assist the German SS in murdering approximately 200,000 Volhynian Jews. While the Ukrainian police's share in the actual killings of Jews was small (they primarily played a supporting role), the Ukrainian police learned from the Germans the techniques necessary to kill large numbers of people: detailed advanced planning and careful site selection; assurances to the local population prior to the massacres in order for them to let down their guard; sudden encirclement; and then mass killing. This training obtained in 1942 explains the UPA's efficiency in the killing of Poles in 1943.[54]



After Hitler's attack on the Soviet Union, both the Polish Government in Exile and the Ukrainian Nationalists of the OUN-B considered the possibility that in the event of the mutual military exhaustion of Germany and the Soviet Union, the region would become a scene of conflict between Poles and Ukrainians. The Polish Government in Exile, which wanted the region returned to Poland, planned for a swift armed takeover of the territory as part of its overall plan for a future anti-Nazi uprising. This view was strengthened by OUN collaboration with the Nazis, so that by 1943 no understanding between the Polish government's Home Army and OUN was possible. On the other hand, the OUN-B came to believe that it had to move fast while the Germans still controlled the area in order to preempt future Polish efforts at re-establishing Poland's pre-war borders. The result was that the local OUN-B commanders in Volhynia and Galicia (if not the OUN-B leadership itself) decided that an ethnic cleansing of Poles from the area, through terror and murder, was necessary.[55] Throughout 1942 both Poles and Ukrainians considered Volhynia to be a relatively peaceful area, and there was no significant rise in ethnic tensions between the two peoples.

According to OUN reports, from April to May 1942, Polish underground paramilitary groups were already being formed. The formation of such groups was corroborated by German sources. At the same time, other Poles attempted to enter German service and in those roles, OUN report claimed, they tried to sew distrust towards Ukrainians by the Germans in order to provoke the German repression of ethnic Ukrainians.[56] However, as evidenced both by Polish and Ukrainian underground reports, the only major concern was that of strong Soviet partisan groups operating in the area. The groups, consisting mostly of Soviet POWs, initially specialized in raiding local settlements, which disturbed both the OUN and the AK, who expected it to result in an increase in German terror. Indeed these concerns soon materialized, as Germans started the "pacifications" of entire villages in Volhynia in retaliation for real or alleged support for the Soviet partisans. Polish historiography attributed most of these actions to Ukrainian nationalists,[citation needed] while in reality they were conducted by Ukrainian auxiliary police units under the direct supervision of Germans. One of the best-known examples was the pacification of Obórki village in Lutsk county on November 13–14, 1942. While most of the actions were carried out by the Ukrainian occupational police, the murder of 53 Polish villagers was perpetrated personally by the Germans, who supervised the operation.[57][58]

For many months in 1942, the OUN-B was not able to control the situation in Volhynia,[citation needed] where in addition to Soviet partisans, many independent Ukrainian self-defense groups started to form in response to the growth of German terror. The first OUN-B military groups were created in Volhynia in autumn 1942 with the goal of subduing the other independent groups. By February 1943 the OUN had initiated a policy of murdering civilian Poles as a way of resolving the Polish question in Ukraine. In spring 1943 the OUN-B partisans started to call themselves the Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UPA), using the former name of the Ukrainian People's Revolutionary Army, another Ukrainian group operating in the area in 1942. In March 1943 approximately 5,000 Ukrainian policemen defected with their weapons and joined the UPA. Well-trained and well-armed, this group contributed to the UPA achieving dominance over other Ukrainian groups active in Volhynia.[48] Soon, the newly created OUN-B forces managed to either destroy or absorb other Ukrainian groups in Volhynia, including four OUN-M units and the Ukrainian People's Revolutionary Army. It undertook steps to liquidate "foreign elements", with posters and leaflets urging Ukrainians to murder Poles.[14] Its dominance secured, the UPA began large-scale UPA operations against the Polish population.[48]

The Nazis replaced Ukrainian policemen who deserted from German service with Polish policemen. Polish motives for joining were local and personal: to defend themselves or avenge UPA atrocities.[59] German policy called for the murder of the family of every Ukrainian police officer who deserted and the destruction of the village of any Ukrainian police officer deserting with his weapons. These retaliations were carried out using newly recruited Polish policemen. Though Volhynian Polish participation in the German Police followed UPA attacks on Polish settlements, it provided the Ukrainian Nationalists with useful sources of propaganda and was used as a justification for the cleansing action. OUN-B leader summarized the situation in August 1943 by saying that the German administration "uses Polaks in its destructive actions. In response we destroy them unmercifully."[60] Despite the desertions in March and April 1943, the auxiliary Police remained heavily Ukrainian, and Ukrainians serving the Nazis continued pacifications of Polish and other villages.[61]


Victims of a massacre committed by the UPA in the village of Lipniki, Poland, 1943

On February 9, 1943, a group pretending to be Soviet partisans murdered 173 Poles in the Parośle settlement in Sarny county. According to Polish historiography, the perpetrators were a unit of UPA, commanded by Hryhory Perehyniak.[62][63][64] The assault on Polish settlements began between late March and early April 1943, killing approximately 7,000 unarmed men, women, and children in its first days.[65] On the night of April 22–23, Ukrainian groups, commanded by Ivan Lytwynchuk (aka Dubovy), attacked the settlement of Janowa Dolina, killing 600 people and burning down the entire village. Those few who survived were mostly people that found refuge with friendly Ukrainian families.[66] In one of the massacres, in the village of Lipniki, almost the entire family of Miroslaw Hermaszewski (Poland's only astronaut) was murdered. The nationalists murdered the grandparents of composer Krzesimir Debski, whose parents met each other during the Ukrainian attack on Kisielin (see Kisielin massacre). Debski's parents survived, taking refuge with a friendly Ukrainian family. In another massacre, according to an UPA report, "in the village of Kuty, in the Szumski region, an entire Polish colony (86 farms) was liquidated for cooperation with the Gestapo and German authorities."[67] According to Polish sources, Kuty self-defense unit managed to repel the UPA assault, though 67 Poles were murdered. The rest of the inhabitants decided to abandon the village and were escorted by the Germans who arrived at Kuty, alerted by the glow of fire and the sound of gunfire. Nevertheless, claims about collaboration prior to the attack seem unreliable.

