by Tadeusz Andrzej Olszanski

as published in "Lemkivshchyna" vol. XVII, No. 3-4, 1995, and vol. XVIII, No. 1, 1996.

Reprinted with permission from The Ukrainian Quarterly, vol. 2 (Summer) 1"91.
This paper was delivered at a symposium entitled: "The Lithuanians, Byeloruthenians, Ukrainians and Poles; the attempts of a reconciliation", organized by Duszpasterstwo Srodowisk Tworczych (Spiritual Care of the Creative Circles), at the Church of the Jesuit Fathers, in the city of Lodz, Poland, October 27 1987.

In 1997, 50 years will pass since the massive resettlement of the Ukrainian population within the borders of Poland, generally known as "Operation Wisla" (Operation Vistula). The operation intended not only to terminate the military activities of the Ukrainian partisans, but also to liquidate the existence of the Ukrainian national minority in Poland. However, the majority of Polish society possesses almost no real knowledge of the developments. The whole matter was drastically falsified. The stereotype conviction in this matter should be related to the well-known book by Gerhard "Luny w Bieszczadach" (The Blazing Fires in the Bieszczady Hills). The book, in a 500 copy-publication, related in a stereotype way the developments of the liberation of eastern regions of the present-day Poland. From behind the Rivers San and Bug there arrived then the decimated "bands" of the hostile Ukrainian Insurgent Army (the UPA), defeated by the Soviet-Russian armies, who on a rather unknown for them territory began the mass murder of the Polish population and militia men, avoiding, however, any encounters with the Polish military. After a prolonged time of fighting, in which at times the UPA scored some successes in tactical operations, in March 1947, during an incidental encounter. Gen. W. Swierczewski was killed by the UPA detachment. This caused the carrying out by the Polish military of a large-scale resettlement project of the Ukrainian population from the southeastern regions of the Polish state.
In that stereotype presentation almost everything is a lie, which will be broadly discussed below. It is a decidedly chauvinistic picture, in which the heroic and knightly Polish soldier is presented in opposition to the degenerated butcher, fanatic but cowardly Nazi collaborator, bandid-banderovets, Ukrainian insurgent. (The combination "bandid" and "Banderovets" was definitely not an incidental propaganda gimmick). The prevailing majority of authors, in spite of some insincere negation mentioned from time to time by some of them, identified "bandid" with the whole Ukrainian nation. On the other hand, however, there remains an undeniable fact, that most of those authors would certainly not like to mention "Operation Wisla" in the whole perspective at all. For example, the mentioned Gerhard gave to the Operation only 20 pages out of 590 pages in his book, while at the same time the said analysis strikes the reader by its generalities and colorlessness of the background of the whole of his Blazing Fires (Luny). At the same time, those authors of the popular rather than of the scholarly or popularly scholarly works - repeat with little conviction the phraseology of the difficult, painful or forced decision to resettle the Ukrainians. Only Gen. I. Blum dared to admit that: "There were in the history of every nation some developments, which could not be fully justified, if the plain criteria of the absolute and abstract humanism would be applied, which, however, fully deserve total understanding and positive justification of history. To such developments one must include the resettlement of the Ukrainian population in Poland in 1947."1 Yet, one cannot agree with the later part of his disclosure. Nevertheless, one must appreciate the weight of his statement as coming from the mouth of a Communist.
