The tragic events in Volyn, which occurred in the 1940-ies and led to casualties among the Ukrainians and poles are our shared pain of two people.
This is the statement of the Embassy of Ukraine in Poland on the occasion of the commemoration in Poland of the victims of the crimes in Volhynia.
“Today, together with the Polish people, we honor the memory of the victims of Volhynia, not dividing them into friends and foes. It was and remains our shared pain,” statement reads.
In the Ukrainian Embassy emphasize that in the interwar period, during and immediately after world war II, the Ukrainian and Polish peoples have experienced dramatic times. The source of the mutual hostility before the Second world war, according to diplomats, was ill-conceived national policy of the then government of the Commonwealth, manifested by Polish politicians and osadnikov in Volyn levity and lack of respect for the rights of the citizens of Ukrainian nationality in the cultivation of their own national and religious traditions.
“Ukrainians on the territory of the former Second Polish Republic felt the attempts to erase their national consciousness and to subordinate it to the dominant nationality – that is Polish, often through repression, pacification, the destruction of temples and places of memory,” – said in a statement.
As noted, impunity and humiliation of people “have created favorable conditions for the exacerbation of the feelings of hatred, which was subsequently used for the private purposes of the Soviet and Nazi occupation authorities during world war II and the postwar Communist regime, which tried to fundamentally solve the “Ukrainian question” in Poland its way.”
The appeal emphasizes that the mutual hatred between the Ukrainian and poles, citizens of one joint state – Second Polish Republic in its apogee was reached monstrous forms and led to the deaths of thousands of innocent people – poles, Ukrainians and representatives of other nationalities.
“We strongly condemn any violence that lead to homicide on ethnic grounds. There is no justification for an intentional crime against the civilian population. We pray for the innocent victims. And today, together with Poland and Polish people, build partnership and good neighborly relations based on mutual respect and faith in our common European future,” the statement ends.
In Poland, 11 of July is celebrated “national remembrance day of the genocide committed by Ukrainian nationalists against the citizens of the Second Polish Republic”. This day at the national level, approved by the resolution of the Polish Sejm on 22 July 2016. It is noted that during the years 1943-1954 more than 100 thousand people died at the hands of Ukrainian nationalists.
In Ukraine and Poland, the attitude to the events in Volhynia and Eastern Galicia 1943-1945 different. Polish historians put the responsibility for the killing of civilians solely on the OUN and UPA, as most Ukrainian historians are convinced of the responsibility for these crimes on both sides. In Poland they believe in ethnic cleansing, killed more than 100 thousand 5-10 thousand poles and Ukrainians. And in Ukraine, say several tens of thousands of dead poles, and about 20 thousand Ukrainians.