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Old 21st June 2015, 05:05
stepanstas stepanstas is offline
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Michael holds a very extreme view. Very few people, if any, actually worship those historical Ukrainian figures. But they are part of Ukrainian history. Without them Ukraine would not be where it is today. Personally I think a middle ground needs to be adopted. Poroshenko's stance is fine to me.
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Old 21st June 2015, 05:30
dobko dobko is offline
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Lost in reconciliation? Poland, Ukraine and the Volhynia massacres.

The crime of genocide was recently at the heart of one of the Polish parliament’s most heated and publicized debates of the past months. The crime was discussed in relation to the Volhynia massacres – one of those episodes in Eastern Europe’s World War II history which until now have not been ultimately reckoned with and continue to stir unwelcome animosities.

Prior to WW II, ethnic tensions in Volhynia worsened gradually in the thirties. This was largely due to Poland’s departure from the toleration policy it had initially adopted towards the Ukrainian majority living in eastern borderlands of the country. The rise of the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists triggered further repressive measures inflicted on the Ukrainians by the Polish government. These tensions eventually led to horrifying events. It is estimated that between 1943 and 1945 up to 100 thousand Poles were killed by units of the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists−Bandera fraction (OUN-B) and its military wing, the Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UPA) (OUN-UPA). The so called “butchery” took place mainly in Volhynia and Eastern Galicia between February 1943 and February 1944 and reached its peak in mid-July 1943. The supposed objective was to clean the Volhynia of ethnic Poles and thereby lay groundwork for an independent state of Ukraine. Although Poles were probably the main target of this OUN-UPA campaign they were not the only one. Many of those belonging to Jewish, Czech, Armenian and other ethnic groups which inhabited Vohlynia and Eastern Galicia were killed. Among the victims were also Ukrainians, either politically opposed to OUN-UPA or simply those whom the organization considered as too lenient towards the Polish occupant. In response to the attacks Poles soon organized themselves in self-defense groups and killed Ukrainians in acts of retaliation. It is estimated that 10 to 30 thousand Ukrainians lost their lives in the 1943 – 1947 clashes that continued in Volhynia and Western Galicia. To complete this brief summary of events, straight after the war, the newly formed communist government of Poland forcibly re-settled thousands (estimated at over 140 000) of Ukrainians from the south east of the country to the former German territories ceded to Poland at the Potsdam Peace Conference of 1945. The official aim of this Wisła operation was to remove any possible OUN-UPA support.

In the advent of the 70th anniversary of the July massacres in 2013, the upper house of the Polish Parliament (Senat) agreed on a commemorative resolution which referred to “the organized and mass dimension” of the massacre and characterised it as “an ethnic cleansing bearing traits of of genocide”. The wording of the resolution resembled a similar one adopted by the Parliament in 2009. This year however, some MPs took a more direct stance and called upon their fellow parliamentarians to qualify the events as genocide. The debate continued in the Sejm (lower house), and to the disappointment of nearly half of the Sejm’s deputies, concluded in voting down the “genocide amendment”.

Apart from the disputed qualification of the crimes committed in Volhynia, the resolution pays tribute to victims of the massacres and their relatives. It further acknowledges the acts of retaliation, points to the reconciliation efforts made so far on the Ukrainian side and stresses that sincere reconciliation can be built only if founded on truth and joint condemnation of the past crimes. Sadly, these paragraphs faded away in the political quarrel.

Genocide is defined in the UN Genocide Convention as an “act committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such”. This legal definition of genocide in its limited scope and vague wording has indeed left considerable room for political debates.

