Talk:Historiography of the Volyn tragedy

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Slaughtered without any resistance?![edit]

I wonder,how such huge number of people could be slaughtered without any attempt to organize armed resistance? The total number of Poles who lived in Western Ukraine back then was aproximately 2 millions.Did UPA supposed to kill all of them and didn`t even expect any resistance? If we take in account that this part of Ukraine was under Polish occupation for decades before those events,some mechanisms for a case of Ukrainian uprisings should be perfected long time ago.Why Poles were not able to get the same weapon as UPA and didn`t call alarm for entire territory after first few thousands of Poles were killed? And what exactly weapon UPA had and where did they took this weapon as well as ammunition? And why Poles didn`t respond with counter-terror by killing the same amount of Ukrainians? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:24, 16 November 2012 (UTC)

A statement without the refference?[edit]

In mid of the article in one of the coloumns about victims it is mentioned that some ``Number of Polish victims known by their names``. Total number at 42,496 In the same time there is no refference for this statement.I suggest if they are known by their names there suppose to exist NAME by NAME list of all those people (victims).How otherwise they could claim they are known by their names?Was this list ever published in Internet or in writen form anywhere?If yes,could they provide a link to it? And also, was any comission appointed by Polish government (and not by some private researches) ever maid statements about numbers of victims close to mentioned in the article?If yes, could this government research team and their published works could be clearly mentioned and reffered in the article? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:44, 10 November 2012 (UTC)

From the article: In 2010 the Institute of National Remembrance (Bulletin No. 7–8, 116–117) published an overview by Ewa Siemaszko of their joint research with the following up-to-date table of collected data.  Volunteer Marek  00:47, 10 November 2012 (UTC)


This article may not present an unbiased view of the topic. It makes some statements as fact that are most likely opinion. For example:

"This is explained by the fact that the Polish Communists avoided this subject..."

The fact is not documented, and without it, the connection with the previous sentence is supposition at best.

Please note including several references (as this article does) does not demonstrate neutrality.

It is suggested that this article be reviewed and updated so that it presents both sides of the topic in accordance with Wikipedia guidelines, in particular WP:NPOV. Thanks. Truthanado (talk) 18:12, 26 July 2008 (UTC)

The information in this article is a translation and summary of ”Грицьків, Роман - Польська Історіографія Українсько-Польського збройного конфлікту часів Другої Світової війни by Roman Hrytskiv, published in the collection Українсько-Польський конфлікт під час другої світової війни Book 2 Lviv 2003. Roman Hrytskiv is a historian who completed his masters in History at the Ivan Franko University in Lviv. Bandurist (talk) 16:28, 27 July 2008 (UTC)

I'm not the original author of the article (which I forked from another one) but I think it is so far fairly NPOV and actually may be developed into a very useful one. The problems noticed by Truthanado may be more a matter of style than NPOV. I've included an English language source by a Polish historian in the references section. Hopefully this can be used to further NPOV and balance the article, which so far, as I understand was based on a single Ukrainian source. The next step would be to develop the section on Ukrainian historiography of the subject for a more complete picture. Therefore, I'm removing the NPOV and wikify tags for now. --Lysytalk 18:55, 27 July 2008 (UTC)

Ukrainian historiography[edit]

The article so far seems to focus on Polish historiography only. How about Ukrainian historiography of the subject ? --Lysytalk 15:35, 27 July 2008 (UTC)

It takes time to research, read and write. So far the article has been up for one day. Bandurist (talk) 17:13, 27 July 2008 (UTC)


Hmm, I thought that Poliszczuk was an Ukrainian author, not Polish ? --Lysytalk 19:58, 27 July 2008 (UTC)

He is an interesting character. He lives on the ourtskirts of Toronto (just down the road from me). I met him a couple of times at various do's here. From what I understand he is ethnically Ukrainian or part Ukrainian. He was born in Ukraine but emigrated to Poland in 1946 and later emigrated to Canada. His books are primarilly in Polish, although there are some in English. I heard there was one in Ukrainian but cannot find any references to it.Bandurist (talk) 20:55, 27 July 2008 (UTC)

Volyn slaughter[edit]

Can you doublecheck if Prus really used the word "massacre" (Polish: masakra ? I would rather expect him to use the word "slaughter" Polish: rzeź, as the common Polish term for the events is "rzeź wołyńska" and not "masakra wołyńska". Thanks. --Lysytalk 20:19, 27 July 2008 (UTC)

I have it in Ukrainian as українська різня ("українською різнею" поляків с. 153). The word Ukrainian word "riznia" translates from the Ukrainian (Andrushyshyn dictionary, 1955 p. 907) as massacre, slaughterhouse, abattoir, carnage. Bandurist (talk) 21:18, 27 July 2008 (UTC)

