THE

by Olga Kaczmar

In this thesis, I will explore the United States' role in the downfall of life and liberty of the Ukrainian peoples, the division of Ukrainian lands, and the economic support to Ukraine's three major enemies of modern time: Poland, Russia and Germany. The US puts out a lot of propaganda about how it wants democracy in Europe. Woodrow Wilson, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Harry Truman, Dwight Eisenhower, and even, William Clinton policies shaped Ukraine's subservience. I will also touch on the mass evacuations and devastation to lives after all the treaties were signed (Operation Vistula in 1947). But first . . . a little history to bring you up to speed and help you understand.

1020th Anniversary of Christianity in Ukraine

by Atanas T. Kobryn

In July 988, Grand Duke Volodymyr, the ruler of the medieval Ukrainian empire then known as "Rus" (pronunced as roos) ordered the citizens of his capital city Kyiv to be baptized in the river Dnipro, thus establishing Christianity as the official religion of his empire. The main celebration of the millennium of this occasion in 1988 took place in Moscow, and not in Kyiv.

It should be noted that in 988 there was no Moscow, and the territory now known as Russia was one of several provinces of the Rus empire, ruled by the local princes loyal to the ruler of Kyiv. Following the onslaught of Tatars and other invaders, the city of Kyiv was plundered and lost is importance, while the northern provinces were able to develop and to prosper. Eventually, having ignored the treaty of friendship signed by the two nations, the rulers of Moscow managed to tighten its grip and eventually to completely subjugate Ukraine. Then in the 18th century, the name of Russia, a corruption of the ancient honorable name of Rus, appeared on the map. The rulers of Russia decided not only to steal the name of the medieval Ukrainian empire Rus, but to make themselves the successor io its history, culture and tradition.

Pre-W.W.I history:
Every nation wanted Ukraine, "the breadbasket" of Europe. Desire to benefit from the richest, most fertile soil (gifts from the glacier period) of Europe, proved to be too much temptation for all the countries surrounding her. The Mongols invaded her from the East, the Lithuanians from the North, the Ottoman Turks from the South, the Russians from the East, Austria-Hungary from the Southwest and Poland from the North.

Click to enlarge map

The Lithuanians were tolerant of the Ukrainians, therefore, Ukraine prospered under her role. In 1569 Lithuania joined Poland in a commonwealth, with Poland becoming the dominant power. From the Baltic to the Black sea shores, Poland receded its lands until it disappeared entirely in the 18th century partition. In 1772 Empress Maria Theresa of Austria seized the southern part from Poland and called it Galicia. Feudalism was the rule. The Austrian nobles had a difficult time collecting taxes from the Lemkos (one of the hill people in Galicia, often call Ruthenian, White Ruthenians, Rusyn, Carpathian and later Ukrainian). Galicia is wild mountainous countryside covered with fir forest and streams with trout, otters, black storks, cranes, minks, martens. Often to evade the tax collector, the Lemkos would disappear in the forest. If the nobles got lost in the forest, they tended to lose interest in collecting taxes from these 'hillbillies'. Later still, life became very oppressive for the Ukrainian farmers under the Polish kings (on the left side) and Communists / Stalin (on the right side). National poets like Taras Shevchenko inspired hope and songs. Other sad melodies lamenting a free Ukraine were passed down to children.


photo by Sergei Mikhailovich
Malo Rosii Lot 10333



The Subcarpathian Ruthenians, Exodus to a "Promised Land" by Rev. Robert Hospodar, J.C.L. (This article first appeared in the GCU 1986 Yearbook.)

"The non-skilled labor for which they were hired was not in itself unacceptable to the Ruthenian immigrants. Its wages were quite sufficient for their purposes. In Hungary, the Ruthenian would labor 14 hours to earn 25 to 35 cents. The same wage could be earned in America for one hour's work (in 1911 a miner's daily wage, for example, was $1.98). Living austerely, the Ruthenian immigrant could establish a very modest home in America and perhaps even assist any family which still remained abroad. In fact, it was not at all unusual for a Ruthenian male to labor several years in the United States, acquire a savings, and return to his family and homeland. Once there, he could purchase adequate crop-growing land and commence a much more secure agrarian lifestyle. He, with perhaps his entire family, would again voyage to the United States should the need arise. Such enterprising personalities were named "birds of passage" by American immigration officials.

