top of page

Relations between the OUN-UPA and Germany (from TBi)

Translation by William Zuzak, editing Mirko Petriw (Vancouver)

This 1.5 hour lecture in Ukrainian by Ivan Patrylyak broadcast on the TV station TBi outlines the activities of OUN/UPA from the 1920s to the end of the German occupation of Ukraine during the summer of 1944. For English-language readers, we present a summary of the contents below.

To understand the very complicated situation in which the Ukrainian independence movement operated, one must differentiate between several regions:  Subcarpathia as part of Czechoslovakia from 1922 to 1939, the Zakerzonia strip west of the Bug and Sjan Rivers, (ethnically cleansed of its Ukrainian population by Poland in 1947) Halychyna/Volyn which was part of Poland from 1922 to 1939 and Central/Eastern Ukraine which was incorporated within the Soviet Union from 1922 to 1991. Furthermore, during the German occupation Subcarpathia and Zakerzonia and Halychyna were under the General Gouvernment administrative structure; whereas Volyn and Central/Eastern Ukraine were in the much more brutal Reichscommissariat Ukraine administrative structure headed by the Ukrainophobe Eric Koch.

For the uninitiated, the OUN is the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists, a political movement created in occupied Western Ukraine in 1929 on the basis of the UVO Ukrainian Military Organization. The UPA is the underground Ukrainian Insurgent Army formed in 1942 in response to the realities of German occupation.

Ivan Patrylyak: Relations between OUN-UPA and Germany (Episode 1/2) Іван Патриляк: Стосунки між ОУН-УПА і Німеччиною (1/2) Published on 17 Dec 2012

Historian Ivan Patrylyak describes the complex relationship between the Ukrainian independence movement and Germany. Історик Іван Патриляк розказує про складність реальних стосунків між українським визвольним рухом і Німеччиною.

The lecture of Ivan Patrylyak (doctor of historical studies, associate researcher of the Center for Research into the Independence Movement, department head of New History of the Taras Schevchenko Kyiv National University) is titled “The myths and reality of the relations between the independence movement and Germany during the Second World War”. Лекція доктора історичних наук, наукового співробітника Центру досліджень визвольного руху, доцента кафедри новітньої історії КНУ ім. Тараса Шевченка Івана Патриляка «Міфи та реальність про стосунки між українським визвольним рухом і Німеччиною в роки Другої світової війни».

This problem, perhaps more than any other in the history of 20th century Ukraine, has acquired the most fanciful layering of myths and misconceptions [and outright disinformation]. Ця проблема чи не найбільше в історії України ХХ століття обросла найрізноманітнішими міфами та нашаруваннями.

More details on this theme are available in the new books of Ivan Patrylyak published this year: “Victory or Death: Ukrainian independence movement from 1939-1960” ( and “Stand and Fight! Listen and Believe …: Ukrainian nationalist underground and the partisan movement (1939-1960)” ( Детальніше про цю тему — в нових книгах Івана Патриляка, які вийшли цього року: «Перемога або смерть»: український визвольний рух у 1939-1960-х рр.» ( та «Встань і борись! Слухай і вір…»: українське націоналістичне підпілля та повстанський рух (1939-1960 рр.) (

Source of the video:

Джерело відео:…

[00:00 – 01:59] – Patrylyak introduces the subject of the OUN-UPA during WWII. There have been thousands of various publications issued by various individuals of various political inclinations that have created a web of myths and falsehoods from which one must try to decipher the realities.

[02:00 – 03:37] – The First Myth — that the Ukrainian independence movement contacted German authorities because they were Nazi and therefore the independence movement supported a Nazi ideology. – The Second Myth — that Ukrainian independence fighters entered Ukraine as an integrated part of the Hitler’s army (Wehrmacht) and all their actions were approved by Germany and co-ordinated with the German army. – The Third Myth — that the independence fighters never fought against the German occupation forces and that this is only a fiction later created by emigre individuals and organizations. That all OUN-UPA actions were directed at the Soviet Union and Poland; and never against the Germans. That they were financed and armed by the Germans … leading to the current [Soviet inspired] saying “They fired at the backs of our grandfathers [in the Red Army]”.