I'm not a linguist, but "rzeź" in Polish is a strong word in this context, associated with blood, cruelty, and cutting bodies, while "masakra" is more neutral, only stating that a number of people was killed. In common Polish the term "Rzeź wołynśka" is the most common used (like on TV, in the newspapers etc.), the professional historians of course do not use this term. But I have never heard of "Masakra wołyńska" in Polish, so I think that Prus probably coined the "rzeź" (or різня) term. In Polish there are two different nouns: rzeźnia, meaning slaughterhouse, and rzeź, which is the act of bloodily killing many beings (animals or people). I believe the best translation of Polish "rzeź" into English would be "slaughter". Claiming that Prus introduced the term "massacre" is a far shot. Let me change this in the article. --Lysytalk 22:22, 27 July 2008 (UTC)

One of the translations is Translation: RZEŹ N SLAUGHTER; MASSACRE; CARNAGE; BUTCHERY; SHAMBLES - is indeed Massacre. I don't think it needs to be changed. Bandurist (talk) 01:15, 28 July 2008 (UTC)

Volyhnia vs Volyn[edit]

Can User:Bandurist explain the recent move from the English accepted name of Volhynia to Volyn, in this and other articles. I should point out that such actions require a WP:RM at least. --Kuban Cossack (По-балакаем?) 15:49, 28 July 2008 (UTC)

Well unless Bandurist can't justify the name, I will move it back in 24 hours time. --Kuban Cossack (По-балакаем?) 12:20, 29 July 2008 (UTC)


I found this article now. This article contains many unsorouces claims. It should be rebuilt. I will prepare some sources for it e.g. review Siemaszko book from Polish historians.--Paweł5586 (talk) 06:20, 16 September 2009 (UTC)

There is no information about Polish - Ukrainian Conferences, nothing about newest science conferences in Poland, nothing about SUZOUN organisation, nothing about investigation by IPN.

There is more facts to add - memorials to Bandera and Szuchewycz in Ukraine, and Polish reaction, question - why Polish didnt know much about Volhynia massacres, abot Polish Sejm resolution.

This article is mean. Based on Wnuk text who is biased and was criticized so he made revenge. I see what you (Faustian, Bandurist) are trying to do. You want to discredit polish historiography to make all crimes of UPA not reliable.--Paweł5586 (talk) 06:52, 16 September 2009 (UTC)

Pawel: You have not read the Talk section. The information in this article is a summary and translation of ”Грицьків, Роман - Польська Історіографія Українсько-Польського збройного конфлікту часів Другої Світової війни (Polish Historiography of the Ukrainia-Polish conflict during WWII) by Roman Hrytskiv, published in the collection Українсько-Польський конфлікт під час другої світової війни (Ukrainian-Polish conflict during WWII) Book 2, Lviv, 2003.

Roman Hrytskiv is a historian who completed his masters in History at the Ivan Franko University in Lviv.

The article has an addition about Ukrainian historiography from the same book. The article is not mean. The book that it came from obviously was published in 2003, and obviously is not up to date, i.e. 6 years of research have not been included, but it is a start.

The article is not mean, and it is not based on Wnuk, and no, Faustian and myself are not trying to discredit Polish historiography nor cover up for crimes committed by various groups during WWII.

As can be seen form the article, there are a number of approaches used by various historians. Some are loaded. Some are less loaded. From the materials that you have a tendency of quoting from quote it seems to me that you are an adherent and supporter of the Polish National school of Historiography. I myself am not a supporter of Ukrainian National Historiography. I try to leave emotions out of the equation, but that is probably because I have no relationship (geographic or family ties) to the subject or the people.

--Bandurist (talk) 18:49, 16 September 2009 (UTC)Bandurist (talk) 16:28, 27 July 2008 (UTC)

Ok, this is very hard and wide subject. Even historians are arguing in this matter. I know for you some Polish historians arent reliable. But for me its big diffrence beetwen Korman, Prus and Siemaszko and Siekierka. Korman and Prus havent so much documents, they were first in this matter and were biased. They saw crimes on their own eyes, they react in books emotionally, and didnt use references, so they cant be a good source now. But Siemaszko and Siekierka books are basing on reccolections people who survived, Filar added many documents from Russian, Ukrainian and German archives. For me thats enough.

