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Every July, Polish activists and other people who remember WWII commemorate the tragedy which happened in Volhynia and is known as the Volhynian slaughter. Polish Rzech Pospolita described the events as a tremendous and extremely ferocious ethnic cleansing campaign during which perpetrators not only killed entire families but also destroyed the material evidence of Poles' presence such as buildings, churches, and even gardens. The newspaper emphasized that it was a planned genocide committed by an organization with a criminal ideology which could be defined approximately as the Ukrainian version of Nazism and fascism.

The decision to carry out the "depolonization" of Volhynia and Polesia must have been made by the OUN (The Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists) between late 1942 and March, 1943. No directive to launch the operation has ever been published, nor is any evidence of its existence available, but there is no doubt that the activity was carefully planned.
  1. The OUN leaders hoped that both Soviet Russia and Poland would fall as a result of the German onslaught as in 1918. Struggling over the future borders, the OUN-UIA (the Ukrainian Insurgent Army) hoped to use the argument that there was no Polish population or military activity in the contested territories. The Bandera Movement used the same method of cleansing Poles from Galicia and Volhynia as the one widely employed by its political ally Germany: the physical extermination of the non-Ukrainian (or, speaking precisely, non-Galician) population.
  2. The OUN had prepared in advance an ideological justification of the operation. It was a concept of racial and ethnic superiority of Aryan Ukrainians, which was modeled on the fascist theory of the superior race allegedly representing the highest point of the development of mankind.
  3. The process of ethnic cleansing targeting the Polish population and the geography of the activity had been elaborately planned.
  4. The Polish nationality was the criterion for selecting terror targets. Thousands of testimonies of survivors show that Poles and children from intermarriages were killed in mixed families while Galicians and Ukrainians in them typically were not (though it is hard to discern a general rule in the situation as cases of mass slaughter of Ukrainians who sheltered Polish refugees from Volhynia have been reported in the Zhytomyr Province).
There were several phases of terror in Volhynia. In December, 1942 the targets were individuals or particular families. Starting in the early 1943 the killings of Poles became more frequent. A pivotal point was reached in March, 1943 when the terror grew widespread. It culminated in July-August, 1943 when Galician armed groups also attacked Polish self-defense formations. In the summer, terror spread to northern regions of East Galicia. The wave of terror began to subside in September and by that time the hostilities started to resemble a regular war.

In March, 1943 the "depolonization" offensive swept across the regions along the pre-war eastern border of Poland - the Sarny, Kostopol, Rivne, and Zdolbuniv counties. In June, terror spread to the Dubnin and Lutsk counties, in July - to the Horokhiv, Kovel, and Volodymyr counties, and in August - to the westernmost Lublin county. The operation was planned so as to force the Polish population to drift to the west.

According to documented accounts by Polish historians, offensives against Poles typically began with an ultimatum for the Poles to leave their places of residence and to move across the Buh River. When Poles disobeyed, the UIA forces attacked Polish villages with great cruelty in German-style operations, setting buildings on fire and killing many of their residents.

German documents provide evidence supporting the version that the extermination of Poles by the OUN-UIA was a planned process. Germany did not send its soldiers to take part in the atrocities worrying that they might suffer mental damage as a result, but preferred to rely on the scum of the earth from the Galician fascist movement.

In 1943 some 300 of the total of 900 attacks against Poles took place in July. Volhynian peasants were being invited to participate and, according to eyewitness reports, typically acted with notorious cruelty.

Historians estimate that 60,000-100,000 Poles were killed in the Volhynian massacre. According to alternative estimates the death toll was 20,000-30,000.

In the eastern part of Galicia, the terror against Poles began in late summer, 1943. It spread over the regions bordering Volhynia, but did not quite reach the same proportions. By the early 1944 attacks against Poles raged across the entire Lviv province and, with lower intensity, the Stanislav and Ternopil counties. In East Galicia, the OUN forces met greater resistance than in Volhynia. Retaliation attacks were launched by the Polish population both independently and with the help of the Armia Krajowa. The Lviv unit of the latter carried out a particularly successful operation in April, 1944.


These days, historians from the camp of the Ukrainian neo-fascism resort to a "moral" justification of the Volhynia slaughter. They invoke the hardships experienced by the Galician and Volhynian population during the Polish reign in the inter-war period. Such arguments merely reveal the extent of moral degradation in the ranks of the modern Ukrainian neo-fascism.

Anyone who is unaffected by the virus of the Ukrainian neo-fascist ideology should have no difficulty realizing that the Poles who fell victims during the massacre were not responsible for the "pacification" of Ukrainian villages perpetrated by Poland in the 1930es, which, by the way, had no character of ethnic cleansing. The "pacification" was mainly aimed at arresting and prosecuting individuals involved in the OUN terrorist activities.

Therefore, the only possible response to the Ukrainian neo-fascists' attempts to explain away the genocidal practices of the Bandera OUN-UIA during WWII is that the organized atrocious en mass extermination of Polish civilians in Volhynia in 1943 cannot be forgiven!


An analysis of the ideology and practices of the OUN-UIA shows that it was created and acted as an organization of a fascist, totalitarian, and terrorist type and sought to establish a dictatorship and a monopoly of the ideology of Ukrainian integrationist nationalism in Ukraine.

The OUN's ideals were German National Socialism and certain elements of Italian fascism. Its ideology was based on the idea of Ukrainian national superiority. The OUN directly collaborated with the German occupational regime in Ukraine and, among other activities, assisted in the implementation of Hitler's Lebensraum plan of the German expansion to East Europe and the removal of its allegedly sub-human population.

The OUN-OIA struggle against the Polish population was a part of the strategic plan of expelling Poles from the territories of Volhynia and East Galicia, which was synchronized with German military and geopolitical plans. What the OUN leaders wanted for Ukraine was a regime similar to the one introduced by national socialists in Germany.

Watching the current fascization in Ukraine, one cannot ignore the frightening similarity between the ideological (and in some cases physical) descendants of the Galician fascism and their WWII-era predecessors. In the name of the memory of the Volhynia massacre, these people must be stopped!