Monday, January 15, 2018

The Evolution of Ethnic Cleansing in Poland and its Impact on the Lemkos Part I: The Resettlements to Ukraine (1944–1946)

by Corinna Caudill, Richard Garbera, and Maryann Sivak

Over a three and one-half year period between the autumn of 1944 and the summer of 1947, the Polish communist government forcibly deported approximately 650,000 individuals from southeastern Poland.  These actions implemented Soviet and Polish nationality policies intended to legitimize the new communist regime, to justify Soviet post-war borders along ethnic lines, and to remove the “Ukrainian problem” as a measure to ensure the security and continuity of the Polish state. The targeted population included the Lemkos, a group ideologically divided about its ethno-national identity, with some identifying as “Ukrainian” and others as “Rusyn.” Regardless of the Lemkos’ personal views on identification, however, they would ultimately comprise approximately 150,000–200,000 of the individuals who were resettled by 1947.[1]

This article specifically describes the resettlement campaigns that occurred between 1944–1946, during which time the Soviet and Polish governments resettled approximately 450,000 - 500,000 people to Soviet Ukraine.  We describe how the Polish authorities implemented resettlement policies that were initially set into motion in the fall of 1944 by the provisional Polish communist government and the Soviet Union.[2] In our description of these events, we have included excerpts of oral history interviews that these authors conducted with Lemkos who experienced the events firsthand.  The participants featured in this article include individuals who identified as “Rusyn” and “Ukrainian” and no bias toward ethno-national identity was applied in our analysis of the historical events.[3] The participants’ testimonies provide insight into how Polish and Soviet authorities carried out the various phases of resettling the targeted population, all of whom were classified as Ukrainians, to Soviet Ukraine. We describe how the authorities began with a propaganda campaign to encourage “voluntary repatriation” which ultimately evolved into coercion, violence and outright deportation. 

This article will be followed by its forthcoming companion piece, subtitled “Part II: Akcja ‘Wisła’: Resettlement to Poland’s ‘Recovered Territories’ (Spring – Summer, 1947).”  It will be featured in the next issue of the New Rusyn Times.

Encouraging “Voluntary” Resettlement through Propaganda, Coercion and Terror
 (Autumn 1944 – Summer 1945)

The first phase of resettlement actions occurred between Fall 1944 – Summer 1945, overlapping a chaotic period of Red Army occupation. During that time, the Soviet Union installed a Soviet-controlled communist government in Poland.  In the summer of 1944, the interwar Polish government remained in exile in London as the Soviets installed the Polish National Liberation Committee (Polski Komitet Wyzwolenia Narodowego or PKWN). This formally became Poland’s provisional government the following January. The event that set the stage for the resettlements occurred on September 9, 1944, when Soviet officials and members of PKWN met in Lublin and signed a population exchange agreement calling for the “voluntary” resettlement of all of “…Polish citizens of Ukrainian and Rusyn nationality”[4] to Soviet Ukraine, a policy that would ultimately affect Lemkos who did not identify as Ukrainians.[5] For the Soviets, the agreement justified drawing the new borders along ethnic lines, and allowed them to make a case for retaining territory annexed in 1939 through the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact (now western Ukraine.)  For the Polish communists, it enabled them to prove that they could successfully resolve “the Ukrainian problem,” an objective that the interwar government had failed to accomplish through assimilation and pacification policies alone.

During the same period, the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists (Orhanizatsiia Ukraïns’kykh Natsionalistiv, OUN) was planning to establish an independent Ukrainian nation. They concentrated their operations in southeastern Poland between 1944-1947, and their operational territory included the Lemko ethnographic region. The Ukrainian Insurgent Army (Ukraïns’ka Povstans’ka Armiia or UPA), the military wing of the OUN, was organized in Volyn in 1943. It became active in southeastern Poland in 1944 under OUN auspices.

On October 15, 1944, the resettlements began with a carefully-orchestrated propaganda campaign. Soviet agents held ad hoc meetings in villages where they extolled the advantages of relocation to the Soviet Union.  They promised that a “paradise” awaited new settlers, with significant land appropriations, better housing and an abundance of food.  Resettlement commissions initially targeted the Chełm (Kholm) region, where strong communist sympathies existed among the population and the prospect of settling within the Soviet Union was more politically appealing.[6]  Many residents there also agreed to relocate due to the growing frequency and severity of Polish underground raids that occurred in the spring and summer of 1944.[7]

Soon afterward, other areas were targeted, including the Lemko region.  Registrations were higher in the western Lemko counties (Krosno, Jasło, Gorlice, Nowy Sącz and Nowy Targ)[8] where Ukrainian national identity was not as prevalent compared to other areas in Poland.[9]  For people who had no land or who had been impoverished by the war, it seemed an attractive prospect. Some agreed to sign up for relocation (though the vast majority did not) and many of the initial registrants were subsequently transferred to state–run farms or collective farms in Ukraine’s central and eastern oblasts,[10] steppe regions where Stalin’s collectivization process had been well underway since the 1930s.[11]

