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Thread: The European Atrocity You Never Heard About

  1. #1

    Default The European Atrocity You Never Heard About

    The European Atrocity You Never Heard About

    June 14th, 2012Via: The Chronicle of Higher Education:
    What was different about the deportation of Loch and his fellow passengers, however, was that it took place by order of the United States and Britain as well as the Soviet Union, nearly two years after the declaration of peace.
    Between 1945 and 1950, Europe witnessed the largest episode of forced migration, and perhaps the single greatest movement of population, in human history. Between 12 million and 14 million German-speaking civilians—the overwhelming majority of whom were women, old people, and children under 16—were forcibly ejected from their places of birth in Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Romania, Yugoslavia, and what are today the western districts of Poland. As The New York Times noted in December 1945, the number of people the Allies proposed to transfer in just a few months was about the same as the total number of all the immigrants admitted to the United States since the beginning of the 20th century. They were deposited among the ruins of Allied-occupied Germany to fend for themselves as best they could. The number who died as a result of starvation, disease, beatings, or outright execution is unknown, but conservative estimates suggest that at least 500,000 people lost their lives in the course of the operation.
    Posted in Atrocities
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  2. #2

    Default I Wonderful Precedent

    Ed

    As I recall, although I can't find it, the Nuremberg trials specifically excluded all war crimes committed by non-Germans. That pretty much says it all.
    "We'll know our disinformation campaign is complete when everything the American public believes is false." --William J. Casey, D.C.I

    "We will lead every revolution against us." --Theodore Herzl

  3. #3

    Default

    Rubbish history.

    This is driven by exiled Germans attempting to get monetary reparations for their banishment from primarily Silesia in 1945-47.

    It ignores the geopolitical carve-up of Europe at Yalta, by the self-styled "Great Powers", represented by Roosevelt, Stalin and Churchill. What had been eastern Poland in 1939 was made part of the USSR. What had been eastern Germany in 1939 was made part of communist Poland.

    This was the realpolitick decision of Roosevelt, Stalin and Churchill.

    If Germans want reparations for the decisions of Yalta, then Poles should also get reparations for the crimes of Yalta.

    It it true that tens of millions were displaced. The majority were not Germans. In fact, at least as many Poles as Germans were displaced Who started and lost WW2? The Germans.

    If you want to talk about suppressed atrocities in Europe, try the Ukrainian and Nazi slaughter of men, women and children in eastern Poland from 1943 onwards.

    The UPA is the Ukrainian Insurgent Army. You can read more about the UPA here.

    On February 9, 1943, a UPA group commanded by Hryhory Perehyniak, pretending to be Soviet partisans assaulted the Paroślesettlement in Sarny county.[59][60][61] It is considered a prelude[62] to the massacres, and is recognized as the first[62] mass murder committed by the UPA in the area. Estimates of the number of victims range from 149[63] to 173.[64]

    In 1943 the massacres were organized westwards, starting in March in Kostopol and Sarny counties. In April they moved to the area of Krzemieniec, Rivne, Dubno and Lutsk.[65] Between late March and early April 1943, killing approximately 7,000 unarmed men, women, and children in its first days.[66]

    On the night of April 22–23, Ukrainian groups, commanded by Ivan Lytwynchuk (aka Dubovy), attacked the settlement of Janowa Dolina, killing 600 people and burning down the entire village.[67] Those few who survived were mostly people that found refuge with friendly Ukrainian families.[68][better source needed] In one of the massacres, in the village of Lipniki, almost the entire family of Miroslaw Hermaszewski (Poland's only astronaut) was murdered[69] along with about 180 inhabitants.[70] The attackers murdered the grandparents of composer Krzesimir Debski, whose parents met each other during the Ukrainian attack on Kisielin.[citation needed] Debski's parents survived, taking refuge with a friendly Ukrainian family.

