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80th anniversary of the Volhynia massacre. “They murdered 25 people from my family”

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July 11 marks the 80th anniversary of the Volhynia massacre. This is one of the most dramatic pages of Polish history. We cannot forget about it, we must honor the memory of the victims and demand historical truth – also from our allies. Poles were premeditated and murdered on a massive scale in today’s Ukraine.

Mieczysław Rucki is 97 years old and witnessed the massacre in Volhynia. When he was 17, Ukrainian nationalists attacked his village in the pre-war borderlands of Poland. – It was murder. They hacked people with axes. They murdered 25 people from my family. It’s really hard – recalls Mr. Mieczysław.

July 11, 1943 went down in history as “Bloody Sunday” – it was the culmination of the Volhynia massacre. Between 1942 and 1945, in Volhynia and Eastern Galicia, Ukrainian nationalists murdered about 100,000 Poles. In reprisal, several thousand Ukrainians died at Polish hands.

80 years after those events, ceremonies commemorating the victims were organized in many Polish cities. The chairman of the Ukrainian Supreme Council participated in the central ones in Warsaw. This is a unique celebration, because it takes place in the shadow of Russian aggression against Ukraine.

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– Our Ukrainian neighbors and allies today certainly understand, they understand better, how important it is for us to find every place – Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said during the celebrations.

Different interpretations of the crime

For a month, Polish and Ukrainian archaeologists have been looking for a mass grave in the place of the non-existent Polish village of Puźniki in western Ukraine. Previously, such research was blocked by the Ukrainian authorities. – I hope that it will open the way to further works and, consequently, commemorations. We have experienced a breakthrough – emphasizes Maciej Dancewicz from the Freedom and Democracy Foundation.

On Sunday, Presidents Andrzej Duda and Volodymyr Zelensky paid tribute to the victims in the Lutsk Cathedral. However, Volhynia still divides – also Polish and Ukrainian historians who argue about the scale of the crime and its nature.

– From the first to the last robbery, it was organized, planned. The leadership of the OUN-B and the UPA decided to remove and depolonize the gigantic area where one and a half million Poles lived – points out prof. Grzegorz Motyka from the Institute of Political Studies of the Polish Academy of Sciences.

Andrzej Duda and Volodymyr Zelensky paid tribute to the victims of the Volhynia massacreTVN facts

Ukrainian scientists interpret these events differently. – Mutual hatred during the Second World War led to a conflict that I believe can be called a war. Two underground armies took part in it: the Ukrainian Insurgent Army and the Home Army – believes Volodymyr Viatrovych, Ukrainian historian, former president of the Institute of National Remembrance of Ukraine.

Twenty years ago, the then presidents of Poland and Ukraine took part in the joint celebration of the anniversary of the Volhynia massacre for the first time. However, there is still no consent to full openness and exhumation of the victims.

Main photo source: TVN facts

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