Talk:Massacres of Poles in Volhynia and Eastern Galicia/Archive 3

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Archive 2 Archive 3 Archive 4

Old talk or Best regards

All right. I have replaced the picture as you suggested but I still think the previous image was a better illustration for this particular article. Even if more graphic. --Lysytalk 09:04, 26 February 2007 (UTC)

Let's take a photo from Polish version of this article - children nailed to the tree. I think it would be more "illustrative" about the real suffer.... Merewyn 13:24, 28 February 2007 (UTC)

The Polish wiki page devoted to UPA relies on, to put it charitably, nonscientific sources of little value such as the works of Wiktor Poliszczuk and are hardly a model for this page, which is objective and of much higher quality. Faustian 14:12, 28 February 2007 (UTC)

Aha, photo's not objective .... and those children was nailed to the tree for fun by the UFO from Mars? Merewyn 09:28, 1 March 2007 (UTC)
If you reread what I wrote you would see that I was speaking about the article on Polish wiki, not the picture specifically.Faustian 03:12, 2 March 2007 (UTC)
Why I mentionned this photo of children nailed to the tree? Because a monument is planned in Warsaw to commemorate the victims of Volhynia massacres and the project is based on this picture -,53600,3948595.html (news is in Polish, just take a look at photos) Merewyn 09:40, 1 March 2007 (UTC)
The atrocity depicted in the picture might not have happened in Volyn (a caption states it was in Tarnopol region) and as someone suggested the victims may have been gypsies. As long as the picture did indeed include Poles and did inded occur in Volyn, I have no problem with that that picture being placed in this article. But those facts are being questioned, above... Faustian 03:07, 2 March 2007 (UTC)

Rzeczpospolita new article is a good proof the image of the children is NOT related to this article. That said it may be notable to create an article on it (and/or the monument), and how the misconception arose.-- Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus | talk  16:27, 18 May 2007 (UTC)

Tadeusz Piotrowski?

The author is a sociologist, not a historian. When presenting such shocking information it seems that we ought to be extra careful about the source and limit ourselves to historians, encyclopedia, or such rather than self-published non-historians such as Poliszczuk or journalists. Piotrowski is less dubious than Wiktor Poliszczuk (whose claims I have removed from this article) but still, he is a professor of sociology rather than of history. There are many historians doing work on this subject (such as Torzecki or Rafal Wnuk of the Institute of National Remembrance ), why not use their information?Faustian 19:54, 16 October 2007 (UTC)

