The attempts to claim the renewal of the Ukrainian State on June 30th, 1941, and to establish its governmental structures in the beginning of the German-Soviet war were not successful, because the goals of Ukrainian independence movement contradicted colonial interests of the Third Reich in the East.
Independent Ukraine inherited from its history of occupation many unexplored and controversial topics. Prisons, ghettos, concentration camps, places of mass murder are monumental witnesses of crime committed by totalitarian regime. Now there is a great need to study all those topics, which for a long time were marked as “top secret”.
We want to declassify Ukrainian history with the help of documents and facts that we have gathered together, and also using our research projects.
If you are interested in the topics discussed by the Museum or if you want to find historical truth – we encourage you to cooperation. We invite all researchers to use digital archive of the Museum. Your researchers may be sent to the following e-mail: email@example.com (Please type “publication” in the subject of your e-mail).
In the territory of Rivne region German occupants created an advanced system of places of forced retention for various categories of people. According to our estimates, there were 21 ghettos, 6 camps for civil population, 17 camps for Soviet POW’s and many prisons. Hitler's occupation policy was conducted with the help of this punitive-repressive system.
In Volyn, as well as in other regions of Ukraine, German occupational regime carried out fundamental extermination of Jewish people. In contrast to Galicia, where the occupational regime was relatively liberal, there Nazis used the cruelest methods of total war, organizing mass massacres of local people for the slightest disobedience.
In the Second World War Hungary fought on the side of the third Reich. In March 1944 it mobilized and sent to the Eastern frontier in Southern Galicia the first Hungarian army (136.000 people) headed by the general-colonel Heiza Lakatos. Together with the 7th Hungarian corpus, on April 5th, 1944, this army was subordinated to the administration of the German groups of armies “Northern Ukraine”. Shielding the frontier line in this territory, it fought with Soviet troops and Ukrainian insurgents.
In between the two wars Poland and Hungary considered the Czechoslovakian republic an artificial state without strong historical traditions and foundation for the existence. Due to this at the moment of the Munich crisis in 1938, together with Germany they wanted to liquidate this country. Both of the countries were especially interested in Subcarpatho Rus. In particular, foundation of the Ukrainian autonomous unit within Czechoslovakia could become a threat towards their desire of centralization and could stir up Ukrainian liberation movement in the territory of Western Ukraine.
According to the data provided by the Ukrainian military mission, the camp Łańcut was one of more than 20 camps for interned Ukrainian servicemen that existed in the territory of Poland. Despite difficult conditions, the Łańcut was a hive of cultural and educational activity.
The first three months after the occupation of the territory of Carpatho-Ukraine, Hungarian troops, policemen and counter-intelligence bodies used terror and repressions against local people. Violent harassment, beating, torturing and execution by shooting of active participants of Ukrainian national liberation movement in the region was a sign of self-will of punitive bodies and an act of revenge to “insubordinate Ukrainians” for betraying the Hungarian Kingdom.
Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact on non-aggression between the USSR and Germany was signed on August 23, 1939. It became political and legal base for the development of Soviet-German relations in 1939-1941. Friendship of two dictators lasted from autumn 1939 until spring 1940.
After occupation of Ukrainian territory, German administration divided it in such a way that Galicia as a separate district was annexed to Governorate-general. During the Nazi occupation development of Ukrainian schools depended on the character and aim of Hitler’s “new order”, that’s why Ukrainian education system was an inmate of an official ideology.
Because of the breakout of the Second World War a new school year in 1939 began only in October and it was marked with drastic change of education system that was caused by the Soviet rule. Sovietization of schools was accompanied with russification and its key element – atheism. Schools that already existed were not closed in order to keep the sympathy of local people, but all schools were reorganized according to the Soviet scheme.
One of the most respected and educated priests of the Ukrainian Greek-Catholic Church in Western Ukraine in the end of the 1930s – in the beginning of the 1940s and a passionate supporter of Ukrainian national idea was Havryil Kostelnyk. A professor of the Greek-Catholic Theological Academy in Lviv, author of a number of philosophical and religious books, researches of literature and language, works in history of Christian church was also trusted by the metropolitan of the Ukrainian Greek-Catholic Church Andrey Sheptytskyi.