I will not rest until the whole truth is revealed and every one of those cruelly murdered victims is commemorated, Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said on Wednesday in Warsaw at commemorations of the 1943-45 Volhynia Massacre of Poles by Ukrainian nationalists.
The observances set off with a mass at Warsaws military cathedral, followed by a wreath-laying ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. Attending the ceremonies besides Morawiecki were among others Deputy PM Piotr Gliński, Sejm (lower house) Speaker Marek Kuchciński, and Senate (upper house) Speaker Stanisław Karczewski.
In a letter to the 75th anniversary ceremony participants, President Andrzej Duda wrote that the Volhynia Massacre "shocked not only by the number of those killed, not only by its cruelty, but also by its planned methodology."
"There can be no justification for any of the initiators and perpetrators of this genocidal massacre. No such crime can be silenced or omitted, it should not remain without moral judgment and condemnation, which is why we observe the National Day of Remembrance of Victims of Genocide by Ukrainian nationalists against Poles during World War II," Duda wrote.
Recounting his Sunday visit to Ukraine, Duda said he visited the graves of Volhynia Massacre victims and the site of a former Polish village in the locality of Lutsk. "I was in Lutsk at the cemetery in Olyka and the site of the no-longer existing Polish village of Kolonia Pokuta to testify, on behalf of the Polish Republic and the whole Polish community, to testify about our memory of the murdered, to lay flowers on their nameless graves, in the place of their lives and martyrdom, and to pray together in their intention," Duda wrote, pointing out that the Volhynia Massacre was aimed at ethnic cleansing.
The Volhynia Massacre of Polish nationals in the pre-war eastern-Polish regions of Volhynia and Galicia started on July 11, 1943, when the Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UPA) attacked some 100 Polish villages. July 11 marks the massacres culmination throughout the Volhynia district in what became known as the Volhynia Bloody Sunday.
According to historians, around 100,000 Polish nationals were killed in the massacre, including 40,000-60,000 in Volhynia and 20,000-40,000 in Eastern Galicia, and at least 4,000 on the territory of todays Poland. According to Polands National Remembrance Institute, some 10,000-12,000 Ukrainians were murdered during Polish retaliatory operations by the spring of 1945. (PAP)