The Polish Ukrainian trend, second war, oun, upa

Posted on Listopad 19, 2008

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Polish-Ukrainian relations belong to the most controversial and mythologized topics of Polish
post-war history. During the communist regime (1944-1989) Polish popular knowledge was shaped by
books by Jan Gerhard, Edward Prus or Ewa and Czesław Petelski. In these books „bandits of OUNUPA”
(Organizacia Ukrainskich Nacionalistov, Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists, Ukrainska
Povstantscha Armia, Ukrainian Insurgent Army) kill innocent Poles. Ukrainians are always depicted
as treacherous and extremely cruel. What is important here is that the events described in these books
took place in the territory of post-war Poland, but never in Volynia or Eastern Galicia regions, which
were part of Soviet Ukraine. At this time, topics dealing with the “anti-Polish action of the UPA” in
Volynia and Eastern Galicia were prohibited by censorship. As a result, in the Polish popular
remembrance of the UPA, the site of the mass murders was transferred from Volynia and Eastern
Galicia to Bieszczady and Eastern Lubelszczyzna. Consequently, Polish communists were able to
portray the „Vistula” action as the only effective way of liquidating the UPA network. Only after 1989
has it been possible to study Polish-Ukrainian relations without the interference of censorship.
Immediately after 1989 many books on Polish-Ukrainian relations appeared on the market.
There were also some conferences held, materials of which were afterwards published.1 Polish
historiography after 1989 was largely shaped by the influence of earlier literature. At the same time,
there were some works published that showed a different approach.
There are already several articles on the historiography of Polish-Ukrainian relations in the years
of 1939-1948, the most valuable of which I find to be those by Grzegorz Motyka2 and Andrzej L.
Sowa.3 By Polish historiography I mean all works that were originally published in Polish and thatMotyka also includes works by Grzegorz Mazur here, but in my opinion his works should be treated as
„revisionistic.”22 However, the latest publications by Marek Jasiak, which Grzegorz Motyka considers
„close to revisionistic,” are definitely evolving towards the traditional trend.23
The third, para-scientific trend consists of works that are of no scientific value. Their authors
play freely with historical facts. They appeal mostly to the reader’s emotions. Their use of sources and
researchers’ findings does not contribute to historical discoveries. Instead it is used to make their „true”
version of events credible. It is often only politically involved publicism, not historical work. Edward
Prus,24 Aleksander Korman,25 and Jacek E. Wilczur26 are followers of this trend.
The least convincing element in G. Motyka’s classification is the fourth trend, that of the Polish
Ukrainians. The other three trends are distinguished by means of scientific criteria. The Polish-
Ukrainian trend, however, has been defined using a national key. As a result, people who represent
extremely different views and methodologies have been put under one category. For instance, Wiktor
Poliszczuk looks on the OUN-UPA as only a terrorist-genocidal organization.27 Mikolaj Siwicki’s
book is an emotional attempt to defend the reputation of the OUN-UPA.28 The works of Eugeniusz
formally follow scientific criteria. The only typology of Polish historiography is the one created by
Grzegorz Motyka. He distinguished four trends: revisionistic, traditional, para-scientific, and the trend
represented by Polish Ukrainians.4
The first, revisionistic trend categorizes those historians who revise, sometimes subconsciously,
the lies of historiography made by the Polish Republic of Poland (PRL). They also reconsider the
negative and propagandist stereotypes about Ukrainians. This trend goes along with the views of Paris
“KULTURA” editors. Its appearance in Poland was marked by the publication of a book by Bogdan
Skaradzinski5 together with an article written by Tadeusz Andrzej Olszanski.6 Later on, this approach
can be seen in the works of Aldona Chojnowska,7 Grzegorz Hryciuk,8 Andrzej L. Sowa,9 Wlodzimierz
Medrzecki,10 Miroslaw Sycz,11 Grzegorz Motyka,12 and Rafal Wnuk.13 Undoubtedly, Ryszard Torzecki’s fundamental book also falls into this category.14 His book is the first systematic presentation
of Polish-Ukrainian relations during the Second World War. His findings form a reference source for all
researchers in this field.
