I’m in Warsaw this Sunday, July 9, a warm summer day. But nevertheless there is a cloud on the horizon.

For while the sun shone strongly, for many Poles this is a sad day of remembrance for the tens of thousands of victims of massacres which took place 80 years ago in the north-western Ukrainian region of Volhynia, largely Poles, and for which they blame the Ukrainians – and Ukrainians, the Poles.

The Polish journals are full of articles recalling these tragic events. Conspicuously silent this morning, I noticed, about this sad page in bilateral relations has been the Ukrainian media.

While being interviewed in Warsaw on Poland’s international TVP World channel this morning I was also asked to comment about this somber anniversary. To my surprise, and then appreciation, the Polish channel showed video footage of the presidents of Ukraine and Poland commemorating this tragedy together in a spirit of reconciliation and solidarity in the Ukrainian Volhynian city of Lutsk.

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Finally, I thought, both nations have matured enough to recognize the ugly and divisive event in their common past and, without apportioning degrees of guilt. To put the thorny past behind them and to move forward in the spirit of understanding and fraternity which after centuries of a troubled past has now bonded them in the face of a common enemy and shared European identity.

My Polish hosts tell me that Russian bots are very active on this day trying to use the occasion to strike at Ukrainian “nazis.”  Not surprising, I answer, but when it comes to mentioning the Nazi-Soviet Pact of 1939,  the active collaboration until June 1941 of the Soviet Reds and the German Browns, and the Soviet massacre of Polish POW officers in Katyn and esewhere, they are silent.

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None of us individuals, let alone nations, are perfect, and there comes a time to face up to the truth about the past, however, uncomfortable it may be. And now, more than ever, when Poland has proved itself to be a reliable and staunch ally of Ukraine in its most difficult period in modern times, it is now that the truth about the past has to be faced and acknowledged. 

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The Poles of that period had plenty to answer for, but that does not let the Ukrainians off the hook. Historians should ascertain the facts as objectively as possible without the supervision of political overseers.

The objective is not to apportion blame but to ensure that we learn the proper lessons from history and do not repeat similar mistakes. And to ensure that as a result, the Ukrainian and Polish nations bond even closer.

So, over to Kyiv and Warsaw to encourage their historians to continue working together to make sense of what occurred, to consolidate mutual trust and cooperation, and to silence Moscow’s cynical bots and servants of the Kremlin.

In short, politics be shunned in this situation. In Kyiv, silence on this theme is unwarranted and impermissible. Zelensky and Duda have just reminded us of this. 

Let truth and justice prevail.

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Comments (8)

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Tom Skonieczka
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you got some stones to somehow suggest that the Wolyn Genocide was started by the Poles. Especially nowadays when it is Poland and Poland alone that is keeping your fake little country alive. Ukrainians need to BEG for FORGIVENESS and return LWOW to Poland. If they do not the Polish government should stop all aid, military and civilian immediately.

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trifleas
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On 11 July 1943 at the crack of dawn Ukrainian insurgent detachments and ruthlessly slaughtered Polish civilians in 99 Polish villages. Researchers estimate that on that day alone, known as Bloody Sunday, the number of Polish victims may have amounted to some 8,000 people, mostly women, children, and the elderly. However, the massacres continued for two years. Between 1943 and 1945, around 100, 000 Poles were murdered in 1865 places in Wołyń.

The murders were committed with incredible cruelty. Many were burnt alive or thrown into wells. Axes, pitchforks, scythes, knives and other farming tools rather than guns were used in an attempt to make the massacres look like a spontaneous peasant uprising. In the blood frenzy, the Ukrainians tortured their victims with unimaginable bestiality. Victims were scalped. They had their noses, lips and ears cut off. They had their eyes gouged out and hands cut off and they had their heads squashed in clamps. Woman had their breasts cut off and pregnant woman were stabbed in the belly. Men had their genitals sliced off with sickles.

According to historians, the massacres were ethnic cleansing, but they also meet the definition of genocide.


https://justiceforpolishvictims.org/

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hansen
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Bandera is no more a terrorist then any more than the Władysław Raczkiewicz WAS and his polish army was …UKRIANE needs to take steps to recognize Pawłokoma massacre as genocide !!!!!

Bandera was in a German KZ camp Sachsenhausen concentration camp from 1941-1944 NOW if you are sent to a KZ camp YOU ARE NOT a friend of Hitler are you AND IF YOU ARE inn a concentration camp from 1941 to the end of 1944 YOU can not be held responsible for the Volhynia massacre that happened in 1943 !!!!