The decisive Soviet victory at Kursk acted as a stimulus for escalation of massacres in June and August 1943, when ethnic cleansing reached its peak.[14] In June 1943, Dmytro Klyachkivsky head-commander of UPA-North made a general decision to exterminate Poles in Volhynia. His secret directive stated: "We should make a large action of the liquidation of the Polish element. As the German armies withdraw, we should take advantage of this convenient moment for liquidating the entire male population in the age from 16 up to 60 years. We cannot lose this fight, and it is necessary at all costs to weaken Polish forces. Villages and settlements lying next to the massive forests, should disappear from the face of the earth".[68]

In mid-1943, after a wave of killings of Polish civilians, the Poles tried to initiate negotiations with the UPA. Two delegates of the Polish government in Exile,[69] Zygmunt Rumel and Krzysztof Markiewicz, together with a group of representatives from the Polish Home Army, attempted to negotiate with UPA leaders, but they were captured, tortured and murdered on July 10, 1943, in the village of Kustycze.

The following day, July 11, 1943, is regarded as the bloodiest day of the massacres, with many reports of UPA units marching from village to village, killing Polish civilians. On that day, UPA units surrounded and attacked Polish villages and settlements located in three counties – Kowel, Horochow, and Włodzimierz Wołyński. Events began at 3:00 am, with the Poles having no chance to escape. After the massacres, the Polish villages were burned to the ground. According to those few who survived, the action had been carefully prepared; a few days before the massacres there had been several meetings in Ukrainian villages, during which UPA members told the villagers that the slaughter of all Poles was necessary.[70] Within a few days an unspecified number of Polish villages were completely destroyed and their populations murdered. In the Polish village of Gurow, out of 480 inhabitants, only 70 survived; in the settlement of Orzeszyn, the UPA killed 306 out of 340 Poles; in the village of Sadowa out of 600 Polish inhabitants only 20 survived; in Zagaje out of 350 Poles only a few survived. In August 1943, the Polish village of Gaj (near Kovel) was burned and some 600 people massacred, in the village of Wola Ostrowiecka 529 people were killed, including 220 children under 14, and 438 people were killed, including 246 children, in Ostrowki. In September 1992 exhumations were carried out in these villages, confirming the number of dead.[70]

The mass grave discovered during the second exhumation in Wola Ostrowiecka (August 2011)

The atrocities were carried out indiscriminately and without restraint. The victims, regardless of their age or gender, were routinely tortured to death. 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.


Timothy Snyder describes the murders: "Ukrainian partisans burned homes, shot or forced back inside those who tried to flee, and used sickles and pitchforks to kill those they captured outside. In some cases, beheaded, crucified, dismembered, or disembowelled bodies were displayed, in order to encourage remaining Poles to flee".[72] A similar account has been presented by Niall Ferguson, who wrote: "Whole villages were wiped out, men beaten to death, women raped and mutilated, babies bayoneted."[73] Ukrainian historian Yuryi Kirichuk described the conflict as similar to medieval rebellions.[74]

Authors of a monograph, Zycie religijne w Polsce pod okupacja 1939-1945, state that Roman Catholic priests were among those cruelly killed. Father Ludwik Wrodarczyk from the village of Okopy was crucified by the Ukrainians, father Stanisław Dobrzański from the village of Ostrówki beheaded (967 local Poles were killed with him) and father Karol Baran from the village of Korytnica was cut in half by a saw.

Chancellor of Roman Catholic Diocese of Lutsk Fr. Jan Szych reported to Holy See in the letter of August 23, 1945: "In 1943, Ukrainians organized a terrible slaughter. Armed, they attacked Poles and murdered them with full cruelty: they cut down with axes, burned alive, gouged eyes and tore tongues, some were wrapped in barbed wire and thrown into pits. Several times Ukrainians besieged a church during Mass, killing believers and priests and blowing the church up. According to the testimonies, the number of victims is 30,000 and even 50,000. There were murdered 17 priests in that time, some were tortured before death. Fr. Karol Baran was reportedly sawed in two. Ukrainian priests in their temple blessed the knives for murdering Poles."[75]

Altogether, on July 11, 1943, the Ukrainians attacked 167 towns and villages.[76] This wave of massacres lasted 5 days, until July 16. The UPA continued the ethnic cleansing, particularly in rural areas, until most Poles had been deported, killed or expelled. These actions were conducted by many units, and were well-coordinated and thoroughly planned.[14] Even though it may be an exaggeration to say that the massacres enjoyed general support of the Ukrainians, it has been suggested that without wide support from local Ukrainians they would have been impossible.[48] Those Ukrainian peasants who took part in the massacres created their own units,[14] called Samoboronni Kushtchovi Viddily (Kushtchov Self-Defence Units). People who did not speak Polish but were considered Poles by the perpetrators were also murdered.