The second trend, the traditional, focuses on the description of OUN-UPA crimes in Volynia
and Galicia as well as the history of the Polish underground in this territory. The following authors
represent this trend: Ewa and Wladyslaw Siemaszko,15 Wlodzimierz Filar,16 Wincenrty Romanowski,17
Jerzy Wegierski,18 Jozef Turowski,19 Czeslaw Partacz,20 and a large group of historians of regions.21
Misilo,29 Roman Drozd,30 and Igor Halagida,31 written with full respect for historical methodology, fall in
between these two extremes.
In my mind, Polish historiography of Polish-Ukrainian relations can be described using a
„perspective” key. The first group consists of historians who hold the view that to understand a
phenomenon one has to look at it from more than one angle and perspective (multi-perspective).
According to this rule they must abandon the role of the one-sided advocate. Such historians attempt to
understand, but do not necessarily accept, the arguments of both sides. Such an attitude is captured by
all the revisionistic researchers and by some Polish Ukrainians like Roman Drozd and Igor Halagida, as
well as by one Polish Belarusian, Eugeniusz Mironowicz.32
The second group consists of researchers who approve of one, often national or sometimes
state, perspective („mono-perspective”). These include defenders of „Polish reasons,” or traditionalists,
and their counterpart on the „Ukrainian side of the fence”, Eugeniusz Misilo.
I do not find G. Motyka’s para-scientific trend part of historiography at all. These authors’
works can be treated as neither scientific nor objective. Since they have shaped the historical
consciousness of some Poles, I refer to these as „non-scientific” works. This non-scientific trend depicts
a world seen from a supposedly „true” perspective. In addition to the above-mentioned E. Prus, A.
Korman and J. Wilczur, I also include Polish Ukrainians like W. Poliszczuk and M. Siwicki in this trend.
The first three represent national and anti-Ukrainian views. Interestingly, the „left-wing democrat” W.
Poliszczuk and the Polish national non-scientific authors use the same jargon and reach identical
conclusions. M. Siwicki, however, blames only the Poles for this conflict. Among mono-perspectivists
a large group consists of authors who have partaken in or witnessed the events about which they write.
W.Siemaszko, W. Filar, W. Romanowski and J. Turowski were soldiers of AK (Armia Krajowa -Home Army) in Volynia. J.Wegierski was a member of AK in Lvov. These historians admit that the
main goal of their work is to commemorate these people and events. Among the multi-perspectivists
there are no direct witnesses. This shows how strongly the approach of researchers is determined by
their personal experiences. I need to add that such witnesses can also be found among „non-historians”
like J.E. Wilczor from Lvov and E. Prus from Volynia.
Adopting either a mono- or a multi-perspective scientific approach or a non-historical view
defines the way in which the Polish-Ukrainian conflict in the years 1939-1948 is described. Let us
examine and analyze the historical approach to certain sensitive problems:
n the genesis, duration and number of casualties of OUN-UPA mass murder
n the anti-Polish action of the OUN-UPA and ethnic cleansing
n the attitude towards Polish-Ukrainian attempts to reach agreements
n the attitude towards „Vistula” action (akcja „Wisla”)
According to the multi-perspectivist approach mass murders in Volynia and Galicia were
consequences of a sequence of numerous events. The long-term reasons involve the Polish-Ukrainian
War in 1918, the unavoidable conflict of territorial interests, the recognition by part of Ukrainian society
of the II Republic of Poland (II RP) as an occupant of Ukraine, the liquidation of the Ukrainian
schooling system and the pacification of Ukrainian villages in II RP, the radicalism of some Ukrainian
society, and the acceptance of terrorism as a means in political struggle. As for objective reasons, these
include overpopulation and a civilizational setback in these territories.
The short-term reason has to do with the policy of the Soviet and German occupants. Soviet
deportations in the years 1940-41 showed that it was possible to „solve” problems by simply removing
entire social groups. At the time, Polish and Ukrainian elites were decimated in order to increase the
possibility of constructive dialogue between the parties. The holocaust of Jews was intended to be
„moral anaesthesia.” Groups of OUN took part in pogroms organized by Germans. The Holocaust
showed that it was possible to exterminate whole nations. As A.T. Olszanski writes, „The people of
Volynia before 1943 witnessed the crimes of the NKVD, the extermination of Jews, the starving to
death of thousands of Soviet POs, drafts for slave labor during which sometimes whole villages were
burned down, the reckless barbarism of German super-humans who killed people in public without any
reason.”33
Multi-perspectivists unanimously claim that the anti-Polish action of the OUN-UPA was part of
a plan. There are, however, some differences among them in terms of their interpretation of facts and
their stress on individual elements. G.Mazur, T.A.Olszanski, and R.Torzecki point out provocative activities of Soviets and Germans. 34 A.L.Sowa and G. Motyka claim that the onset of actions in
Volynia had in view the streaming activity of guerrilla troops for which OUN was not prepared at all.35
Put simply, formations of several thousand soldiers of UPA that consisted mainly of deserters from
German police could not be dismissed because they had no place to which they could come back. The
Germans were too strong an enemy and, moreover, were already losing the war. Actions against them
were not military justified. Unprepared to fight, Poles were the most convenient, vulnerable target.
