‘Stop Ukrainian government’s anti-Polish racism’

This video from Poland says about itself:

Most monstrous yet forgotten genocide in the history of Europe – Wołyń 1943-2016 – UPA Ukrainians

11 July 2016

Animated movie about the UPA genocide was made by Arkadiusz Olszewski and was used with his approval.

Watch the entire movie “Genocide” with english substitles here.

By Ben Chacko:

Ukraine: Persecuted Poles hold road block protest

Friday 31st march 2017

Kiev government accused of ongoing racism

ETHNIC Poles blocked the international Lviv-Warsaw motorway in Ukraine on Wednesday night in protest against the Kiev government’s anti-Polish racism.

The action followed the firing of an anti-tank rocket at the Polish consulate in Lutsk, which campaigners say is part of a pattern of aggression against people of Polish, Belorussian and Russian descent in Ukraine since the nationalist coup of 2014.

Demonstrators carried placards reading: “This is Our Land,” “Do Not Touch Our Monuments” and “Volyn in our hearts.”

The last is a reference to the Volyn Slaughter of 1943-44, when the nazi-allied Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UPA) massacred over 100,000 Poles in an ethnic cleansing operation.

Since the EU and US-supported putsch of February 2014, Ukraine’s authorities have presented the UPA as freedom fighters against the Soviet Union and glorified Stepan Bandera, the chief of the Organisation of Ukrainian Nationalists of which the UPA was the military wing.

Monuments to the victims of the UPA terror have been desecrated alongside those honouring Red Army soldiers and anti-fascist partisans of the second world war.

Protesters built a barricade of tyres and set it alight, blocking all lanes of the motorway and causing a traffic jam stretching for miles.

Clashes between protesters and security forces were reported, though it is not clear if there were injuries. Activist Taras Kmet called on Poland to “pay attention to how we are humiliated here, how our rights are violated.

“Our government agencies are being shot at. Soon we too will be shot,” he declared, warning of increasing violence against ethnic minorities with the tacit approval of the government.

Mikhail Kononovich, a representative of the local Belorussian community, said Kiev was guilty of “systematic persecutions, physical and moral terror” against Poles, Belorussians and Russians.

He said his community had sent an appeal to “international human rights organisations and the embassies of Belarus, the United States, Russia, Canada and the embassies of the European Union countries” calling for the world to recognise the “grave violations of the rights of national minorities in modern Ukraine.”

Terrorist attack on Polish consulate in Ukraine

This video says about itself:

29 March 2017

The Polish Consulate was hit by a projectile in Lutsk, western Ukraine, Wednesday, damaging the roof of the consulate and shattering the windows. Poland’s consul in Ukraine, Krzysztof Sawicki, asserted that the attack may have come from a grenade launcher.

Krzysztof Sawicki, Poland’s Consul (Ukrainian): “The shell hit the Consulate’s building after midnight, concretely to its roof, 20-30 centimeters above the window of the office apartment where the employee of the Consulate was sleeping. Thank God that nobody was killed.”

From daily The Morning Star in Britain:

Ukraine: Polish consulate ‘attacked by terrorists

Thursday 30th March 2017

THE Polish consulate in the Ukrainian city of Lutsk was hit by an anti-tank rocket overnight in what the consul called a “terrorist attack.”

A hole was blown in the building’s roof above a room where a member of staff was sleeping.

Police found part of a RPG-22 disposable rocket launcher nearby, and said the rocket was fired from a nearby backyard.

Lutsk, the capital of Volyn province northeast of Lvov, is in the western hotbed of far-right Ukrainian nationalism that glorifies WWII nazi collaborators who massacred up to 100,000 Poles in the region.

Ukrainian neonazis destroy monument for murdered Poles

This video says about itself:

Massacres of Poles in Volhynia and Eastern Galicia 1943-1944

10 May 2014

Ethnic cleansing operation carried out in Nazi German-occupied Poland by the Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UPA)’s North Command in the regions of Volhynia (Reichskommissariat Ukraine) and their South Command in Eastern Galicia (General Government) beginning in March 1943 and lasting until the end of 1944. The peak of the massacres took place in July and August 1943, most of the victims were women and children. The actions of the UPA resulted in 35,000-60,000 Polish deaths in Volhynia and 25,000-40,000 in Eastern Galicia.

The killings were directly linked with the policies of the Bandera faction of the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists and its military arm – Ukrainian Insurgent Army, whose goal specified at the Second Conference of the Stepan Bandera faction of the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists (OUN-B) during 17–23 February 1943, or at least in March 1943 was to purge all non-Ukrainians from the future Ukrainian state. Not limiting their activities to the purging of Polish civilians, the UPA also wanted to erase all traces of sustained Polish presence in the area.

From daily The Morning Star in Britain:

Ukraine: Monument marking nazi village massacre blown up

Wednesday 11th January 2016

A MONUMENT to the victims of a World War II massacre by Ukrainian nazis has been blown up.

Police in the Lviv region of western Ukraine said in a statement yesterday that vandals had destroyed a stone cross in Huta Penyatska.