"Unfortunately, the unsuspecting Ruthenians afforded a hitherto untapped and extremely useful source of manpower for the American industrialists. This large body of cheap labor provided these wealthy magnates, derided as "Robber Barons" during the presidency of Theodore Roosevelt, with a means to circumvent the increasing cost of native American workers and hopefully break the fledgling union system. Naturally this economic tactic did not go unnoticed by American labor and the Ruthenian immigrants became labeled as "strike breakers" and "scabs". In fact, history shows that, once made aware of their misuse by the mining and industrial interests, the Ruthenians became staunch supporters of a union system which would serve the workers' needs. Sadly, these and the other "new immigrants" employed by the industrialists were for a long time the target of injustice and abuse at the hands of Americans who either themselves or their immediate ancestors had experienced the hardships which accompanied emigration to the United States."

Between the outbreak of W.W.I in August 1914 and 1919, the Ukrainian lands were cut up and changed hands so many times, this country didn't know who to fight off.

In 1914 Ukraine was divided between Russian and Austro-Hungarian empires. When the Austrians controlled the southern most regions to the Carpathian Mountains above Romania, they named this province Galicia. The tsarist Russian army held most of Galicia (as far west as the Dunajec River) and Bukovina.

"The revolution of 1917 had a different character in the Ukraine than it had in Russia. In the Ukraine it was fought primarily as a war of national liberation. United in their goal, the Ukrainians were divided as to what kind of government should prevail in their country, freed from Russian rule," wrote George S. N. Luckyj in the introduction of book, "Stories from the Ukraine," by Mykola Khvylovy, 1960, pg. 2. "Moreover he regarded the revolution of 1917 in the Ukraine as a continuation of the Cossack risings in the seventeenth century and the peasant rebellions of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries" (pg. 3).

By 1915 Austria had driven Russians out, although they still held onto an eastern corner of Galician territory between the Seret and Zbruch rivers throughout most of WW I. When Germans occupied it, they called it Distrikt Galizien. Later, under Poland, the name as well as the people, the language and the culture was erased.

Canada imprisons Ukrainians:
To escape Austrian oppression, in the 1865s many Galician residents fled or immigrated to Canada where they were allowed to own land, build farms and businesses. Since they never considered themselves Austrian, they quickly accept Canada as their national land, but unfortunately, their immigration papers rubber-stamped them as Austrians. Ironically, when Canada joined World War I, she rounded up all the 'Austrians' as potential enemies and imprisoned them. During their confinement, Ukrainians were sent to Banff National Park to build the park. Those that did not freeze to death in makeshift buildings, lost their farms, businesses and families. The work program was so successful for Canada that officials didn't release these prisoners until two years after the war ended. This is a disgraceful period in Canadian history and they didn't want to acknowledge openly, repent, apologize, compensate or honor those who built the park with a statue. The Canadian media refused to air a documentary on it. When backed to the wall, they aired it in the wee hours of the morning without any pre-announcement. Very few people saw it.

Ukraine declares independence:
When the Russian tsar was overthrown in 1917, leaders in the Dnieper Ukraine (Eastern) formed a central council (Rada under Professor Mykhailo Hrushevs'kyi) and declared their independence for Ukrainian state on Nov. 1, 1918. It's territory combined 9 provinces from the former Russian empire (Kiev, Volhynia, Podolia, Chernihiv, Poltava, Kharkiv, Katerynoslav, Kherson, Taurida, Chelml/Kholm/ and southern Grodno) excluding Crimea and Galicia. The republic lasted only eight months. US foreign aid to Poland dealt the crushing blow to the freedom-seeking Ukrainians.