Removing them from territories considered to be ethnically Ukrainian by the OUN was part of the
Ukrainian nationalists’ political program.
Historians in this trend date the anti-Polish action to the years 1943-45, emphasizing that it only
took place in Volynia and Eastern Galicia. The events of spring 1944 in eastern Lubelszczyzna they
consider to be guerrilla war during which both sides, to a similar degree, resorted to the murdering of
civilians. These authors emphasize that in the years 1945-47 there was no such thing as a simple Polish-
Ukrainian conflict in the territory of present-day Poland. Instead, three actors were involved: the OUNUPA,
the Polish Independence Underground, and the communists. They believe that the narrowing of
the conflict to two sides was only a mistake. They all agree about the estimated number of casualties.
In the years 1943-47 about 80,000 Poles were killed—40,000 of them in Volynia—and about 20,000
Ukrainians.
There is a discussion among the multi-perspectivists about the goals of the anti-Polish action of
the OUN-UPA. Some of them claim that there might have been an attempt to exterminate all the Poles
there. In Galicia, though, murders were intended to force Poles to leave. This interpretation is favored
by A.L.Sowa, for example.36 Others like G.Motyka and R.Torzecki claim that the goal of the OUNUPA
had to do with the Poles’ expulsion.37 Mass murders served the purpose of liquidating those who
resisted and of threatening others. In Volynia, however, the local leaders of the OUN-UPA
misinterpreted the orders coming form Headquarters. G.Hryciuk shares G.Motyka’s and R.Torzecki’s
views, but points out that „It was ethnic cleansing done also by genocidal methods.”38 It is worth
mentioning here that no Polish historian of Ukrainian nationality has failed to comment on the problem of
mass murder in Galicia and Volynia. Association) that were attempted in the years 1945-46 are depicted by historians. These historians
stress that the attempts had tactical meaning and were full of distrust.39
Multi-perspectivists look on „Vistula” action and previous deportations to the USRS (Soviet
Ukraine) through the prism of human rights. Lack of agreement on collective responsibility makes them
have a negative approach to Vistula action. G.Motyka states: „Instead of fighting against the UPA by
means of decisive and well-prepared military operations, the authorities resorted to unethical mass
deportations of civilians. The thesis that this was the only possibility of exterminating the UPA is untrue.
[…] The real goal of ‚Vistula’ action was not the liquidation of the Ukrainian underground but a final
solution to the Ukrainian problem.”40 There is a clear difference among multi-perspectivists in terms of
the way they determine responsibility for Vistula action.
According to R.Drozd, „The decision for deportation was initiated by Polish authorities and
approved by Soviet authorities, unlike the deportations in the years 1944-46, during which the initiating
and decision-making body was the Kremlin.”41 E.Mironowicz42 and I.Halagida43 also regard the Polish
communists as initiators of Vistula action. But G.Motyka and R.Torzecki are convinced about the
crucial role of the Soviets in it.44
Let us look closer at the views and interpretations of the mono-perspectivists. Researchers of
this trend who are of Polish nationality claim that Polish national policy during the inter-war period was
far from perfect. The responsibility for the worsening of Polish-Ukrainian relations lies on Ukrainian
shoulders. About the Polish state assimilation policy in Volynia, W. Filar writes that the „realisation of
such policy faced difficulties and in reality became virtually impossible. For the Ukrainians the basis of
defining their own identity was the negation of anything that was Polish. For the Poles, however, the
defense against Ukrainian hostility was aggressive nationalism as represented by the National Party
(Stronnictwo Narodowe).”45 Among many reasons for murdering Poles they consider the most
important to be Dmytro Doncow’s ideology of integral nationalism adopted by the OUN. According to
Z. Palski, „This ideology alien to civilized social sciences was the reason for the mass murder of
thousands of Poles and Jews… Due to the lack of politically-legal conceptions about the existence of an
independent Ukrainian state, nationalists used the most primitive form of making this state come true,
The attempts at compromise between Polish and Ukrainian undergrounds and between the
OUN-UPA and AK-WiN (Zrzeszenie „Wolnosc i Niezawislosc” – „Freedom and Independence”
Recent Polish Historiography on Association) that were attempted in the years 1945-46 are depicted by historians. These historians
stress that the attempts had tactical meaning and were full of distrust.39
Multi-perspectivists look on „Vistula” action and previous deportations to the USRS (Soviet
Ukraine) through the prism of human rights. Lack of agreement on collective responsibility makes them
have a negative approach to Vistula action. G.Motyka states: „Instead of fighting against the UPA by
means of decisive and well-prepared military operations, the authorities resorted to unethical mass
deportations of civilians. The thesis that this was the only possibility of exterminating the UPA is untrue.
