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Ukraine Furious Over Poland Refusing to Glorify Nazi Collaborators

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Ukraine Furious Over Poland Refusing to Glorify Nazi Collaborators

Ukrainian rally in support of the Nazis, organized by Iosafat Kotsylovskyi, circa July 1941. Click to see full-size image

On November 28th, the local authorities of the Polish city of Przemysl decided to rename a street named after “traitor of Poland” Iosafat Kotsylovskyi.

They explained the decision with the fact that the Ukrainian Greek Catholic bishop was a known Nazi collaborator during the Second World War.

The Ukrainian Embassy in Warsaw, in addition to the Mayor of Lviv immediately reacted, calling for the street’s name to be returned, because despite being a Nazi collaborator, Kotsylovskyi was a hero of the Independence.

Even during the discussion in the city council of Przemysl, representatives of the Union of Ukrainians in Poland and the local Greek Catholic Church categorically opposed the renaming of Kotsylovskyi Street. And after the decision was made, the Ukrainian Embassy in Warsaw joined the protests.

On its Facebook page, the diplomatic mission called the decision “hasty” and “reckless,” and accused the Polish deputies of “manipulating arguments taken out of context” and “reluctance to listen to Polish citizens of Ukrainian nationality”.

It turns out that the classic Ukrainian excuse was used when anybody is accused of being a Nazi or a Nazi supporter – things were taken out of context and they were simply “misunderstood.”

The mayor of Lviv, Andrei Sadovoy, addressed an open letter to the President of Przemysl Wojciech Bakun, in which he demanded that the street be restored to its former name. According to the mayor, renaming it will harm partnerships between cities. Lviv and Przemysl are twin cities, but apparently not in their glorification of Nazism.

He called the decision of the Polish deputies “outrageous for the Ukrainian community of Przemysl and the entire Ukrainian people” and “a vile attempt on the memory of Blessed Iosofat Kotsylovskyi,” which was “a symbol of resistance against the misanthropic ideology of Bolshevism.”

Lviv mayor was supported by various Ukrainian activists.

The head of the Kholmshchyna partnership in Lviv, Irina Grin, actually threatened the Poles with demolishing the monument to Adam Mickiewicz.

“I don’t think it would be nice for the Poles to hear that we are dismantling the monument to Mickiewicz,” she said. Because a famous poet who lived in the 19th century can be compared to a Nazi collaborator.

The Kremlin was also accused of playing a part in this scandal. Ivan Matkovsky, a researcher from the Sheptytsky brothers’s heritage, called the deputies who voted for this decision “pro-Russian forces.”

The deputies of the Lviv Regional Council also spoke in the same spirit.

In their statement, they wrote that the initiators of the renaming were “well known for their anti-Ukrainian and pro-Russian position and appearances in the Russian media.” These attacks in the text were directed against Polish deputies Andrzej Zapalowski and Miroslav Maykovsky. Also, Lviv deputies noted that the allegations of “collaboration of the blessed Iosophat Kotsylovskyi with the Nazis” have no logical basis.

Ukraine Furious Over Poland Refusing to Glorify Nazi Collaborators

Iosafat Kotsilovskyi with Nazi officers. Click to see full-size image

Later, unofficial information appeared in the Polish media that the Ukrainian ambassador, Andrei Deshchitsa, was trying to influence the decision of the Przemysl authorities through one of the leading Polish politicians from the Civic Platform party.

In response, Polish deputies regarded the actions of the Ukrainian side as meddling in its internal affairs.

Deputy Miroslav Maikovsky said that the renaming aroused “the interest of foreign diplomats who are trying to put pressure on Polish parliamentarians.” Since this is “interference in Polish internal affairs,” he promised to file an official notice with the Internal Security Agency against the Ukrainian ambassador.

On Facebook he called the letter by Lviv’s Mayor the “the height of hypocrisy and arrogance”:

“The mayor, in whose city [Lviv] Polish tourists can see a monument to [Stepan] Bandera, a city where Polish children, who go to Polish school, must walk by the bust of the executioner Volyn Roman Shukhevych, <…> a city in which neo-Nazis and glorifiers regularly hold gatherings and marches , and there are gangsters from the UPA (Ukrainian Insurgent Army), has the audacity to send a letter to the President of Przemysl with demands, threatening to break the cooperation between Przemysl and Lviv?” he wrote.

Ukraine Furious Over Poland Refusing to Glorify Nazi Collaborators

Click to see full-size image

The right-wing publication Prawy.pl reacted quite sharply to the actions of Ukraine. An article by journalist Petr Stempen says that the Ukrainian state, despite financial dependence on Poland and unlimited support on its part, honors criminals.

Who is Iosafat Kotsylovskyi?

Kotsylovskyi Street appeared in Przemysl 6 years ago. Iosafat Kotsylovskyi (1876–1947) – priest of the Greek Catholic Church, Bishop of Przemysl. According to the Ukrainian historical narrative, an active supporter of the national independence of Ukrainians.