Meanwhile in USA:
President Woodrow Wilson knew of the devastation on Ukrainian soil. On April 21, 1917, he proclaimed: Whereas, I approved on March 2, 1917, a Joint Resolution of the Congress of the United States of America, reading as follows:

........... "Whereas in the countries situated in the eastern part of Europe, the theatre of devastating war, there are at least one million of Ruthenians (Ukrainians), in dire need of food, clothing and shelter; and
"Whereas hundreds of thousands of these people have been forced to abandon their homes and their property, and being deprived of all opportunity to provide even for their most elementary wants have undergone disease, starvation, and indescribable suffering, and...
..........."...I, Woodrow Wilson, President of the United States, ....proclaim April 21, 1917, as a day upon which the people of the United States may make such contributions as they feel disposed for the aid of the stricken Ruthenians (Ukrainians) in the belligerent countries." Bless your pea-picking heart, Woodrow, for this grand gesture.You sentence them to slavery under Austria and now you allow Americans to give them handouts.

Galicia (Western Ukraine) was taken from one cruel master and given to another.
In his Speech on the Fourteen Points on Jan 8, 1918, Woodrow Wilson proposed...
..........."X. The people of Austria-Hungary, whose place among the nations we wish to see safeguarded and assured, should be accorded the freest opportunity of autonomous development." Should this not have set the stage for Galicia (Western Ukraine) to be free of Austrian domination? No indeed.

.........."XIII. An independent Polish State should be erected which should include the territories inhabited by indisputably Polish population, which should be assured a free and secure access to the sea, and whose political and economic independence and territorial integrity should be guaranteed by international covenant."


The Russians Are Coming:
On the eastern side of Ukraine, the Russian provisional government, ruling in place of the czar, was overthrown by Vladimir Ilytch Lenin, leader of the Bolsheviks. Lenin demanded the Ukrainian Rada turn over all its powers to the Bolsheviks, then a minority party. When the Ukrainian Rada refused (end of 1917), proclaiming the establishment of the Ukrainian National Republic with broad rights for citizens. The Bolshevik forces invaded the proclaimed 'free sovereign, and independent state of the Ukrainian people' from the east.

Germany and Russia Sign a Superficial Treaty:
When the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk (in February 1918) was signed between the Central Powers (Germany and Austria) and the new Russian government, agreeing to split up Poland, the Ukrainian National Republic was recognized. This treaty provided that in return for military assistance, Ukraine would supply the Germans with one million tons of foodstuffs. With German and Austrian assistance, the Ukrainian army temporarily rid Ukraine of the Bolsheviks.

photo by Sergei Mikhailovich
Malo Rosii Lot 10333

Constant military defense kept the men on the war front and the women and children cultivating the fields. The (Ukrainian) Rada was unable to deliver the agreed on food supplies to the Central Powers and subsequently was overthrown by the Germans. In April 1918, Germany gave support to a new pro-German government (a group of conservative landowners, a Hetmanate, headed up by Pavlo Skoropads'kyi until Dec. 1918). This government claimed all Ukrainian territory recognized by the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk as well as additional territory in southern Minks, southern Kursk, southern Voronezh and parts of the Don Cossack Lands.

The fateful (or hateful) Curzon Line is established:
Upon signing of the armistice agreement with the Allies on November 1918, Germany withdrew troops from the Ukraine. A five-man directorate headed by Simon Petlura reestablished the Ukrainian Republic. According to the decisions of the Allies at Yalta and Potsdam, the eastern boundary of Poland is the famous Curzon Line (suggested by Lord Curzon, British Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, in 1918, adopted in 1919):

"This line runs approximately as follows: Grodno, Vapovka, Nemirov, Brest-Litovsk, Dorogusk, Ustilug, east of Grubeshov, Krilov (the last town north of the Galician border) and thence west of Rawa Ruska, east of Przemysl to the Carpathians."

The world leaders bickered, one side claiming that this territory was populated with a majority of Poles; the other side said, Russian. However, they were neither. They were Ruthenian, Ukrainians, Lemkos, Boikos, Hutsuls, mountain people, Carpathian Rusyns, Rumanians.

