The celebration of National Day of Remembrance of Victims of Genocide perpetrated by Ukrainian nationalists on the citizens of the Second Republic of Poland started with a holy mass to the victims of the Volhynia massacre in the Field Cathedral of the Polish Army in Warsaw. Veterans, families of the murdered, representatives of the authorities prayed for the murdered in the south-eastern provinces of the Second Polish Republic in 1942-47, as well as for the soldiers of the 27 Volhynian Infantry Division of the Home Army.
At noon a ceremony of laying wreaths and bouquets of flowers at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, with the participation of Prof. Krzysztof Szwagrzyk, Deputy President of the Institute of National Remembrance, took place.
The ceremony ended with the roll call of the fallen, prayer and laying flowers at the monument to the Victims of Genocide carried out by Ukrainian nationalists on citizens of the Second Republic of Poland in the south-eastern voivodships in 1942-1947 and at the monument of the 27 Volhynian Infantry Division of the Home Army at the Volhynia Square.
We invited people who survived the genocide and their families, former soldiers of the 27th Volhynian Infantry Division of the Home Army, presidents of the largest veteran organizations and representatives of state authorities and clergy. The Institute of National Remembrance was represented by the Deputy President, Prof. Krzysztof Szwagrzyk, and the Director of the Office for Commemorating the Struggle and Martyrdom, Adam Siwek.
The celebrations were organized by the Institute of National Remembrance together with the Office for War Veterans and Victims of Oppression, the Żoliborz District of the Capital City of Warsaw, the Association of Commemoration of the Victims of Crimes of Ukrainian Nationalists and the Board of the Volhynia Region of the World Association of Home Army Soldiers.
The Institute of National Remembrance has paid tribute to the victims of the Volhynia massacre in many places in Poland.
The National Day of Remembrance of Victims of Genocide perpetrated by Ukrainian nationalists on the citizens of the Second Republic of Poland was established by virtue of the resolution of the Sejm of the Republic of Poland of 22 July 2016.
The National Day of Remembrance is intended to commemorate the victims of the Volhynia Massacre and other murders carried out on citizens of the Second Polish Republic by Ukrainian nationalists during World War II. 11 July marks the anniversary of the so-called bloody Sunday of 1943, which was the culmination of the mass extermination of the Polish civilian population in Volhynia by the OUN, UPA, supported by the local Ukrainian population.
On Sunday 11 July 1943, the UPA detachments carried out a coordinated attack on 99 Polish villages, mainly in the Kowel, Włodzimierz Wołyński and Horochów counties. This was the climax of the murders carried out from February 1943 to the spring of 1945. Researchers estimate that on that day alone approximately 8,000 Poles - mainly women, children and the elderly could have been killed. The perpetrators used bullets, axes, pitchforks, knives, and other weapons. Many Poles were killed in churches during mass and services.
The crime, qualified by the Institute of National Remembrance as genocide, was carried out by Ukrainian nationalists from the OUN-B and the UPA on the Polish population of Volhynia, Eastern Galicia, as well as parts of the Lublin region, Podkarpacie and Polesie. It is estimated that as a result, in the years 1943-1945 about 100,000 Poles were murdered.