Ukrainians in ethnically mixed settlements were offered material incentives to join in the slaughter of their neighbours, or warned by UPA's security service (Sluzhba Bezbeky) to flee by night, while all remaining inhabitants were murdered at dawn. Many of Ukrainians risked, and in some cases, lost their lives trying to shelter or warn Poles[72][77] - such activities were treated by the UPA as collaboration with the enemy and severely punished.[78] In 2007, the Polish Institute of National Remembrance (IPN) published a document Kresowa Ksiega Sprawiedliwych 1939 - 1945. O Ukraincach ratujacych Polakow poddanych eksterminacji przez OUN i UPA ("Eastern Borderland's Book of the Righteous. About Ukrainians saving Poles from extermination of OUN and UIA"). The author of the book, IPN's historian Romuald Niedzielko, documented 1341 cases in which Ukrainian civilians helped their Polish neighbors. For this, 384 Ukrainians were executed by the UIA.[79] In case of Polish-Ukrainian families, one common UPA instruction was to kill one's Polish spouse and children born of that marriage. People who refused to carry such order were often murdered together with their entire family.[39]

According to the Volhynian delegation to the Polish government, by October 1943 the number of Polish casualties exceeded 15,000 people.[80] Timothy Snyder estimates that in spring and summer 1943 the UPA actions resulted in deaths of 40,000 Polish civilians.[48]

Władysław Filar from the Polish Institute of National Remembrance, who witnessed the massacres, cites numerous statements made by Ukrainian officers when reporting their actions to the leaders of UPA-OUN. For example, in late September 1943, the commandant of the Lysoho group wrote to the OUN headquarters: "On September 29, 1943, I carried out the action in the villages of Wola Ostrowiecka (see Massacre of Wola Ostrowiecka), and Ostrivky (see Massacre of Ostrowki). I have liquidated all Poles, starting from the youngest ones. Afterwards, all buildings were burned and all goods were confiscated".[81] On that day in Wola Ostrowiecka 529 Poles were murdered (including 220 children under 14), and in Ostrówki, the Ukrainians killed 438 persons (including 246 children).[82]

In August 1943 the UPA placed notices in every Polish village stating "in 48 hours leave beyond the Bug River or the San river - otherwise Death."[83] Ukrainian nationalists limited their actions to villages and settlements, and did not attack towns or cities. Prosecutor Piotr Zając from the IPN branch in Lublin stated that in 1943 the massacres were organized westwards, starting in March in Kostopol and Sarny counties. In April they moved to the area of Krzemieniec, Rivne, Dubno and Lutsk. By June 1943, the attacks had spread to the counties of Kowel, Włodzimierz Wołyński, and Horochów, and in August to Luboml county.[84]

According to Polish historian Piotr Łossowski, the method used in most of the attacks was the same. At first, local Poles were assured that nothing would happen to them. Then, at dawn, a village was surrounded by armed members of the UPA, behind whom were peasants with axes, hammers, knives, and saws. All the Poles encountered were murdered; sometimes they were herded into one spot, to make it easier. After a massacre, all goods were looted, including clothes, grain, and furniture. The final part of an attack was setting fire to the village.[85] In many cases, victims were tortured and their bodies mutilated, with all vestiges of Polish existence eradicated. Even abandoned Polish settlements were burned to the ground.[14]

The massacres prompted Poles, starting in April 1943, to organize self-defence organizations, 100 of which were formed in Volhynia in 1943. Sometimes these self-defence organization obtained arms from the Germans; other times the Germans confiscated their weapons and arrested the leaders. Many of these organizations could not withstand the pressure of the UPA and were destroyed. Only the largest self-defence organizations who were able to obtain help from the AK or from Soviet partisans were able to survive.[86]

Polish self-defence organizations took part in revenge massacres of Ukrainian civilians starting in the summer of 1943, when Ukrainian villagers who had nothing to do with the massacres suffered at the hands of Polish partisan forces. Evidence includes a letter dated August 26, 1943 to local Polish self-defence where AK commander Kazimierz Bąbiński criticized the burning of neighboring Ukrainian villages, killing any Ukrainian that crosses their path, and robbing Ukrainians of their material possessions.[87] The total number of Ukrainian civilians murdered in Volyn in retaliatory acts by Poles is estimated at 2,000-3,000.[88]

Eastern Galicia

Tablet with names of Poles killed in Berezowica Mala, Eastern Lesser Poland, in present-day Ukraine
Cross with tablets of the names of Poles killed in Huta Pieniacka, Eastern Lesser Poland, in present-day Ukraine
Bullet marks on the tower of the Podkamień Abbey, stormed by UPA on 12 March 1944, Eastern Lesser Poland, in present-day Ukraine