In the literature pertaining to this subject matter one can meet in addition to the lies and distortions also the out-right stupidities. For example, S. Rzepski in the book "Szlakiem 32 budziszynskiego pulku piechoty" wrote, that in 1946 in the region of Podgorze Dynowskie (Pidhiria Dynovske) the detachments (kureni) of Zalizniak, Yahoda and Chaban were operating with their force of 2,000, 2,500, and 1,500 people, being equipped with field cannons, light armored cars, trucks and motorcycles.2 In reality, however, in this very area the detachment of Baida operated, while Zalizniak was in the Lubachiv area with no more than 700 insurgents. Yahoda operated in the Hrubeshiv region with no more than 300 people. At the same time the historical sources don't even mention Chaban as a leader of any UPA detachment. In addition in J. Gerhard's article "Dalsze szczegoly walk z UPA i WIN", which later became the very source of a great many false and outright stupid assertions, one can read that, in the Spring of 1946, the soldiers (Polish ones, -ed.) often saw "on the tops of the hills, particularly in the Halych region" gallows, built by the UPA. In fact, however, the town of Halych is not visible from the area of Ustrzyki Gorne, as Gerhard maintained, not even mentioning the villages cited farther west, while at the same time the Polish military detachments scarcely made any raids so far east at all.3 The idea of the gallows was throughout irrational. It was in reality much easier and much more useful to hang people in the middle of the villages, where they could be seen and remembered by all. The gallows were apparently Gerhard's fabrication. In order to underscore the really comical aspect of some of those publications, let me mention a picture in the publication "W walce o utrwalenie wladzy ludowej, 1944-1947", according to which the Ukrainian Insurgent Army supposedly demolished the precinct of the MO in the Ukrainian town Wareze by using the V-2 rocket.4
The source of the said stereotype approach must be placed in the propagandist thesis about the strictly ethnographic, Polish-Ukrainian territorial division from 1944; a supposedly just division according to which there were no Ukrainians anymore in the newly designed Polish state. Perhaps there were some Lemko and Boiko people; the mountain people of an indefinite ethnographic identity, but not Ukrainians. The thesis was fortified by the anti-Ukrainian phobia and horrible recollections of the years of the occupation of Volyn and Eastern Galicia. It was connected with the assumption, desire and actually the conviction, not only of the Communist regime, but by the vast majority of Polish society, that in the rebuilt "Piast" Poland there was no national minority. The resettlement projects were undertaken not only to remove the Germans and Ukrainians, but the Lithuanians and Byeloruthenians, as well. The attitude of the Polish people with the perspective to co-exist in one state with the Ukrainians was then extremely negative. And one could scarcely wonder, since in the course of the years this conviction became well established, that the said ethnical division between the Polish and the Ukrainian ethnical territories was taken care of for good and the problem of a national minority in Poland was terminated once and for all.
The logical consequence of that kind of assumption was the firm conviction that the UPA detachments must have come to Poland from Ukraine. There was for the Poles no other explanation for their presence west of the Rivers Sian and Buh. It was very interesting that this assumption was accepted independently of the awareness of the very fact that hundreds of thousands of Ukrainians were forcibly resettled from Poland to the USSR. It is more evident that there exist many assumptions which develop quite independently from the real facts. As far as the UPA detachments were concerned, it is true that in the summer 1944 many of them appeared on the territories of eastern Poland. However, most of those went to their homeland in the east, while in Poland there remained the local detachments, formed by the Ukrainians living on the territories incorporated by Poland.
The assumption of an exact borderline between the ethnographic Polish and Ukrainian territories favored also the falsifications and misrepresentations in the over-all problem of the terror measures applied against the civilian population. Most authors ignored the fact of the Polish terror used against the Ukrainian population, while at the same time they were writing about the UPA terror, applied against the Poles until 1944, suggesting that its scale could have been compared with the tragedies in Volyn and Galicia in the earlier years (during the German occupation, -ed.). Whenever, however, any examples were quoted related to the said operation in the vast majority of them, a few or up to twenty people were killed in a given situation. The most publicized "crime" of the UPA soldiers at that time, the so-called massacre in Bilhorod which took 42 lives from a beforehand prepared list, took place still at the time of the moving front lines, when the area was still a "no man's land". Other much publicized massacres in Bieszczady, in the villages of Podkalishche, Seredne and others, took place during the German occupation. From among the authors in Poland who referred to the Polish terrorism against the Ukrainian population only A. Szczesniak and W. Szota mentioned in their monograph "Droga do Nikad" (The Way to Nowhere) the attacks on Piskorovytsi, Pavlokoma and Verkhovyna, as well as, W. Nowacki in his essay "Organization and activity of the Interior Military in August 1944 - May 1945" in the work "About the Struggles against the Armed Underground 1944-1947". The latter simply elaborated on the cruelties of the Polish military (and not only of the Interior Military WW) by the application of collective responsibility. He also related that during the said period of the military activities the punitive operations were directed against the village population and not against the Ukrainian insurgents. Furthermore, he also related about the Soviet NKVD military units in the campaign against the Ukrainian underground in Poland. Nowacki pointed out that in the said time period in the Riashiv (Rzeszow) district: "There were about 1000 people, UPA insurgents and civilian villagers, killed in the battles and retreats. The number is rather high and it reflected the forms of the carried-out operations. Polish losses amounted to 18 killed". The numbers as quoted seem to be understated. It must be underscored here that the number of killed Ukrainians referred only to those killed by the government units.
