On September 1st Poland presented A REPORT ON THE LOSSES SUFFERED BY POLAND AS A RESULT OF GERMAN AGGRESSION AND OCCUPATION DURING WORLD WAR II, 1939-1945. The Report consists of three volumes: Volume A - A collection of studies; Volume B - Photographic documentary; Volume C - List of atrocity sites. The download will start automatically.

Sunday, July 11, 2021

The 78th anniversary of the Volhynia Massacre

On Sunday, July 11, 1943, the UPA detachments carried out a coordinated attack on 99 Polish villages, mainly in the Kowel, Włodzimierz Wołyński, and Horochów counties. 

Researchers estimate that approximately 8,000 Poles - mainly women, children, and the elderly have been killed on that day alone.

It was a well-planned operation. Attackers murdered everyone, regardless of age and gender (it was said that all Poles had to be killed up to the seventh generation back). Some Poles managed to escape the slaughter and hide in larger cities, but they fell into the hands of the Germans. Some villages organized defense against UPA militia, but the Ukrainian troops were much better armed and outnumbered the defenders.

Each attack began with the surroundings of the village. In the front row marched Ukrainians dressed in German and Soviet uniforms, followed by the local Ukrainian population, including women, armed with sticks, knives, axes, and pitchforks. Attackers armed with firearms constituted about 40% of the group. In some cases, the attacks were carried out only by the local population, with the help of only a few representatives of the UPA. According to various witnesses, the Germans were sometimes present during the attacks on Polish villages, and more than once, they were in charge. 

Germans knew about the extermination of the Polish population in these areas. Still, they did nothing to stop it.

Some Ukrainians risked their own lives to save Poles. Many Ukrainians who were suspected of collaborating and supporting Poles also died.

July 11 was the climax of the murders carried out from February 1943 to the spring of 1945. Researchers estimate that approximately 8,000 Poles - mainly women, children, and the elderly have been killed on that day alone. Many Poles were killed in churches during mass and services.

The crime, qualified as genocide, was carried out by Ukrainian nationalists from the OUN-B and the UPA on the Polish population of Volhynia, Eastern Galicia, parts of the Lublin region, Podkarpacie, and Polesie. It is estimated that as a result, in the years 1943-1945, about 100,000 Poles were murdered. Some historians claim that the number could be 150,000 to 200,000.