Wednesday, November 18, 2020

Genocide in “Arcadia” – Ethnic Cleansing in Volhynia and Eastern Galicia in 1943–45


UPA Ukraine ethnic cleansing OUN-B Bandera war crimes genocide remembrance history

In the childhood memories of some Poles, Volhynia is often shows as a kind of Arcadia. Yet it was never so. There were constant ethnic tensions, which sometimes led to a conflict in Volhynia, Eastern Galicia, which was separated by the so-called “Sokal border” (“kordon Sokalski”), and the eastern part of the Lublin region, on the other side of the Bug River. Due to the fact that the situation was made worse by poverty, short-sighted policy of the state authorities, propaganda spread in the society, and the effect of the xenophobic “integral” nationalisms, the tensions became more intense just before the outbreak of the Second World War.

Not only did the war fail to reduce the tensions, but actually made them more intense. The joy shown by a portion of the Ukrainian population after the humiliating defeat of Poland, the policy of the Soviet occupational authorities, which favoured Ukrainians, the attempt to start a “national revolution” in the Subcarpathian Region by the Organisation of Ukrainian Nationalists in the second decade of September, the Polish response, numerous attacks on Polish refugees and settlers burdened the Polish-Ukrainian relations, which had been difficult beforehand, even more.

The exceptional increase in the popularity of the Ukrainian nationalist movement, particularly the faction led by Stepan Bandera, resulted from a disappointment with the Soviet rule and the hope for a Ukrainian state connected to the Third Reich.  (more...)

Genocide in “Arcadia” – Ethnic Cleansing in Volhynia and Eastern Galicia in 1943–45

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