[…] The real goal of ‚Vistula’ action was not the liquidation of the Ukrainian underground but a final
solution to the Ukrainian problem.”40 There is a clear difference among multi-perspectivists in terms of
the way they determine responsibility for Vistula action.
According to R.Drozd, „The decision for deportation was initiated by Polish authorities and
approved by Soviet authorities, unlike the deportations in the years 1944-46, during which the initiating
and decision-making body was the Kremlin.”41 E.Mironowicz42 and I.Halagida43 also regard the Polish
communists as initiators of Vistula action. But G.Motyka and R.Torzecki are convinced about the
crucial role of the Soviets in it.44
Let us look closer at the views and interpretations of the mono-perspectivists. Researchers of
this trend who are of Polish nationality claim that Polish national policy during the inter-war period was
far from perfect. The responsibility for the worsening of Polish-Ukrainian relations lies on Ukrainian
shoulders. About the Polish state assimilation policy in Volynia, W. Filar writes that the „realisation of
such policy faced difficulties and in reality became virtually impossible. For the Ukrainians the basis of
defining their own identity was the negation of anything that was Polish. For the Poles, however, the
defense against Ukrainian hostility was aggressive nationalism as represented by the National Party
(Stronnictwo Narodowe).”45 Among many reasons for murdering Poles they consider the most
important to be Dmytro Doncow’s ideology of integral nationalism adopted by the OUN. According to
Z. Palski, „This ideology alien to civilized social sciences was the reason for the mass murder of
thousands of Poles and Jews… Due to the lack of politically-legal conceptions about the existence of an
independent Ukrainian state, nationalists used the most primitive form of making this state come true,which was physical extermination of the element considered by them alien… Physical extermination of
Poles was to replace the lack of a political program for Ukrainian nationalists.”46
The thesis of W. Siemaszko and E. Siemaszko about the clearly genocidal goal of anti-Polish
OUN-UPA action in Volynia was extended to all Galicia and Lubelszczyzna. According to E.
Siemaszko, „It was carefully prepared, consciously leading to the biological extermination of the Polish
population as a national group… These actions targeted all Poles, regardless of their age or sex… They
were carried out under the label ‚Death to Every Pole.'”47 The most serious allegations are made by R.
Szawlowski. He claims that all Ukrainians inhabiting ethnically-mixed territories are responsible for
ethnic crimes against Poles. He considers these crimes crueler than those committed by Germans or
Soviets. He writes: „The Ukrainian genocide of Poles… was by nature designed to quickly exterminate
all the Poles there and then… from infants to the elderly, with no exception whatsoever. In this it can
only be compared to the German’s total genocide of the Jews.”48 It must be emphasized that the
remaining representatives of this trend do not use this extensive term „Ukrainian genocide” and instead
prefer „Ukrainian nationalist genocide.”
According to the mono-perspectivists of Polish nationality, this genocide began in September
1939 and ended in 1947.49 They consider all Poles who were killed by Ukrainians to be victims of
genocide, regardless of the situation in which they were killed. As a result, soldiers killed by communist
rebels in September 1939, victims of common criminals, AK soldiers who died in battles with the UPA,
Poles serving in „istriebitielnych” battalions (supporting police forces of NKVD) in the years 1944-45,
members of the Secret Police (Urzad Bezpieczenstwa) killed in action, any militia, and soldiers of the
Polish Army are also considered victims of genocide. In the assessment of the period 1944-47 we
come up against paradoxes. A member of the Secret Police or militia killed by the Polish Underground
is treated as a collaborator with the occupant. The killing of a similar person by the UPA, however, is
treated as a „Ukrainian Nationalist crime.”50 Between mono- and multi-perspectivians there is an
agreement as to the number of victims in this conflict: 80,000-100,000 Poles and 20,000 Ukrainians.
