Bortnytsia (Bortnica) on the map of Soviet occupied Second Polish Republic (now Ukraine) before the massacres of Poles between 1942-1945
Bortnytsia (Ukrainian: Бортниця, Polish: Bortnica) is a village in Volyn oblast, near the town of Dubno, in Dubno Raion, Ukraine. The village currently has a population of 365. Before the Nazi German and Soviet invasions of Poland the village was located in the Wołyń Voivodeship of the Second Polish Republic. It was made up of 61 farms of different sizes.
World War II history
In World War II, following the Soviet invasion of Poland, dozens of ethnic Polish families were sent to Siberia by the NKVD in 1940. Bortnica was one of many sites of the massacres of Poles and Jews committed between 1942 and 1945 by the death squads of OUN-UPA and the local Ukrainians peasants. The village was raided repeatedly in a process of ethnic cleansing. Farms were burned mostly at night. Jews kept 24-hour vigil, because, unlike the Polish families who in the worst-case scenario could flee into the Nazi German–occupied cities, Jewish families had nowhere to run. Pitched battles with Ukrainian Insurgent Army were breaking out all the time. The bloodiest fighting broke out in Bortnica on Christmas Eve in 1943, six weeks before the arrival of the Red Army. Fifteen Poles and eight Jews were defending themselves against the invading force of 400 Ukrainian nationalists. Void of ammunition, the defenders fell a day later. Half were killed in battle. A few escaped into the forest. In the Dubno County, the Polish self-defence against ethnic cleansing by OUN-UPA was more successful only in Pańska Dolina.
- Strony o Wołyniu (November 2007). "Gromada Bortnica, gmina Dubno, powiat Dubno, woj. wołyńskie". Wolyn.ovh.org. Including location map and names of prominent individuals.
- Aldona Zakrzewska (8 August 2005). "World War Two memories: My Story". WWW2 People's War. BBC. Archived from the original on 19 April 2013 – via Bournemouth Libraries.
- Tadeusz Piotrowski. Genocide and Rescue in Wołyń: Recollections of the Ukrainian Nationalist Ethnic Cleansing Campaign Against the Poles During World War II. McFarland. p. 215. ISBN 0786407735.