: :inin Kyiv (EET)

Ukrainian Parliament responds to Polish Parliament`s decision on Volyn tragedy

The Ukrainian legislators have called on their Polish counterparts to stop politicizing the tragic pages of Ukrainian-Polish history and to focus their efforts on building up constructive relations between Ukraine and Poland in order to strengthen partnership in the democratic Europe, based on European values.

The Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine on Thursday, September 8, passed Resolution No.5095 in connection with the adoption by the Sejm and Senate of the Republic of Poland of the resolutions dated July 7, 2016 and July 22, 2016 ”On the assessment of the Polish-Ukrainian conflict during the World War II.”

The statement of the Ukrainian parliament was supported by 247 of 335 deputies registered in the session hall.

According to the adopted resolution, the Verkhovna Rada ”took with regret, disappointment and deep concern the decision of the Senate and the subsequent resolution of the Sejm of the Republic of Poland of July 22, 2016, `On the perpetuation of the memory of victims of genocide committed by the Ukrainian nationalists against the citizens of the Second Rzeczpospolita in 1943-1945` which gave a politically and legally incorrect assessment of the tragic pages of Ukrainian-Polish history, regarding the events, in particular, the conflict between the two nations during the World War II.”

The statement reads that the Verkhovna Rada considers ”the establishment by the Sejm of the Republic of Poland of the `National Day of Remembrance for victims of the genocide committed by the Ukrainian nationalists against the citizens of the Second Rzeczpospolita in 1943-1945` a manifestation of politicization of tragic pages of Ukrainian-Polish history.”

The Ukrainian parliament believes that the adoption by the Polish legislators of these decisions jeopardizes the political and diplomatic potential and efforts of the two states and nations toward mutual forgiveness, reconciliation, and commemoration of the innocent victims – both the Ukrainians and the Poles.

The Verkhovna Rada also condemns the unilateral action of the Senate and the Sejm of the Republic of Poland to revise the positive results of cooperation that have been achieved during the constructive Ukrainian-Polish dialogue over the past decades. In this regard, the Ukrainian deputies call on their Polish colleagues to stop the politicization of the tragic pages of Ukrainian-Polish history and to focus their efforts on building up constructive relations between Ukraine and Poland, in order to strengthen partnership in the democratic Europe, based on European values.

See also: Ukrainian Parliament wants to recognize genocide of Ukrainians by Poland in 1919-1951

The Verkhovna Rada notes that the adoption of the resolutions of the Senate and the Sejm of the Republic of Poland was accompanied by an anti-Ukrainian campaign involving the destruction of Ukrainian monuments on the territory of Poland, attacks on members of religious festivities, the ban on cultural activities, and chauvinistic rhetoric.

The Ukrainian parliament draws attention of the Polish deputies, all Polish authorities and the public to the fact that anti-Ukrainian actions and incitement of anti-Ukrainian sentiments unfold at the moment of the greatest vulnerability of the Ukrainian state, which is at war with the Russian Federation.

”In this war, the aggressor uses historical issues, in particular, the events of 1940-ies of the 20th century as one of the elements of its war against our country,” reads the statement.

The Verkhovna Rada calls on historians to continue their professional dialogue with a view to disclose all facts and circumstances of history, hitherto unexplained, based on authentic archive material, leaving some space for each party to interpret the historical facts. At the same time, the Ukrainian parliament calls on politicians of both Ukraine and Poland to stop instrumentalizing historical science for the sake of temporary political benefits.


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    Operation Vistula – Deportations and Repressions

    Deportations and Repressions

    According to the order of the Ministry of Recovered Territories “the main goal of the relocation of ‘W’ settlers is their assimilation into a new Polish environment, all efforts should be exerted to that end. Do not apply the term ‘Ukrainians’ to the settlers. In cases when the intelligentsia element reaches the recovered territories, they should be settled separately and away from the communities of the ‘W’ settlers.”

    The operation was carried out by Operational Group Vistula consisting of about 20,000 personnel commanded by General Stefan Mossor. This personnel included soldiers of the Polish People’s Army and the Internal Security Corps, as well as functionaries of the police Milicja Obywatelska and the Security Service Urząd Bezpieczeństwa. The operation commenced at 4 a.m., April 28, 1947. The expellees comprised about 140,000 to 150,000 Ukrainians and Lemkos still remaining after the 1944-1946 forcible repatriation of Ukrainians from Poland to the Soviet Union (Ukrainian SSR and Siberia), and the inhabitants of

    Pogórze Przemyskie
    Low Beskid
    Beskid Sądecki
    Ruś Szlachtowska

    The process of deportation itself was swift and brutal as the deportees were often given only a few hours to prepare and get the limited belongings they were allowed to take, and they were transported in crowded boxcars. The food supply was irregular, the sanitary conditions were poor, there were many delays along the way. The entire process was accompanied by considerable violence, deportees died in transit.

    Members of the Ukrainian intelligentsia, including clergy (both Greek Catholic and Ukrainian Orthodox), were sent from collection points to the concentration camp in Jaworzno called the Central Labour Camp, and was a branch of the formerly German concentration camp Auschwitz.

    At the latter camp, almost 4,000 persons were held, including 800 Ukrainian and Lemko women and dozens of children.

    The captives, of whom died in the camp, were subject to harsh interrogations and beatings despite the fact that no active members of the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists were sent to the camp.

    For the latter, show trials by the extraordinary Operation Group Vistula Tribunals or regular military tribunals were held, and over 500 were sentenced to death and executed.

    The remaining expellees were resettled over a wide area in the Northern (Warmia and Masuria) and Western Territories acquired by the People’s Republic of Poland following the Potsdam Agreement, were they were not to constitute more than 10 percent of the population in any one location. Operation “Vistula” itself was officially ended as early July 31, 1947.