He is a notable English scholar; that his department is sociology doesn't prevent him from contributing valuable material to other social sciences. Many sociologists contribute to the area of history, studying sociological phenomena.
Here are some reliable (western academic) reviews of his book: [1], [2]. PS. Unlike Wnuk or Torzecki, Piotrowski's work is in English, which makes it more accessible. PPS. That said, I see no reason for inclusion of this paragraph; I don't think such details serve any purpose on encyclopedia. Piotrowski provides much useful information on this sad event, but this paragraph is not one of them.-- Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus | talk  01:51, 18 October 2007 (UTC)
OK, this paragraph perhaps was not encyclopedic, but otherwise I think we should use Piotrowski's work. What do other editors think? Tymek 02:39, 18 October 2007 (UTC)
I agree, in which case his contributions should be limited to sociological data (peoples' attitudes, sociodemographic variables, etc.) rather than historical events. Sociology and history overlap somewhat but they are different fields and when wading into the area of historical events Piotowski is at best a knowledgable amateur, albeit one with a good grasp of a related but different field. Faustian 13:54, 18 October 2007 (UTC)
I still believe that his work is a good source for the article. Perhaps you should raise it at WP:RSN. Which specific claims of Piotrowski do you dispute at present?-- Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus | talk  14:15, 18 October 2007 (UTC)
The first review you posted [3] stated, "most of the chapters are chock full of facts, tables, and long excerpts from other works and personal narratives. " A historian is trained to sort out the sources of historical information in order to determine which might be more or less credible, etc. A sociologist might not be. I don't know which of Piotrowski's statements are realistic and which are not. I do not suggest that he is dishonest or incompetant. I do not put him in the category of a propogandist such as Poliszczuk or the Siemaszkos. But in this case he is working in a field that is not his (even if there are some overlaps). When it comes to sensitive or possibly inflammatory information such that involving these tragic events, it is important to be extra careful to choose the best sources. To make an analogy, he is like a chemist writing a book on biology, on a theme he is personally interested in. Let's stick with biologists or perhaps elements of that chemist's biology book that deal excusively with chemistry. Let's limit citations from Piotrowski to those involving the sociodemographic aspects of the population groups involved, and such elements of the massacres rather than historical events.Faustian 15:24, 18 October 2007 (UTC)
That's an interesting argument. But are there any specific quotes / facts from his source we are discussing? On average, I'd treat him as an academic expert. Do note that the propagandists you note are in theory 'professional historians' - so we should not treat 'historian' as better than 'sociologist' by default.-- Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus | talk  21:11, 18 October 2007 (UTC)
There have been some very pertinent books and studies done recnetly in Ukraine primarilly by Serhiychuk at Kyiv University. I have a couple of his books and remember reading one about this particular topic. I will try to borrow the book and go throught the information. I have Serhiychuk's book on the Vistula Action and also his book on the resettlement of Poles in Ukraine, but the book specifically dealing with Volyn I don't have.
It may be of value to include a section on the deportation of Poles from Ukraine in 1944, as this graeatly influences the population numbers. I also notice that the link to the children with the barbed wire hasn't been removed from the article despite having been shown by Polish researchers to have not been the actof UPA but the children of a Gypsy who had murdered her own children in 1926. It may be of value to document such exagerations and incorrect information so that they do not exacerbate and are not promulgated. Bandurist 15:45, 18 October 2007 (UTC)
Bandurist, your suggestions are good, but I think both the question of 2 UPA's and deportations of Poles are good, but we should concentrate on the massacres, as the article is about them. Same with population of Volhynia - information is necessary, but let us not go into particulars, as this is not about demographics. And this sentence "Despite the Russian population being only 3%, Orthodox churches were forced to hold services in Russian rather than in Ukrainian." I do not think it has anything to do with Polish government's oppression of Ukrainians, it would make no sense for Warsaw to insist on Russian language (unless you have some sources). As for photo - remove the link, I have read that these kids are Gypsies. Tymek 17:26, 18 October 2007 (UTC)
I agree with what you say, but some info is needed. When dealing with a conflict it is easy to point the finger and say - he did it. Often what comes before the act is a raising of termpers by both sides until it erupts in something unthinkable. Regarding the Russianess of the Orthodox church in Volhyn, this was a continuation of Roman Dmowski's Russocentric thinking and leanings. Bandurist 20:14, 18 October 2007 (UTC)
I've looked through Piotrowski's book online and am not impressed. For example, Piotrowski quotes at length from Sol Littman (biography here: [4] who is not a reliable source: [5] [6]. The newspaper articles were put on the internet by a disgustingly anti-semitic organization, but they are nevertheless real, and prove Littman's dishonesty. In his book on the Ukrainian SS, Littman states on page 47, "the Soviet occupation of Western Ukraine was benign" and described "thousands" (rather than 100,000s) of deportees. Piotrowski's book also uses as a source the work of Edward Prus, a Polish nationalist whose work has been dismissed by Rafał Wnuk of the Polish Institute of National Remembrance and Timothy Snyder. See here: [7] where Wnuk writes "works that are of no scientific value. Their authors play freely with historical facts. They appeal mostly to the reader's emotions. Their use of sources and researchers' findings does not contribute to historical discoveries. Instead it is used to make their "true" version of events credible. It is often only politically involved publicism, not historical work. Edward Prus, Aleksander Korman, and Jacek E. Wilczur are followers of this trend. These are the kinds of works that sociologist Piotrowski uses when he writes about historical events. A historian might judge his sources better than does sociologist Piotrowski; perhaps we should stick to what historians say.Faustian (talk) 04:26, 24 November 2008 (UTC)

Ukrainian population of Volyn

M. Siwicki (Zapysky siroho Volyniaka - Lviv 1996 - p.39) states that the census of 1931 was falsified. The Polish census stated that of the 2,085,574 people living in Volhyn only 1,428,341 (68.9%) were Ukrainian.

Siwicki further states Hernyk Josewski (Wspomnienia "Zeszyty historyczne' Paryz, 1982 nr 60 s. 72) stated that the true population was made up of Ukrainains 80%. Poles 16%. Significant numbers of Jews lived in the cities. There were some Russians and Czechs and Germans.

Education was in a terrible state. Basically the reverse of the population. In the middle schools 344 (14%) Ukrainians to 2599 Poles. Of the 80 Ukrainians who qualified to get into Tertiary studies only 3 were accepted in 1938/9. (Siwicki p.40)

The 1931 census gives 3,762,500 Orthodox christians in Vohlyn - 69% Ukrainian, 29 % Belorusan, 2-3% Russian, Czechs and Poles.

In 1926 at a conference regarding the Ukrainian problem the Polish minister of religion and education Antoni Sujkowski stated that that Volyn was 80% Ukrainian. (Siwicki p.63) In 1926 the Polish Policy called the "Volyn program" was announced by Josewski for the state assimilation of Volyn. The "Sokalski" administrative border was set up to stop the dissemination of literature from the more educated Ukrainians in Halychyna to Volyn.

