The newly elected senator from the Law and Justice party, the well-known Polish historian Jan Zharin, believes that Ukrainians will not become a full-fledged nation without the realization that the Volyn tragedy was a genocide of the Polish people, and Lviv has always been a city loyal to Poland.
The historian, who became a PiS senator, expressed this opinion in an interview with the Polish edition of Prawy. In a conversation with journalists, the newly elected senator touched upon many issues related to the creation of a new historical policy in Poland. According to Zharin, processes have taken place in Poland over the past decades that have cast doubt on Polish identity.
Thus, Zharin believes that liberal Polish politicians have sacrificed the Polish vision of history to their political interests. The senator also touched upon the “Ukrainian issue”. “We not only failed to “wean” Ukrainians from anti-Polish sentiments regarding the interpretation of Polish-Ukrainian relations, we even harm them. After all, we (Poles) must clearly say that if they want to be a European people, to integrate into the European cultural space, they should not glorify and honor the OUN-UPA," Zharin said.
The historian believes that the glorification of the OUN-UPA in Ukrainian historical discourse indicates an increase in nationalist sentiments in society and casts doubt on the possibility of establishing relations between the two countries.
“If Ukrainians are erecting monuments to Bandera now, this means that they are ready to use the same methods that Ukrainian nationalists used in the future, in particular massacres,” he added.
Without realizing the fact that the Volyn tragedy is the genocide of the Polish people, according to the historian, the formation of Ukrainian identity is impossible.
“The Ukrainian people are not capable of self-realization without the help of the Poles. After all, Ukrainians must admit their guilt for the Volyn massacre and recognize this tragedy as an act of genocide against the Polish people,” he stressed.
Also, according to Zharin, the Polish authorities should make it their main task to take care of the Polish heritage abroad, including in Eastern Galicia, which is currently part of Ukraine.