[LITOPYS UPA: Chronicle of the Ukrainian Insurgent Army]

The UPA in Light of German Documents. Book One: 1942-June 1944. Comp. Taras Hunczak. Ed. Petro J. Potichnyj. Toronto, Litopys UPA, 1983. 256 pp., ISBN 0-920092-09-8, hard cover, illustrations, maps.


The documents contained in Volumes 6 and 7 of the Litopys UPA, with the exception of the resolutions of the Second OUN Congress and of the documents concerning the Supreme Ukrainian Liberation Council, have never before been published. They are being reprinted exactly as they appeared in the original German-language archival materials. Only the most glaring errors have been corrected and the appropriate explanations for the changes have been given. The text has occasionally been condensed where passages lacking in direct relevance to the UPA were concerned. Additional explanations in the text or headings have been marked with square brackets.

The documents included in these two volumes belong to various periods of the development of the Ukrainian anti-Nazi movement, beginning with political resistance and ending with military confrontation. In general, all documents related to these events are being published, even including completely or only partially inaccurate documents, which reveal the extent to which German police or intelligence organs were informed about the Ukrainian underground in general, and the UPA in particular.

That these documents are attributable to different sources is testimony to the interest in the Ukrainian underground held by various German institutions. Depending on a given institution's importance within the overall command structure, the originals will be found either in the Bundesarchiv (the Federal Archive) in Koblenz or in the Militararchiv (the Military Archive) in Freiburg, Federal Republic of Germany. Documents bearing the following ciphers, NS, R, R 70 SU, R 70 Polen, and R 70 Slowakei, are found in the Federal Archive; documents bearing the ciphers H 3, RH, RW, and XIII. A. K. are found in the Military Archive.

Some documents are found in the microfilm collection of German war documents at the American State Archive in Washington, D. C. They bear the cipher T, followed by a number. Thus, for example, T 454/5 means that the document can be found on microfilm "T", that it comes from the office or archive of the Amt fur die besetzten Ostgebiete (the Ministry of Occupied Eastern Lands), referred to by "454," and that it is located on microfilm roll No. 5. Other microfilm series, such as, for example, T 175, refer to various police and SS organs, while T 120 refers only to the Amt Ausland (the Ministry of Foreign Affairs) archive. There are, of course, many other serial categories. Volumes 6 and 7 also include four documents found in the Archive of the Foreign Representation of the Supreme Ukrainian Liberation Council in New York City.

The Federal Archive in Koblenz contains a huge amount of documents, including entire archives, dealing with questions of administration, internal police affairs, various official matters, foreign policy, economy, and occupation policy. The first fifteen documents included in Volume 6 are found in Koblenz. The first document concerns the political aspirations of the OUN under the leadership of Colonel Andrii Melnyk, while the second details the principles and resolutions of the Second OUN Assembly, which was held in Cracow in 1941.

Starting with Document No. 3. the German police reports openly speak of a Ukrainian national resistance. On the basis of ten documents from the "Meldungen aus den besetzten Ostgebieten" one can note the growth of Ukrainian resistance, which, in many ways, was a reply to the harshness of German occupation policy in Ukraine. In general, the reports, prepared by members of the "Sicherheitspolizei" or the "Sicherheitsdienst," are rather accurate.

The rest of the documents in Volume 6, No. 16 and onwards, are from German military intelligence, headed by the "Fremde Heere Ost" or the "Abwehr/Amt Ausland." Like other military documents, these are found in the Military Archive in Freiburg. Most of the documents detail various UPA actions against the Germans and the Soviets, who first crossed into UPA territory in the winter of 1943/1944. Six documents (Nos. 17-19, 26, 45, 47) deal with the Ukrainian partisan movement and its first leader, Taras Borovets'"Bulba." The most interesting is Document No. 17 which describes in detail the beginnings of "Taras Bulba's" partisan movement.

Another group of thematically related documents (Nos.54a,54b,55, and 60) describe the German military's attempts to develop a cooperative relationship with the UPA or, at the least, to neutralize it as a military factor. It is interesting to note how the German attitude to the UPA changed under pressure from the Red Army. Thus, the term "Banditen" (bandits), used officially throughout 1942, was progressively superseded by the term "Ukrainische Aufstandsarmee" (Ukrainian Insurgent Army).

Documents Nos. 2-3 and 9 of Volume 7 describe the Germans' further attempts to reach a modus vivendi, if not actual cooperation against the Soviets, with the UPA. In order to acquaint itself better with the UPA's military-diversional potential, the German Command had an intelligence group led by Captain Kirn parachuted behind Soviet lines. The group made contact with the UPA and observed it for some time. Two reports filed by Kirn (Nos. 32-33) provide exceptionally valuable information about the UPA near the end of the war.

The seventh volume also includes a number of detailed reports and analyses of the UPA's organizational structure, leadership, and ideology. Of particular interest are Documents Nos. 11 17, 23-24, and 43.

Documents Nos. 14, 30, and 60 deal with the founding and structure of the Supreme Ukrainian Liberation Council, the UHVR. Document No. 30, compiled by the political section of the Ministry of Occupied Eastern Lands, contains especially detailed information about the political goals of the Ukrainian revolutionary movement.

The largest thematically related group of documents concerns UPA actions against the Red Army or the NKVD. Documents Nos. 10-11, 16, 18, 21-22, 26-27, 34-35, 38, 40-41, 46, 50, and 56 broadly depict the UPA's ambushes, raids, and battles with the Soviets. These reports also discuss the OUN's activity, Soviet tactics vis-a-vis the Ukrainian revolutionary movement, and the Ukrainian population's attitude toward the Soviet authorities and the UPA.

No less interesting are the short reports ("Kurzmeldungen") about the UPA's activity under Soviet occupation. These reports were based on German interrogations of Soviet prisoners-of-war; they testify to the great difficulties the UPA posed for the Soviet authorities. Even the fact that some of these reports were based on rumors does not diminish their value; rather, it helps recreate the then existing psychological atmosphere.

The documents that do not fit into the above mentioned groups relate to such issues as Soviet anti-UPA propaganda, the Ukrainian underground's attempts to establish contacts with the Western Allies, etc. In general, these individual documents testify to the UPA's manifold activity under very difficult conditions.

The documents, accurate or not, that are published in these two volumes are testimony to the UPA's struggle against two occupying powers, illuminate the activity of the Ukrainian revolutionary underground, and help recreate a heroic period in the history of Ukraine.

Taras Hunczak


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