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A Must for Libraries and School Curriculums-Documentation on Why Poland Should Never Have Been Allowed to Occupy Ukraine in 1919
, May 20, 2010
This review is from: Polish Atrocities in Ukrainian Galicia: A Telegraphic Note to M. Georges Clemenceau (Paperback)
Following the First World War (1914-1918), it was at the Paris Peace Conference which opened on January 12, 1919 with over thirty countries represented that international settlements were reached. Principal delegates were Britain's David Lloyd George, France's M. Georges Clemenceau, the U.S.'s Woodrow Wilson, and Italy's Vittorio Emanuele Orlando. Together with their foreign ministers, the principal delegates formed a Supreme Council; commissions were appointed to study specific territorial and financial questions. Over the decades, scores of historians have offered innumerable interpretations and various viewpoints on the decisions rendered. This booklet concerns specifically one of those resolutions of the Supreme Council of the Paris Peace Conference and registers a solemn protest against the aforesaid resolution--the protest was addressed to the President of the Paris Peace Conference, France's M. Georges Clemenceau.
The entire title of this booklet (1919 edition) is Polish Atrocities in Ukrainian Galicia, a Telegraphic Note to M. Georges Clemenceau, President of the Peace Conference, from Vladimir (Volodymyr) Temnitsky, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Ukrainian Republic, and Joseph Burachinsky, Minister of Justice of the Western Territory of the Ukrainian Republic, is copyrighted 1919, and was published by The Ukrainian National Committee of the United States. Please note that the book currently being sold has 48 pages, and is published by General Books LLC (August 17, 2009).
On June 25, 1919, The Supreme Council of the Peace Conference passed a resolution authorizing the Government of the Polish Republic to occupy a great portion of the Western Territory of the Ukrainian Democratic Republic. The Ukrainian National Council asserted that the Supreme Council granted the authorization to the Government of the Polish Republic to occupy a great portion of the Western Territory of the Ukrainian Democratic Republic based on the grounds that the occupation by the Polish army would guarantee the property and lives of the population of East Galicia against the atrocities of the Bolsheviks. However, it was the contention of the Ukrainian Democratic Republic that the reasoning submitted by the Government of the Polish Republic was completely contradicted by the true state of affairs, which only proved that the Poles gave to the Supreme Council only information on the situation in East Galicia that was distorted to suit Polish imperialistic schemes and was false. Facts are presented to prove the case of the Ukrainian Democratic Republic.
On July 29, 1919, the plenipotentiary representatives of the duly and lawfully elected Government of the Ukrainian people protested against the decision which abolished the principle of the self-determination of peoples, violated in a most iniquitous manner the sovereignty of the Ukrainian Democratic Republic over its own territory, and delivered the Ukrainian people of East Galicia, liberated after a long period of slavery, to the mercies of an unbridled Polish imperialism, to the brutalities of the Polish soldiery, and to the horrors of a regime by Polish authorities. The pages that encompass this booklet list and detail the reasons for the protest.
Compelling and enthralling reading will keep readers riveted as they discover Ukraine, a country which was until the middle of the sixteenth century an independent Ukrainian state (first a principality and later a kingdom with successive capitals in Peremyshl, Halych, and Lviv). "Even after its conquest by the Polish king, Casimir, it formed in the Kingdom of Poland a separate unit under the name of the Ruthenian Palatinate."
The Ukrainian people never consented to the annexation of this territory to the Kingdom of Poland, but struggled endlessly to overthrow Polish oppression until Galicia (Halychyna) was incorporated with Austria. In order to satisfy the wishes of the Polish nobility, the Hapsburg Dynasty established an artificial supremacy over the Ukrainian majority in favor of the Polish minority, and that was the reason why East Galicia, in the past always Ukrainian, assumed an artificial Polish air, and the Poles were given control over the Ukrainian people. These very people, the Ukrainians, from the Diet of Kromerizh in 1848 to the Viennese Diet of 1918 never gave up their battle for sovereignty over their territory, and always opposed the division of Galicia (Halychyna) into two parts (the eastern half Ukrainian and the western half Polish) in which each nationality would form a unit independent of the other.
Among the many reasons stated are these: of all the minorities in East Galicia the Poles alone have opposed the right of self-determination exercised by the Ukrainian nation over its own country to form an independent state; they have stirred up a revolution. "The Poles, not comprising more than one-fifth of the total population of the country have not the right to govern it, and if they ever have had such a right they renounced it formally in favor of the Russian government during the Russian occupation of East Galicia in 1914."
Among the arguments against allowing the Government of the Polish Republic to occupy a great portion of the Western Territory of the Ukrainian Democratic Republic was the fact that in their treaties with Ukrainians in the past, the Poles had never respected them, their guarantees only existed on paper; therefore, the only conclusion of the Ukrainian Democratic Republic could be that the Poles would also ignore the guarantees in the decision of the Supreme Council. Some of the other arguments stated were: Poland wouldn't fail to take advantage of that authority to terrorize the population, establish a civil administration to denationalize the country, and bring all its power to bear upon the results of a general plebiscite--would resort even to violence and corruption.
Although the title is lengthy and the contents spans a totality of sixteen pages (pages 3-18), the descriptions within this historic document merit serious scrutiny and study by all--not only historians and history buffs. This booklet should be part of history curriculums and on library shelves worldwide--both personal and public! A definite five stars plus!
Addendum: Readers, you're invited to visit each of my reviews--most of them have photos that I took in Ukraine (over 600)--you'll learn lots about Ukraine and Ukrainians. The image gallery shows smaller photos, which are out of sequence. The preferable way is to see each review through my profile page since photos that are germane to that particular book/VHS/DVD are posted there with notes and are in sequential order.
To visit my reviews: click on my pseudonym, Mandrivnyk, to get to my profile page; click on the tab called review; scroll to the bottom of the section, and click on see all reviews; click on each title, and on the left-hand side, click on see all images. The thumbnail images at the top of the page show whether photos have notes; roll your mouse over the image to find notes posted.
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