Researchers of the mono-perspective trend claim that during WW II differences between Polish
and Ukrainian territorial interests were so huge that there was no hope for any agreement. They regard
the continual attempts to come to some agreement as part of a deliberate, wicked game of the Ukrainian
side.51 Its purpose was to sedate the alertness of the Polish Underground. These historians do not
comment on the 1945 agreement between the AK-WiN and UPA in Lubelszczyzna, which was
obeyed. They hold favorable views towards Vistula action. According to their opinion, the state wellbeing
has priority over human rights. As a result they approve of the notion of collective responsibility.
M. Jasiak writes: „The expulsion of Ukrainian people during ‚Vistula’ action can be justified by Polish reasoning of state. State authorities cannot allow the existence of a military underground that attempts
to separate a part of territory and create its own national state.”52 In one of Z. Palski’s articles, Vistula
action is portrayed as almost humanitarian: „Persons of Ukrainian nationality moved during ‚Vistula’
action were not homeless or abandoned in the snows of taiga or deserts of Kazakhstan. They were not
sent for slave labor in the mines. They were given post-German farms in the northern and western parts
of Poland, with generous help from the state… Taking painful, radical, decisive action contributed to the
cease of bloodshed and created a chance to start a normal life… The goal of ‚Vistula’ action was to
provide safety and pace to all Polish citizens, regardless of their nationality. All state authorities are
obliged to follow such action, regardless of their political provenience. Polish authorities used with it
only the necessary, minimal power towards certain citizens of the Polish Republic who were Ukrainian
nationality, which—in the light of international law—violated the duty of being loyal to the state.”53
I consider E. Misilo, a Polish Ukrainian, a mono-perspectivist. He writes about only the Polish-
Ukrainian conflict in the territory of present-day Poland. This allows him to ignore any anti-Polish action
of the OUN-UPA in Volynia and Galicia. He fails to mention the Polish-Ukrainian agreements of 1945.
This is all the more surprising since its consequences were of major importance to the problems he
studied. E. Misilo’s research focuses on the expulsion of Ukrainians from Poland to the USRS and
Vistula action. If we trust his interpretations, Polish communist authorities were fully independent
decision-makers. In his model the Soviets are equal partners with the Polish communists. He writes:
„The signing of the agreement by the authorities of Soviet Ukraine, Belarus, Lithuania and Poland on
exchanging populations was one of the first steps taken by Polish communists.”54 According to E.
Misilo, at the turn of July 1945 Polish communists decided on total and obligatory expulsion of all
Ukrainians. The Soviet initiative to use force during this expulsion was secondary. It made it possible
to realize previously made decisions. He is also convinced that Vistula action was wholly a Polish
initiative. It was taken due to the refusal of the USRS to accept another group of those who were
expelled.55 E.Misilo diminishes the importance of UPA activity. He emphasizes the military weakness
of this formation and ignores the criminal actions against Polish civilians. At the same time, he stresses
the brutality of the Polish Army, militia, and Secret Police. The reader receives a portrayal of innocent
Ukrainians, brutal, cruel Polish communists, and a common Polish support for expulsion.
In the third, „non-scientific” trend there is a group represented by E. Prus, A.Korman and J.
