Espreso. Global

Historians criticize Polish prosecutor's decision to label Operation Vistula as humane

4 December, 2023 Monday
16:12

Ukrainian historians say that the Polish prosecutor who closed the investigation and called the Vistula operation humane ignores the facts. They believe that his decision was provoked by political reasons

This was reported by the Center for the Study of the Liberation Movement, according to Espreso TV. 

Details regarding the decision of the Polish prosecutor

The prosecutor of the Polish Institute of National Remembrance has closed the investigation into the communist crime against humanity - the forced and unexpected deportation of 150,000 Ukrainians in the spring of 1947, known as the Vistula operation.

In particular, he claimed that the military operation was carried out humanely and had a preventive and protective nature.

"No actions were found that would cause public or private harm," the official statement said.

At the same time, the investigation also found no violations or abuse of power in the decision to order the mass eviction.

What do Ukrainian historians think?

The Center for Research on the Liberation Movement, a Ukrainian non-governmental research organization, a member of the European Platform of Memory and Conscience, analyzed the decision of the prosecutor of the Polish Institute of National Remembrance  and published a historical and legal position on it. 

"The decision of the prosecutor contradicts not only the facts and documentary sources that have been made public for many years on both the Polish and Ukrainian sides, the previously expressed position of scholars, presidents and parliaments of Poland and Ukraine, but even the position of the Institute of National Remembrance itself," the statement reads. 

Ukrainian historians emphasize that the evidence clearly indicates that the Vistula operation was coercive, concerned the displacement of population groups on a national basis from areas in which they were legally residing at the time, and was carried out in the absence of grounds permitted by international law. That is, it was a deportation or forced displacement of the population.

"Tortures were used against the persons placed in the Jaworzno concentration camp, and the prohibition to return under the threat of repeated deportation or concentration camp was the persecution of an identifiable group for national reasons in connection with the deportation and forced displacement of this group. All of this, according to international law, is a crime against humanity," explains lawyer and historian Serhiy Ryabenko, a representative of Ukraine in the international project International Justice for the Communist Crimes of the Platform of European Memory and Conscience.

The prosecutor de facto recognized the existence of an internal armed conflict in Poland between the government and organized structures of the Ukrainian underground.

The published document analyzes the arguments of the prosecutor and claims that the prosecutor de facto recognized the existence of an internal armed conflict in Poland between the government and organized structures of the Ukrainian underground, which had all the signs of combatants. Therefore, the decision-making on the displacement of civilians for reasons related to such a conflict, in the absence of urgent wartime needs (as it was in 1947), had signs of a war crime under international law.

"The attempt of the prosecutor to "justify" the actions of the communist Polish authorities against the citizens of the latter is not much different from the attempts of Russian propagandists to "justify" the repressions of the Soviet totalitarian regime, especially the mass deportations of entire population groups, including Crimean Tatars and Poles," the Center for Research on the Liberation Movement states.

The prosecutor's conclusions have little to do with conducting a comprehensive, objective and independent investigation, but are rather caused by political reasons.

Over a hundred Polish historians, intellectuals, public and cultural figures call the prosecutor's decision scandalous and demand a response from the highest authorities

At the same time, over a hundred Polish historians, intellectuals, public and cultural figures published an open letter to the leadership of both chambers of the Polish Parliament in which they protested and condemned the decision of the Institute of National Remembrance to terminate the investigation into the recognition of the Vistula operation as a crime.

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