    In another massacre, according to UPA reports, the Polish colonies of Kuty, in the Szumski region, and Nowa Nowica, in the Webski region, were liquidated for cooperation with the Gestapo and German authorities."[71] According to Polish sources, the Kuty self-defense unit managed to repel the UPA assault, though at least 53 Poles were murdered. The rest of the inhabitants decided to abandon the village and were escorted by the Germans who arrived at Kuty, alerted by the glow of fire and the sound of gunfire.[72] Maksym Skorupskyi, one of UPA commanders, wrote in his diary: Starting from our action on Kuty, day by day after sunset, the sky was batching in the glow of conflagration. Polish villages were burning.[72]

    By June 1943, the attacks had spread to the counties of Kowel, Włodzimierz Wołyński, and Horochów, and in August to Luboml county.[65] The decisive Soviet victory at Kursk acted as a stimulus for escalation of massacres in June and August 1943, when ethnic cleansing reached its peak.[45] In June 1943, Dmytro Klyachkivsky head-commander of the UPA-North made a general decision to exterminate Poles in Volhynia. His secret directive stated: "We should make a large action of the liquidation of the Polish element. As the German armies withdraw, we should take advantage of this convenient moment for liquidating the entire male population in the age from 16 up to 60 years. We cannot lose this fight, and it is necessary at all costs to weaken Polish forces. Villages and settlements lying next to the massive forests, should disappear from the face of the earth".[73]

    In mid-1943, after a wave of killings of Polish civilians, the Poles tried to initiate negotiations with the UPA. Two delegates of the Polish government in Exile and AK,[74] Zygmunt Rumel and Krzysztof Markiewicz attempted to negotiate with UPA leaders, but were captured and murdered on July 10, 1943, in the village of Kustycze.[75] Some sources claim they were tortured before the death.[76]

    The following day, July 11, 1943, is regarded as the bloodiest day of the massacres,[by whom?] with many reports of UPA units marching from village to village, killing Polish civilians.[77] On that day, UPA units surrounded and attacked Polish villages and settlements located in three counties – Kowel, Horochow, and Włodzimierz Wołyński. Events began at 3:00 am, leaving the Poles with little chance to escape. After the massacres, the Polish villages were burned to the ground. According to those few who survived, the action had been carefully prepared; a few days before the massacres there had been several meetings in Ukrainian villages, during which UPA members told the villagers that the slaughter of all Poles was necessary.[77] Within a few days an unspecified number of Polish villages were completely destroyed and their populations murdered. In the Polish village of Gurow, out of 480 inhabitants, only 70 survived; in the settlement of Orzeszyn, the UPA killed 306 out of 340 Poles; in the village of Sadowa out of 600 Polish inhabitants only 20 survived; in Zagaje out of 350 Poles only a few survived. In August 1943, the Polish village of Gaj (near Kovel) was burned and some 600 people massacred, in the village of Wola Ostrowiecka 529 people were killed, including 220 children under 14, and 438 people were killed, including 246 children, in Ostrowki. In September 1992 exhumations were carried out in these villages, confirming the number of dead.[77] Altogether, on July 11, 1943, the Ukrainians attacked 167 towns and villages.[78] This wave of massacres lasted 5 days, until July 16. The UPA continued the ethnic cleansing, particularly in rural areas, until most Poles had been deported, killed or expelled. These actions were conducted by many units, and were well-coordinated and thoroughly planned.[45]





    The mass grave discovered during the second exhumation in Wola Ostrowiecka (August 2011)[79]
    In August 1943 the UPA placed notices in every Polish village stating "in 48 hours leave beyond the Bug River or the San river- otherwise Death."[80] Ukrainian attackers limited their actions to villages and settlements, and did not strike towns or cities.

    Polish historian Władysław Filar, who witnessed the massacres, cites numerous statements made by Ukrainian officers when reporting their actions to the leaders of UPA-OUN. For example, in late September 1943, the commandant "Lysyi" wrote to the OUN headquarters: "On September 29, 1943, I carried out the action in the villages of Wola Ostrowiecka (see Massacre of Wola Ostrowiecka), and Ostrivky (see Massacre of Ostrowki). I have liquidated all Poles, starting from the youngest ones. Afterwards, all buildings were burned and all goods were confiscated".[81] On that day in Wola Ostrowiecka 529 Poles were murdered (including 220 children under 14), and in Ostrówki, the Ukrainians killed 438 persons (including 246 children).[82]

    [edit] Methods

    The atrocities were carried out indiscriminately and without restraint. The victims, regardless of their age or gender, were routinely tortured to death. Norman Davies in No Simple Victory gives a short, but shocking description of the massacres. He writes:


    Villages were torched. Roman Catholic priests were axed or crucified. Churches were burned with all their parishioners. Isolated farms were attacked by gangs carrying pitchforks and kitchen knives. Throats were cut. Pregnant women were bayoneted. Children were cut in two. Men were ambushed in the field and led away. The perpetrators could not determine the province's future. But at least they could determine that it would be a future without Poles.
    [83]

    Timothy Snyder describes the murders: "Ukrainian partisans burned homes, shot or forced back inside those who tried to flee, and used sickles and pitchforks to kill those they captured outside. In some cases, beheaded, crucified, dismembered, or disembowelled bodies were displayed, in order to encourage remaining Poles to flee".[84] A similar account has been presented by Niall Ferguson, who wrote: "Whole villages were wiped out, men beaten to death, women raped and mutilated, babies bayoneted."[85] Ukrainian historian Yuryi Kirichuk described the conflict as similar to medieval rebellions.[86]

    According to Polish historian Piotr Łossowski, the method used in most of the attacks was the same. At first, local Poles were assured that nothing would happen to them. Then, at dawn, a village was surrounded by armed members of the UPA, behind whom were peasants with axes, hammers, knives, and saws. All the Poles encountered were murdered; sometimes they were herded into one spot, to make it easier. After a massacre, all goods were looted, including clothes, grain, and furniture. The final part of an attack was setting fire to the village.[87] In many cases, victims were tortured and their bodies mutilated. All vestiges of Polish existence eradicated with even abandoned Polish settlements burned to the ground.[45]

    Even though it may be an exaggeration to say that the massacres enjoyed general support of the Ukrainians, it has been suggested that without wide support from local Ukrainians they would have been impossible.[2] Those Ukrainian peasants who took part in the massacres created their own units,[45] called Samoboronni Kushtchovi Viddily (Kushtchov Self-Defence Units). People who did not speak Polish but were considered Poles by the perpetrators were also murdered.[citation needed]

    Ukrainians in ethnically mixed settlements were offered material incentives to join in the slaughter of their neighbours, or warned by the UPA's security service (Sluzhba Bezbeky) to flee by night, while all remaining inhabitants were murdered at dawn. Many Ukrainians risked, and in some cases, lost their lives trying to shelter or warn Poles[84][88] - such activities were treated by the UPA as collaboration with the enemy and severely punished.[89] In 2007, the Polish Institute of National Remembrance (IPN) published a document Kresowa Ksiega Sprawiedliwych 1939 - 1945. O Ukraincach ratujacych Polakow poddanych eksterminacji przez OUN i UPA ("Eastern Borderland's Book of the Righteous. About Ukrainians saving Poles from extermination of OUN and UIA"). The author of the book, IPN's historian Romuald Niedzielko, documented 1341 cases in which Ukrainian civilians helped their Polish neighbors. For this, 384 Ukrainians were executed by the UIA.[90] In case of Polish-Ukrainian families, one common UPA instruction was to kill one's Polish spouse and children born of that marriage. People who refused to carry such order were often murdered together with their entire family.[34]

    [edit] Self-defence organizations

    The massacres prompted Poles, starting in April 1943, to organize self-defence organizations, 100 of which were formed in Volhynia in 1943. Sometimes these self-defence organization obtained arms from the Germans; other times the Germans confiscated their weapons and arrested the leaders. Many of these organizations could not withstand the pressure of the UPA and were destroyed. Only the largest self-defence organizations who were able to obtain help from the AK or from Soviet partisans were able to survive.[91]

    Polish self-defence organizations took part in revenge massacres of Ukrainian civilians starting in the summer of 1943, when Ukrainian villagers who had nothing to do with the massacres suffered at the hands of Polish partisan forces. Evidence includes a letter dated August 26, 1943 to local Polish self-defence where AK commander Kazimierz Bąbiński criticized the burning of neighboring Ukrainian villages, killing any Ukrainian that crosses their path, and robbing Ukrainians of their material possessions.[92] The total number of Ukrainian civilians murdered in Volyn in retaliatory acts by Poles is estimated at 2,000-3,000.[93]

    [edit] Death toll

    According to the Volhynian delegation to the Polish government, by October 1943 the number of Polish casualties exceeded 15,000 people.[94] Timothy Snyder estimates that in spring and summer 1943 the UPA actions resulted in deaths of 40,000 Polish civilians.[2]

    [edit] Eastern Galicia





    Primary Galicia on the map of contemporary Ukraine




    Tablet with names of Poles killed in Berezowica Mala, Eastern Lesser Poland, in present-day Ukraine




    Cross with tablets of the names of Poles killed in Huta Pieniacka, Eastern Lesser Poland, in present-day Ukraine




    Bullet marks on the tower of the Podkamień Abbey, stormed by UPA on 12 March 1944, Eastern Lesser Poland, in present-day Ukraine
    In late 1943 and early 1944, after most Poles of Volhynia had either been murdered or had fled the area, the conflict spread to the neighboring province of Galicia, where the majority of the population was still Ukrainian, but where the Polish presence was strong. Unlike in the case of Volhynia, where Polish villages were usually destroyed and their inhabitants murdered without warning, in east Galicia Poles were sometimes given the choice of fleeing or being killed (an order by an UPA commander in Galicia stated, "Once more I remind you: first call upon Poles to abandon their land and only later liquidate them, not the other way around"). This change in tactic, combined with better Polish self-defence and a demographic balance more favorable to Poles, resulted in a significantly lower death toll among Poles in Galicia than in Volhynia.[95] The methods used by Ukrainian nationalists in this area were the same, and consisted of killing all of the Polish residents of the villages, then pillaging the villages and burning them to the ground.[45] On February 28, 1944, in the village of Korosciatyn 135 Poles were murdered;[96] the victims were later counted by a local Roman Catholic priest, Rev. Mieczysław Kamiński.[97] Jan Zaleski (father of Fr. Tadeusz Isakowicz-Zaleski) who witnessed the massacre, wrote in his diary: "The slaughter lasted almost all night. We heard terrible cries, the roar of cattle burning alive, shooting. It seemed that Antichrist himself began his activity!"[98] Father Kamiński claimed that in Koropiec, where no Poles were actually murdered, a local Greek Catholic priest, in reference to mixed Polish-Ukrainian families, proclaimed from the pulpit: "Mother, you're suckling an enemy - strangle it." [99] Among the scores of Polish villages whose inhabitants were murdered and all buildings burned, there are such places as Berezowica near Zbaraz, Ihrowica near Ternopil, Plotych near Ternopil, Podkamien near Brody, Hanachiv and Hanachivka near Przemyslany.[100]

    Roman Shukhevych, the UPA commander, stated in his order from 25 February 1944: "In view of the success of the Soviet forces it is necessary to speed up the liquidation of the Poles, they must be totally wiped out, their villages burned... only the Polish population must be destroyed."[34]

    One of the most infamous massacres took place on February 28, 1944, in the Polish village of Huta Pieniacka, with over 1,000 inhabitants. The village served as a shelter for refugees including Polish Jews,[101] as well as a recuperation base for Polish and Communist partisans. One AK unit was active there. In the winter of 1944 a Soviet partisan unit numbering 1,000 was stationed in the village for two weeks.[101][102][102] Huta Pieniacka's villagers, although poor, organized a well-fortified and armed self-defense unit that fought off a Ukrainian and German reconnaissance attack on February 23, 1944.[103] Two soldiers of the 14th Waffen Grenadier Division of the SS Galicia (1st Ukrainian) Division of the Waffen-SS were killed and one wounded by the villagers. On February 28, elements of the Ukrainian Division from Brody returned with 500-600 men assisted by a group of civilian nationalists. The killing spree lasted all day. Kazimierz Wojciechowski, the commander of the Polish self-defense unit, was drenched with gasoline and burned alive at the main square. The village was utterly destroyed and all of its occupants killed.[102] The civilians, mostly women and children, were rounded up at a church, divided and locked in barns which were set on fire.[104] Estimates of casualties in the Huta Pieniacka massacre vary, and include 500 (Ukrainian archives),[105] over 1,000 (Tadeusz Piotrowski),[106] and 1,200 (Sol Littman).[107] According to IPN investigation, the crime was committed by the 4th battalion of the Ukrainian 14th SS Division[104] supported by UPA unit and local Ukrainian inhabitants.[108]

    A military journal of the Ukrainian 14th SS Galician Division condemned the killing of Poles. In a March 2, 1944 article directed to the Ukrainian youth, written by military leaders, Soviet partisans were blamed for the murders of Poles and Ukrainians, and the authors stated that "If God forbid, among those who committed such inhuman acts, a Ukrainian hand was found, it will be forever excluded from the Ukrainian national community."[101] Some historians deny the role of the Ukrainian 14th SS Galician Division in the killings, and attribute them entirely to German units, while others disagree.[101][verification needed] According to Yale historian Timothy Snyder, the Ukrainian 14th SS Galician Division's role in the ethnic cleansing of Poles from western Ukraine was marginal.[109]

    The village of Pidkamen near Brody was a shelter for Poles, who hid in the monastery of the Dominicans there. Some 2,000 persons, majority of them women and children, were living there when the monastery was attacked in mid-March 1944 by UPA units, which according to Polish Home Army accounts were cooperating with the Ukrainian SS. Over 250 Poles were killed.[101] In the nearby village of Palikrovy, 300 Poles were killed, 20 in Maliniska and 16 in Chernytsia. Armed Ukrainian groups destroyed the monastery, stealing all valuables. What remained is the painting of Mary of Pidkamen, which now is kept in Saint Wojciech church in Wrocław. According to Kirichuk, the first attacks on the Poles took place there in August 1943 and they were probably the work of UPA units from Volhynia. In return, Poles killed important Ukrainians, including the Ukrainian doctor Lastowiecky from Lviv and a popular football player from Przemyśl, Wowczyszyn.

    By the end of the summer, mass acts of terror aimed at Poles were taking place in Eastern Galicia with the purpose of forcing Poles to settle on the western bank of the San river, under the slogan "Poles behind the San". Snyder estimates that 25,000 Poles were killed in Galicia alone,[110] Motyka writes about 30,000-40,000 victims.[3]

    The slaughter did not stop after the Red Army entered the areas, with massacres taking place in 1945 in such places as Czerwonogrod (Ukrainian: Irkiv), where 60 Poles were murdered on February 2, 1945,[111][112] the day before their departure to the Recovered Territories.
    Source.
    "It means this War was never political at all, the politics was all theatre, all just to keep the people distracted...."
    "Proverbs for Paranoids 4: You hide, They seek."
    "They are in Love. Fuck the War."

    Gravity's Rainbow, Thomas Pynchon

    "Ccollanan Pachacamac ricuy auccacunac yahuarniy hichascancuta."
    The last words of the last Inka, Tupac Amaru, led to the gallows by men of god & dogs of war

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