In late 1943 and early 1944, after most Poles of Volhynia had either been murdered or had fled the area, the conflict spread to the neighboring province of Galicia, where the majority of the population was still Ukrainian, but where the Polish presence was strong. Unlike in the case of Volhynia, where Polish villages were usually destroyed and their inhabitants murdered without warning, in east Galicia Poles were sometimes given the choice of fleeing or being killed (an order by an UPA commander in Galicia stated, "Once more I remind you: first call upon Poles to abandon their land and only later liquidate them, not the other way around"). This change in tactic, combined with better Polish self-defence and a demographic balance more favorable to Poles, resulted in a significantly lower death toll among Poles in Galicia than in Volhynia.[89] The methods used by Ukrainian nationalists in this area were the same, and consisted of killing all of the Polish residents of the villages, then pillaging the villages and burning them to the ground.[14] On February 28, 1944, in the village of Korosciatyn 135 Poles were murdered;[90] the victims were later counted by a local Roman Catholic priest, Rev. Mieczysław Kamiński.[91] Jan Zaleski (father of Fr. Tadeusz Isakowicz-Zaleski) who witnessed the massacre, wrote in his diary: "The slaughter lasted almost all night. We heard terrible cries, the roar of cattle burning alive, shooting. It seemed that Antichrist himself began his activity!"[92] Father Kamiński claimed that in Koropiec, where no Poles were actually murdered, a local Greek Catholic priest, in reference to mixed Polish-Ukrainian families, proclaimed from the pulpit: "Mother, you're suckling an enemy - strangle it." [93] Among the scores of Polish villages whose inhabitants were murdered and all buildings burned, there are such places as Berezowica near Zbaraz, Ihrowica near Ternopil, Plotych near Ternopil, Podkamien near Brody, Hanachiv and Hanachivka near Przemyslany.[94]

Roman Shukhevych, the UPA commander, stated in his order from 25 February 1944: "In view of the success of the Soviet forces it is necessary to speed up the liquidation of the Poles, they must be totally wiped out, their villages burned... only the Polish population must be destroyed."[39]

One of the most infamous massacres took place on February 28, 1944, in the Polish village of Huta Pieniacka, with over 1,000 inhabitants. The village served as a shelter for refugees including Polish Jews,[95] as well as a recuperation base for Polish and Communist partisans. One AK unit was active there. In the winter of 1944 a Soviet partisan unit numbering 1,000 was stationed in the village for two weeks.[95][96][96] Huta Pieniacka's villagers, although poor, organized a well-fortified and armed self-defense unit that fought off a Ukrainian and German reconnaissance attack on February 23, 1944.[97] Two soldiers of the 14th Waffen Grenadier Division of the SS Galicia (1st Ukrainian) Division of the Waffen-SS were killed and one wounded by the villagers. On February 28, elements of the Ukrainian Division from Brody returned with 500-600 men assisted by a group of civilian nationalists. The killing spree lasted all day. Kazimierz Wojciechowski, the commander of the Polish self-defense unit, was drenched with gasoline and burned alive at the main square. The village was utterly destroyed and all of its occupants killed.[96] The civilians, mostly women and children, were rounded up at a church, divided and locked in barns which were set on fire.[98] Estimates of casualties in the Huta Pieniacka massacre vary, and include 500 (Ukrainian archives),[99] over 1,000 (Tadeusz Piotrowski),[100] and 1,200 (Sol Littman).[101] Some historians deny the role of the Ukrainian 14th SS Galician Division in the killings, and attribute them entirely to German units, while others disagree.[95][verification needed] According to IPN investigation, the crime was committed by the 4th battalion of the Ukrainian 14th SS Division.[98] A military journal of the Ukrainian 14th SS Galician Division condemned the killing of Poles. In a March 2, 1944 article directed to the Ukrainian youth, written by military leaders, Soviet partisans were blamed for the murders of Poles and Ukrainians, and the authors stated that "If God forbid, among those who committed such inhuman acts, a Ukrainian hand was found, it will be forever excluded from the Ukrainian national community."[95] According to Yale historian Timothy Snyder, the Ukrainian 14th SS Galician Division's role in the ethnic cleansing of Poles from western Ukraine was marginal.[102]

The village of Pidkamen near Brody was a shelter for Poles, who hid in the monastery of the Dominicans there. Some 2,000 persons, majority of them women and children, were living there when the monastery was attacked in mid-March 1944 by UPA units, which according to Polish Home Army accounts were cooperating with the Ukrainian SS. Over 250 Poles were killed.[95] In the nearby village of Palikrovy, 300 Poles were killed, 20 in Maliniska and 16 in Chernytsia. Armed Ukrainian groups destroyed the monastery, stealing all valuables. What remained is the painting of Mary of Pidkamen, which now is kept in Saint Wojciech church in Wrocław. According to Kirichuk, the first attacks on the Poles took place there in August 1943 and they were probably the work of UPA units from Volhynia. In return, Poles killed important Ukrainians, including the Ukrainian doctor Lastowiecky from Lviv and a popular football player from Przemysl, Wowczyszyn.

By the end of the summer, mass acts of terror aimed at Poles were taking place in Eastern Galicia with the purpose of forcing Poles to settle on the western bank of the San river, under the slogan "Poles behind the San". The number of victims is unknown. Snyder estimates that 25,000 Poles were killed in Galicia alone,[103] Motyka writes about 30,000-40,000 victims.[11]

The slaughter did not stop after the Red Army entered the areas, with massacres taking place in 1945 in such places as Czerwonogrod (Ukrainian: Irkiv), where 60 Poles were murdered on February 2, 1945,[104][105] the day before their departure to the Recovered Territories.

