History 24/01/20 “Massacre in Zavadka Morokhovsky”: the poles took revenge on Ukrainians in Volhynia

the Centuries-old feud between poles and Ukrainians reached its apogee during the Second world war. * UPA made a real genocide of the Polish population, perpetrate in 1943 Volyn massacre. The army said no less brutal stock.


the beginning of the Second world war, the oppression of the Ukrainian population on the Eastern outskirts of Poland has become widespread. Polish authorities have massively closed the Orthodox and the Uniate Church, created lists of banned books and printed publications in the Ukrainian language, as well as to engage seriously in the question of the elimination of Ukrainian schools in Galicia. The Minister of education of Poland Stanislaw Grabski categorically stated that the Ukrainian nation does not exist – all these inventions of the Communists, which they distribute propaganda purpose. For 25 years the Polish government had intended to permanently close the “Ukrainian problem”.

In September 1939, the Soviet Union, under the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, invaded the Polish territory, dominated by Ukrainian population. Soviet troops managed to reduce the degree of confrontation between the two Nations. Moreover, support by the Soviet authorities of the Ukrainian people inspired them to acts of revenge on the poles for many years of humiliation.

After the German invasion in the USSR the question of the Polish-Ukrainian demarcation emerged with new force. Although in 1942, the representatives of the Polish and Ukrainian underground tried to negotiate about the fate of Western Ukraine to an agreement they never came. Ukrainians wanted independence, the poles could at best give them autonomy. In addition, it is unknown, how would you react on these agreements most of the population.

in the Spring of 1943 came the storm. Volyn regional branch of the OUN adopted the decision on the expulsion of the poles from their lands. The deportation took on the character of a realthis genocide. Combat units of the OUN attacked more than 150 settlements, where compact groups lived Polish. The victims of the Volyn massacre began at least 30 thousand poles. Given the terror, hosted by Ukrainian nationalists in other regions, these figures can be increased to 100 thousand. Witnesses say about the unprecedented atrocities of the OUN, who spared neither old men, nor children, nor pregnant women, using the most horrific methods of killing.

the leadership of the OUN and UPA justified the killings of poles, presenting it as the answer to the excesses perpetrated by the Polish government of Ukrainians in the Lublin province and in Chelm. The poles did not remain in debt: since the end of summer 1943, the frequent raids of the home Army in Ukrainian villages, many of which were wiped from the face of the earth. In the spring of 1944 retaliation resumed. According to various estimates, during this time Eastern Poland was killed between 15 and 20 thousand Ukrainians. The largest share of the home Army began an attack on the village Sagrini March 10, 1944, where poles killed about 800 Ukrainian peasants. But the worst was yet to come.

a Terrible revenge

on 9 September 1944 the Polish Committee of national liberation signed with the government of the USSR an agreement on the evacuation of Ukrainian population from Poland and Polish citizens from the territory of Ukraine. Forced resettlement of Ukrainians did not like the members of the UPA, which has obstructed the work of the Commission for resettlement, devastated former Ukrainian village, designed for Polish citizens, entered clashes with Polish soldiers, destroying bridges and overpasses.

the Subversion of members of the UPA did not stop after the end of the war. The suppression of Ukrainian nationalists was abandoned by the troops of the Polish people’s army. 25 January 1946, when there was completed the process of population exchange, 120 Polish soldiers entered the Zavadka Morokhovsky is a village in the Podkarpackie Voivodeship to flush out the remnants of the UPA. However, what took placelo, this day has become one of the most feared counter-insurgency operations in the history of the Polish-Ukrainian confrontation.

Not finding in the village of the armed forces, the poles began to cut the civilian population. Killed everyone who came across under a hand. As one of the survivors, the people began to flee into the forest or hide in attics and cellars, but the soldiers as a rule were found and all were immediately killed. According to the Polish soldier who participated in the massacre, “among us there were those who enjoyed the carnage”.

Later, the soldiers of the UPA, which has taken captive Polish soldiers found out that the attack was a part of the 2nd battalion of the 34th regiment of the 8th infantry division Polish people’s army under the command of Colonel Stanislav Pluto. Information about if in the hands of the Ukrainian rebels, the poles-punitive, no.

One of the victims of the attack, Katerina Tomas, had arrived to inform the soldiers of the UPA that the executioners were not only soldiers, but civilians. Fighter of the home Army, Stephen Dembsky, confirmed that the military are actively involved in its operations of the Polish peasants. He writes that the Polish retaliation, by its nature, was close to the Ukrainian with the only difference that the officers of the home Army chose the village, “dominated by Polish population, because it was easier to kill Ukrainians”.


According to various estimates, 25 Jan zawadka Morokhovsky were killed from 64 to 78 of the Ukrainians. Polish chasteners have three times visited this village on 25 January, 28 March and 13 April 1946. For the last time in an act of intimidation they shot a group of 11 men and burned all the remaining houses in the village.

30 APR surviving inhabitants of Zavadka Morokhovsky was ordered to go to the territory of the Soviet Union: troops of the Polish people’s army surrounded the village and drove all the inhabitants to the railway station Zagorz. There were only a few dozen people. On this day, the village of Zavadka Morokhovsky ceased to exist, it was only a cemetery and TSthe Church.

in addition to the Ukrainians under the hot hand Polish soldiers and their compatriots, the inhabitants of Zavadka Morokhovsky. The surviving pole Andrzej Merida told me that the Punisher killed his wife and four children. Is the administrator of the commune responded with a apology, adding that the Polish army did so because they did not know what the origin of the aggrieved family.

the attack on the Zavadka Morokhovsky was the last major punitive action poles. The new government of Poland together with the Soviet army strongly suppressed further attempts of violence. May 6, 1947, the leaders of Poland and the Soviet Union reported the completion of the process of population exchange. In just three years on the territory of the USSR with the Polish lands were resettled, about 480 thousand Ukrainians in Poland from the territory of Ukraine moved more than 800 thousand poles.

of Course the process of resettlement of so many people not gone smoothly, many families were expelled forcibly. However, every effort was made to clear out from under the feet of the nationalist Polish and Ukrainian soil on which it flourished ethnic hatred and revenge. Deportations have prevented an even larger number of casualties that would inevitably arise in the cohabitation of Ukrainians and poles.

as for the tragic events in Zavadka Morokhovsky about them for a long time remembered. Only in 1986 in one of the Parisian journals published a letter from Jerzy Bilas, who lost his entire family. This gave impetus to new publications on the topic. In 1997 the Commission was established, which was engaged in restoration of memory of victims in Zavadka Morokhovsky winter-spring 1946. On the site of the destroyed village at the initiative of the Commission erected a monument with the names of 73 victims. Every year with the participation of Ukrainian and Polish public organizations there held a memorial event.

* – an organization banned in Russia.

Taras Repin

© Russian Seven

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