The anti-Ukrainian terror reached its very heights in 1945. In March of that year the Interior Military (Wojska Wewnetrzne) murdered about 540 people in Stary Lublinets; in April - 400 people in Goraj (according to Nowacki). In March the peasant self-defense in cooperation with some forest detachment murdered about 300 Ukrainians in Pawlokoma, while in Piskorovychi - a detachment of the NSZ slaughtered some 400 Ukrainians, readied for resettlement.6 Another detachment of the NSZ attacked the village of Verkhovyna in June of 1945 and murdered some 200 people, including 65 children. There were numerous cases of murdering Ukrainian Catholic and Ukrainian Orthodox priests, together usually with their families. In this way some 30 priests perished. In the neighborhood of Majdan Sieniawski it happened that a Polish military detachment or a band murdered a Roman Catholic priest, a Pole, who condemned those murders committed upon the Ukrainians. According to the UBP, from March to June 1945, the Polish underground and other detachments killed over 1500 Ukrainians.7
The list of murders, massacres, disregards of military laws could be continued indefinitely, while we are going to mention only two more instances. The first case is the destruction of the Ukrainian hospital in Kruhlytsia, in the Spring of 1947. The official version stated that the fire inside the garrison was a response on the Polish demand to surrender. The Polish troops attempted to force the garrison to get out by signal rockets, which caused the explosion of the explosive materials in the hospital. However annotation of Capt. Turski in "Polska Zbrojna" asserted that the rockets caused a blazing fire inside, which the Polish sappers tried to cause by throwing the explosives.8 Similarly, H. Dominiczek in the "Wojska Ochrony Pogranicz 1945-8", pointed out that not only the signal rockets but even grenades were thorn into the hospital bunker. There, 25 people were killed, including two physicians, a Ukrainian and a German one, and 10 injured. It is interesting that Dominiczek wrote about 15 killed without mentioning any injured at all. Another episode, which like many others cannot be found at all in the respective literature on the subject matter, was the massacre in Terka, where on July 9, 1946, the Polish military murdered by grenades around 30 Ukrainians locked up in one of the village huts as hostages. From among all those shameful cases only the case of Verkhovyna has been referred to, while at the same time not mentioning at all that all the victims were of the Ukrainian nationality. It was mentioned only that the village population was pro-Communist, which was, of course, true.
The Ukrainian Insurgent Army was, as it has been commonly referred to, not simply the "bandits". It was not even a loose conglomeration of guerrilla detachments. It was a military formation, centrally commanded and carrying out the orders and directives of a political leadership. It does not mean, however, that there was no Ukrainian, as well as Polish, robber gangs. Each war brings with itself social degradation; enables easy traffic of arms, and facilitates the growth of banditry. In 1945, when any countryside region, not only on the ethical border line between the Ukrainian and Polish national territories, was not effectively protected by any government administration, a temptation arose for many unethical elements to take advantage of this convenient situation and to enrich themselves by banditry and thievery, or to revenge themselves for all kinds of neighborhood or family unsettled quarrels. The strifes were not always nationally or ethnically motivated. Apparently it will never be known how many of those murders, killings and arsonist fires were really politically motivated. Analogically, the resettlement of the Ukrainian population from the territories allotted to Poland to the Soviet Union produced most advantageous opportunities for robbery and thievery, at times organized under the smoke-screen of village self-defense. There is here no reason to assume that only the Poles were robbing and stealing the properties of the resettled Ukrainians. Once one is considering these times, one must assume that not all crimes, with the exception of mass murders, had national or political backgrounds. Many of them were definitely common criminal acts.