It had been put up in 2005 to commemorate the Polish villagers butchered there in 1944 by a nazi unit mostly composed of Ukrainian volunteers [the SS division Galicia].

Up to 1,200 people are believed to have been killed there, according to the Polish Institute of National Remembrance.

Ukrainian media showed the memorial and two stone slabs bearing the names of the victims daubed with nazi symbols [like SS runes] and the colours of the Ukrainian flag. Lviv police said they were investigating.

Glorification of World War II nazi collaborator Stepan Bandera, who led the Organisation of Ukrainian Nationalists, surged following the 2005 “Orange Revolution” coup and again after the 2014 Maidan Square far-right putsch.

Polish investigation of nazi criminal in the USA

This video from the USA says about itself:

Minneapolis man thought to be Nazi commander after Associated Press report

15 June 2013

Residents of a Minneapolis neighborhood are reacting this morning to allegations that one of their neighbors was the commander of a Nazi SS unit during World War II. The investigation found that 94-year-old Michael Karkoc was a top commander in the Ukrainian Self-Defense Legion.

From daily The Morning Star in Britain:

Poland: Ukrainian nazi officer ‘harboured by the US

Saturday 19th November 2016

POLISH experts are probing whether the US harboured a World War II Ukrainian nazi officer for decades, a prosecutor announced on Thursday.

The Associated Press news agency identified Michael Karkoc

now living in Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA

as a commander of a unit in the SS-led Ukrainian Self Defence Legion, which is accused of burning villages in Poland.

Poland subsequently opened a probe into Mr Karkoc, 97, who denies that he fought in the war.

The accusations are based on wartime documents, testimony from other members of the unit and Mr Karkoc’s own Ukrainian-language memoir.

Prosecutor Dariusz Antoniak said experts would confirm whether Mr Karkoc is the same person as the nazi commander by comparing facial features in photos of him now with those in a 1940 picture taken in Ukraine.

German prosecutors shelved their investigation of Mr Karkoc in 2015, saying he was not fit to stand trial.

Ukrainian nazis’ massacres of Poles, new film

This 13 July 2016 Polish video is the trailer of the film ‘Wolyn‘ (Volhynia) by Wojtek Smarzowski. It is about the massacres by Ukrainian allies of Hitler’s Third Reich of Polish civilians.

By Dorota Niemitz:

Volhynia (Hatred) by Wojciech Smarzowski—a gripping account of the 1943 massacre

2 November 2016

Written and directed by Wojciech Smarzowski, based on Hatred by Stanisław Srokowski (2006)

“Borderland civilians were murdered twice––once with an axe, the second time through silence. And the second death was worse than the first.” This quote by an eyewitness to the Volhynia massacre, Jan Zaleski, opens Wojciech Smarzowski’s long awaited epic.

Smarzowski’s Volhynia ––its English-language title is Hatred, after the book on which it is based––deals fictionally with a traumatic event in Polish-Ukrainian history. In 1943-45 an estimated 100,000 Polish civilians were brutally murdered in an operation carried out by the nationalist Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UPA) on the eastern borderlands (Kresy) of Nazi-occupied Poland. The UPA was the armed wing of the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists, Stepan Bandera faction (OUN–B).

Volhynia is the first feature film about the slaughter and the first historically accurate treatment of Kresy in Polish cinema. The massacre has been largely neglected both in Poland and internationally. Under the Polish Stalinist regime (1945-1989) the historical episode was considered taboo because of the so-called disputed territories located between eastern Poland and western Ukraine, part of the Soviet Union at the time. ….

Scholarly studies on the UPA-OUN published after World War II reached only a limited audience, of survivors, historians and those specifically interested in the massacre. Smarzowski’s Volhynia has already attracted close to 1 million moviegoers since its premiere October 7. The substantial number of viewers in Poland is an indication of great interest in these historical questions, as well as unease about the resurgence of the far right in Eastern Europe.

The film has stirred controversy following a ban on its showing in Ukraine. The Ukrainian media has accused the director of making a biased movie, “based only on Polish historical sources,” at a time “when Ukraine is trying to defend itself from Russian aggression.” The Ukrainian ambassador to Poland, Andriy Deszczyca, justified the censorship, arguing the film could cause unrest on the streets of Kiev. This is the face of the “new,” “democratic” Ukraine. The head of the Ukrainian Association in Poland, Piotr Tyma, asserted the movie would “kill off Polish-Ukrainian reconciliation efforts.”

