Scoop Search

Monday, March 31, 2008

Shukhevych's uniforms

Born in the Austro-Hungarian Empire in 1907, the first uniform Roman Shukhevych ever wore was that of a Plast boy-scout uniform. He was a Ukrainian nationalist whose goal was to see the blue and yellow flag fly over a unified and independent Ukraine. In 1925, he joined the revolutionary UVO Ukrainian Military Organization (forerunner to clandestine Ukrainian nationalist OUN). In the late 1920’s Shukhevych wore a Polish army uniform: UVO sent him to the Poles for military experience. Next he wore a prisoner’s uniform in a Polish concentration camp for his part in the assassination of the Polish foreign minister. He wore a German army uniform for two years in the early 1940s – this is the period of his life that is the focus of the historical debate.* He wore no uniform for the last seven years of his life in order to evade first Nazi, then Soviet capture. He would have donned an UPA general’s uniform as commander-in-chief of the insurgent army. He died sans uniform in battle with Soviet police in 1950 – five years after the war had ended for the rest of Europe.
UPA and Shukhevych did their part to defeat “fascism” and Soviet forces do not have a monopoly on that victory.

* historical debate over Roman Shukhevych between Ukraine's SBU archives, Israel's Yad Vashem, the European Jewish Congress and now Canadian historian John-Paul Himka of the University of Alberta. See "Be wary of faulty Nachtigall lessons" in the March 27 issue of .

Related links:

List of 42 Butchers of Lviv:

Copies of 7 recently declassified documents on Nachtigall:

Ukrainian government findings
The text of the 2004 Ukrainian governmental commission report on OUN and UPA activities from 1939-1956 led by Stanislav Kulchytsky:

Amazing 1943 diagram of OUN network in Kyiv oblast (UNKGB, 1944):

No comments: