Abstract

In his response to Per Rudling, Grzegorzg Motyka, Ihor Iliushyn and Andrzej Ziȩba, Volodymyr Viatrovych defends his interpretation of the Ukrainian–Polish conflict during World War II. He argues that negative criticism of his work lacks a sufficient documentary basis and reflects reviewers' misunderstanding of his work or even explicit distortions of particular aspects of it. He starts by outlining the motives that compelled him to write The Second Polish–Ukrainian War (the quantitative dispropor­tion of relevant historiographical output in Poland and Ukraine; the biased approach of the majority of Polish historians to the Ukrainian nationalist movement; and the availability of new sources that were inaccessible in the previous decades). After that, Viatrovych reiterates the major points of his book, stating that the conflict between Ukrainians and Poles in Volhynia and Galicia had an "ethnopolitical" nature; that this conflict was merely the last stage of prolonged Polish–Ukrainian antagonism, which had assumed different forms throughout its history; and that there is no evidence that the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists or the Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UPA) ever initiated a concerted campaign of anti-Polish ethnic cleansing. He believes that both parties in the conflict (the UPA and the Polish Armia Krajowa) committed crimes against civilians, and that, at least on the Ukrainian part, these crimes were unavoidable collateral damage caused by a military conflict. Viatrovych sums up by claiming that the ultimate cause of the mass murder of the Polish population during World War II was the national oppression of Ukrainians by the Poles.

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Additional Information

ISSN
2164-9731
Print ISSN
2166-4072
Pages
pp. 422-433
Launched on MUSE
2012-06-06
Open Access
No
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