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Ethnic Cleansing in Twentieth Century Europe(revue)

Jan Paczkis|Friday, October 30, 2009

A Comprehensive Though Germanocentric Work: Includes the WWII Ukrainian-Fascist OUN-UPA Genocide of Poles, October 27, 2009 This extensive anthology is broad-based, with chapters on many different acts of ethnic cleansing and genocide. We learn that the Iroquois annihilated the Hurons and then attempted the same against the French. (Dreisziger, pp. 47-49). In the Boer War, British concentration camps held 116,000 Afrikaners (30,000 died) and 100,000 blacks (14,000 died). (Tooley, p. 73). Let's keep things in perspective. Tooley writes: "As noted, the Soviet regime cleansed more ethnic groups than any regime in history." (p. 87).

However, the volume's content is very unbalanced. There are no less than 21 chapters on the post-WWII German expulsions and expellees (Vertriebene), but not a single one on the simultaneous 1944-1947 Soviet expulsion of Poles from the USSR-annexed eastern Poland (Kresy) in the wake of the Teheran-Yalta betrayals of Poland. This work also lacks even a single chapter on the earlier brutal expulsions of Poles by Germans from the Reich-annexed provinces of 1939-conquered Poland.

Martha Kent (p. 611) repeats the old canard about 1,000 Germans killed by Poles at Bydgoszcz (Bromberg) in 1939 [however down from Goebbels' 65,000]. Alfred Maurice deZayas (p. 239, 252) and Stefan Wolff (p. 780) repeat the myth of 2 million post-WII German expellee dead. For refutation of these falsehoods, see the Peczkis Listmania: GERMAN REVANCHISM...

The Germanocentrism of this work is reflected not only by the imbalance of content, but also by its theme. If Germans were getting collectively punished for Nazism, then what were the simultaneous Polish expellees getting punished for?

Let's now consider some non-German content. Alexander V. Prusin has a fairly good chapter on the WWII Ukrainian fascist-separatist OUN-UPA genocide of Poles, although it understates the Polish death toll. Prusin realizes that the mass killings were systematic, planned acts (not "undisciplined units"), and that the numerous native and émigré Ukrainian writings that blame it on the Poles are falsehoods. (pp. 516-517). Prusin surveys the OUN's exterminationist ideology, and notes the similarity of the OUN to the fascist Croatian Ustase (Ustashi) (p. 519). However, unlike its Croatian counterpart, the OUN never got the hoped-for Nazi-Ukrainian puppet state. Prusin writes: "The most important mitigating factor, however, was that the OUN-UPA did not possess a state-machinery that could be committed to mass murder--in comparison, for example, to the ethnic cleansing perpetrated by the Croatian Ustase [Ustashi] against the Serbian population in Croatia and Bosnia." (p. 534).

Much other useful information is included. For instance, the reader realizes the fact that lawlessness was a conspicuous feature of war-devastated Poland, especially in the newly-acquired western territories (e. g., Thum, pp. 337-338; Barber (p. 417) citing Langer). [Frequent mentions of Poles occasionally killing Holocaust-surviving Jews almost always ignore this context.]
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