[03:38 – 09:05] – To understand the situation we must examine the interwar years dating back to the failure to establish a permanent independent Ukraine after WWI. What were the strategies and actions of the Ukrainian nationalist movement at this time? In 1923, Colonel Yevhen Konovalets (head of UVO) made attempts to contact German army authorities. This was still the Weimar Republic and long before the rise of the National Socialist Party. The terms of the Versailles Treaty were devestating for both the German and Ukrainian peoples — perpetual debt for the Germans and Ukrainian ethnographic lands divided amongst four states. Thus, the first goal was to destroy the Versailles system. Many European states also disliked the results of the Versailles treaty — Hungary, Italy, Lithuania — but these were weaker states. The only potentially strong state was Germany, with which Konovalets made contact. Germany was especially interested in overturning the Versailles system.

[09:06 – 11:00] – After the Nazis came to power in January 1933, the contacts between OUN and Germany weakened, because in 1934 Germany entered into a wide-ranging agreement with Poland. All OUN emigre structures left Germany. Furthermore, in June 1934,when OUN adherents assassinated Polish interior minister Bronislaw Pieracki, Germany arrested and delivered OUN members (like Mykola Lebed) to the Polish police. In fact, between 1934 and 1938, there were no close contacts between OUN and Nazi Germany. In 1938, Yevhen Konovalets was assassinated [in Rotterdam by the Soviet agent Sudoplatov], creating a crisis in the Ukrainian independence movement. Andriy Melnyk takes over as head of OUN. He was very close to Konovalets both as fellow officers in the liberation struggle of WWI and also by marriage — their wives were sisters.

[11:01 – 16:45] – In 1938, Germany created the Sudetenland crisis in Czechoslovakia, within which the Ukrainian Subcarpathian area had been incorporated. Once again the German Abwehr made contact with OUN in the context that Czechoslovakia was not respecting the human rights of its minorities. In 1919 the Czechoslovakian constitution had guaranteed autonomy to Subcarpathia, but that was never implemented. In October 1938, Subcarpathian Ukraine is unexpectedly granted wide-ranging autonomy, prompting Hungary to occupy parts of Subcarpathia. OUN activists flocked to the “capital city” of Khust to form military formations — expecting that Germany would support these efforts. However, there was no support from Germany, because the world’s press trumpeted stories that Subcarpathia would be the nucleus from which Germany would eventually annex the whole of Ukraine from the Soviet Union. Next, Germany started creating a crisis with Poland, within which there were millions of rebellious Ukrainians [and thus the OUN]. However, in early 1939 German diplomats begin discussing whether the Soviet Union can be an ally in the dismemberment of Poland. On March 12, 1939, Stalin publicly stated that he didn’t believe that Hitler was planning to annex an elephant to a mouse (i.e. Ukraine to Subcarpathia), thus signalling Berlin that Ukraine was the paramount issue on Stalin’s mind. On March 15 1939, Germany occupied the Sudetenland and permitted Hungary to occupy Subcarpathia. This solved the Ukrainian problem and opened the floodgates for further talks between Germany and the Soviet Union. Thus, between March and September 1939, there were no contacts between OUN and the Germans, since Germany was obviously collaborating with the Soviet Union.

[16:46 – 16:52] – TV break.

[16:53 – 18:56] – The German betrayal of Subcarpathian Ukraine disillusioned many OUN adherents as to German intentions. They claimed that German functionaries, such as [Admiral] Canaris, never intended to support the Ukrainian cause. But during the summer of 1939, the Germans induced Hungary and Romania to release thousands of [Ukrainian] POWs from Hungarian prisons, from whom they formed a corpus of 600 soldiers — known as the Legion of Sushko. Their initial purpose was to provoke an anti-Polish diversion amongst Ukrainians in Poland to provide an excuse for German intervention. However, with the signing of the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact with Moscow on Aug 23 1939, this was no longer necessary so this corpus was sent to Slovakia as a labour force.

[18:57 – 22:19] – Shortly after the German attack on Poland on Sep 1 1939, OUN initiated uprisings amongst Ukrainians to seize control of administrative structures – following the theory of state-building from the village level as developed by Colonel Kolodzynsky, who had died in Subcarpathia. Unexpectedly, on Sep. 17, 1939, the Soviet Red Army initiated their attack, which was viewed by OUN as another betrayal by Germany, since they still thought Germany would tolerate some form of Ukrainian state. The Germans had expected the Soviet Union to attack simultaneously on Sep1 1939 — they telegraphed Stalin, who told them that they are not yet ready. In reality, Stalin procrastinated to see how things developed. On Sep 9 1939, the German press publicised a story — that at his headquarters Schuller (?) was discussing the establishment of an independent state in Ukraine and Belarus — as a veiled signal for Stalin to act. In reality on Sep 15 1939, the Germans actually had contacted Yevhen Melnyk [the head of the OUN] proposing that he form a government of the Western Ukrainian state – an act dutifully reported in the German press. Thus, finally Stalin reacted on Sep 17 1939 by invading Poland and occupying the lands of Western Ukraine. Once again, this disillusioned the Ukrainian independence movement as to German intentions — first you offer a candy, then you take it away.