By Autumn 1944 anti-Polish actions stopped and terror was used only against those who co-operated with the NKVD, but in late 1944 and in the beginning of 1945 UPA performed last massive anti-Polish action in Ternopil region.[106] In the night of February 5–6, 1945, Ukrainian groups attacked the Polish village of Barysz, near Buchach. 126 Poles were massacred, including women and children. A few days later on February 12–13, a local group of OUN under Petro Khamchuk attacked the Polish settlement of Puźniki, killing around 100 people and burning houses. Those who survived moved mostly to Prudnik.[107]

In Polish retaliatory actions conducted in early 1944, the Ukrainian villages of Prykhorile, Mentke, Sakhryn, Shykhoviche, and Terebin were destroyed. Seventy percent of the estimated 1,500 victims were Ukrainian women and children.[108]

Approximately 366 Ukrainian and a few Polish inhabitants of Pawłokoma were killed by a former Polish Home Army unit aided by Polish self-defence groups from nearby villages. The massacre is believed to be an act of retaliation for earlier alleged murders by Ukrainian Insurgent Army of 9 (or 11) Poles [109] in Pawłokoma and unspecified number of Poles killed by UPA in neighbouring villages.

German involvement

While Germans actively encouraged the conflict, for most of the time they attempted to not get directly involved. However, there are reports[citation needed] of Germans supplying weapons to both Ukrainians and Poles. Special German units formed from collaborationist Ukrainian or Polish police were deployed in pacification actions in Volhynia, and some of their crimes were attributed to either the Polish Home Army or the Ukrainian UPA.

According to Yuriy Kirichuk the Germans were actively prodding both sides of the conflict against each other.[110] Erich Koch once said: "We have to do everything possible so that a Pole meeting a Ukrainian, would be willing to kill him and conversely, a Ukrainian would be willing to kill a Pole". Kirichuk quotes a German commissioner from Sarny whose response to Polish complaints was: "You want Sikorski, the Ukrainians want Bandera. Fight each other".[110]

On August 25, 1943, the German authorities ordered all Poles to leave the villages and settlements and move to larger towns.[citation needed]

Soviet partisan units present in the area were aware of the massacres. On May 25, 1943, the commander of the Soviet partisan forces of the Rivne area stressed in his report to the headquarters that Ukrainian nationalists did not shoot the Poles but cut them dead with knives and axes, with no consideration for age or gender.[111]

Number of victims

Plaque for victims of Volhynia massacres at Church of St. Bridget in Gdańsk

Polish casualties

The death toll among civilians murdered during the Volhynia Massacre is still being researched. At least 10% of ethnic Poles in Volhynia were killed during this time by the UPA. Accordingly, "Polish casualties comprised about 1% of the prewar population of Poles on territories where the UPA was active and 0.2% of the entire ethnically Polish population in Ukraine and Poland."[112] Łossowski emphasizes that documentation is far from conclusive, as in numerous cases there were no survivors who would later be able to testify.[citation needed]

The Soviet and Nazi invasions of pre-war eastern Poland, the UPA massacres, and postwar Soviet expulsions of Poles all contributed to the virtual elimination of a Polish presence in the region. Those who remained left Volhynia mostly for the neighbouring province of Lublin. After the war, the survivors moved further west to the territories of Lower Silesia. Polish orphans from Volhynia were kept in several orphanages, with the largest of them around Kraków. Several former Polish villages in Volhynia and Eastern Galicia do not exist any more and those that remain are in ruins.

There is a general consensus among Western and Polish historians that Polish civilian casualties from the UPA in Volhynia range from 35,000 to 60,000.[112] According to Dr. Ivan Katchanovski of Harvard University, "the lower bound of these estimates [35,000] is more reliable than higher estimates which are based on an assumption that the Polish population in the region was several times less likely to perish as a result of Nazi genocidal policies compared to other regions of Poland and compared to the Ukrainian population of Volhynia."[112] Władysław Siemaszko and his daughter Ewa have documented 33,454 Polish victims, 18,208 of which are known by surname.[113] (in July 2010 Ewa Siemaszko increased the accounts to 38,600 documented victims, 22,113 of which are known by surmane[114]). At the first ever joint Polish-Ukrainian conference in Podkowa Leśna organized on June 7–9, 1994 by Karta Centre, with almost 50 Polish and Ukrainian participants, an estimate of 50,000 Polish deaths in Volhynia was agreed upon, which they considered to be moderate.[115] According to the sociologist Piotrowski, the UPA actions resulted in an estimated number of 68,700 deaths in Wołyń Voivodeship.[116] Per Anders Rudling states that UPA killed 40,000-70,000 Poles in this area.[39]

The number of Polish civilians killed in Galicia is believed to be between 20,000-25,000,[117] 25,000[21] and 30,000-40,000.[11] Niall Ferguson estimated the total number of Polish victims in Volhynia and Eastern Galicia to be between 60,000 and 80,000,[118] G. Rossolinski-Liebe: 70,000-100,000,[119] John P. Himka: 100,000.[7] According to Grzegorz Motyka, from 1943 to 1947 in all territories that were covered by the conflict, approximately 80,000-100,000 Poles were killed.[88]

Some extreme estimates place the number of Polish victims as high as 300,000.[120][verification needed]

Ukrainian casualties

Timothy Snyder states that it is likely the UPA killed as many Ukrainians as it did Poles, as local Ukrainians who did not adhere to the OUN's form of nationalism were regarded as traitors.[2] Within a month of the beginning of the massacres, Polish self-defense units responded in kind; all conflicts resulted in Poles taking revenge on Ukrainian civilians.[2] According to Grzegorz Motyka, the number of Ukrainian victims is between 2,000-3,000 in Volhynia and between 10,000-20,000 in all territories covered by the conflict.[88][121] There were also atrocities committed by Soviet Partisans and German policemen as part of the conflict of World War II, compounding casualties. P. A. Rudling estimates the number of Ukrainians killed in Volhynia to be as high as 20,000.[39] G. Rossolinski-Liebe puts the number of Ukrainians (both OUN-UPA members and civilians) killed by Poles during and after the World War at 10,000-20,000.[119]


The Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists (OUN), of which the Ukrainian Insurgent Army would have become the armed wing, promoted removal, by force if necessary, of non-Ukrainians from the social and economic spheres of a future Ukrainian state.[122]

The Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists adopted in 1929 the Ten Commandments of the Ukrainian Nationalists, which all members of the Organization were expected to adhere to. This Decalogue stated "Do not hesitate to carry out the most dangerous deeds" and "Treat the enemies of your nation with hatred and ruthlessness".[123]

It is suggested that the decision to ethnically cleanse the area East of Bug River was taken by the Ukrainian Insurgent Army early in 1943. In March 1943, OUN(B) (specifically Mykola Lebed[124]) imposed a collective death sentence of all Poles living in the former eastern part of the Second Polish Republic and a few months later local units of the UPA were instructed to complete the operation with haste.[125] The decision to cleanse the territory of its Polish population determined the course of events in the future. According to Timothy Snyder, the ethnic cleansing of the Poles was exclusively the work of the extreme Bandera faction of the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists, rather than the Melnyk faction of that organization or other Ukrainian political or religious organizations. Polish investigators claim that the OUN-B central leadership decided in February 1943 to drive all Poles out of Volhynia, to obtain an "ethnically pure territory" in the postwar period. Among those who were behind the decision, Polish investigators see Dmytro Klyachkivsky, Vasyl Ivakhov, Ivan Lytvynchuk, and Petro Oliynyk.[126]

According to prosecutor Piotr Zając, Polish Institute of National Remembrance in 2003 considered three different versions of the events in its investigation:[127]

  1. the Ukrainians at first planned to chase the Poles out but the events got out of hand in the course of time.
  2. the decision to exterminate the Poles was taken by the OUN-UPA headquarters.
  3. the decision to exterminate the Poles was taken by some of the leaders of OUN-UPA in the course of an internal conflict within the organisation.

IPN concluded that the second version was the most likely one.[citation needed]


The question of official acknowledgment of the ethnic cleansing remains a matter of a discussion between Polish and Ukrainian historians and political leaders. Efforts are ongoing to bring about reconciliation between Poles and Ukrainians regarding these tragic events. The Polish side has made steps towards reconciliation. In 2002 president Aleksander Kwaśniewski expressed regret over the resettlement program, known as Operation Vistula, stating that "The infamous Operation Vistula is a symbol of the abominable deeds perpetrated by the communist authorities against Polish citizens of Ukrainian origin." He states that the argument that "Operation Vistula was the revenge for the slaughter of Poles by the Ukrainian Insurgent Army" in 1943-1944, was "fallacious and ethically inadmissible," as it invoked "the principle of collective guilt." [128] The Ukrainian government has not yet issued an apology.[129][130] On July 11, 2003, presidents Aleksander Kwaśniewski and Leonid Kuchma attended a ceremony held in the Volhynian village of Pavlivka (previously known as Poryck),[131] where they unveiled a monument to the reconciliation. The Polish President said that it is unjust to blame the entire Ukrainian nation for these acts of terror, saying "The Ukrainian nation cannot be blamed for the massacre perpetrated on the Polish population. There are no nations that are guilty... It is always specific people who bear the responsibility for crimes".[132]

Question of genocide

OUN-UPA Genocide Victims' Avenue in Legnica, Poland

Polish Commission for the Prosecution of Crimes against the Polish Nation investigates the crimes committed by Ukrainian nationalists against the Poles in Volhynia, Galicia and in the prewar Lublin Voivodeship. The Commission has collected over 10,000 pages of documents and protocols. The massacres are officially classified as act of genocide. According to the prosecutor Piotr Zając "there is no doubt that the crimes committed against the people of Polish nationality have the character of genocide".[133]

On 15 July 2009 the Sejm of the Republic of Poland unanimously adopted a resolution regarding "the tragic fate of Poles in Eastern Borderlands". The text of the resolution states that July 2009 marks the 66th anniversary "of the beginning of anti-Polish actions by the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists and the Ukrainian Insurgent Army on Polish Eastern territories - mass murders characterised by ethnic cleansing with marks of genocide."[134][135] However, according to Katchanovski, the actions which occurred in Volhynia cannot be classified as genocide "because there is no evidence of an intent to eliminate entire or a significant party of the Polish population, and the anti-Polish action was mostly limited to a relatively small region."[112]