Evaluating objectively the situation of the Ukrainian Insurgent Army, the UPA, at the beginning of 1947, one can scarcely agree with the overall picture drawn by Szczesniak and Szota, namely; that it was an exhausted and demoralized partisan force, for the annihilation of which it was absolutely necessary to mobilize the ten or fifteen times stronger Polish military power, and including in this process also the resettlement of the Ukrainian civilian population from the regions of the UPA operations. Without ever referring to the contradictory nature of the statements, the process of carrying out "Operation Wisla" proved beyond any doubts that the UPA forces which, of course, were substantially weakened, were, however, still strong-going and perfectly capable to fight with its adversary, while the level of its assumed "demoralization" (obviously in the military and in the common sense) was not high at all. If things would have been different, then the UPA detachments, facing a colossal superiority of the Polish armed forces and its enormous losses, would not have been able to reach the Ivano-Frankivsk, Olshtyn and Bavarian regions in Germany. The UPA commander Hromenko was able to successfully lead to Bavaria 40 insurgents, out of about 90 which were in his detachments in April 1947.
Above all, however, the argument that supposedly it was necessary to evacuate and resettle the Ukrainian civilian population in order to successfully combat the UPA forces, cannot withstand any objective criticism. The operation of a total blockade of the terrain, by occupying all villages and settlements and by the parallel combined of all forests, and by the simultaneous quartering of the military in those woods, was quite possible without the forced evacuation and resettlement of the civilian population. To the contrary, it would have been easier with the population there from the point of steady pipelines. Such an operation was carried Out by the Soviet NKVD forces in the lvano-Frankivsk region in the Winter by 1945-46 with partial but decisive success, without having evacuated the population. "Operation Wisla" used these techniques, but already after the resettlement of the civilians and demolition of properties. As a matter of fact, the same Polish military command did not apply the resettlement technique in its fight against "Ogien", who also operated in the difficult mountainous areas and who was also supported by the local civilian population, perhaps, even to a greater extent, than the UPA detachments were.
Nevertheless, if even the evacuation of the civilian population was necessary from the tactical point of view from the combat areas (what the author would be inclined to accept in the region of the Bieszczady hills, west of Cisna, in between the River San and the Czechoslovakian borders), then military considerations did not justify a total resettlement of the Ukrainians to completely other territories, including their expropriation and disbursement. It was a strictly political decision and its motives were of a political nature, as well. The resettlement was related to the clearly intended tearing off of any neighborly and even family ties with the Ukrainians and liquidating any forms of Ukrainian national life on those territories. It was also connected with the informal expropriation of the Ukrainian population, since the government organs prohibited them to take with themselves any personal property as well. No compensation was either offered or paid. The whole process was then formally legalized by the government decree of July 27,1949, only with the right to be compensated by a small land allotment in the region of the new settlement. The truly concealed purpose of the operation was nothing else but the creation of the conditions for a quick and effective assimilation of the Ukrainians, at least on the surface, which was supposed to bring about a liquidation of "the Ukrainian question" in Poland once for all. In that kind of reasoning there was a fundamental mistake, committed by the chauvinists of all lands, which harbors the underestimation of internal power of each suppressed nation to be able to overcome the cruel attempts of the suppressor.
Szczesniak and Szota, like all other authors, completely ignored the very cause of the supposedly necessary operation against the UPA on such a grand scale. Yet, that amnesty almost completely pacified the Polish forests, where only a few of the most uncompromising Ukrainian insurgents remained. Also the Ukrainian population was exhausted by the prolonged war without any chance of being won and by the continuing terror around. At times even the Ukrainians were fed up with the insurgent operations. Hence, it can be assumed without any risk that an all-comprehensive amnesty would have caused a complete disintegration of the SKW (Village Auxiliary Detachments) with many Ukrainian partisans leaving the forests, their natural protection, particularly those partisans who were recently mobilized. It would have caused the shrinking of the UPA force, perhaps to less than 1000 people. It would have caused the diminishing support of the civilian population for the partisans. The village population would have counted on the military to protect it from now on from the impositions of the "forest people". The Polish government would have achieved that by one stroke of the pen. Yet, the regime did not want that at all. The real reason for the harsh decision must be sought in the non-Polish character of the Ukrainian Insurgent Army, the UPA. The "unification of all peoples" (pojednanie narodow) at that time was supposed to be limited to the Poles only, according to the government decision.
