Abstract

In another review of The Second Polish–Ukrainian War, 1942–1947 by Volodymyr V'iatrovych, the Polish historian Andrzej Ziȩba dismisses V'iatrovych's conclusions about the nature of the Ukrainian–Polish conflict during World War II and criticizes his conceptual approaches. Ziȩba ad­dresses in detail V'iatrovych's highly selective treatment of other historians' works and his manipulation of primary sources. In particular, V'iatrovych rejects oral history as a legitimate source of historical analysis, even though only this category of sources can shed light on the experiences of the Polish civilian population that fell victim to the political ambitions of Ukrainian nationalists. Instead, V'iatrovych puts unreserved trust in sources produced by the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists (OUN) and the Ukrainian In­surgent Army (UPA). This approach allows the discourse to switch from the issue of responsibility for horrifying mass violence to the abstract level of a "war" between two political entities, Poland and Ukraine (which V'iatrovych effectively equates with the Bandera wing of the OUN). As a result, Ziȩba maintains, the book under review amounts to little more than a reproduc­tion of the perpetrators' perspective on the genocidal act and represents an escape from historical realities into the realm of nationalizing myths. The Second Polish–Ukrainian War, in Ziȩba's opinion, also demonstrates how little progress has been achieved in Ukrainian historiographical reflection on the genocide of the Polish population since the time of World War II, while the book's enthusiastic reception in Ukraine indicates that the denial of Ukrainian responsibility, however historically unsustainable, is still a highly popular approach, especially in Western Ukraine.

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Additional Information

ISSN
2164-9731
Print ISSN
2166-4072
Pages
pp. 403-421
Launched on MUSE
2012-06-06
Open Access
No
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