See also


  1. ^ Institute of Ukrainian History, Academy of Sciences of Ukraine, Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists and the Ukrainian Insurgent Army, Chapter 16, pg. 247-295
  2. ^ a b c d Timothy Snyder. A fascist hero in democratic Kiev. NewYork Reviev of Books. February 24, 2010
  3. ^ Timothy Snyder. (2003). The Reconstruction of Nations. New Haven: Yale University Press, pp. 168-169, 176
  4. ^ Terry Martin. The Origins of Soviet Ethnic Cleansing. The Journal of Modern History, Vol. 70, No. 4. (Dec., 1998), p. 820
  5. ^ Keith Darden. Resisting Occupation: Lessons from a Natural Experiment in Carpathian Ukraine. Yale University. October 2, 2008. p. 5
  6. ^ Sofia Grachova. Unknown Victims: Ethnic-Based Violence of the World War II Era in Ukrainian Politics of History after 2004. Danyliw Seminar Paper, Harvard University
  7. ^ a b J. P. Himka. Interventions: Challenging the Myths of Twentieth-Century Ukrainian history. University of Alberta. 28 March 2011. p. 4
  8. ^ G. Rossolinki-Liebe. The "Ukrainian National Revolution" of 1941: Discourse and Practice of a Fascist Movement. Kritika: Explorations in Russian and Eurasian History, vol. 12, no. 1 (Winter 2011). p. 84.
  9. ^ Tadeusz Piotrowski, Poland's holocaust. Published by McFarland. Page 247
  10. ^ Władysław Filar, Wydarzenia wołyńskie 1939-1944. Wydawnictwo Adam Marszałek. Toruń 2008 ISBN 978-83-7441-884-3
  11. ^ a b c d Grzegorz Motyka, Od rzezi wołyńskiej do akcji "Wisła". Konflikt polsko-ukraiński 1943- 1947. Kraków 2011, p.447
  12. ^ Timothy Snyder, Rekonstrukcja narodów. Polska, Ukraina, Litwa, Białoruś 1569-1999, Sejny 2009, p.196
  13. ^ a b Grzegorz Motyka, Od rzezi wołyńskiej do akcji "Wisła". Konflikt polsko-ukraiński 1943- 1947. Kraków 2011, p.448
  14. ^ a b c d e f g h i Matthew J. Gibney, Randall Hansen, Immigration and Asylum, page 204. Retrieved on 11 July 2011.
  15. ^ Documentation of the UPA's plans for and actions toward Poles can be found in TsDAVO 3833/1/86/6a; 3833/1/131/13-14; 3833/1/86/19-20; and 3933/3/1/60. Of related interest are DAR 30/1/16=USMM RG-31.017M-1; DAR 301/1/5-USHMM RG-31/017M-1; and DAR 30/1/4=USHMM RG-31.017M-1. These OUN-B and UPA wartime declarations coincide with post-war interrogations (see GARF. R-9478/1/398) and recollections of Polish survivors (on the massacre of 12–13 July 1943, for example see OKAW, II/737, II/1144, II/2099, II/2650, II/953, and II/755) and Jewish survivors (for example ŻIH 301/2519, and Adini, Dubno:sefer zikarom, 717-118). Timothy Snyder. Bloodlands: Europe between Hitler and Stalin. (2010). Basic Books. p. 500
  16. ^ Mark Mazower, Hitler's Empire, pages 506-507. Penguin Books 2008. ISBN 978-0-14-311610-3
  17. ^ a b Peter J. Potichnyj (1980). Poland and Ukraine, past and present. CIUS Press (University of Alberta). pp. 59, 60. ISBN 9780920862070. 
  18. ^ Grzegorz Motyka, Ukraińska partyzantka 1942-1960, Warszawa 2006
  19. ^ Orest Subtelny. Ukraine. A history. University of Toronto press. 1994. ISBN 0-8020-0591-0. pp 430-431
  20. ^ Orest Subtelny, Ukraine: a history, pp. 367-368, University of Toronto Press, 2000, ISBN 0-8020-8390-0
  21. ^ a b Timothy Snyder. The reconstructions of Nations. Yale University Press. 2003. p. 176
  22. ^ Timothy Snyder. (2003) The Reconstruction of Nations. New Haven: Yale University Press. pp.138-139
  23. ^ a b The Unknown Lenin, ed. Richard Pipes, Yale University Press, ISBN 0-300-06919-7 Document 59, Google Print, p. 106.
  24. ^ Paul Robert Magocsi, A History of Ukraine, University of Toronto Press: Toronto 1996, ISBN 0-8020-0830-5
  25. ^ Kubijovic, V. (1963). Ukraine: A Concise Encyclopedia. Toronto: University of Toronto Press. 
  26. ^
  27. ^ Timothy Snyder. (2003). The Reconstruction of Nations. New Haven: Yale University Press, pp. 165,166,168
  28. ^ John Armstrong (1963). Ukrainian Nationalism. New York: Columbia University Press, pp. 21-22
  29. ^ Wilson, A. (2000). The Ukrainians: Unexpected Nation. New Haven: Yale University Press. 
  30. ^ Paul Robert Magocsi. (1996). A History of Ukraine. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, pg. 621
  31. ^ The theory and teachings of the Ukrainian nationalists were very close to Fascism, and in some respects such as the insistence on 'racial purity', even went beyond the original fascist doctrines. John A. Amstrong. Ukrainian nationalism (1980). Ukrainian Academic Press. p. 280.
  32. ^ Bohdan Budurowycz. (1989). Sheptytski and the Ukrainian National Movement after 1914 (chapter). In Paul Robert Magocsi (ed.). Morality and Reality: The Life and Times of Andrei Sheptytsky. Edmonton, Alberta: Canadian Institute of Ukrainian Studies, University of Alberta. pg. 57.
  33. ^ a b Timothy Snyder. (2003)The Causes of Ukrainian-Polish Ethnic Cleansing 1943, The Past and Present Society: Oxford University Press. p. 202
  34. ^ Timothy Snyder. (2005). Sketches from a Secret War: A Polish Artist's Mission to Liberate Soviet Ukraine. New Haven: Yale University Press. pp. 32-33, 152-162