This article should be completed with some facts:

  • reasons why communists in Poland concealed this subject
  • Polish-Ukrainian conferences made by Karta Center and Ukrainian Minority in Poland
  • Works of Ukrainian minority - Drozd, Siwicki, Misiło - recognized as biased, blamed Poles from many things.
  • Some reviews of books - Prus (of course negative look), Siemaszko, Siekierka
  • Science conferences of Polish historians
  • Polish Sejm resolution
  • Gazeta Wyborcza support for Ukrainian nationalists - Paweł Smoleński, Jacek Kuroń, Marcin Wojciechowski and Adam Michnik e.g. newest source

--Paweł5586 (talk) 19:49, 16 September 2009 (UTC)

Just a note - this is not about who is reliable "for you" or "for me". There are several publications on the historiography of the subject and we should be quoting them, avoid any OR temptation. The article so far is doing pretty well. --Lysytalk 02:01, 19 September 2009 (UTC)

  • This article includes unsupported, controversial and sometimes contradicting claims; does not have proper references inside the text - if something was taken from Roman Hrytskiv's work, it ought to be referenced to Hritskiv's work, and not to book/article whose interpretation Hrytskiv presents.
  • Is Hrytskiv a reliable source? We only know that he completed his masters in History at the Ivan Franko University in Lviv. This long article cannot be largely based on the study made by one historian whose reliability is unknown and some claims are dubious.
  • The research is not actual; it's based on old works of historians whose opinions may have changed over time: e.g. In 2001, Olszański in the Post-Scriptum to his article, admited that he was mistaken about the great ethnic cleansing in Volhynia and Eastern Galicia (depolonization) not having the characteristics of genocide. He wrote: Today I must sadly admit that I was wrong on this one. More and more documents demonstrates not only that "depolonization action" was a planned military operation and that the order from OUN-UPA leadership existed (though still not found), but also that the purpose of this operation was the physical extermination (murder) of at least most of the Polish population of these lands, and not only - as I erroneously believed - an expulsion. Thus, it was the crime of genocide.[1] Some parts concerning Motyka's publications are questionable.
  • There are many unreferenced fragments which I consider suitable for deletion on the basis of being harmful and inaccurate.

I hope the problems will be resolved and assume good faith of the authors of the article. --Hedviberit (talk) 23:00, 5 October 2009 (UTC)

    • Once again, the article is basically a summary of the Historiography, i.e. what books came out when, the process of study. In the process of studying the Volyn tragedy I found this article very useful and desiced to translate and summarize it. The bulk of the article comes from Hrytskiv's article summarizing the study. If you would like to point out what you find questionable, I will gladly put down the page in Hrytskiv's article where it is located.
  • I plan to work on this article and add material from several sources. Hrytskiv's (or other author's) statements can be mistakenly included (attached to) as a part of this new sourced material. Proper citations are needed in many places in the text - also to solve the problem of contradicting claims. The judging phrases taken from Hrytskiv's publication (translation of his words) should be treated as his own opinions, for example by adding: "according to Hrytskiv".
  • The style of some statements is not suitable for encyclopaedic material. I suggest that they should be deleted, rephrased or put in quotations (Hrytskiv's words) e.g. "The use of a journalistic style, falsification and manipulation only reflect the state at which Polish historiography had reached in the last years of the communist Poland". "The authors shed their academism aside when they included numerous unsupported statements". Moreover the accusation of including "numerous unsupported statements" is too serious to leave it this way. According to whom "those" statements are unsupported?
  • In 2002 Grzegorz Motyka, Zbigniew Kowalewski's study (1993) – what studies this is about?
    • Since then, there have been a number of additional studies which have shed light into many of the inaccuracies that have crept in, however, as it is a Historiography, one should not remove material because a writer has changed his opinion on a specific matter, but add materials that in view of newly published materials such and such etc. etc. , the views of such and such changed in such and such a publication
  • I understand that. The problem is that "historiography..." can be seen as a source of knowledge about the subject; and this article, because of its inaccuracies, shouldn't be treated as such. I'm going to actualize it (by adding new material). I would also like to verify some claims about particular publications.
    • As I did the translation and summary (from about 40 pages) I will be happy to add all the fragments that you would like to have referenced. I recently picked up a number of new publications whilst lecturing at the University of Alberta last week. I'll translate some of the fragments for your perousal.--Bandurist (talk) 01:06, 6 October 2009 (UTC)
  • For a start, I'll mark where references are needed.--Hedviberit (talk) 18:00, 6 October 2009 (UTC)

I have some sources about subject of this article, but no time to add:(--Paweł5586 (talk) 07:31, 6 October 2009 (UTC)

Volyn tragedy[edit]

The linked article has another name. Xx236 (talk) 12:39, 14 October 2009 (UTC)


