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Massacre of Polish Soldiers at Winniza in WW2?


Ozi Dan 26 | 569
22 May 2013  #1
Hi all,

I've been reading some really old American Army documents regarding the Soviets. There was mention of Polish soldiers shot at Winniza by the Soviets, with Polish Officers saying that the Poles were dressed up as someone else after the murders.

I can really find nothing about this online, with the closest finding relating to Vinnitsia and a terrible massacre of Ukrainians by the Soviets. Matters referring to Winniza were in languages I couldn't understand.

Can anyone shed any light? Has anyone been to Winniza?
Chris R 1 | 34
22 May 2013  #2
Yes, I have been there. In Polish it is Vinnica and in German Winniza. In Ukrainian the name is Ві́нниця, but the transliteration from Cyrillic varies: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vinnytsia

What I know from being there is that there is still a sizable Polish minority there. It is deep into the krajina, but there remains a Polish church holding services in Polish with prominent lettering in Polish on the front of the church, and also a statue to Pope John Paul II in front. Clearly, Polish culture remains there. My guess is that there was some ethnic conflict against Poles, and then there was a cover up, i.e., needing to dress them in another uniform to cover the crime, and then referring to them as Ukrainians. Again, that is just a guess from what I know about the town, and the larger Polish-Ukrainian ethnic conflicts further West, etc.

I hope that helps.

Chris
OP Ozi Dan 26 | 569
23 May 2013  #3
I hope that helps.

Thanks Chris.

The document reported on the Soviets taking Polish Priests to a mass grave, and showing purportedly Russian soldiers who had been murdered by the Germans. Polish Officers reported that the dead were actually their colleagues, dressed up in someone else's uniform.

I'll try and dig up the document. It was on the net.
Sczur - | 28
20 Nov 2015  #4
Can't blame the Germans I wonder who else they did not kill
Chris R 1 | 34
23 Nov 2015  #5
Just to add that, as noted by Kate Brown in her excellent work about the Kresy "A Biography Of No Place", before the war the language on the street in Vinnica was Polish, not Ukrainian. She does note that many peasants in the region spoke a mixed Polish-Ukrainian dialect, were Catholic, and self-identified as Polish, claiming to be descended from the szlachta. Contrary to communist era claims of ethnic hostility, she notes good relations between Poles and Ukrainians in the region, noting that the peasants had marched to the Polish border to demand a Polish invasion to free them of communism. Of course, after Stalin starting to deport them to Siberia and Kazakhstan for simply singing Polish songs, people in Western Ukraine learned to declaim and deny Polish roots. She noted that the region had a rich variety of languages, ethnic groups, and religions which the various successive governments were constantly attempting to pigeonhole into categories which the people didn't quite fit. Brown was able to learn this from the Soviet archives. Most of Brown's archival research came from that, since the Soviets destroyed archives in Lwów after the war. Considering Brown's work and the intentional destruction of the archives, it is reasonable to assume that the same diversity existed in rural Galicia. Many Western and Polish communist era historians were simply content to place people into categories which Brown rejects, i.e., all speakers of a Ruthenian language dialect were ethnic Ukrainians etc. People with friends and family who came from the region know a different history.


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