It was mentioned above, that it was necessary to completely liquidate the Ukrainian insurgent force; doubtlessly, it was a necessity. No government can tolerate on its territory a foreign military force which defies that government. More than that, which is openly hostile and undertakes armed operations against it. However, the situation cannot change the legal aspect of the government's attitude towards the citizens of the state. Furthermore, the affirmation of the necessity of the liquidation of the anti-government insurrection (not only of that of the UPA), does not justify any means or not applying the measures which would lead to the end in a more human way. Moreover, no matter to what an extent the carrying-out of "Operation Wisla" was a sovereign decision of the Polish government, or it was forced upon it by the at the time present all-over, Soviet-Russian "advisors", the Operation of the massive evacuation and resettlement and the application of the respective measures could not be justified under any circumstances. One cannot agree with Gen. Blum either, that the decision "deserves... positive justification of history".10 The evaluation of history cannot be immoral, even in one agrees that political measures must be of such nature at times.
The view that the decision to undertake "Operation Wisla" was influenced by the incidental, if it really was incidental, death of Gen. W. Swierczewski is also inexcusable. Whether his death was incidental or well planned is beyond the scope of this paper.11 Gerhard, mentioned before, wrote in his article quite clearly that the resettlement operation was considered, it means, also prepared, already in 1946, and he bitterly complained that the decision about "Operation Wisla" was made so late. He did not understand, however, that until the amnesty operation was completed, the government could not afford to gather adequate forces to combat the Ukrainian partisans and carry out the resettlement project. The same Gerhard, in his "Luny" connected the presence of Gen. Swierczewski in the Bieszczady area with the preparations for "Operation Wisla", by putting in the general's mouth quite clearly the communication that it was not to come. Similarly, the majority of serious authors, except Szczesniak and Szota, do not refer to the assassination of Gen. W. Swierczewski in the context of adopting the decision on "Operation Wisla", rather they connect it with the successful elections and the amnesty procedure. As far as the decision of the PKB (Panstwowy Komitet Bezpieczenstwa) or the Government Security Committee of April 17, 1947 was concerned, then it doubtlessly was not an adoption of a plan or project, but it was the final order which put the whole machine into motion. The intended date for the initiation of the Operation confirmed the assumption. "Operation Wisla" began to take effect eleven days after the said final order.

According to Szczesniak's and Szota's estimate some 20,000 strong military and police forces were sent against some 1,800 Ukrainian guerrilla fighters, and a few hundred people of the self-defense, the SKW, who really took part in the fighting, while the majority of the population passively accepted the resettlement process. According to the Ukrainian authors, however, the Polish government dispatched against the UPA more than a 20,000 person armed force. Szczesniak and Szota nota bene allowed themselves a flagrant manipulation of figures, since by adding up the numbers of individual UPA detachments, kureni, and units, boivky.., of the SB, Sluzhba Bezpeky, security service, this amounted to some 1,800 people. A little later, the said authors, without giving any proof raised the figures to 2,500 of UPA soldiers and about 3,000 people of the self-defense formations, kushchi. Summarizing the whole picture, it can be logically concluded that the Polish armed forces were approximately ten times larger than that of the Ukrainian insurgents, and not, like the Polish authors prefer to state, that the former had only three-times larger numerical superiority. It was a tremendous Polish superiority. During the time "Operation Wisla" was developing in stages, the Polish side had a numerical superiority over the UPA detachments at up to more than twenty-times the number of people (not even mentioning the vast superiority in war material and supplies). It was the combat superiority which was necessary, according to Szczesniak and Szota, for the Polish government to liquidate the Ukrainian guerrilla force. Of course, it was not the Polish armed superiority in each combat encounter with the partisans; this could not be achieved due to the territorial environment. Nevertheless a certain part of the UPA force succeeded escaping from the encirclement.