I'm not sure if this article is already utilized in the article but it definetly should be, though its scope goes beyond Volyn [2] (PDF).radek (talk) 08:39, 2 November 2009 (UTC)

Problem with the lead[edit]

Why this fragment criticizing Polish historiography is in the lead: research into this event is quite partisan (with some exceptions) and dominated by Polish researchers, some of whom lived there at the time or are descended from those who did. The most thorough is the work of Ewa and Władysław Siemaszko, the result of years of research conducted with the goal of demonstrating that the Poles were victims of genocide. Nonetheless, the 45 years of state censorship resulted in an excessive supply of works described as "heavy in narrative", "light in analysis" and inherently - though perhaps unconsciously - " biased against Ukrainians." [1]

but this fragment isn't: Ukrainian historiography lacks broader reliable research of the events and the presence of the issue in Ukrainian publications is still very limited. The young generation of Ukrainian historians is often infected with Ukrainocentism, and often borrows the stereotypes and myths about Poland and Poles from the biased publications of the Ukrainian diaspora.[38] --Hedviberit (talk) 17:15, 23 November 2010 (UTC)

I don't strongly oppose including both with a summary statement about each national historians' group being problematic in some way. However the point seems to be that the biased Polish research is predominant while the biased Ukrainian research is not as widely known. In other words, most research about this event is done by Poles and most of this Polish research has problems. Thus, the info about the Polish traditions is in the lead while the info about the Ukrainian stuff is not. It's not about picking on Poles but about briefly summarizing the state of historiography in the lead.Faustian (talk) 05:36, 1 December 2010 (UTC)
Your opinion was wrong in 2010 and is obsolete and totally wrong in 2014.Xx236 (talk) 12:18, 19 August 2014 (UTC)

POV comment[edit]

reflect the state of Polish historiography in the last years of the communist Poland - this comment reflects the state of Ukrainian historiography.

  • R. Torzecki, Kwestia ukraińska w Polsce w latach 1923-1929 (Kraków 1989). Xx236 (talk) 10:49, 19 August 2014 (UTC)


  • The article was published in 2009.Many texts have been published since.
  • Copsey writes about the Siemaszkos, who aren't professional historians. The main Polish historian is Grzegorz Motyka, who criticizes Siemaszkos.Xx236 (talk) 12:16, 19 August 2014 (UTC)

2003 - obsolete opinions[edit]

Роман Грицьків, Польська Історіографія Українсько-Польського збройного конфлікту часів Другої Світової війни [in:] Українсько-Польський конфлікт під час другої світової війни, Book 2, Lviv, 2003, Xx236 (talk) 06:08, 20 August 2014 (UTC)

The name should be Historiography of the Massacres of Poles in Volhynia[edit]

Zeszyty Historyczne[edit]

"Zeszyty Historyczne" were published abroad, what is the connection between the article by Olszański and independence of Poland? Xx236 (talk) 13:18, 9 September 2014 (UTC)

English grammar and spelling of title[edit]

See also above Talk:Historiography of the Volyn tragedy#Volyhnia vs Volyn [sic] from 2008. The article name is grammatically incorrect. It was unilaterally moved and never addressed properly afterwards. Below are some of the leading works of history in support of the proper WP:NAME in accordance with Wikipedia core policy guidelines ... as well as basic grammar.