Skorowidz miejscowosc Rzeczpospolitej Polskiej wedlug spisu z 30.IX.1921 r. wojewodstwo Wolynskie gives for the whole of Volyn: Roman Catholics - 1,666,512 Orthodox - 1,066,842 Poles - 240,922 Rusyns - 983,596

Siwicki (p 182) questions where 74, 410 Poles had appeared who were not Roman Catholic. From the statistics published Siwicki states that the accuracy of the 1931 census is in doubt.

Serhiychuk (Deportatsiya Poliakiv z Ukrainy Kyiv, 1999) gives population make up according to the Russian census for 1914 as: 1. Kovel area - P(oles) 4.59%, R(ussian) 3.83%, Ukr. 78.49%, Germ 0.90%, Jews 11.48%, other 5.79% 2. Kremenetz P=3%, R=3.37%, Uk=82.72, Jews=12.23, other 0.68% 3. Lutsk - P=9.7%, R=5.19%, Uk-59.96%, G-12%, Jews=14.13% other 2.02 4.Ostroh - P=6.61%, R=3.48%, Ukr 76.68%, Ger=8.94%, Jews=10.80. Other 1.94% 5. Rivne - P=9.19%, R=3.48%, Ukr=72/09%, Ger=8.94%, Jews 15.97% other 1.94% 6. Volodymyr Volynsk - P=9.19%, R. 3.48%, Ukr 72.09%, Ger 8.94%, jews 15.97, other 1.94 7. Dubno - P=6.51%, R=4.46%, Ukr 68.22, Ger 3.54, Jews 11.48, other 5.79%

altogether: 1. Kovel area - 4,100 Poles 2. Kremenetz - 9800 Poles 3. Lutsk - 13,300 Poles 4. Ostroh - 15,500 Poles 5. Rivne - 19,600 Poles 6. Volodymyr Volynsk - 22,000 Poles 7. Dubno - 9,900

Altogether 76,500 Poles in Volhyn (Serhiychuk p 4.)

Bandurist 11:17, 18 October 2007 (UTC) 01:12, 18 October 2007 (UTC)


Reconciliation is a difficult topic to address, mainly because UPA (UIA) did not act on the orders of any Ukrainian government, and as a military formation has not been recognized by the current Ukrainain government. As a result officially there is nothing to apologise for as the current government of Ukraine has nothing directly to do with the actions. It is obviously sorry that such an act happened, but it was not responsible in any way. This should by all fairness be somehow mentioned in that section.

Keep in mind that there were 2 UPA's. The first was the Vohlynian organized by Taras Bulba-Borovetz and on the other side of the Sokalski border the Galician UPA which formed later and was under Bandera banner. Tey functioned and worked differently. Bandurist 11:17, 18 October 2007 (UTC)

Obviously, current Ukrainian govt has nothing to do with the massacres, like current Polish government has nothing to do with Action Vistula, just like German govt has nothing to do with Nazi crimes. Yet they apologized, same with Gorbachow apologizing for Katyn. Tymek 17:30, 18 October 2007 (UTC)
Your point I understand and support, however there is a slight difference. Action Vistula was a government action by the then Polish government, The Nazi war crimes were a government action by the then German government. The Katyn Massacre was a government action by the Soviet Communist government (which Gorbachov represented). These governments may have been totalitarian, however someone voted them in, (they didn't come into being with no support period) and the actions represent the direction and mentality of the then government. In this case, the UIA and the persons and groups responsible for these actions were not government sponsored organizations.

If you review for example the citizenship of the victims and the proponents you have another view. The Visla action was done by Poles to other Polish citizens of a different ethnicity. The Nazi crimes were done by a people agains other ethnicities and religions. The Katyn massacres were done to "allies", ie not to their own citizens, but to foreign soldiers and disarmed ones. All these actions were done from a situation of power against people with no course of defence. The Volhyn tragedy was done by Polish citizens (in this case of Ukrainian ethnicity) against Polish citizens (of Polish ethnicity) as a direct result and consequence of the Polish government policies implemented after 1926. Please excuse me if I am trying to split hairs here, but to me there is a significant difference.Bandurist 18:58, 18 October 2007 (UTC)