In 1946, he was sentenced to 10 years of labor in a camp (according to Ukrainian sources, “fell victim to the Soviet system”) and a year later died of pneumonia. In 2001, he was beatified as a martyr by Pope John Paul II.

However, Soviet sources say that Kotsylovskyi was convicted of having connections with the OUN underground (Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists), cooperation with German occupiers and the SS Galicia division.

Here are some excerpts of the “misunderstood” Kotsylovskyi from telegrams and articles he wrote.

Ukraine Furious Over Poland Refusing to Glorify Nazi Collaborators

Click to see full-size image

On July 7th, 1941, the bishop of the Przemysl diocese, Iosofat Kotsilovsky wrote in his pastoral letter: “Glory to the great Führer Adolf Hitler, the liberator and best friend of the Ukrainian people …”

He was also one of the organizers of the demonstration, which received a special mention in the Ukrainian newspaper Golos (July 20, 1941), which was published in Berlin. The article said:

“On July 7, a large-scale Ukrainian demonstration in honor of the Fuhrer and the invincible German army took place in Przemysl, liberated from Bolshevik adversity. At the end of the solemn service, performed by Bishop Iosafat, the Ukrainian public gathered around the rostrum decorated with German and Ukrainian flags. <…> Those present accepted the text of the telegram to the Führer with the following words:

With the deepest enthusiasm, the Ukrainian population of the princely city of Przemysl gives thanks to the Fuhrer of the German people and the victorious army for liberation from the Polish and Moscow yokes.

In this way, the Ukrainian people shall eternally be obligated and grateful to National Socialist Germany. In front of the shadows of hundreds of thousands of the best sons of the people, tortured by the Poles and the Moscow-Bolshevik hordes, <…> we swear the eternal union of weapons, fastened and blessed by the blood of a German soldier and Ukrainian rebels and men…”

On July 4th, 1943, Kotsylovskyi performed a divine service for SS men from the Galicia division. Here is how the newspaper Lvivsky Visti described what happened on July 10, 1943:

“Princely Przemysl went through an unusual holiday. In the morning, in spite of light rain, many people from the districts came here to take part in the preaching, hierarchal service of God, together with all the clergy, His Excellency Cyrus Iosafat, together with volunteers of the SS Galicia division, at the vast sports city stadium. Representatives of the German Armed Forces, the garrison of Przemysl, representatives of the authorities, the police, the Ukrainian Committee took part in the solemn service … “

Ukraine Furious Over Poland Refusing to Glorify Nazi Collaborators

Iosafat Kotsylovskyi performing his service for the SS Galicia. Click to see full-size image.

In 1944, when the fate of Nazi Germany was already a foregone conclusion, Kotsylovskyi urged Ukrainians to voluntarily go to work in Germany so that they would contribute to the victory of Nazism with their labor.

It is quite clear that Kotsylovskyi was simply misunderstood and there can be no question that he was, in fact, a “Nazi supporter” and any such claims are illogical, as Ukraine maintains.

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  • FlorianGeyer

    The cruelty toward Poles by the rabid Ukrainian Bandera killers of WW2 even exceeds that of ISIS today. Circa 100,000 polish civilians of all ages were murdered by the followers of Bandera. The violence was so great that the German Army was horrified by the wanton cruelty.

    https://polandin.com/38038997/poland-commemorates-victims-of-volhynia-massacre

    Stepan Bandera arrested by German forces.

    ” In the early months of World War II he cooperated with Nazi Germany, but when he declared a Ukrainian independent state, he was arrested in 1941 and later imprisoned in the Sachsenhausen concentration camp, where he spent over two years. In 1944, with Germany rapidly losing its supremacy in the war before the advancing Allies, Bandera was released ———”

    http://euromaidanpress.com/2017/02/12/from-cia-archives-stepan-banderas-1954-interview-to-german-radio/

    • Jens Holm

      Yes, its world known … But fragmentaric.

  • Assad must stay (gr8rambino)

    Is poland actually finally wisening up? Lol

    • Bob Starsky

      85% of Poles hate ukrainian nazis but the gov is usraeli puppet and they are told by usrael to support ukrainian nazis

      • Jens Holm

        The alternative is Communist puppies.

    • Jens Holm

      I dont think so. They try to find themselves in good and also bad and unneded ways. The same goes for several others there.

      EU try to punish some of them to calm down.

  • Jens Holm

    Much clean up is needed there too.

    It did not help Poles came from being no country to being too big and Russia as the only country lost WW1 three times.

    That among other things made extra contrasts making Ukrainiens having a very bad time for many many years.

    • AM Hants

      How did Russia lose WWI , three times, when they were too busy dealing with the Bolsheviks overthrowing the Russian Empire at the time, to notice WWI? Remember WW1ended in 1919, with the loss of the Ottoman and Austro-Hungarian Empires. The Bolshevik’s overthrew the Russian Empire in 1917.