    Contrary to much ill-written western history books, Rusyns were not pro-Russian and are not to be mistaken for Russian. Ruthenian and Rusyn are derived from Kievan Rus empire which reached the height of its power in the 10th century. At the time of Volodymyr's death the empire of Kievan Rus stretch from the Black to the Baltic seas from the Volga River to the Carpathian Mountains an area of some 1.2 million square miles. When Moscovy adopted the Rus identity, the Ukrainian people dropped it. These groups in the southern regions did not identify with either mortal enemies; had their language; did not use their Roman alphabet as did the Poles (used Cyrillic instead) and did not share the same Roman Catholic religious views (were Byzantine, Ukrainian Catholic, Uniate, Orthodox).

In his book, Ukraine, A History (Second Edition), Orest Subtelny provides the following:

    In the late 19th and early 20th century, nationally conscious West Ukrainians began to call themselves 'Ukrainians,' a national name that had been adopted by the Ukrainian intelligentsia in the east. There were two basic reasons for abandoning the traditional designation, Rusyn (Ruthenian) : it was felt that Rusyn was too similar to Ruskyi (Russian) and, by adopting the name used by their compatriots in the Russian Empire, the West Ukrainians wished to stress their unity with them. p. 307.

On page 69, Subtelny wrote:

    During the Polish-Lithuanian period, Ukrainians called themselves Ruthenians (Rusyny), a name derived from 'Rus.' Belorussians were also called by this name. At this time, Russians were generally called Moscovites.

provided by Laurence Kupnak

The fall of Austro-Hungary:
With the disintegration of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, the Galician and Bukovinian leaders proclaimed (in Lviv on Nov. 1, 1918) the existence of a Western Ukrainian People's Republic (headed by Levhen Petrushevych). This territory included Galicia east of the San River, the Lemkian Region farther to the west and the Ukrainian-inhabited areas of Transcarpathia and northern Bukovina.

Little State Emblem of the Ukrainian Peoples Republic 1918
Design by V.H. Krychevsky

For a brief moment in time, both Ukraines are united:
In January 1919, both Ukraines, The Ukrainian National Republic (East) and the Western Ukrainian People's Republic (Galicia) declared its unity. However, this was doomed from the very beginning.

Three different military forces invaded Ukraine.
The Communist Red Russian army invaded from the northeast. The czarist White Russian invaded from the south east. The Polish army invaded from the west and drove out the West Ukrainian People's Republic in 1919. Against such overwhelming odds and with the US leaders supporting the enemy, the independent Republic could not survive.

The series of treaties instigated by the United States
(between 1919-1923) partitioned Ukraine once again: The province of Bukovina was awarded to Rumania in 1918. Carpatho-Ukraine became a province in Czechoslovakia (1919). The League of Nations, on Feb. 14, 1919, gave Galicia to Poland. However, the fighting between the Poles and Bolsheviks continued with Ukraine caught in the middle not knowing who to fight next. Ukrainians were drafted by both sides and they didn't want to fight and die for either country. And they certainly didn't want to shoot their own friends and relatives who were drafted by the opposing side. In July 1920 after the Polish expedition against Kiev (Ukraine) was defeated, the Polish government sought Allied help again.

In the east, Polish and Russian governments in 1920 ordered Jews to live in a territory in the Ukraine
known as The Pale of Settlement (originally created in 1792). The misnomer Russia Jews were, in fact, the Ukrainian Jews because they were not allowed to live in Russia proper.

In the west, the Ukrainians then refused to accept Polish rule in east Galicia. They boycotted the census taken by the Poles in 1921 and refused to take part in the elections in the Republic of Poland in 1922. By uplifting the Polish regime, the Unites Sates in effect, helped squash the independent Ukraine. Subsequently, with American blessing, the Polish people would then go on to do ethnic cleansing to rid ancient Ukrainian lands of Ukrainian people. When the Polish troops came in to take over their newly re-acquired lands, they burned all the villages, scattered or killed the Ukrainian civilian populations and claimed the land as their own. German families in these territories were expelled west of the Oder-Neisse line. These 'transfers' of populations was made in order to avoid constant national identity problems by homogenizing them, but it was in fact, ethnic cleansing which caused major misery to the masses involved. Without homes, food, good, transportation or food animals, they were unwelcome in any community they went. They were dust in the wind.

