Abstract

Grzegorz Motyka writes that the monograph The Second Polish–Ukrai­nian War by Volodymyr V'iatrovych has not fulfilled its promise of original and solid academic research but instead constitutes a biased attempt to rela­tivize and justify the mass murder of Polish civilians in Volhynia and Galicia, and atrocities committed by Ukrainian nationalists. In particular, Motyka points out V'iatrovych's selective use of primary and secondary sources, which are only discussed in the monograph in such a way that supports the author's predetermined thesis. Furthermore, the book consistently downplays the scale of the Ukrainian Insurgent Army's anti-Polish activities, leaving the reader with a false impression that the number of victims on both sides of the Ukrainian–Polish conflict was commensurate, while the conscious policy of mass murder adopted by the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists and implemented by the Ukrainian Insurgent Army is represented as a spontaneous outburst of Ukrainian peasant violence against Polish colonists. Contrary to such an approach, Motyka argues that the extermination of Polish civilians was a genocidal act on the part of Ukrainian nationalists. The fact that this operation took place during an armed Ukrainian–Polish conflict, he maintains, must not be understood in such a way as to portray tens of thousands Polish victims as unavoidable war casualties, the effect achieved by the book under review.

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Additional Information

ISSN
2164-9731
Print ISSN
2166-4072
Pages
pp. 387-402
Launched on MUSE
2012-06-06
Open Access
No
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