Wilczor. They all strongly support the idea that one cannot talk about a Polish-Ukrainian conflict, but
only about the genocide of Poles by Ukrainian nationalists. Works by these authors are written in the
form of a lampoon. E.Prus’s and J.Wilczor’s books do not include footnotes and have only
bibliographies. This prevents a reader from confirming facts which are often more than doubtful. For
instance, in one of his books E.Prus writes that in Sachryn, near Hrubieszow, Ukrainians murdered each
other.56 However, all of Polish historiography and the memories of Home Army soldiers state clearly
that it was an action of Polish underground. While A. Korman uses footnotes, their content is sometimes confusing. In one text, for
example, he writes: „The UPA was supported by the NKVD against the Poles, which means a
depolonisation of Malopolska Wschodnia and Volynia, mainly because of crimes against humanity, and
was also supported by German special forces, especially Abwehra II, against the Home Army and
Soviet guerrilla troops under the red and black Bandera flag.” The footnote reads: „In the act of II
(Cracow) Great Sobor of the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists it was declared that the OUN
symbol was a red and black flag, with red at the top and black below… the red symbolized Moscow
and blood, whereas the black symbolized Berlin and soil.”57
These authors give a high estimation of the number of victims in Poles (300,000-500,000). They
say that the OUN and UPA had nothing to do with independence. They have no doubt that the main
goal of Ukrainian nationalists was genocide of the Poles. They do not mention any casualties on the
Ukrainian side. They date it to the years 1939-1956. In their historiographic narration there is no room
for any Polish-Ukrainian agreements, neither for those made during the war nor for the successful
agreement of 1945. All three fully approve of communist Poland and the activities of the communist
military formations. Members of the communist terror formations (UB, MO members of istriebitielne
battalions) are, according to them, representatives of Polish society and the Polish state.
For them, Vistula action was the only feasible solution. E. Prus writes, „‚Vistula’ action was a
defense reaction of the Polish government to the outrageous murders of Ukrainian nationalists in southeastern
Poland. And then the previously set goals were fulfilled, preventing genocide.”58 According to
J.E. Wilczor, „The real culprits of ‚Vistula’ action were the headquarters of the Organization of Ukrainian
Nationalists as well as the leaders of its military wing of the UPA. It was they who, by initiating civil war
in Polish state territory in order to separate a part of it, by using inhumane fighting methods and
committing genocide, provoked this action.”59
W.Poliszczuk holds a special place among the non-scientists. As a Ukrainian politologist who
deals, so to speak, „scientifically” with the problem of Ukrainian nationalism, he is sometimes seen as a
credible person. To the Polish reader, he tries to play the role of the „good Ukrainian”; good, because
he condemns Ukrainian nationalism. W.Poliszczuk claims that the OUN-UPA was scarcely supported
by Ukrainian civilians, and that its dense web was built only because of the terror they used against the
Ukrainians. He persistently disregards strongly emphasized elements of independence fights in the
program of Ukrainian nationalists. In his opinion, the source of all evil in Polish-Ukrainian relations is
„Ukrainian nationalism, which should not be confused with the Ukrainian independence movement… For
tactical reasons Ukrainian nationalism has identified its ideology with Ukrainian patriotism from the very
beginning of its existence, thus misleading not only ordinary Ukrainians, but also scientists, politicians,
and many Polish and western historians. Frankly speaking, Ukrainian nationalism, being a developed
and intensified form of fascism-Nazism, was antagonistic to Ukrainian patriotism.”60
W.Poliszczuk creates the following interdependence: integral Ukrainian nationalism is Nazism,
and the Greek-Catholic Church helped it spread around. Greek-Catholics were thus nationalists and not patriots. The real, genuine Ukrainian patriotism can be found only in eastern Ukraine, not in Galicia
or Volynia. Writing about the Greek-Catholic Church he says, „This Church became a national Church,
Ukrainian-Halic to be precise, so it left the road of the Catholic Church, which has lost the international
character of the Roman Church.”61 He considers right-wing organizations in western Ukraine and
Ukrainian emigration circles to be of Banderian character. From his proofs he draws far-reaching
conclusions of a purely political character, such as: „These days, Polish-Ukrainian talks could only be
held between the states, since Ukrainian nationalism has not yet gained power. It is a mistake to hope
for a positive result from any Polish-Ukrainian talks held while strong Ukrainian nationalism is present in
Poland in the form of the Ukrainian Association in Poland, or while, in the west, the whole structure is
under a strong influence of Ukrainian nationalism.”62
W. Poliszczuk, like representatives of the non-scientific group of Polish nationality, gives full
support to Vistula action. He also deliberately overlooks attempts to reach agreements and also
presents exaggerated numbers of UPA casualties among Poles (125,000) and Ukrainians (40,000).63
Mikolaj Siwicki is a mirror reflection of W.Poliszczuk and E.Prus. According to him, it was the
Poles who started the fighting in Volynia against the „Ukrainian masses,” which—under suppression—
had to fight back. Thereafter came the mass murders of Ukrainians, done by Poles who tried to push
the border further east including Galicia and Lubelszczyzna.64 The goal of the Poles was, according to
Siwicki, Ukrainian „genocide.” To do so, both Polish communists and the London group
“collaborated.” In the territory of present-day Poland this genocide „turned out to be successful.”65 He
fails to speak of any Polish casualties of the conflict, not to mention the anti-Polish action of the UPA.