    Operation Vistula closed officially with a ceremonial bestowing of decorations on what were deemed the most deserving Polish soldiers, held on the Polish-Czechoslovak border. The last resettlements took place as late as 1952, in the western part of the pre-1939 former Polesie Voivodeship.

    A consequence of Operation Vistula was the almost total depopulation of Pogórze Przemyskie, Bieszczady and Beskid Niski.

    The relocation of the population put the UPA forces in Poland in a difficult position: deprived of human and other resources, the outnumbered Ukrainian partisans were unable to uphold their own armed resistance and guerrilla against the communist Polish forces. Nevertheless the UPA continued its fight for a few more years. After the last relocations, the UPA’s activities on Polish territory died out, while some Ukrainian insurgents fled to Western Europe, notably to West Germany, and the United States.

    www .liquisearch. com/operation_vistula/deportations_and_repressions


    The Ukrainians (aks at the as Limkos ) was forced onto trains and the boxcar had no windows, no toilet facilities, and no food or water (except what people brought with them).

    There was nowhere to sit or sleep except the floor. It was sweltering hot. No breeze. No fresh air. No cooling off in the evenings. There was no privacy to do the normal things a body needs to do. And the people went days and sometimes a week or more without seeing daylight.

    It wasn’t long before the closed-in air became unbearably foul with the stench of farm animals, sweating people, animal and human excrement, people vomiting. Illness and disease soon became rampant. But there was no medicine. The attitude of those Polish in charge was simply “if they die, they die”–which many did.

    Pregnant women lost their babies or died in childbirth. With no food or water, new mothers could’t produce enough milk to feed their babies, and the babies died.

    Other mothers starved themselves to death in order to feed their children. The days, nights, weeks, months were filled with the agonizing cries of hungry children and babies, the moans of the sick and dying, and the sobs of the family members who lost them.

    To make things even worse, dead bodies stayed in the closed boxcar until the next stop–which could be as long as a week. During the stop, the people would scurry to look for anything that might be edible or a drop of water.

    The trains carrying the Ukrainians were in no hurry. Any time another train a distance away might need access to a crossing along the Ukrainians train’s path, the depotation train would stop and wait until the other train passed by. And when the Ukrainians train needed to change tracks, the engineers took their good old time while the people sat sweltering inside the boxcars.

    It’s reported that some Polish engineers played games with their Ukrainians passengers. One game was to repeatedly speed up the train and suddenly put on the brakes, which would toss the people and animals in the cars around and on top of each other. If you suffered a broken bone, too bad.

    Another game was to stop at the Auschwitz concentration camp and open the doors to scare the passengers into thinking they were going there to be gassed.

    This frightened the people inside the cars so much that, in their frenzy to move to the back of the car, they actually trampled other people in the car to death.

    Some Ukrainians tried to escape but were usually captured, beaten, or shot. In the end, a journey that might normally take four to five hours took up to three months. Imagine three months locked up with all that.


    www. encyclopediaofukraine. com/display.asp?linkpath=pages%5CO%5CP%5COperationWisK5a.htm

    www .liquisearch. com/operation_vistula/deportations_and_repressions

    Lemkos (лемки; lemky). A Ukrainian ethnic group which until 1946 lived in the most western part of Ukraine on both sides of the Carpathian Mountains and along the Polish-Slovak border

    www . encyclopediaofukraine. com/display.asp?linkpath=pages%5CL%5CE%5CLemkos.htm

    What happened after the deportations ???

    Until 1956 the Lemkos as well as all the other Ukrainians the survived the genocide and deportations done to them by Poland had no national rights.

    Ukrainian cultural and educational activity centered around the Ukrainian Social and Cultural Society. In 1957 the supplement Lemkivs’ke slovo was added to the society’s weekly Nashe slovo, and in 1959 a separate section for the development of Lemko culture was established within the society.

    Only a few Lemko Ukrainians have been allowed to return to their homeland—by 1957–8 only some 4,000 of the 30,000 to 40,000 Lemkos Ukrainian in Poland.

    Schools in which Ukrainian is taught are the exception. Until recently Lemkos did not have their own priests; they often were, and still are, subject to greater discrimination than before the Second World War.

    Operation Vistula

    Operation Vistula was the codename for the 1947 forced resettlement of post-war Ukrainian minority (including Boykos and Lemkos) to the Recovered Territories, carried out by the Polish authorities done to Ukrainians. About 200,000 civilians residing in around Bieszczady and Low Beskids were forcibly resettled to formerly German territories ceded to Poland at the Yalta Conference at the end of World War II. The operation was named after the Vistula River, Wisła in Polish.

    Following the fall of communism in Eastern Europe, the operation was condemned by Ukrainian politicians and historians and by a few Polish politicians. It has been described as ethnic cleansing by selected Western and Polish sources, as well as by Ukrainians.

    On December 9, 1948, in the shadow of the Holocaust and in no small part due to the tireless efforts of Lemkin himself, the United Nations approved the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide.

    This convention establishes “genocide” as an international crime, which signatory nations “undertake to prevent and punish.”

    It defines genocide as:

    [G]enocide means any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such:

    (a) Killing members of the group;

    (b) Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group;

    (c) Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part;

    (d) Imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group;

    (e) Forcibly transferring children of the group to another group.

    Russia is doing a, b, c, and e…. it is a genocide of Ukrainians

    www. ushmm. org/wlc/en/article.php?ModuleId=10007043

    After the Holocaust, the United Nations created a new term — genocide — and defined it as any of the following actions committed with intent to destroy a national, ethnic, racial or religious group:

    Killing members of the group; Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group; Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part; Imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group, or forcibly transferring children of the group to another group.

    www. endgenocide. org/learn/what-is-genocide/

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