The main goal of the project is to commemorate the victims and to extract from the "pits of oblivion" the names of people who most often did not even have a proper burial place, and to establish their personal details and the total number of the murdered. We verify the data on the basis of available scholarly works, court files as well as archival and photographic documentation scattered throughout various archives, libraries, museums and private collections. We also hope to find new, unknown to the researchers, witness accounts.
Works on the project were initiated in February 2019 by employees of the branch Archives of the Institute of National Remembrance in Gdańsk, Lublin and Warsaw, substantively supported by Leon Popek, Ph.D., Deputy Director of the Office for Commemorating the Struggle and Martyrdom. In July 2020, a new section “Victims Database” was added to the website zbrodniawolynska.pl. The first batch of over 17,000 records pertaining to individuals and families as well as facts about the crime, mainly from the pre-war Volhynia province, was made available.
Currently, there are over 28,000 records available on-line, assigned to nearly 3,000 crime scenes. It is worth noting, however, that work on the project is in progress, and the data is being updated and verified on an ongoing basis.
An integral part of the project is the “Map of the Crime Sites” committed by Ukrainian nationalists against the population of the Polish Borderlands. This is yet another section on the website devoted to the Volhynia massacre. So far, over 2,000 crime sites have been located and linked to the Database. Like the Database, the map will also be systematically expanded and supplemented.
The project is of an open character. Some information may be incomplete and may require further archival queries. In the coming years, we plan to regularly update the Database and introduce new information. We do not limit ourselves only to Polish population. Among the victims of the Ukrainian nationalist groups "cleansing Ukraine of a foreign element" were also citizens of the Second Republic of Poland of Jewish, Czech, Hungarian, German, and Russian descent as well as some Ukrainians critical of the genocidal ideology or those rescuing their neighbors or relatives.
A press conference on the Volhynia Massacre Victims Datbase took place on 8 July 2019 at 12.00 a.m. at the “History Point” Janusz Kurtyka Educational Centre, 21/25 Marszałkowska Str. in Warsaw. The conference was attended by, among others, the President of the Institute of National Remembrance Jarosław Szarek, Ph.D., Ewa Siemaszko, Leon Popek, Ph.D., and the Director of the IPN Lublin Branch Marcin Krzysztofik.
We invite you to watch our online broadcast on YT channel: IPNtv, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hiOTsUJRKJI
The Victims Database is available on the www.zbrodniawolynska.pl website from 8 July 2020.