[22:20 – 27:16] – The territory occupied by Germany was incorporated into the General Gouvernment. A strip of territory called Zakerzonia west of the Bug and Sjan Rivers was Ukrainain ethnographic territory with some 600,000 Ukrainian inhabitants, who came under German administration. An interesting development occurred — to establish their control in Western Ukraine, the Soviet authorities at first relied upon Ukrainian and Jewish collaboration against the Poles; while in Zakerzonia the Germans started tolerating Ukrainians, inviting Ukrainians to fill administrative positions and allowing the Ukrainian language to be used in these administrative institutions. (They certainly were not going to rely on the Poles or Jews.) By January 1940, the Soviet authorities started deporting massive numbers of Poles, Jews, and Ukrainians; whereas the Germans continued favouring Ukrainians in Zakerzonia as compared to Poles and Jews. Ukrainians in this territory started feeling quite comfortable. Kubiovych of the Ukrainian Central Committee wrote that the Germans gave Ukrainians a great deal at this time. For 6 million Ukrainians, the Poles had allowed barely 300 Ukrainian schools; whereas for 600,000 Ukrainians the Germans had allowed the establishment of 2,000 schools, gymnasiums, teachers’ institutes, and a Ukrainian seminary. The Ukrainian intelligentsia came to believe that the Germans were truly friends of Ukrainians. This impression was enhanced by the belief that the alliance between Germany and the Soviet Union would not last. Especially after the unsuccessful visit of Molotov to Berlin in November 1940 to define future spheres of influence in Europe and the world, it became obvious that Germany was preparing for war. It was unthinkable that the Wehrmacht would not defeat the Red Army — especially after comparing the disasterous Russian campaign in Finland with the easy Wehrmacht victory in France. The overwhelming belief amongst Western Ukrainian intellectuals and population was that Germany would soon liberate and allow the establishment of an independent Ukraine.

[27:17 – 29:49] – Now what about OUN? February 1941 is the date of the tragic split between the Melnyk faction and the Bandera faction. There were a myraid of reasons for this split — personal; age differences; Melnyk had emigre support, while Bandera had local support. In January 1941, Melnyk and Bandera had held talks in Italy, where Bandera proposed a diversification of the local/political orientation of OUN — to form one headquarters in Switzerland, which would deal with the situation in Germany and Ukraine; and a reserve headquarters in Canada or the United States, which would maintain contacts with Britain and the United States. Melnyk rejected this proposition, because of likely passport problems and because the United States and Britain supported Poland and not Ukraine. This was a major reason for the split.

[29:50 – 29:55] – TV break.

[29:56 – 33:10] – The OUN-split became a reality following meetings in February (where the Banderivtsi [Bandera faction] elected their revolutionary leadership) and April [27?] 1941 (where the Banderivtsi ratified their decision at the OUN Congress in Cracow). Bandera made contact with German intelligence, such as Richard Yari and Admiral Wilhelm Canaris in March 1941 to allow the OUN to prepare a cadre of officers for the future Ukrainian army and to ask whether the Germans would look positively at the creation of an independent Ukrainian state. From the OUN perspective, they remembered the earlier formation of the Legion of Sushko from which they were able to pick their officers. After the German attack any Ukrainian deserters from the Red Army would naturally join this Ukrainian Legion. In this way, you could quickly build up a national army. At this time the Germans had not yet turned against the Ukrainians; whereas in the Soviet-occupied zone the NKVD were already arresting, torturing and deporting Ukrainian nationalists. Thus, seeking German support was quite logical.

[33:11 – 37:01] – The April 1941 Congress had emphasized that the OUN would seek support from all nations and organizations who fought against Bolshevik Moscow and were not opposed to an independent Ukraine. Germany fit into this category — even though they had already betrayed the Ukrainians twice. How can you gauge German intentions? The German negotiators were older and experienced; whereas the OUN negotiators were young, inexperienced and brashly undiplomatic. Before the war, both Melnyk and Bandera sent their “memoranda” to the German chancellory — those of Melnyk were simply diplomatically seeking German support; whereas those of Bandera were more brash implying that, if Germany did not support Ukrainian independence, the Ukrainian people would turn against Germany and the OUN would seek English support. But the Germans did not react to this memorandum and it is not clear if it was even shown to Hitler.

