The Spark

the Voice of
The Communist League of Revolutionary Workers–Internationalist

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.”
— Karl Marx

Hiding the Bad History

Jul 23, 2023

This article is translated from the July 19 issue #2868 of Lutte Ouvrière (Workers’ Struggle), the newspaper of the revolutionary workers group of that name active in France.

On the same day that Ukrainian President Zelensky was received at the NATO summit in Lithuania, neighboring Poland was celebrating in grand style the 80th anniversary of a major event concerning Ukraine, which the Western media and leaders preferred to ignore.

And yet, as part of the price of Poland’s support for Ukraine’s NATO membership, Zelensky joined his Polish counterpart Duda in Lutsk Cathedral to commemorate the so-called Volhynia massacres.

Indeed, every year on July 11, Warsaw commemorates the massacres perpetrated between 1943 and 1945 by Ukrainian nationalists, auxiliaries of the German army, who claimed around 100,000 Polish victims in western Ukraine, where half a dozen nationalities lived side by side. Although less talked about, the same people also murdered twice as many Jews and tens of thousands of Russians and Communists.

Yet the pro-Western rulers installed in Kiev since 2014 praise these supporters of the country’s ethnic purity and have even crowned their leader and ideologue Stepan Bandera, who claimed to be a Nazi as early as 1939, a national hero.

A Polish daily, Rzeczpospolita, compared the massacres in Volhynia to a "giant Boutcha", in reference to the massacre of civilians perpetrated there by the Russian army in 2022, which the West describes as a crime against humanity. But Western governments and media are careful not to point out the bloody deeds of Bandera’s killers. And with good reason: this genocidal nationalist is the hero of a regime that is necessarily “respectable,” since it is armed and supported in many ways by the United States and its allies, including France, in their proxy war against Russia.