You are right, but how to solve this problem in the article? Perhaps you could write that Ukrainian govt does not feel responsible for the massacres (if it has been stated). Tymek 19:38, 18 October 2007 (UTC)
I don't want to interfere with the article. As it stands I feel I may have made people unhappy, however it should be noed that The UPA in Vohlyn and the UPA which was created in Galicia were different and ultimately would up fighting themselves at one time. There is the matter of Taras Bulba-Borovetz who was in charge of the Vohlyn UPA who emigrated to Canada and lived in Winnipeg and published his memoirs there. There is Dontsov who in his articles encited action rather than discussion who became a professor at Montreal University. There are so many significant links that have not been investigated or even mentioned. Then you have the fact that both UPAs have not been recognised by the Yushchenko government although attempts have been made to do so. On the one hand you have an Army that fought for the liberation of Ukraine which was Ukrainian speaking and made up of Ukrainians yet it is mired in such things. The Red army and other armieas are also "not 100% clean" because anything and verythng happens in war, however their reputation is established. In this case people are still doing the research. Bandurist 20:26, 18 October 2007 (UTC)
After some clashes, UPA-Volyn was forcibly absorbed into the OUN-dominated UPA of Galicia in I believe early 1943.Faustian 02:23, 19 October 2007 (UTC)

Incorrect quotation

On August 25, 1943, German occupational authorities ordered all Poles to leave villages and settlements and move to bigger towns. Yuryi Kirichuk wrote that the Germans were egging both sides on each other. Erich Koch once said: "We have to do everything possible so that a Pole, while meeting a Ukrainian, would be willing to kill him and conversely, a Ukrainian would be willing to kill a Pole". Also, Kirichuk quotes a German commissioner from Sarny who, when Poles complained about massacres, answered: "You want Sikorski, the Ukrainians want Bandura. Fight each other". [10].

I thing the quotation needs to be checked. A BAndura is a musical instrument. Maybe they want Bandera here? - However Bandera was virtually unknown in Volyn. Bulba-Borets was the leader there. Bandurist 19:57, 24 October 2007 (UTC)

I misspelled it, instead of Bandera I wrote Bandura. Sometimes it is not easy, when you have two little kids jumping on your head. Tymek 22:18, 4 November 2007 (UTC)

Oppression of Ukrainian minority in the Second Polish Republic

Even though this is an interesting subject, I think that too much attention was devoted to it in the article. This article is about Massacres, not about oppresion. Obviously, Oppression of Ukrainian minority in the Second Polish Republic should be mentioned, but not to such a large degree, together with state of the Orthodox Church in pre-1939 Poland, which has little to do with the subject. IMHO a separate article should be created, using information presented here and obviously linked with massacres. Therefore, I want to trim this section, and I am hoping that some Ukrainian editors will come up with an article about Oppression of Ukrainian minority in the Second Polish Republic. Waiting for opinions Tymek (talk) 17:40, 11 January 2008 (UTC)

I agree. A paragraph in a background section, rather than an entire section of its own, would be appropriate. The oppression of the Ukrainian minority is an important topic on this page as it provides a context for the massacres that followed. The fact that 100,000-300,000 colonists were settled there, schools were closed, churches closed, people were terrorized by youths, etc. should be noted. But this can certainly be trimmed down to a paragraph, and the more detailed information can serve as the basis for a seperate article (the topic certainly deserves its own article)Faustian (talk) 18:07, 11 January 2008 (UTC)
One day we will have a comprehensive minorities in Poland article. That said, I agree with you. Due weight, subarticles are good, and so on.--Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus| talk 00:05, 12 January 2008 (UTC)

Contradiction ? 300.000 Poles settled in Volhyn ? Soviets identified only 115.000 in whole Kresy region

The article takes claim by Ukrainian historian that up to 300.000 Poles were settled in Volhyn alone. The Osadnik article writes that Soviets identified only 115.000 as osadnicy and they included even people who bought the land themselfs.--Molobo (talk) 14:15, 15 January 2008 (UTC)

I was going by Subtelny, who stated that according to Ukrainian historians 300,000 Poles settled in Volhynia and Galicia while according to Polish sources the number for both regions combined was 100,000. The article does not state in Volhynia alone.Faustian (talk) 14:35, 15 January 2008 (UTC)
Well those two regions are different, its not clear how much were in Volhyn and how much in Galicia, also there was settlement in Belarus region which is missed. Also Soviet sources give 115.000 Poles as settlers in the whole Kresy region. Seems a big contradiction to what Subtelny claims.--Molobo (talk) 14:38, 15 January 2008 (UTC)
Subtelny doesn't claim anything, he only reports the two figures, 300,000 and 100,000, for both regions combined. If you have a source that includes the total for Volhynia specifically, then put it in. If you have a reference for the Soviet figure, by all means add it. More, and more specific, information is a good thing.Faustian (talk) 15:44, 15 January 2008 (UTC)
Two hundred thousand Poles were settled in Western Ukraine according to Ярослав Грицак in his "History of Ukraine, 1772-1999: Birth of a New Nation". --Lysytalk 18:15, 15 January 2008 (UTC)