Children of the Borderlands, by Lucyna Kulinska. 2019. Translated by Paul Szymanski
Reviewed by Jan Peczkis
The Harrowing Experiences of Kresy Poles During the Ukrainian OUN-UPA Genocide
This book is a comprehensive collection of testimonies by Poles who, mostly as children, had survived the Ukrainian genocide. I had the pleasure of editing this book. The book has many maps, photos, and extensive explanatory footnotes by Paul Szymanski. WARNING: The creative sadism of the RIZUNY (Ukrainian cutthroats) knew no bounds, and the testimonies may be upsetting to sensitive readers.
Because there is so much content in this work, I focus on a few issues. I begin with facts that are relevant to the Jews claims against Poles.
THE JEWISH AND POLICE POLICE
A copy is provided of a German poster (p. 127). It was issued by SS-Obergruppenfuhrer Friedrich-Wilhelm Kruger on October 30, 1939. It commands all prewar Polish police to report for duty, under penalty of death for noncompliance, to serve the Germans as the POLICJA GRANATOWA (Polish Blue Police). Obviously, the POLICJA GRANATOWA were not collaborators: They were forced to serve the Germans.
One of the photos (p. 14) shows the hanging of Polish hostages, by the Jewish police (ORDNUNGSDIENST) serving the Germans, at Krakow-Plaszow, on June 23, 1942.
POLES AND NOT ONLY JEWS LOST PROPERTY
Nowadays, the media makes a selective big deal of the fact that the property of German-murdered Jews passed to the Poles, and the Holocaust Industry wrongly demands restitution for these properties. Nothing, of course, is ever said about the multitudes of Poles (especially the Kresy Poles) who lost all their belongings. This was both a consequence of the Soviet-driven expropriation and expulsion of Kresy Poles, and the further confiscation of property by the Teheran-Yalta-approved Soviet-imposed Communist puppet government. Szymanski makes this clear, “After World War II, people who were deported from lands east of the Curzon Line received some compensation for the lost property either on the so-called ‘Recovered Lands’ in a form of the farmsteads of former German owners or they got land after so called Land Reform. However, many people got their properties confiscated again by the Communist government through various forms. They were either forced to join the co-op, they were overtaxed, of simply arrested under trumped up charges, sentenced to death and forfeiture of the property. The whole compensation for lost property was one of the biggest scams perpetrated by the Communists after World War II.” (p. 383).
NOT ONLY JEWISH CEMETERIES WERE DESECRATED OR REPURPOSED
This issue often comes up in conjunction with the Holocaust Industry and the Poles-owe-Jews messages as per communal properties and onetime Jewish cemeteries in Poland. Actually, Jews are no different from anyone else, and they are no more owed than are Poles.
Stanislaw Ciolek has this to say about the recent fate of the onetime Polish cemetery at Kuty, Volhynia, “On the old Polish and Armenian tombs hang new plaques in Cyrillic inscriptions. Polish graves at Kuty’s cemetery are systematically desecrated. The stone slabs are tossed to the side to make a room for a new Ukrainian burial.” (p. 139).
Ryszard Ostrowski describes the situation in Ostrog, Volhynia, after the Soviet de-Polonization of the Kresy. He writes, “Once the Poles had left Ostrog in 1945-1946 (only a small number of Catholics, who had no rights and were scared of admitting they were Polish, remained), the cemetery was being gradually vandalized (for instance, gravestones were used to build a runway at the nearby military airport), and in 1968, it was bulldozed to make room for a stadium. It was so ‘important’ for the city that when I was looking at the stadium in 2002, it was still unfinished.” (p. 313).
EASTERN GALICIA WAS POLISH BEFORE IT WAS UKRAINIAN
Szymanski cites the studies of Professor Stanislaw Zakrzewski. He established that the GRODY CZERWIENSKIE (Cherven cities) encompassed the upper Dniester basin, and already belonged to Poland at the time of Boleslaw I Chrobry. (See the map on p. 537).
POLES DID NOT OPPRESS THE UKRAINIANS
Ukrainians give a stock excuse, for their genocide, by accusing Poles of oppressing them. This is nonsense. For instance, Edward Kwiatkowski, one of the eyewitnesses, reports, “However, to the best of my knowledge, the Poles had no individual laws or privileges. Most of the fertile soils were in possession of Ukrainians. Very often, Ukrainian villages were located next to the river. Many Ukrainians held government positions. There were even two Ukrainian teachers in Huta Stepanska. What is more, in Stepan, the position of a headmaster at Polish school was held by a Ukrainian, Dymidiuk.” (p. 99).
For further refutation of the charge that Poland had oppressed its Ukrainian minority, see:
POLISH FORTIFIED VILLAGES DEFEND AGAINST THE UKRAINIAN GENOCIDE
The Poles established a number of samoobrony (defensive bases) throughout Volhynia and eastern Galicia. I focus on two of them. Both survived until the second Soviet occupation of the Kresy (1944).
The village of Panska Dolina is listed as the first samoobrona. It had at least 150 armed defenders, and gave shelter to 500 inhabitants, mostly Poles. After repeatedly driving off the UPA attackers, the defenders turned to offense, and wiped out the UPA headquarters at the nearby village of Zady. (p. 315).
Przebraze was the largest fortified Polish village in Wolyn. It had 400 armed defenders, and shielded over 20,000 inhabitants, mostly Poles. (pp. 366-367). They drove off several UPA attacks.
TODAY’S UKRAINIANS TRY TO REWRITE HISTORY
There are warnings in this book about modern Ukrainians trying to whitewash themselves, glorify Stepan Bandera and other cutthroats, and revise history. In present-day Poland, this is notably true of NASZE SLOWO, which frequently blames Poles and whines about Operation Wisla, which in no way compares with genocide, and which was necessary to finally put a stop to the Ukrainian genocide.