  1. The Reconstruction of Nations: Poland, Ukraine, Lithuania, Belarus, ... by Timothy Snyder, 2003. Quote: "the Volhynian tragedy."
  2. Shared History, Divided Memory: Jews and Others in Soviet-occupied ... by Elazar Barkan, ‎Elizabeth A. Cole, ‎Kai Struve, - 2007. Quote: "ethnic character of the Volhynian tragedy".
  3. Public Opinion and the Making of Foreign Policy in the 'New Europe' by Nathaniel Copsey, 2016. Quote: "the Volhynian tragedy of 1943."
  4. Please note: the Encyclopedia Britannica article "Ukraine in 2003" written by David R. Marples speaks of: "the “Volyn massacre” of Poles by Ukrainian insurgents in 1943..." The claim of the "Volyn" spelling is irrelevant, because it is used with the noun "massacre" (correctly) as oppose to "tragedy" (which would have been grammatically incorrect).
Poeticbent talk 17:13, 10 October 2016 (UTC)
The word tragedy is used by Ukrainians. Compare Tragedy is a form of drama based on human suffering that invokes an accompanying catharsis or pleasure in audiences. No catharsis in Ukraine yet, I hope no pleasure either. It was a massacre or genocide designed and implemented by Ukrainian nationalists, who ordered to kill also ethnic Ukrainians who refused to participate. The Poles persecuted Ukrianians before the war and murdered them (mostly men) as a vengeance, there was no symmetry.Xx236 (talk) 10:35, 12 October 2016 (UTC)
I think (in this particular case) we can keep the tragedy definition considering its popular use in books of history. See: Disputed Memory: Emotions and Memory Politics (ISBN 3110453347) by Tea Sindbæk Andersen, ‎Barbara Törnquist-Plewa, 2016. Quote: In Ukrainian public discourse, the Volhynian conflict was presented as one of the steps towards national independence, whereas in Polish public discourse the killings of Poles were depicted as the “Volhynian tragedy” :
"Volhynian tragedy" — About 78 results in Google Books
"Volhynian massacres" -Wikipedia — About 50 results
Poeticbent talk 15:09, 12 October 2016 (UTC)
You source is very interesting as an example of lack of neutrality. "Volhynian tragedy" is wołyńska tragedia, Google doesn't support such phrase, it's a translation from Ukrainian. The book contains texts by many authors. Which page do you quote?
in Polish public discourse the killings of Poles were depicted as the “Volhynian tragedy” - strange statement, the killings were depicted in Poland as Ukrainian nationalistic crimes. When they were depicted, because history of Kresy was censored till 1989.
the Volhynian conflict - in reality the majority of Ukrainians don't know basic facts, if they accept UPA it's because of the anti-Soviet guerilla not because Polish-Ukrainian families were exterminated. Xx236 (talk) 06:49, 13 October 2016 (UTC)
  • Thanks for noticing. The article for the book Disputed Memory might be considered a prime example of the nationalist Ukrainian discourse in Western academia. It was written by Yuliya Yurchuk (Centre for Baltic and East European studies, Södertörn University) under the title "Red Carnations on Victory Day and Military Marches on UPA Day?" Other statements by Yuliya Yurchuk include: "In the summer of 1944 Western Ukraine was defeated by the USSR." What a joke. [3] Poeticbent talk 14:31, 13 October 2016 (UTC)
I have found the original text [4], page 113, which explains the difference between Ukrainian (tragedy) and Polish (genocide, massacre) narratives. There is some misunderstanding, there is a semicolon inside quotation marks.Xx236 (talk) 09:08, 14 October 2016 (UTC)
Note: Yurchuk intentionally omits the definitions by Western scholars used in the naming of what it was. They have no stake in this (Polish-Ukrainian) 'naming' debate and therefore would have been more objective; however, Yurchuk does not seem to be concerned with what the West (or the East) thinks. Instead, she attempts to present all definitions as either Polish or Ukrainian in origin and therefore politically motivated. Poeticbent talk 13:25, 14 October 2016 (UTC)

... in dealing with the past conflict, two nations were mainly concentrated on national histories. In Ukrainian public discourse the Volhynian conflict was presented as a response to anti-Ukrainian policies implemented by Poland in the interwar years and as one of the steps in the battle for national independence, the killing of Poles in this discourse is depicted as the Volhynian “tragedy;” in Polish public discourse, though, the Volhynian conflict in 1943 was presented as the quintessence of the long-lasting Ukrainian resentment against Poles that culminated in the massacre.[434] The Polish definition of the ethnic conflict is the “Volhynian massacre” (Rzeź Wołyńska), “genocide” (ludobójstwo), or “ethnic cleansing” (czystka etniczna).[435] Hence, “tragedy” and “massacre,” or “genocide,” narratives do not reconcile easily. — Yuliya Yurchuk, Reordering of Meaningful Worlds page 113 (or 133 / 315 in PDF)

The lead uses only one source published in 2009[edit]

  • The lead should summarize the page rather than to quote one source.
  • Is the opinion about
    • censored texts published till 1989 only
    • or till 2009?
  • Many texts have been published since 2009. Xx236 (talk) 08:28, 13 October 2016 (UTC)

"the state of Polish historiography in the last years of the communist Poland"[edit]

The Polish historiography in the last years of the communist Poland had many branches - Communist propaganda (Prus), academic works, underground and abroad publishings. Ukrainian historiography was divided between Communist propaganda in SU and nationalistic works published abroad. Xx236 (talk) 08:44, 13 October 2016 (UTC)

Poor (coverage of) bibliography by Grzegorz Motyka[edit]

  1. Cień Kłyma Sawura. Polsko-ukraiński konflikt pamięci - not mentioned.
  2. Grzegorz Motyka, Ukraińska Partyzantka 1942-1960, p.359 - bibliographic data needed [5] Xx236 (talk) 08:49, 13 October 2016 (UTC)