The Polish-Soviet Treaty of Riga (signed March 1921) established Polish frontiers well east of the Curzon Line, which would change again in the near future. Eastern Ukraine was gobbled up by the USSR. This 1923 partition to the USSR would lead to the most terrifying, slow death to millions of Ukrainian people through a secret Stalin-instigated famine in the "breadbasket of the world" in a year of record harvest.

When Stalin came to power in USSR, his plan was to "Russify" the Ukrainian people. When they resisted his "collectivization," his soldiers confiscated every bit of food out of Ukraine, killed all the wild birds in the forest so the Ukrainians couldn't eat them, creating the worst famine in the world. Comparing official Soviet census figures of 1932 to those of 1939, Ukraine had a population loss of 7,465,000 in a 7 year post-war period of peace and rebuilding. Many in the country had turned to cannibalism. Miron Dolot recalled that one man, suspected of being too fat among his peers who were skin and bone, had his dirt floor dug and they found many bodies of little children buried there. He had enticed them to come to his home, promising to feed them (Hansel and Gretal in real life). Another woman, Solomia, was found hanging from the ceiling dressed in her Ukrainian national costume and a large cross hung on her chest. When her baby had starved to death, she no longer had the will to live and hung herself. The dead and dying were lying all over the villages. Myron recalls he would take his sled in the winter and pick up his dead friends off the road and cart them off to the cemetery, cover them with snow and when the spring came, he would bury them. The remaining were shoveled into mass graves by the Russian soldiers.

However, this famine was all a big secret.
No media rushed to admonish this atrocity. No war crimes commissions. Eleanor Roosevelt and her husband basked in the company of their new found friend, were praised for their successful peace treaty, made good will tours and provided butcher-Stalin with a ceaseless amount of aid and support. In fact, the Soviet Union was rewarded by being admitted to League of Nations in 1934. The Great Terror followed in 1937 and 1938.

My mother's little sister, Julia Wachalivska died at age 11, from bombings in Galicia, Poland. I haven't found out who or what the bombing was about in 1931(?), although there were much internal turmoil for control of the Polish state.

Every time the boundaries change in Ukraine lands, there is mass human destruction. Following Germany's Munich Pact of September 1938, Czechoslovakia became a federal republic and was granted Subcarpathian Rus (Transcarpathia) and renamed Carpatho-Ukraine. With Hitler's help, two months later, November 1938, the southern portion of Slovakia and Carpatho-Ukraine was awarded to Hungary. Five months later, Hungary forcibly annexed the rest of Transcarpathia.

On November 2, 1938, a settlement known as the Vienna Award gave Hungary a significant amount of land that it wanted - southern Slovakia (like Kosice, etc.) and southern parts of Subcarpathian Rus' (land near and including Uzhgorod, Mukachevo, etc.). After a few months, the remaining rump "Second Republic of Czechoslovakia" was dismembered, including Slovakia and the Ukrainian-lead Carpatho-Ukraine receiving their autonomy. But, that was short-lived because Hitler on March 15, 1939 annexed Bohemia and Moravia into Germany, Slovakia became a puppet-state of Germany, and on March 31 Hungary annexed land east of Snina and all of Carpatho-Ukraine was annexed by Hungary. By mid-July 1944 Soviet forces recaptured Bukowina, on October 27 Uzhgorod was recaptured, and the battle for Dukla Pass occurred September-November 1944.

provided by Laurence Krupnak

Under President Augustin Voloshyn, Carpatho-Ukraine declared it's independence on March 15, 1939.
This "Republic for a Day" was quickly invaded by a powerful Hungarian Army which decimated the small ill-equipped Carpatho-Ukraine army. They will hold this until September 1944 until a pro-German Slovak state came into being.

As part of the notorious August 23, 1939 Non-aggression Pact between Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union, Ukraine was partitioned by a demarcation line that ran roughly along the San and Buh rivers. Poland also was divided between them. After Germany invaded Poland Sept. 1939, Soviet forces moved in from the east. At the beginning of World War II, two hungry giants wrestled for power. Grabbing from the Poland, the Soviets took the Ukrainian lands of Volhynia and eastern Galicia, Bukovina and Bessarabia, Moldavian SSR. Germany took from Poland the Ukrainian lands of western Galicia, southern Podiachia and Chelm.