  35. ^ a b c Timothy Snyder. (2005). Sketches from a Secret War: A Polish Artist's Mission to Liberate Soviet Ukraine. New Haven: Yale University Press. pp.167
  36. ^ Subtelny, Orest. (1988). Ukraine: A History. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, pg. 432.
  37. ^ Lidia Głowacka, Andrzej Czesław Żak, Military Settlers in Volhynia in the years 1921-1939
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  40. ^ Motyka, Ukraińska partyzantka ..., p. 58
  41. ^ The assassinations of foreign affairs minister Bronisław Pieracki or of a supporter of peaceful Polish-Ukrainian cooperation, Tadeusz Hołówko, are two examples of the OUN-B terrorist campaign.
  42. ^ In one of many such incidents, the Papal Nuncio in Warsaw reported that Polish mobs attacked Ukrainian students in their dormitory under the eyes of Polish police, a screaming Ukrainian woman was thrown into a burning Ukrainian store by Polish mobs, and a Ukrainian seminary was destroyed during which icons were desecrated and eight people were hospitalized with serious injuries and two killed. Taken from Jeffrey Burds. Comments on Timothy Snyder's article, "To Resolve the Ukrainian Question once and for All: The Ethnic Cleansing of Ukrainians in Poland, 1943-1947" Journal of Cold War Studies, Volume 1, Number 2 (Spring 1999).
  43. ^ a b Jeffrey Burds. Comments on Timothy Snyder's article, "To Resolve the Ukrainian Question once and for All: The Ethnic Cleansing of Ukrainians in Poland, 1943-1947" Journal of Cold War Studies, Volume 1, Number 2 (Spring 1999).
  44. ^ (Ukrainian) Oleksandr Derhachov (editor), "Ukrainian Statehood in the Twentieth Century: Historical and Political Analysis", 1996, Kiev ISBN 966-543-040-8. section 2, subsection 2
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  • (English) Subtelny, Orest (1988). Ukraine: A History. Toronto: University of Toronto Press. ISBN 0-8020-5808-6. 
  • (English) Filip Ożarowski Wolyn Aflame, Publishing House WICI, 1977, ISBN 0-9655488-1-3.
  • (English) Wiktor Poliszczuk "Bitter truth": The criminality of the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists (OUN) and the Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UPA), the testimony of a Ukrainian, ISBN 0-9699444-9-7
  • (English) Tadeusz Piotrowski: Genocide and Rescue in Wolyn: Recollections of the Ukrainian Nationalist Ethnic Cleansing Campaign Against the Poles During World War II, McFarland & Company, 2000, ISBN 0-7864-0773-5.
  • (English) Tadeusz Piotrowski: Vengeance of the Swallows: Memoir of a Polish Family's Ordeal Under Soviet Aggression, Ukrainian Ethnic Cleansing and Nazi Enslavement, and Their Emigration to America, McFarland & Company, 1995, ISBN 0-7864-0001-3.
  • (English) Mikolaj Teres: Ethnic Cleansing of Poles in Volhynia and Eastern Galicia, Alliance of the Polish Eastern Provinces, 1993, ISBN 0-9698020-0-5.
  • (English) Norman Davies, "No Simple Victory: World War Two in Europe", page 352, Viking Penguin 2007. ISBN 978-0-670-01832-1
  • (English) Timothy Snyder, The Reconstruction of Nations: Poland, Ukraine, Lithuania, Belarus, 1569-1999, Yale University Press, ISBN 0-300-10586-X Google Books
  • (Polish) Andrzej L. Sowa (1998). Stosunki polsko-ukraińskie 1939-1947. Kraków. OCLC 48053561. 
  • (Polish) Grzegorz Motyka (2006) (in Polish). Ukraińska partyzantka 1942-1960. Warszawa: RYTM. ISBN 83-7399-163-8. 
  • (Polish) Władysław Siemaszko, Ewa Siemaszko (2000). Ludobójstwo dokonane przez nacjonalistów ukraińskich na ludności polskiej Wołynia 1939–1945. Warszawa. ISBN 83-87689-34-3. 
  • (Polish) Marcin Wojciechowski, ed (2008). Wołyń 1943-2008. Pojednanie. Warszawa: Agora. ISBN 978-83-7552-195-5. 
  • (Polish) Ilyushin, Ihor (2009) (in Polish). UPA i AK. Konflikt w Zachodniej Ukrainie (1939-1945). Warszawa: Związek Ukraińców w Polsce. ISBN 978-83-928483-0-1. 
  • (Polish) Niedzielko, Romuald (2009). "Sprawiedliwi Ukraińcy. Na ratunek polskim sąsiadom skazanym na zagładę przez OUN-UPA" (in Polish) (PDF). Biuletyn IPN, 1-2/2009 (IPN): pp. 77–85. Retrieved 23 August 2009. 
  • (Polish) (Ukrainian) Polacy i Ukraińcy pomiędzy dwoma systemami totalitarnymi 1942-1945. Warszawa - Kyiv. 2005. ISBN 83-89078-77-5. 
  • (Ukrainian) L.Melnik, B.Yurochko, "Rozkhytane derevo myfiv" in The Lviv Newspaper, May 25, 2007.

Further reading

  • Timothy Snyder. (2003). The Causes of Ukrainian-Polish Ethnic Cleansing 1943, The Past and Present Society: Oxford University Press.
  • Timothy Snyder. (2003). The Reconstruction of Nations, New Haven: Yale University Press. ISBN 0-300-09569-4
  • Piotrowski, Tadeusz (2000). Genocide and Rescue in Wolyn. McFarland. ISBN 0786407735. 
  • Niedzielko, Romuald (2007) (in Polish). Kresowa księga sprawiedliwych 1939–1945. O Ukraińcach ratujących Polaków poddanych eksterminacji przez OUN i UPA. Warszawa: IPN. ISBN 9788360464618. 

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