As it was mentioned above, only an insignificant portion of the Ukrainian self-defense, the SKW, withdrew to the forests during the resettlement operation. Only then, in the region of the town of Volodava, Volodia's detachment was formed, while the relatively small partisan unit of Smyrnyi, stationed steadily in Slovakia, increased to some 60 people. As far as the latter was concerned, it was surrounded by many obscurities and lies. Originally, Smyrnyi's unit was the protection of the communication line, connecting the country's command of the UPA in East-em Galicia with the Ukrainian Supreme Liberation Council, the UHVR, at that time already the émigré Ukrainian political center. That detachment, in order not to aggravate its relations with the Czechoslovakian Republic, looked for supplies through the requisitions in the western regions of the Lemko land, at that time already under Polish domination. Then, after the resettlement operation was completed, Smyrnyi was able to form a larger UPA unit from the Lemko people, escaping to Slovakia in order to avoid the forced resettlement. 12 Although in the Ryashiv region the escape from the forced evacuation was practically impossible, then in the Lublin region, where the resettlement operation was started a little later, certain parts of the Ukrainian population ran away and hid with some personal properties deep in the forests, where there was no guerrilla fighting, particularly in the old camps of the Polish Insurgent Army, the AK, in the Solsky pushcha (virgin forests). After "Operation Wisla" and the fighting were over, the refugees returned to their, often consumed by fire, homes and then for many years they pretended to be Polish.
The military operations against the Ukrainian Insurgent Army were regularly preceded by the evacuation of the local population. In the Bieszczady areas even the Polish population was evacuated, and it was concentrated in Zavadka Morokhovska, Mokre, Shchavne and Kulashne. This approach was later adopted in Vietnam, using the terminology of strategic villages, wioski strategiczne. The Poles were then quickly allowed to return to their original homes. At times even some Ukrainians were exempted from the resettlement, when they were employed by railroad, in the care of the forest, in the mines. as well as those living in the Peremyshl and Yaroslav regions. 13 In the western Lemko regions this also happened, particularly in the mixed Polish-Ukrainian families, with the respect of the Red Army veterans, and some others. Although the directives on these resettlement demanded a complete resettlement, vet such individual eases of exemptions were decided by the commanders of the military and the local officials of the Office of the Public Safety, the UBP.
The directives of the resettlement foresaw providing each family under the program with one railroad freight car. Yet, from the very beginning the norm was: two families per one freight car. It came out this way because of the false estimate of the number of Ukrainians living in Poland; there were 150,000 Ukrainians there, instead of the 80,000 as estimated by mistake. Hence, not enough freight cars were provided for the resettlement project. The 'normative" transport was supposed to consist of 40 freight cars (with roofs) and 10 platforms, which were supposed to carry 300 settlers or 80 families of 3 to 4 people, 120 heads of cattle and 30 carts, according to E. Ginalski and E. Wysokinski. 14 It was, therefore, assumed that more than one-half of the resettled had to leave only with hand-carried luggage. Yet, almost all of them were soil-tilling peasants. Actually, more people and freight were loaded on the trains. The first 40 transports brought to the Olsztyn region 4260 families, with over 100 families per freight train. From the Bieszczady county 34,026 people or approximately 10,000 families were resettled, who took with themselves 3,242 horses, 6,796 cows, 7,174 sheep and goats, 1,353 pigs, 2,978 carts, and 1,789 plows, according to H. Jadam. 15 Hence, only one-third of the resettled families possessed a cart; every fifth one had a plow; a little more than one-half -- a cow. If one would only assume that many a family might not have possessed any horses and carts already before the resettlement operation (they must have lost them during the war, which, of course, is a normal thing to happen). The dramatic disproportions in possessions must also be a result of the rough methods applied during the resettlement procedure. It is a well known fact from the relations of the resettled, that the peasants were forced to leave the village in the course of two or three hours with the load of luggage taken being limited to 25 kg. per person. It was the case particularly in the mountains, where the Polish military did not feel safe at all, and where the resettled were first loaded on the trucks, which were unable to take large loads and cattle. Moreover, the frequent requisitions first of all of horses and carts during the combat operations, would, with all the other factors added, give a completely sad picture of the situation. It is also a well-known fact that during the unloading of the transports in the Olsztyn region, 8 families or about 30 persons were put on one truck. These people must have been literally stripped to their skin of everything.