Erroneously, Ukrainians sees freedom:
When the Germans first came to Ukraine, the Nazi troops were surprised that so many people welcomed the them with flowers, bread and salt (a symbol of hospitality). The Ukrainians thought that Germany was at last going to free them from the murderous Stalin regime. (Under Stalin's rule, thousands of Ukrainians had disappeared each year in the middle of the night. The Soviet Terror of the 1930s convinced most Ukrainians there was nothing worse than Russian slavery.)

photo by Sergei Mikhailovich
Malo Rosii Lot 10333
Contrary to common beliefs, World War II was a Ukrainian War. Crossing into and making Ukraine his new headquarters, Hitler stratagized an invasion on the Soviet Union. Ukraine soon awakened to the stark realization that Hitler was there to rape Ukraine of all it's food, rid it of people and annex the rich, black earth for his own people. He called it Lebensraum, the new living space of the German nation. In village after village, the German Army killed the population and burned the villages, leaving the Ukrainians homeless in the freezing winter, intentionally starving Ukrainian cities, prisoners of concentration camps and hanging corpses from balconies to terrorize the remaining into submission. Nationalist Ukrainian leaders were executed by the thousands. Throughout the world, all we ever heard about is the persecution of the Jews. Television programs never air films about the silent Ukrainian holocaust, the muffled cries for help. Also not told, is that Ukrainians, who helped hide the Jews, were hung when caught.

The war was lasting a lot longer than Hitler had intended and by 1941, Germany was faced with a labor crisis. Mass mobilization of armies had depleted interior Germany of a labor force. Hermann Goering was about to kill all men in Ukraine over fifteen years of age, but then realized working them to death would be more useful to Germany.

According to Ukrainian estimates about 3,000,000 Ukrainians were sent to Germany and Austria to work in factories and forced labor.
A massive recruitment campaign was put in the paper, "Germany calls you!, Go to Beautiful Germany! 100,000 Ukrainians are already working in free Germany. What about you?" Separately, my mother and father were two such individuals who elected to go work in Germany. They later met and married in a work camp (a kind of imprisoned labor pool which was regulated for the convenience of the German people). The Germans considered the Ukrainians Untermensch (sub-humans / inferior persons) who could be kicked, beaten, terrorized or killed at any transgression. Starvation rations included one slice of bread and thin soup per day for factory workers. Workers in the farming community were more fortunate. One source reports there were eventually 2.5 million Ukrainian slaves in Germany. As the war continued, this newspaper campaign did not provide enough people for the labor force, so a door to door recruitment campaign was implemented. Soldiers went to every village and told the man of the household that he had to give up one person from the house to work in Germany. 15,000 girls were taken to Germany to work as domestics since many of the German women were working in the factories. My mother's childhood girlfriend from her village was kidnapped right off the street and transported to Germany. Many died from starvation; others from Allied bombings. Very few were able to get released to return to the burned-out Ukraine. If a girl got pregnant, they didn't want the baby to be born in Germany and be granted German citizenship, so they would release or kill her. One desperate girl chopped off her fingers in a machine so that she would be sent home. It was said that Hitler liked the blond, green-eyed chaste girls from the Ukraine and thought they would make good mating material for his boys.

The Ukrainians are still focused on an independent Ukraine
Ukraine's young men have been captured by the two Russian Armies, by the German Army and by the Polish Army. In 1942 they formed their own Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UPA - Ukrainian nationalists) under the leadership of Bandera, numbering 200,000 men and women. They lived in the deepest of the forests and with great speed completed their mission and withdrew for cover making themselves almost impossible to flush out. In the spring of 1943 the Germans used some 100,000 men to clear the Briansk forest, but the results did not justify the cost. Two more mass unsuccessful attempts were made, one by the Soviets and the other by the Germans. The UPA was a thorn in the side of both the Russians and Germans.

History of Ukraine continued


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