AND LETS US ALSO NOT FORGET THAT MORE AND MORE new evidence is coming to light saying that it was NKVD dressed up as UPA /OUN that did the massacre in Volhynia in 1943.. But this is still not 100% proven yet,,,,

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hansen
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WHAT ABOUT The genocide carried out by Poland "Operational Group Vistula" consisting of about 20,000 Polish army soldiers under General Stefan Mossor. the Polish Army and the Internal Security Corps, the police Milicja Obywatelska and the Security Service Urząd Bezpieczeństwa. The operation April 28, 1947. The expellees comprised about 140,000 to 150,000 Ukrainians and Lemkos still remaining after the 1944-1946 forcible repatriation of Ukrainians.

The Ukrainians was forced by gunpoint and into crowded train boxcars for deportations..

The truth was it was a death and torture train !!

They let mothers starved themselves to death in order to feed their children. The days, and months filled with the agonizing cries of hungry children and babies..

To make things even worse, dead bodies stayed in the closed boxcar until the next stop--which could be as long as a week. During the stop, the people would scurry to look for anything that might be edible or a drop of water.

Some Ukrainians tried to escape but were usually captured, beaten, or shot. In the end, a journey that might normally take four to five hours took up to three months. with extreme torture Imagine you are a child or a mother and three months locked up with all that slowly dyeing for the amusement of the Polish evil psychopathic murderers..

I think a shoot in the head is better don’t you !!!

http://www.dpcamps.org/operationVistula.html

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hansen
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Polish Army is guilty of Genocide done to Ukrainians at Pawłokoma know as the massacre of Pawłokoma..

On 2–3 March 1945, Ukrainians of Pawłokoma were murdered, by a former Armia Krajowa unit, commanded by Józef Biss "Wacław" aided by Polish self-defense groups from nearby villages.

And it is OK for Poland to call this scum Józef Biss hero of Poland ....why is it not OK for Ukraine to call Bandera a hero of Ukraine ???

Bandera never had anything to do with any genocide like the Polish hero Józef Biss !!!

Józef Biss Armia Krajowa unit, held their victims in a local church, interrogated some were tortured and then taken to a local cemetery where they were executed. Only some small children below 10 years old survived every one else killed by the hero Polish scum !!!

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paw%C5%82okoma_massacre

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hansen
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Polish propaganda attempts to paint Ukrainians as animals who killed Poles in 1943-1944.

The issue is that the Polish government, along with the Polish Military, wants to cover up their own crimes. Poles committed crimes the interwar period (1919-1939), Ukraine occupied by Poland.

The Polish government did not allow Ukrainians in western Ukraine to freely farm their own land. It strangled the population with burdensome taxes, high rents, unfavorable loan terms, and prevented them from acquiring their own land.

Ukrainians could not study in Ukrainian or freely practice religion. In 1938 Poles burnt 180 Ukrainian churches.

Under Poland Ukrainians could hold office Gov, positions was only for Poles, who did not speak Ukrainian.

In March of 1939, League of Nations review the question of a free and independent Ukraine, releasing it from Polish oppression. However the WW2 happened , preventing an independence for Ukraine.

The Polish government in exile, gave orders to the Armija Krajowa (AK), which operated in German occupied western Ukraine, to constantly demonstrate their presence: to oppose the right of Ukrainians to build their own independent nation, to destroy any independent Ukrainian military formations in the region, and if necessary to destroy any peaceful Ukrainian villages, bases of support for the UPA.

The victims of these barbarous attacks in 1943-1944 became thousands of defenseless Ukrainian men, women and children.

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hansen
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IF POLISH LIKE TO ERECT MONUMENTS TO Władysław Raczkiewicz AND former Armia Krajowa unit, commanded Józef Biss that is gulity of genocide to Ukrainians JEWS and Russian can erect monuments to Stalin

I real don’t se the problem that Ukraine can not erect monuments to Bandera as he had nothing personally (unlike Władysław Raczkiewicz, Stalin and Józef Biss) with any genocide... in-fact Bandera was considered an enemy of Germany and was arrested and sent to Sachsenhausen concentration camp from 1941 until 1944 ..

Polish genocide done too Ukrainians !!!!

Bandera is no more a terrorist than Władysław Raczkiewicz or former Armia Krajowa unit, commanded Józef Biss was and his Polish army was in when they was killing civilian Ukrainians ..

Ukraine needs to take steps to recognize Pawłokoma massacre as genocide !!!!!


Bandera has personally done nothing wrong to Poland he was a P.O.W. from 1941 -1944 the Polish massacre in Volhynia was in 1943 so get over it, and start accusing those how infact did this evil and stop blaming the innocent that had nothing to do with it....

LET LOOK AT SOME FACTS So based on this fact Bandera had nothing to do with the massacre in Volhynia, the notorious 1943-44 massacre during the time of conflict.

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I support
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Good to see both nations overcoming the tragedy of the past. If only Russia could have done this but Putin would never have the compassion or admit past wrongs. Its really sad that Russia can never be done with tyrants. If someday they do they could join the world and prosper.

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