In the past month’s discussion, many MPs have referred to the definition in support of their line of argumentation. The reasoning on both sides seem to be of merit, although it had little to do with the law. The “pro-genocide” faction expressed concerns about the historical truth as a necessary prerequisite for building reconciliation, cooperation and mutual understanding. It is difficult not to agree with this approach no matter how naïve in its detached idealism it appears to be. At the other end were those who declared that the Parliament’s recognition of the Volhynia massacre as a genocide would trigger distrust among the two countries and thus, jeopardize the 20 yearlong mutual efforts spent on developing friendly relations between Warsaw and Kiev. Radosław Sikorski, the Polish minister of foreign affairs, noted that “escalating” the definition would denigrate Ukraine and put another obstacle on its road to the Association Agreement with the EU (scheduled to be signed this November). One finds it difficult to oppose this politically sensible reasoning as well. Ironically, there does not seem to be much of a difference between qualifying an act as genocide or calling it “a crime of ethnic cleansing bearing traits of genocide”. Given the politicization of the debate, was there much more to it than just playing with semantics?

A less political perspective on the matter comes from the Institute of National Remembrance (the IPN), established in 1998 by the Parliament and charged with, among other things, conducting research, documentation, investigation and prosecution of crimes against peace, humanity and war crimes. According to the Institute, which commenced its activities in 2000 and has since been involved in investigating the Volhynia massacres, the crimes in question can be categorized as “a crime against humanity in its special form, that is, genocide”. The Institute’s investigations are based on article 118(1) of the 1997 Criminal Code, which sets the crime of genocide in domestic law. Because of the Institute’s strong institutional ties to the Parliament, one could easily question its impartiality, even though some of its investigations concern the killings of Ukrainian civilians conducted by the Polish self-defense groups.

The genocide hypothesis is not a commonly approved one. Some, without denying the heinous character and the massive scale of the Volhynia massacre, assert that the crimes committed throughout the OUN-UPA campaign in 1943-1944 fall outside the scope of the UN’s genocide definition. One of the arguments of the latter is that Poles were not the only victims of the said massacres, despite them being (allegedly) the main target of the OUN-UPA campaign. Others raise that there was no general genocide plan or campaign, although, some of the OUN-UPA commanders have expressed orders which could be interpreted as supporting the allegation of their specific genocidal intent.

The debate itself has prompted various responses:

A letter acknowledging the Volhynia genocide addressed by 148 Ukrainian deputies representing the ruling Party of Regions and the Communists to the speaker of the Polish Parliamentarians;
the extreme right Svoboda party calling the Polish Parliament’s resolution chauvinist and anti-Ukrainian;
a harmless egg thrown at the Polish president, Bronislaw Komorowski during commemoration ceremony in Luck, Ukraine…

To reckon with crimes of the past and reach reconciliation, a politically imposed sense of guilt by one parliament onto another will surely not suffice. In Ukraine, where the OUN-UPA has contributed to the country’s independence, people know very little about the Volhynia massacres. Likewise, they do not know much about it in Poland. For societies who for large parts of their history have countered geo-political and cultural oppression it might be natural to hang on to their victimhood narrative. Taking responsibility for the darker, less heroic episodes in their recent history tends to be rather difficult (see for instance the Jedwabne pogrom debate in Poland). At this point, one cannot tell whether the recent debate has seriously impaired relations between Ukraine and Poland. Nevertheless, it is a long way ahead before both sides will learn and acknowledge their respective truths about the Volhynia past. Local initiatives such as staging the July 1943 massacre in a village of Radymno in south east Poland, only rub salt into the wounds. An open and inclusive debate at the people’s level will always be a better alternative to burning fake houses and throwing eggs at each other.

Lost in reconciliation? Poland, Ukraine and the Volhynia massacres | Beyond The Hague
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  #10 (permalink)  
Old 21st June 2015, 13:53
MichaelB_PL MichaelB_PL is offline
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Originally Posted by witkacy52 View Post
I've knew MichaelB will gladly articulate his opinions here (thank you Michael). He is one of the people I meant.
Yes, and I must say I'm glad to be in company of those Poles, who haven't forsaken dignity and respect for the victims of UPA.

What about you Witkacy - how do you feel, being a supporter of a OUN/UPA worshippers?

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Could some Ukrainians now respond how do they see the issue (if they see it at all) and how it should be dealt with.
I think they don't understand the issue, because for them it's normal to worship war criminals.