According to Siwicki, the Poles have always collaborated with the occupant against innocent
Ukrainians.66 Finally, he states that Polish society, unlike Ukrainian society, is „degenerated,” „lives in
the dark of lies,” and „has been infected with imperialistic ideology for centuries.” At the same time,
using an „ethnic” term, he tries to prove that Podbeskidzie, eastern Lubelszczyzna, and Podlasie are
indigenous Ukrainian territories. In this black-and-white world, there exists no room for agreement
between the AK-WiN and UPA. Vistula action, then, was an act of Polish genocide on Ukrainians.
On the very first page of his book he claims that an extermination of Ukrainians took place in the
territory of present-day Poland. According to him, those to blame are the Polish emigration authorities,
who planned and realized this process by means of guerrilla troops and civilians, as well as the post-war
Polish authorities, who took over the problem of de-Ukrainization from the emigration government, and
who realized it by means of Vistula action.67 If one bears in mind certain historical knowledge about
M.Siwicki, it is difficult to imagine that he had no idea as to how much he was manipulating historical
facts.
In short, it must be said that the last fifteen years of research into Polish-Ukrainian relations have
made great progress. This has been possible thanks to the abolition of censorship and the new accessibility of the archives of communist secret police. It is also invaluable to be able to take part in
the discussion between Polish and Ukrainian circles. It has revealed the fact that the „separation line”
does not run along national antagonisms. Ukrainian historiography has its own multi-68 and monoperspectivists69
as well as non-scientists.
1 Za najwartooeciowsze należy uznać: materiały będące efektem sesji naukowej zorganizowanej przez Towarzystwo
Polsko-Ukraińskie w Gdañsku, Koło Naukowe Historyków Uniwersytetu Gdańskiego i Związek Ukraińców w Polsce
pt. Polacy o Ukraińcach, Ukraiñcy o Polakach. ed. Adeusz Stagner, Gdañsk 1993; serię wydawnictw
międzynarodowych seminariów historycznych zorganizowanych przez OEwiatowy Związek ¯ Młodzierzy Armii Krajowej i
Związek Ukraińców w Polsce Polska – Ukraina: trudne pytania, vol. 1-9, Warszawa 1998-2002., oraz materiały
posesyjne wydane przez Instytut Pamięci Narodowej Antypolska Akcja OUN-UPA 1943-1944,. Fakty i
interpretacje, ed. Grzegorz Motyka, Dariusz Libionka, Warszawa 2002; Akcja „Wis³a, ed. Jan Pisuliñski, Warszawa
2003
2 Motyka Grzegorz., Problematyka stosunków polsko-ukraińskich w latach 1939-1948 w polskiej historiografii po
roku 1989 in Historycy polscy i ukraiñscy wobec problemów XX wieku, ed. Piotr Kosiewski, Grzegorz Motyka,
Kraków 2000, pp. 166-178; Konflikt polsko-ukraiñski na Wo³yniu w oewietle polskiej historiografii, Przegl¹d
Wschodni 1997 (1/13); Motyka G., Spór o UPA w najnowszej polskiej historiografii, Warszawskie Zeszyty
Ukrainoznawcze 2002(13), pp. 127-139.
3 Sowa Andrzej L., Stosunki Polsko-Ukraiñskie 1939-1949; Sowa A., Akcja „Wisła” w polskiej historiografii –
aktualne problemy badawcze in Akcja “Wisła.” ed. Jan Pisuliñki, Warszawa 2003, pp.12-25. On the same topic:
Iwaneczko Dariusz, Sesja naukowa pooewiêcona historiografii stosunków polsko-ukraiñskich in Po³udniowo-
Wschodni Instytut Naukowy w Przemyoelu, Biuletyn Informacyjny 1995(1); Bonusiak W³odzimierz, Ewakuacja i
przesiedlenia Ukraińców w polskiej in Polska – Niemcy – Ukraina w Europie. Model euroregionów
OErodkowoeuropejskiej Europy, Jak wychowywaæ dla Europy, ed. W. Bonusiak, Rzeszów 1999, pp. 21-40
