Genocide is a deliberate elimination of whole nations, ethnic, religious, and also racial groups of people by physical killings as well as by the control of births, compulsory removal of children and the creation of living conditions which will physically destroy these groups and
Genocide is not subject to specific rules and those who participate are answerable regardless of whether they are just private individuals, government officials or statesmen. Not only the acts of genocide are punishable but also those who incite to commit the crime. Punishment for such crimes is left to the courts of justice of individual countries as well as the International Courts of Justice if this particular country is a member of such a system.
When one reads the definition of genocide one has to question how is it possible when in spite of the fact that there are many examples in our contemporary history, so far there is no mention of the genocide committed on the Polish nation during the Second World War in Russia and also the Ukraine. All the actions against the Polish nation have definite characteristics of a planned destruction of our nation. The long term preparations for these criminal acts were intended as a guarantee for the perpetrators that the truth will never see the light of day and we have to agree that the plan continues to be realized. Equally both Russians and Ukrainians remain unpunished.
We don’t know those responsible for Katyn, Charkov, Tver, Ostashkov, Kozielsk as well as many gulags,deportations to Siberia and Kazakhstan, nobody has been punished for crimes committed in Volhynia,Podole and Stanislawow districts. So far not a single court of justice or a Tribunal acknowledged any Russian or Ukrainian crimes for the genocide. Nobody established the circumstances of these murders. Only now we are beginning to recognize the names of those who were murdered, perpetrators still remain not named. We were not taught about this at school, it was never discussed at meetings or gatherings, there was silence even in families. This was a "taboo" subject with a threat of heavy penalties.
Today Poland is a free and independent country but we still continue not to talk about these murders. Teachers don't mention the subject at school, our governments do not demand justice for the genocide.
It is difficult to accept the approach to this subject not only by the Ukrainians but also from Polish citizens. Our silence is taken advantage of by those who were the murderers of Polish people. In the Ukraine nearly every village and town has evidence of Polish victims but there is no mention that they died in battle. They want to burden us with their achievements by erecting monuments to their heroes and their fight to free Ukraine. Those perpetrators who are still alive continue to demand compensation and a generous pensions as well as another lot of medals to be pinned onto their chests.
We must not allow Poland to be blamed for the murders of Ukrainians, they in their personal defence, the defence of their family, their love of Poland, sometimes had to kill.
We must never forget about the people from the Eastern Border Lands. Let us not allow any more silence about these murders.
We must demand the recognition of murders of Poles as genocide and let us not forget about those who remained there forever, without a proper grave, a cross, a burning candle or visitors. Let’s us not allow history to distort facts. Only the truth can lead to harmony and forgiveness.
Iwona Kopańska - Konon
Ryszard Przewlocki Melbourne Australia