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There are too many people in Poland sharing the views that MichaelB shows.
More or less including Kukiz, who AFAIK is the most popular politician in Poland at the moment.

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Originally Posted by stepanstas View Post
Michael holds a very extreme view. Very few people, if any, actually worship those historical Ukrainian figures.
Very few people???

Could you please explain how come Shukhevych was honored by the Ukrainian parlament? Which is obviously the mainstream of Ukrainian politics, not some kind of fringe group.
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Old 21st June 2015, 22:29
dobko dobko is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MichaelB_PL View Post
Yes, and I must say I'm glad to be in company of those Poles, who haven't forsaken dignity and respect for the victims of UPA.

What about you Witkacy - how do you feel, being a supporter of a OUN/UPA worshippers?



I think they don't understand the issue, because for them it's normal to worship war criminals.



More or less including Kukiz, who AFAIK is the most popular politician in Poland at the moment.



Very few people???

Could you please explain how come Shukhevych was honored by the Ukrainian parlament? Which is obviously the mainstream of Ukrainian politics, not some kind of fringe group.

Michael, you are an arrogant ass who thinks he knows history. You don't know a damn thing. Your posts prove your one sided B.S. is nothing more than a childish rant designed to promote hatred towrds Ukrainian people. It's because of people like you this horrible part of history happened. Get your head out of your dupa and move forward. That which you try to simplify is very complicated. You just don't get it.
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Old 22nd June 2015, 04:31
MichaelB_PL MichaelB_PL is offline
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Originally Posted by dobko View Post
Michael, you are an arrogant ass who thinks he knows history. You don't know a damn thing. Your posts prove your one sided B.S. is nothing more than a childish rant designed to promote hatred towrds Ukrainian people. It's because of people like you this horrible part of history happened. Get your head out of your dupa and move forward. That which you try to simplify is very complicated. You just don't get it.
"arrogant ass"

"Get your head out of your dupa" (for English speakers - "dupa" means "ass")

1. It's crazy that you're a moderator on this board Dobko. Because it's a proven fact that you're a hypocrite, playing the moderator role toward people you don't like, but totally ignoring rude/insulting behaviour coming from people you like (Hannia!) and, as evidenced above - engaging in rude/insulting behaviour yourself.

2. As for "thinks he knows history" - I do know history Dobko and that's one of the causes we don't get along.

The issue is a material for something longer than a few sentences, but summarizing it very shortly, the Ukrainian history is quite ugly. But Ukrainians want to feel good about themselves, so they compensate, writing a "alternative" version putting them in better light. And because of that, telling them the truth about BOTH things (ugly history AND falsification) makes then feel bad, often making them go into "agressive denial" mode.

3. "It's because of people like you this horrible part of history happened. " - a very twisted way of "blame the other side at all costs" thinking, to blame the countrymen of victims of genocide for the genocide that your countrymen did.

A more objective observer would note that Ukrainians do have a tradition of mass murder - Khmelnytsky's men did it, Petlura's men did it, OUN/UPA did it also.

The exploits of earlier Ukrainian "heroes" from few centuries earlier:

Ukraine Virtual Jewish History Tour | Jewish Virtual Library

"Some were skinned alive and their flesh was thrown to the dogs; some had their hands and limbs chapped off and their bodies thrown on the highway to be trampled by wagons and crushed by horses; some had wounds inflicted upon them and were then thrown on the street to die a slow death. They tore open women and then whipped them forcing them to crawl to their deaths.... others were buried alive. The enemy slaughtered infants in their mothers' laps. They were sliced into pieces like fish.... The infants were hung on the breasts of their mothers. Some children were pierced with spears."

If somebody is familiar with the details of OUN/UPA atrocities, the similiarity between the cases of sadism separated by many centuries is quite apparent.

