The Volhynia Massacres, the mass murder of Poles by Ukrainian nationalists, took place in 1943. Ukrainian nationalists killed over 60,000 people, including women, children and the elderly. On ‘Volhynian Bloody Sunday’, the peak of massacres, they burned 99 Polish villages in Western Ukraine.
During the massacres, the Ukrainian nationalists chopped heads with axes, nailed people to trees, ripped out tongues, stabbed people in the eyes and cut babies from the womb. The massacres in Volhynia were led by Stepan Bandera, head of OUN (Organisation of Ukrainian Nationalists), and Roman Shukhevich, who oversaw the murders. They wanted to erase all non-Ukrainians from that part of the country. Ukrainians praised Stepan Bandera, named him a national hero and erected statues. In 2013 Poland determined the Massacre of Volhynia as genocide. At the time, the initiative was labelled anti-Ukrainian by the Ukrainian authorities. However, the leadership and some historians in Ukraine suggested the Volhynia Massacres were territorial disputes between peasants. Is history being rewritten?