May 28, 2024
Book Reviews Ukrainian Genocide of Poles

OUN-UPA Genocide Catalogued: Tarnopol Area. Based Upon 2,956 Eyewitnesses

Ukrainian Genocide Tarnopol| Polish-Jewish Relations

Ludobojstwo Dokonane Przez Nacjonalistow Ukrainskich Na Polakach W Wojewodztwie Tarnopolskim 1939-1946, by Henryk Komanski and Szczepan Siekierka. 2006. Wroclaw
Encyclopedia of the OUN-UPA Genocide of the Jews and Poles of Tarnopol (Ternopil) Voivodship

This comprehensive work follows a county-by-county, village-by-village format, giving a summary of local events from 1939-1946. Based upon the testimonies of 2,956 eyewitnesses, 23,102 Poles, most known by name, are known to have been murdered by the Ukrainian fascist-separatist OUN-UPA. (pp. 5-6). Coverage is incomplete, and lacking entirely for one-third of all villages, so the projected total of Polish victims in this Voivodship alone is 40,000-50,000.

NOT ONLY POLES FELL VICTIM: THE MURDERS OF JEWS BY THE OUN-UPA

Claims that the OUN-UPA didn’t kill Jews are absurdly revisionistic. In fact, the Ukrainian German-collaborating police, which subordinated itself to the OUN under penalty of death (p. 618), and which later formed the core of the UPA, was instrumental in the Nazi extermination of Jews–as listed on too many pages to enumerate. Members of this police were also trained to locate fugitive Jews. (p. 267). Later, the UPA itself frequently murdered Jews (p. 40, 41, 42, 113, 153, 195, 247, 249, 302, 394, 402, 404, 440, 524, 648, etc.)–despite the rarity of still-surviving Jews by this time.

THE UKRAINIAN CLERGY

Named Ukrainian Greek-Catholic priests encouraged Ukrainians to murder Poles (p. 40, 41, 74, 164, 304, 320, 332, 339, 400, 597, 601), and even engaged in the blessing of knives, etc., for these mass-murder campaigns. (p. 38, 341, 387, 418, 533, 760, etc.). Other Ukrainian priests saved Poles (p. 424), condemned the OUN-UPA’s crimes (p. 41, 697, 701), and are known to have been murdered for such “treason”. (p. 180, 416, 489). Many other Ukrainians were murdered for warning, aiding, or hiding Poles.

GEOGRAPHIC DIFFERENCES, IN TERMS OF UKRAINIAN ANTI-POLISH SENTIMENT, IN EASTERN GALICIA

Ukrainian support for the OUN-UPA varied geographically. For instance, the Brzezany (Berezhany) area had already been a hotbed of OUN separatist violence before WWII, and an area where many retreating 1939 Polish soldiers were deceived, disarmed, and murdered. Other Polish soldiers fought off these attacks (p. 111, 118). On the other hand, the vast majority of the Ukrainians of Palikrowy repudiated the OUN-UPA and its crimes. (pp. 596-597).

OUN-UPA WAS MORE NAZI THAN EVEN THE GERMAN NAZIS

Ukrainian fascism was, in some ways, more fascist than Nazism. UPA members, acting spontaneously or as ordered, murdered even their Polish wives, mothers, and fathers. (p. 160, 240, 301, 506, 642, 670, 675, 694, 1133). Ukrainian villagers who refused to participate in the murders of Polish relatives and neighbors were themselves murdered (p. 50, 75, 94, 148, 153, 175, 177, 206, 207, 347, 381, 473, 601)–as were Ukrainians who even HAD Polish relatives of friends. (40, 52, 54, 62, etc.). Self-identification as a Rusin could itself bring death. (p. 203). Refusal to join or perform services for the UPA was a capital crime, as was even the act of criticizing UPA policies. (p. 41, 137, 172, 175, 180, 235, 439, 465, 481, 489, 640, 662, 893, etc.).

POLISH SELF-DEFENSE BASES

The many Polish-created samoobrony (defended villages)(mentioned at over 30 locations) often repelled large UPA attacks with relatively small losses. But even when faced with an overwhelming UPA force, which often enjoyed the support of incendiary shell-firing small artillery that ignited village buildings, armed Poles often managed to save their own lives, and that of many other Poles, by creating combat-related commotion that enabled successful hiding or fleeing.

THE RE-ENTRY OF THE RED ARMYAND THE ISTRIEBITIELNE BATALIONY

The second Soviet occupation (1944) began with overall Soviet indifference to the UPA murders of Poles (p. 167, 360, 891), and with the samoobrony weakened by the compulsory draft of military-age men into the Red Army–which the UPA took prompt advantage of. (pp. 480-481). Later, the Soviets exploited the desperate Poles as an anti-UPA tool by setting up the “Strebki” (Istriebitielne Bataliony). This made the samoobrony legitimate in the eyes of the Soviets and enabled the usually effective protection of Polish settlements (as listed on many pages)–excepting some dual-loyalty Russian- or Ukrainian-commanded units. (p. 42, 656). (Ukrainian complaints about “Bolshevik-lackey Poles”, encountered in the LITOPYS UPA series regarding Czerwonogrod (p. 432), are laughable in view of the earlier 1939-1941 Ukrainian collaboration with Soviets against Poles, as well as the UPA-genocidal circumstances that drove Poles to the Soviets.)

POLAND BETRAYED, AND THE REMAINING KRESY POLES EXPELLED

By 1946, the Soviets had expelled most Poles as part of the terms of the 1943 Teheran Churchill-Roosevelt giveaway of these lands to the Soviet Union. Some UPA murderers followed the Polish expellees to Poland in her postwar boundaries, and some of these, in a macabre form of identity theft, took the names of their victims. (p. 102, 141, 618). Many others emigrated to the West and escaped justice for their crimes.

Detailed village-by-village catalogues that document the Ukrainian OUN-UPA genocide of Poles (reviewed) are also available for the remaining voivodships of southeastern Poland:

Lwow

https://www.jewsandpolesdatabase.org/2022/08/21/lwow-voivodship-detailed-village-by-village-catalogue-of-the-ukrainian-upa-genocide-of-poles-ukrainians-not-oppressed-by-poles-church-ownership-conflicts-pawlokoma-truth-siekierka-komanski-bulz/

Stanislawow

https://www.jewsandpolesdatabase.org/2022/08/21/istriebielne-bataliony-detailed-village-by-village-catalogue-of-the-ukrainian-upa-genocide-of-poles-of-the-stanislawow-voivodship-ukrainians-unrepentant-do-not-forgive-them-siekierka-komanski-r/

Wolyn

https://www.jewsandpolesdatabase.org/2019/11/04/ukrainian-upa-genocide-of-poles-siemaszko/

 

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