4 Motyka, Problematyka stosunków…
5 Skaradziński Bogdan, Białorusini, Litwini Ukraińcy, Białystok 1990.
6 £ukaszów Jan (Olszański Tadeusz Andrzej), Walki polsko-ukraińskie 1943-1947 (in Zeszyty Historyczne, 1989(90),
See too another of the author: Olszański T.A Historia Ukrainay XX w. Warszawa (no date of publication); Olszański
T.A, Kilka słów na marginesie referatu Władysława Siemaszki pt. „Stan badań nad terrorem ukraińskim na
Wo³yniu w latach 1939-1944, w: Polacy o Ukraińcach. Ukraińcy o Polakach. Materiały z sesji naukowej, Gdańsk
1993; Olszański T.A, Konflikt polsko-ukraiński 1943-1947, in „Więź” 1991(11-12); Olszański T.A., Na drodze do
pojednania in Res Publica 1988(11); Olszański T.A, Polacy i Ukraińcy u progu lat , in
Warszawskie Zeszyty Ukrainoznawcze
7 Chojnowska Aldona, Operacja „Wisła” (Przesiedlenie ludnooeci ukraińskiej na ziemie zachodnie i północne w
1947 r.) in Zeszyty Historyczne 1992(102); Chojnowska A., Przesiedlenie ludności ukraińskiej na Ziemie
Odzyskane w 1947 r., in Przegl¹d Powszechny 1991(12)
8 Ciesielski Stanis³aw, Hryciuk Grzegorz, Srebrakowski Aleksander, Masowe deportacje radzieckie w okresie II wojny
oewiatowej, Wrocław 1994; Hryciuk G., Gazeta Lwowska 1941-1944, Wrocław 1996; Hryciuk G. Nastroje i stosunek
ludnooeci polskiej tzw. Ukrainy Zachodniej do przesiedleñ w latach 1944-1945 w oewietle sprawozdañ radzieckich,
Polska i Ukraina po II wojnie oewiatowej, Rzeszów 1998; Hryciuk G., Ukrainizacja Lwowa, in Odra 1997(6); Hryciuk
G., Zmiany ludnooeciowe i narodowooeciowe w Galicji Wschodniej i na Wołyniu w latach 1939-1949, in Przemiany
Narodowooeciowe na Kresach Wschodnich II Rzeczypospolitej 1931-1948, ed. Ciesielski Stanis³aw, Toruń 2003.
9 Sowa Andrzej Leon, Postawy spo³ecznooeci ukraiñskiej w okresie kampanii wrzeoeniowej 1939 roku, in
Krakowskie Zeszyty Ukrainoznawcze 1993 (1-2); Sowa A.L., Stosunki polsko-ukraińskie 1939-1947, Kraków 1998.
10 Mędrzecki Włodzimierz, Polskie relacje pamiêtnikarskie i wspomnieniowe jako źródło do badania stosunków
polsko-ukraiñskich w okresie II wojny oewiatowej, in Przegląd Wschodni 1997(1).
11 Sycz Mirosław, Spółdzielczość ukraińska w Galicji w okresie II wojny światowej, Warszawa 1997.
12 Grzegorz Motyka, Niemcy a UPA, in Karta 23; Motyka G. Wierzbicki M, Polski policjant na Wołyniu in Karta 24;
Motyka G., Heros antyukraińskiego pióra, Dyskusja-Dyskusija 1994(2); Motyka G., „£uny w Bieszczadach” jana
Gerharda a prawda historyczna, in Polacy o Ukraiñcach, Ukraińcy o Polakach. Materia³y z sesji naukowej,
Gdañsk 1993; Motyka G., O niektórych trudnooeciach badania konfliktu polsko-ukraiñskiego w latach 1943-1947,
in Kultura i spo³eczeñstwo 1992(4); Motyka G. Od Wo³ynia do akcji „Wis³a” in: WiêŸ 1998(3); Motyka G., Wnuk R.,
„Pany” i „rezuny.” Współpraca AK-WiN i UPA w latach 1945-1947, Warszawa 1997. Motyka G., Tak by³o w
Bieszczadach. Walki polsko-ukraińskie 1943-1948, Warszawa 1999; Motyka G., Postawy wobec konfliktu polskoukraiñskiego
w latach 1939-1953 w zależnooeci od przynale¿nooeci etnicznej, państwowej i religijnej, in Tygiel
Polish-Ukrainian Relations during World War II and its Aftermath
Rafal Wnuk
Institute for National Remembrance, Lublin

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