In the course of "Operation Wisla" there was very little in the press about it and there was no propaganda campaign about it. A little was said about the battles with the UPA and about the arrivals of the resettled from the Ryashiv region or even central Poland. The very theme of the day was then the so-called bitwa o handel, the trade battle. At first after 1956, the propaganda campaign stressed the topic of the battles against the Ukrainian Insurgent Army and presented "Operation Wisla" as the revenge for the assassination of Gen. W. Swierczewski and an expression of a just anger of the Polish nation. To what extent that development was connected with taking over the leadership of the PZPR 16 by the chauvinistic ideological faction, which with time gained the name of "endokomuny", cannot be ascertained at this point. It seems that the question requires a more thorough research, in order to unveil the connection between the politics of propaganda towards the national minorities in Poland (except towards the Jews, which does represent a quite separate problem) and the internal power struggle within the Central Committee of the PZPR. The research would shed a great deal of light on the said question.
The results of "Operation Wisla" were horrifying. Both, the direct one which could not be avoided. The liquidation of UPA could have been less bloody though not without shedding any blood, of course. Also, the indirect one, which brought about 150,000 exiles, and the tearing of ties of the Ukrainian community in Poland. Although to some extent their life was rebuilt, yet it never reached the old forms or the old status. The forty years of normal evolution did it. The Ukrainians in Poland became a dispersed Diaspora without the support of what is most important: an immediate close motherland, the family countryside. They lost as well the all-comprehensive fatherland, since the Ukrainian SSR would do nothing for them at all. The Ukrainians in Poland continue to live neither as immigrants nor exiles, and rather timidly, although recently they dared, though suspiciously, to uncover their existence amid the Polish ethnic element. The painful injury of the by-gone years is still very much alive, while the senseless but intended anti-Ukrainian propaganda steadily proves and facilitates the suspicion toward Poland and the Poles.
One cannot make the government of Poland solely responsible. "Operation Wisla", one link in the long chain of violent acts of two nations, the Polish and the Ukrainian one, was completely ignored and not protested against by the Polish side; it was silently and generally accepted by the Polish ethnic element. Then, later on, the Polish people treated the Ukrainians living among them as a necessary evil, with hostility and contempt. The Poles did not want to have Ukrainians among themselves; they wanted to believe that the Ukrainians are the people of murderers, of the haidamaks, and others like that. 17 Of course, not all Poles were like that, but their large majority represented the whole nation at large. The Poles should be contrite. 18

1. Ignacy Blum, "Udzial wojska poskiego w walce o utrwalenie wladzy ludowe w Polsce - Walki z UPA", Wojskowy Przeglad Historyczny, 1959, No, 1.
2. Warsaw, 1959.
3. Warsaw, 1967, pos. 129.
4. Loc. cit.
5. W. Nowacki, "Organizacja i dzialania Wojsk Wewnetrznych, sierpien 1944-maj 1945", Z walk przeciwko zbrojnemu podziemju 1944-47, Warsaw, 1966.
6. The UBP - Urzad Bezpieczenstwa Publicznego (The Office of Public Satety).
7. The NSZ - Narodowe Sity Zbrojne (The People's Armed Forces).
8. Polska Zbrojna, Apri1 21, 1947.
9. Ogien, a leader of the Polish partisans.
10. Loc. cit.
11. M. Kravchuk, Zycia akord ostatni, by T. Plaskowski, Warsaw, 1972, pp. 232, a review in The Ukrainian Quarterly, New York, Fall-Winter, 1987, pp, 246-247.
12. The Polish official and chauvinistic circles attempted to deny that the Lemko people have been Ukrainians.
13. The ethnically Ukrainian regions, however, have been left under the Polish government authority until the present.
14. F. Ginalski J F. Wisokinski, Dziewiata Drezdenska, Warsaw, 1984.
15. H. Jadam, Pionierska spolecznosc w Bieszczadach, Rzeszow (Ryashiv), 1976.
16. The PZPR Polska Zjednoczona Partia Robotnicza (The Polish United Workers' Party) - the Polish Communist Party.
17. The Haidamaks - the anti-Polish, Ukrainian insurgents in the 17th century.
18. The footnotes were completed and rearranged by the editor. The above article represents a few sober Polish voices on the Polish-Ukrainian relations in the recent past.

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