Smarzowski’s film appears at a time when tensions between the Polish and Ukrainian ruling elites are rising, with right-wing, nationalistic tendencies active in both countries. Ultra-right political groups have formed militias and those fascistic elements have been incorporated into the armed forces of both Ukraine and Poland. …

Various war criminals and fascists, such as Bandera and Roman Shukhevych, have been declared “heroes of Ukraine” (2010). The OUN-UPA is being rehabilitated by the Ukrainian regime. …

Victims of a massacre committed by UPA in the village of Lipniki, Poland, 1943

In 2015, the Ukrainian parliament officially declared the OUN-UPA activities in the war, which included initial collaboration with the Nazis, as a legitimate struggle for Ukraine’s independence. Last July, Poland’s Sejm [lower house of parliament] passed a resolution officially terming the OUN-UPA atrocities against the Poles in Volhynia “genocide.” This resolution was then criticized by the Ukrainian government …

Asked if the vivid reconstruction of the events would not reopen old wounds and inflame long-standing conflicts, Smarzowski replied: “This film will not divide people. On the contrary, as I see it, this is a film that will bring Poles and Ukrainians together, and likewise the whole world in the fight against fascist ideology”.

Smarzowski’s film covers the period from the spring of 1939 to the summer of 1945. The highpoint of the mass murders occurred in the summer and fall of 1943 under the Nazi occupation of western Ukraine.

In February 1943 the OUN-B (Bandera faction) ordered the expulsion of all Poles from Volhynia to obtain an “ethnically pure territory” within a future “free” Ukrainian nation state. Ethnic violence was encouraged with the help of posters and leaflets inciting Ukrainians to annihilate all Poles and Jews. The victims, including women, children and the elderly, were murdered in a barbaric fashion: raped, burned, crucified, decapitated or disemboweled with the use of sickles, axes, saws and pitchforks.

On April 6, 1944, the UPA high command ordered: “Fight them [the Poles] mercilessly. No one is to be spared, even in the case of mixed marriages.” It is estimated that as a result of the OUN-UPA operation, 1,500 out of the 2,500 villages inhabited by Poles in the Volhynia region ceased to exist.

Contrary to the claims of Ukrainian nationalists that the mass killings of Poles and others were the inevitable outcome of war, there is proof that the operation was carefully planned prior to World War II. The so-called Mykhaylo Kolodzinsky Treaty, written by one of the UPA ideologists, argued that the Ukrainian national uprising needed to be combined with massacres of Poles disguised as a spontaneous peasant uprising. Kolodzinsky wrote: “We will be victorious only when we show such cruelty that the tenth generation of Poles will look at Ukraine with fear.”

Before committing mass murder against the Poles, the OUN took part in the Nazi invasion of the Soviet Union in 1941, assisting in the killing of an estimated 247,000 Volhynian Jews (97 percent of all Jews in the region) in 1942. It also executed pro-Soviet Ukrainians and those Ukrainian peasants who warned or sheltered Poles, regarding them as traitors. In total, the UPA murdered an estimated 20,000 Ukrainians.

Volhynia shows some of these events through the eyes of a 17-year old peasant girl, Zosia Głowacka (Michalina Łubacz), who falls for a Ukrainian boy, Petro (Wasyl Wasyłyk), but is forced to marry a wealthy, much older Polish kulak, Maciej (Arkadiusz Jakubik).

In an opening scene (overlong and weakened by clichéd romance), Zosia’s sister marries a Ukrainian. Subsequently, through the conversations among the wedding guests, the director builds up a living picture of Volhynian society, including the sharp tensions within its multicultural society. We learn about the harsh treatment of the Ukrainian minority at the hands of the Polish authorities.

Smarzowski depicts the growth of nationalist and fascistic sentiment within the Ukrainian petty bourgeoisie and intelligentsia in response to the Polish heavy-handedness. The film shows the ugly role played by the Orthodox Church in inflaming nationalism and anti-Semitism.

Smarzowski deserves credit for his objective treatment of the Red Army and the Soviet efforts to retake western Ukraine in 1939-1941, something quite courageous in present-day Poland. In his film, the Soviet troops are welcomed as liberators by sections of the rural community, especially by the oppressed Jews.

Smarzowski proves to be a master of storytelling, keeping the audience in suspense from beginning to end. The realistic storyline is skillfully constructed as a thriller. The bride, whose braids are chopped off with an axe as part of the initial wedding ceremony, is later forced to kneel down in the same position to lose her entire head.

The reception of the film in Poland has varied. Volhynia was welcomed by surviving witnesses of the massacre, who confirmed the accuracy of the film. The majority of reviewers praised Smarzowski, comparing him to the late Polish director Andrzej Wajda, and declaring Volhynia the most important Polish film since 1989.

The critics around the ruling right-wing Law and Justice party (PiS) gave the movie positive reviews, while cynically twisting its message to fit their nationalist aims. …

According to Smarzowski, “concealing the truth about a crime is a sure-fire way to create more crimes”. Exposing the true character of the executioners now declared “heroes” by Ukraine’s present-day government is important. Such a slap in the face to regimes that glorify nationalist violence and fascism is praiseworthy. …

His film deserves credit for its objective treatment of history and its courage to speak out against the rising wave of fascism in Eastern Europe.

The director recently rejected an award (including a prize of 100,000 zloty, or US$26,000) from the head of Polish television, Jacek Kurski, appointed by the PiS. Smarzowski explained that he did not want his work to be used for any political intrigue. “I am a director and I dislike being directed,” he noted.