Last edited by MichaelB_PL; 22nd June 2015 at 04:49.
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Old 23rd June 2015, 04:41
dobko dobko is offline
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Michael. You totally missed everything I said. Again. I'm refering to you extreme one-sided hypocritical rants. No one has or is denying the claims you make against the OUN/UPA. Your issue is that you cannot agree that there were issues on both sides of this conflict. Though one side obviously was responsible for a far greater number of crimes in the time periode you refer to I suggest you expand that time periode further into the past. If you know your history I'm sure you can figure out where I'm going with that. Again, I do not excuse the crimes either side comitted in any way shape or form. But trying to focus on one side while overlooking the other?? That is where I have an issue with you.

For your information I have family on both sides of this "past"conflict. Of course there is shame from those who did terrible things they never imagined they could do. Again, I said "both" sides. The beauty of the whole thing is... both have found forgiveness to be the answer. Also, for your information, niether side is happy with any denials or history revision. Perhaps you do know your history, but it appears to be one sided.

As for you claims about rude behavior and how I allow others to be rude towards you (because you assume I don't like you and yet you were allowed back) perhaps you should reread your own comments? Pot calling the kettle black. Should I post the wonderful and insightful personal message you sent me when you were put into the timeout box? Or should I repost your past edited comments were you were swearing at members along with myself (in Polish)? Stop pretending to be the victim who is persecuted for his vast unfathomable knowledge. You make yourself look foolish and it angers Polish people that you think you speak for them. You don't! That is a fact.

Eat some humble pie and learn from the discussions instead poisoning yourself with pride. I myself have, on these very boards.
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Old 23rd June 2015, 06:40
MichaelB_PL MichaelB_PL is offline
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Originally Posted by dobko View Post
Michael. You totally missed everything I said. Again. I'm refering to you extreme one-sided hypocritical rants. No one has or is denying the claims you make against the OUN/UPA. Your issue is that you cannot agree that there were issues on both sides of this conflict.
Untrue - I admit that there were issues on the Polish side also.

But I think you don't want to accept that the issues on Ukrainian side were of heavier caliber - with fascist ideology leading to cold blooded genocide, like in the case of Third Reich.

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But trying to focus on one side while overlooking the other?? That is where I have an issue with you.
And this is one place I kind of understand your position. Kind of - because I don't think you acknowledge the difference between ideologically motivated, organisation-level genocide and acts of revenge made by local people.

Do you realise that OUN/UPA belongs in the same category as Third Reich, since it also had a fascist ideology leading to genocide?

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As for you claims about rude behavior and how I allow others to be rude towards you (because you assume I don't like you and yet you were allowed back)
I was "allowed back" after being banned for 5 months for pointing out that you were repeating a propaganda lie of Ukrainian goverment. So the problem is, the 5 month ban itself constituted an act of hypocrisy and injustice.

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perhaps you should reread your own comments?
Have you read Hannia's comments over the last years, especially against Me, Szary and Siefert? How many 5 month bans did she get?

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Should I post the wonderful and insightful personal message you sent me when you were put into the timeout box?
So you abused your moderator rights and you expected the wronged party to be civil?

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Or should I repost your past edited comments were you were swearing at members along with myself (in Polish)?
Sure, if you also repost what the other members posted before.

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Stop pretending to be the victim who is persecuted for his vast unfathomable knowledge.
As far as the 5 month ban is concerned, I'm not pretending anything - I am a victim of your biased moderation. Though not for "unfathomable knowledge", but pointing out a simple fact.

How many times Hannia openly insulted other members - not just said somebody is lying like I did in that particular case, but simply insulted them on personal qualities? 20 times? 50 times? Taking in account that I don't follow and read all her posts, it could very well be 100 or something.

Of course I know I won't get an honest answer from you, because the only honest answer would be admission of guilt, which you won't give me. The truth is, rules are applied "differently" to users you agree with (Hannia) and differently to those who oppose you (me).

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You make yourself look foolish and it angers Polish people that you think you speak for them. You don't! That is a fact.
I do speak for some Polish people. Perhaps you should reread what Witkacy wrote in this very thread:

"There are too many people in Poland sharing the views that MichaelB shows. "

I have already posted a link to a video clip with Kukiz, one of the most popular politicians in Poland - if I remember correctly, Pontius voted for him.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PhjsDAi7v6c
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