Super Express: The government of “Law and Justice» (PiS) until now didn’t apply to the key issues the question of Volyn genocide. However, in an interview with the weekly Do Rzeczy party chairman Jaroslaw Kaczynski said: “We can not accept the cult of people who organized the genocide of the Poles”. How do you assess the policy of “Law and Justice” in this case?
Tadeusz Isakowicz-Zaleski: It is very inconsistent. In 2013, the party voted to call UPA and the SS Division “Galicia” crimes as a genocide against Poles in Eastern kresy. Later, in 2016, “Law and Justice” held a relevant resolution in the Seim. However, many other actions are contrary to this course.
Super Express: Which exactly?
Tadeusz Isakowicz-Zaleski: For example, the consistent support of President Poroshenko who, contrary to historical truth, praises the people guilty of genocide. It turns out that, on the one hand, the PiS is telling the truth about the genocide, and on the other, supports those who deny. At the same time the government reacts very softly to outrageous incidents that occurs in Ukraine, such as destruction of the monument to Poles in Guta Penyatska or desecration of a monument in Bykovnya. Every time we see the soft reaction from the Polish side and hear requests addressed to the Ukrainian leadership that the “Law and Justice” is afraid in some way to respond to these events. I think, Jaroslaw Kaczynski, who has absolute power in, should pin down some things. I wish to take his statements at face value, but now the actions need to follow.
Super Express: What actions?
Tadeusz Isakowicz-Zaleski: First of all, 90% of UPA victims don’t have graves. Nothing is done to change the situation. The idea is to establish if not monuments but simple crosses, and, of course, to collect the bones and bury them in a Christian way. These people were killed, their bones were buried, there were no funerals. The ruling party should take steps in this direction. The second aspect: not tp listen passively to all the lies, which constantly sounds from the mouth, in particular, the head of the Ukrainian Institute of National Memory Vladimir Vyatrovich. The next important issue: on April 9, 2015, Bronisław Komorowski visited Kiev, and then the Ukrainian parliament in a majority voted to pass a law which is not only glorifies the perpetrators, but also makes it possible to persecute people who defend the historical truth, including foreigners. Our government didn’t react, even when it has the possibilities: because Poland supports Kiev and allocates funds from its own budget. We owe something in return.
Super Express: Supporters of the soft policy toward Ukraine emphasize that our neighbors are in the process of formation of their national identity and are looking for their national “heroes”, not associated with the Soviet Union, finding them among the members of OUN / UPA. Should we treat this with understanding?
Tadeusz Isakowicz-Zaleski: Poland shouldn’t tolerate lies. Ukraine exists for 25 years, it is a long period, so that the state created a healthy foundation including historical politics. Now we can say for certain that the glorification of the perpetrators of the UPA is a bad way. In the name of friendship Poland should show Ukrainians that it is wrong, because the other European countries will not put up with it as well. UPA eliminated not only Poles, but also Jews. Israel and Western states would never agree to the fact that the murderers of Jews are called heroes. Meanwhile, Ukraine has its real heroes, which we can honor together. They are, for example, Hetman Petro-Konashevich Sahaidachny or Symon Petliura.