[37:02 – 41:36] – The OUN knew that the Ukrainian Legion had been divided into two battalions “Nachtigall” and “Roland” [formed on Feb 25, 1941 by Abwehr commander Wilhelm Franz Canaris]. They knew that Nachtigall would be accompanying the German army and they urged its commander Shukhevych to ensure that Nachtigall reached Lviv before the Germans — which they did by about half a day — to be closely followed by a political special operations group of Stetsko to declare Ukraine’s independence and, thus, present a fait accompli to the Germans. (In a May 1941 memorandum, OUN ordered its adherents in the villages to support this future “declaration of independence” and to continue in their administrative posts, if the Germans supported it. If the Germans rejected it, they were to resign rather than renounce the “declaration” as invalid.) Nachtigall reached Lviv on June 30, 1941, such that Stetsko was able to create a government and declare independence that evening on the radio station, which Shukyvych had seized earlier. At the meeting creating the Ukrainian government were two members of the Abwehr — Capitain Hans Koch and Major Els zu Einhern(?). Koch (a volksdeutsche, who had served in the Halychian army in 1918 and spoke Ukrainian) warned the Ukrainians not to take any risky actions without the permission of Berlin, advice that Stetsko rejected. As Stetsko was stepping out on the balcony to read the declaration of independence to the people gathered below, Koch said from behind him, “Mr. Stetsko, you are playing with fire!” upon which Stetsko invited him to join the Ukrainian government to discuss the issue. (Very brash of the young upstart and quite insulting to the elderly Koch.) The declaration was read on the radio that evening and was repeated the next morning. Thus, the general population thought that the Germans were tolerating this declaration.

[41:37 – 43:41] – But Berlin was in shock. Bandera, on the road from Cracow to Lviv, was detained by the Germans to explain the situation. State secretary Kunt asked him what German institutions had permitted this declaration, whereupon Bandera replied, “None. The declaration was made on my orders. We have the moral right to do so.” Kunt said that only the Fuhrer had the right to do so. The Germans accused Bandera of misappropriating 2 million German marks designated for the organization of Ukrainian uprisings against the Poles, but Bandera retorted that they had, indeed, spent the money to organize the various groups dedicated to the declaration of independence. The Germans insisted that Ukraine’s fate could only be determined after the war, but Bandera rejected this.

[43:42 – 45:26] – Bandera was detained on Jul 3 1941 and Stetsko and his government are arrested on Jul 11, 1941. They are transferred to Cracow, then to Berlin under house arrest, and then in September to the Sachsenhausen concentration camp. There is a [Soviet] myth that Bandera was held in luxurious surroundings, whereas in fact he and the others were held in the block from which prisoners were led out to be executed. They were assigned work to test out footware for German soldiers under varied conditions — carrying heavy packs over rocks, water, etc. to see how many kilometres the footwear could withstand under heavy use. Furthermore, they were kept in complete isolation, such that they could not contact anyone in the outside world and did not know what was happening there.

[Episode 2/2] Published on 17 Dec 2012

[00:00 – 02:07] – Bandera and Stetsko are detained on Jul 3 and 11, 1941 and talks are held until Jul 17, 1941. They are encouraged to withdraw this act [the declaration of Independence], but Bandera and Stetsko stubbornly refuse. SD Gestapo sends out order to all sections of the police to arrest all Bandera agitators. On Jul 21, 1941, the OUN issues a manifesto that their declaration of independence is a historical fact and that no one can cancel it. Thus, the Germans either have to accept it or fight against the Ukrainian people who support independence. In fact, this was a declaration of war against Germany by the OUN and there was no further collaboration with the Germans.

[02:08 – 04:50] – The first period of conflict lasts from end of July 1941 to January 1942. This is a period of reorganizing the existing underground, creating underground cells in new areas and infiltrating German administrative structures. This is the period of greatest OUN losses — massive arrests on Sep 05, 1941, then on Sep 15, 1941 the second wave of arrests — up to 3,000 people, 80% of whom end up in concentration camps [Stepan Bandera’s brother eventually dies in Auschwitz]. On 25Nov1941, the Germans issue a directive to all police units to arrest all Bandera faction members and, after interrogation, to execute them on the pretext of thievery. The number killed is unknown, but often they were hanged with signs attached that they were thieves. Thus, by January 1942, the OUN finds itself once again completely underground; whereas previously they had revealed themselves and had operated openly.

[04:51 – 07:56] – The second stage [of conflict] begins in February 1942 and ends in December 1942. In February 1942, Mykola Lebed [a OUN leader] decided that it was necessary to prepare for a general popular uprising against the Germans. In early 1942, they were convinced that the German army would be victorious in the East and, after that, they would transfer their army to fight against the English and the United States, which would last a long time and that they would eventually lose. They expected the Germans to leave a corps of about 60,000 occupying soldiers, such that, when the Germans were losing the war in the West, there would be an opportunity to launch this uprising. Also in February 1942, the OUN issued a directive that its forces, rather than just taking defensive actions against the Germans, could take offensive actions as a diversionary tactic.

[07:57 – 11:10] There was a dual aspect to this period, because Halychyna was under the General Gouvernment administration; whereas the area to the east was under the Reichscommissariat Ukraine administration, which was much more brutal. Originally, the OUN leadership was against a partisan war, believing that it would only lead to unneccesary loss of life. “Not the partisans of mere thousands, but the uprising of millions will bring us freedom.” They also feared that they would lose control over the various partisan groupings. However, in Volyn (within the Reichscommissariat) the situation was so dire that OUN activists insisted that they must react to the massive deportations of the population to Germany as Ostarbeiters [“Eastern workers”]. (Eventually 2.4 million people from Ukraine.) Secondly, in Eastern Ukraine it was much more difficult to replace the cadres that the Germans continuously uncovered and destroyed. (Eastern Ukrainians were unfamiliar with the conspiratorial methods of OUN operatives, such that specialists from Western Ukraine had to be sent in to set up underground cells.)

[11:11 – 15:29] – In 1941, when the NKVD tried to organize a Soviet partisan movement, they failed because the population would not support them. However, by the spring of 1942 the NKVD succeeded, because the population had started to hate the Germans. This was a real problem for OUN. The Germans started their drive to Stalingrad in the summer/fall of 1942. Serhii Kachynsky proposed that the OUN should try to help the Red army so as to prolong the conflict and weaken both sides. They envisioned a chaotic situation resembling WWI which led to the downfall of the Russian Empire. A revolutionary uprising would be easier in these circumstances — from a partisan army to a national army. The Polish partisans followed a similar policy.

[15:30 – 15:33] – TV break.

[15:34 – 18:19] – The first anti-German self-defensive actions by OUN occurred in May/June 1942 – the freeing of Ostarbeiter from transport trains and seizing food products from agricultural enterprises. The next stage of resistance encompasses the period from December 1942 to May 1943 coinciding with increasing activity of the Ukrainian Insurgent Army [UPA]. They adopted the name UPA after talks with Otaman Bulba Borovets [an unaffiliated commander of local resistence in the Volyn region] in April 1943, who first coined the term much earlier. (Even though the talks failed in other areas.)

[18:20 – 19:30] – In December 1942, German documents report increased attacks by “bandits” on German agricultural structures — 100 attacks in Rivno area. Other documents refer to attacks by “bandits” in September 1942 in the regions of Sarnin, Kostopil, Vidvipel?, Bereza. Still other documents refer to attacks in March 1943.

[19:31 – 22:07] – It was once believed that Feb 08 1943 was the earliest UPA attack by Hryhori Perehnyak on the Volodymyr regional centre. However, this was preceded on Jan 20, 1943 by Perehnyak’s attack on the German police column composed of a company of Vlasovites [Russian Volunteer Army], 4 Germans and one Ukrainian police translator escorting the Gebiets Commissar of Sarin?, who was particularly brutal to the Ukrainian populace. This Commissar and the 4 German policemen were killed, the rest withdrew back to Volodymyr. After that incident, the Germans increased their arrests in Sarin? and Volodymyr. One of the people arrested and imprisoned was an UPA member, who was later freed by Perehnyak’s attack on Feb 08, 1943.

[22:08 – 26:48] – The UPA control was so extensive that they even issued their own currency stamped “Slava Ukraini! Slava Heroyam!” and “Slava Banderi!”. In January/February 1943, UPA controlled large territories into which the Germans did not dare to enter. In March 1943, German documents reveal very extensive activity of UPA forces — 405 attacks, many food seizures, etc. In Volyn there are only 2 regions free from “bands”. It is very dangerous [for the Germans] in Kremenets, Dubno, Kostopil, Rivno. There were attacks on Mar 21/22, 1943 in Kremenets in which 12 Germans died. In April 1943 in the Kostopil region 95% of Ukrainian villages already had a Ukrainian administration. On Apr 06, 1943, Germans led an expidition to re-establish control of roads and railways in Kremenets. From Mar 15, 1943 to Apr 18, 1943, UPA attacked a multitude of villages freeing prisoners, destroying prisons, POW camps, Ostarbeiter camps, etc. In response, the Germans launched a punitive expidition, however it failed to destroy the Ukrainian resistance movement.

[26:49 – 29:48] – Russian documents report on the extensive activity and success of the Ukrainian partisans. The Germans claim that their April 1943 expedition killed 1673 “bandits”, captured 283 prisoners, while the German losses were 252 killed and 140 wounded. (Most of the people killed were civilians.) The UPA attacks increased from 57 in April to 70 in May 1943.

[29:49 – 29:54] – TV break.

[29:55 – 35:12] – The next stage of UPA resistance is from June to December 1943, which was huge on the territory of Volyn. (The Red Army returned in January 1944.) The summer of 1943 was the most bloody. On 07Jun1943, the Germans initiated a pacification campaign commanded by Brigadfuhrer Hinsler and later joined by General von den Bach Zilewsky (particularly famous for his brutality). The German force included 10,000 soldiers, 10 motorized battalions (7,000 people), 50 tanks, 27 airplanes, Hungarian forces, and 5 locomotives. A document signed by Hinsler outlines German goals in detail. However, UPA forces managed to escape north into the forests of Polissia. German documents relate that in July 1943 there were 295 attacks on German forces, 682 acts of sabotage on railroads, 119 attacks on agricultural objects and in August 1943 there were 391 attacks on German forces, 1034 diversions on railroads, 151 attacks on business institutions. Thus German terror provoked Ukrainian terror attacks against Germans. Memoirs of a member of a Polish-German battalion located in Yaniv recalls that Ukrainian nationalist forces made their life hell — about 12 people were killed every month. The Ukrainian attacks paralyzed their work, baracks were attacked with flame throwers, so that they could only attack isolated villages to take a few pigs and chickens. He describes an ambush on their group that had consisted of 20 Germans and 10 Poles, from which only 6 survived. Historians estimate that about 3,000 Germans, Poles, Hungarians, Uzbeks, etc. died; whereas on the Ukrainian side about 1,500 UPA fighters died. [It is noteworthy that in Volyn which was part of the Reichscommissariat Ukraine the Germans employed the Polish minority to attempt to control the Ukrainian populace.]

[35:15 -37:19] – The last stage of UPA opposition to the German occupation is from January to October 1944. This is characterized by events mostly in Halychyna, since the Germans had already retreated from Volyn. The UPA attacks were mostly designed to acquire military weapons, although there were some military confrontations. A major battle occurred from Jul 06 to 16, 1944 in the region of Hornevolpaty. Polish intelligence reports state that the Germans sent in 70 military vehicles against the UPA forces and a real battle ensued. The number of Ukrainian deaths is unknown, but the Germans lost many killed and wounded. The Germans seized 2 cannons and 2 tanks [!], etc. By such methods, the Germans tried to retain control of Halychyna.

[37:20 – 43:09] – To summarize, all the various documents indicate that the Germans and their associates lost about 18,500 people; whereas UPA lost about 13,000 people plus about 10,000 sympathizers. Civilian deaths were about 20 to 30,000. By the end of 1943, it was obvious that the Red Army was returning to reoccupy Ukraine. This prompted two UPA members to initiate talks with the Germans in an effort to obtain weapons. OUN/UPA leadership strictly forbid such talks for fear of “Otamanization” of UPA. Antoniuk (pseudonym Sosenko) and Olinyk (pseudonym Orel) were executed for this action. After that, when the Germans made overtures for talks, the reply always was for them to talk to Bandera in Sachsenhausen. Nevertheless, in the spring of 1944 the leadership of OUN/UPA did initiate talks with the Germans via Lebid and Ivan Hryniuk in Ternopil and Lviv to induce the Germans to release Ukrainians from concentration camps; whereas the Germans wanted Ukrainians to stop their attacks on the German forces. Efforts by the Ukrainians to obtain military supplies failed. The German negotiator Dr. Witte reported to his superiors that the Ukrainians were not sincere and simply wanted to take advantage of the Germans, but that he would continue with these talks so as to neutralize and stabilize the situation. In the end, neither side trusted the other. The German occupation was about to be replaced with the Soviet occupation. [End]

62 views0 comments


Post: Blog2_Post
bottom of page