Łukasz Wozniak from Binczarowa (Bilcareva, Grybów County), whose family did not register (they were eventually deported during the “Wisła” operation), recounted the events unfolding during that period, and described the promises made by Soviet agents:

Out of 140 families, there were 91 who went to Ukraine and only 49 families who were left after 1945…Russian agents came to the village and they used people who were pro-Ukrainian, who had cooperated with the teacher who was Ukrainian, and who had sent their children to school in Ukraine. Those people accepted the idea that they could go to Ukraine.  They convinced others from the village, their relatives, their families, their friends, neighbors and acquaintances…what hadn’t they been promised?  They were told that the fences would be hung with sausages and that they would work one year and could relax for three years because the chorna zem (black earth) of Ukraine was so fertile, they would have everything. They suffered terribly because of this.[12]

Anna and Petro Pavlak, from the village of Pielgrzymka (Peregrymka, Jasło County) were resettled in the Ternopil’ Oblast in May 1945 after registering voluntarily. Anna recalled:

The Germans fled and the Russians came. The Russians brought with them a Ukrainian representative who told us that we should sign up to move to the Ukraine because people lived well there. He said that everything would be ready and waiting for us and we would live very well. Our village was very poor because we had a lot of people living there and there was no work. People only lived on what they produced on their own farms. So my family and other people signed up and left for Ukraine. When we arrived, we found nothing waiting for us. Then the crying began. What were we going to do there?[13]

The new Lemko settlers soon discovered that the realities in Soviet Ukraine were grim. The “paradise” was in fact a wasteland of war-damaged buildings and, frequently, dwellings that had been stripped of their windows and doors by locals). They encountered oppressive collective farming practices. In some cases they were confronted by hostile indigenous populations who considered the newcomers to be “Poles” based on their dialect and territorial origins. Others had set their sights on acquiring the Polish property left behind and consequently resented the newcomers. A famine that occurred in the Ukrainian steppe between 1946-1947 resulted in the deaths of as many as one million people.[14] 

Faced with untenable conditions, some of the resettled Lemkos tried to return to their native villages in Poland. This entailed illegally crossing the border. Those who were caught were detained and sometimes imprisoned. Some, however, managed to successfully return, usually by posing as Polish repatriates or by hiding in freight cars. Mrs. Pavlak recalled how she and her husband managed to return to Pielgrzymka:

My husband came home from work and said, “It is not possible to live decently here, even in town. We are going back home to Poland.” We took a small bag, got on a train, and headed home. We did not buy train tickets, so we rode on various freight trains loaded with coal until we got to the border. At the border, encountered many people trying to run away from this ‘rich’ Ukraine. We walked to a village near the border and my husband asked the villagers how one could cross the border at night. At first, no one wanted to talk to us. They thought that he might be a spy. But then one man came and said that he knew that we were not spies because we wanted to cross the border. He told us, “Go straight, about one kilometer, and then turn right and you will cross the border.” It was a rainy night, so we hid until it stopped raining… soon we came to a barbed wire fence. We crawled under the barbed wire and we were then in Poland. We eventually came to a friendly village...the people inside were good…they covered their windows so that the light wouldn’t shine through and we waited there until morning and from there…we took the train and returned to Jasło without being stopped.[15] 

It wasn’t long before the truth about the “Soviet paradise” spread amongst the remaining targeted minority in Poland. Those who had managed to return warned others about the conditions they could really expect to find there, a message confirmed by letters that had somehow survived Soviet censors. The message spread quickly through village networks and was also promoted in underground propaganda pamphlets.  It is therefore not surprising that by the autumn of 1945, there were few if any voluntary registrations.[16] In response, the Polish government took various steps to promote registration, including threats of exorbitant taxes. Finally, it moved toward more forcible measures. Some people who attempted to resist were threatened, made to sign resettlement documents, and escorted to assembly points by soldiers. Dmytro Ksenich, originally from Nieznajowa (Neznajova, Gorlice County) described what happened when his family tried to resist resettlement in the early summer of 1945:

In 1945, after the war was over, representatives from Ukraine started to register us. They called us to the village council and told us that if we would sign up to go to Ukraine voluntarily, we could go anywhere we wished … to Kharkiv, to Donetsk, wherever... They said that if we didn’t voluntarily sign up, then they would send us to Siberia. Some of the people signed, and some didn't. My parents did not because they didn't want to leave. Everyone else had left for the train station and we remained in the village. Soon, some Poles came along on a wagon and threatened to shoot us. Well, what could we do? They took our cow from us and tied it to the wagon. They took us on the wagon to the railway station… and put us in a freight car.[17] 

    Olena Lavryk and her family, originally from Krywe (Kryve, Cisna district, Lesko County), were initially deported to the town of Zhovten (now Yezupil, Tysmenytsia Raion, Ivano-Frankivs’k Oblast) in May 1945. They managed to return to Poland, but were deported again in June.

What is really bad is that they are saying we came here voluntarily, and even now they are saying this.  But it is not true. They forced us out.  We wrote to them saying we were forced to come here. We had a paper called “evacuation paper” which meant that we could return.  It was not a deportation paper, but an evacuation paper, and they forced us out like dogs.[18] 

Such actions prompted more organized resistance efforts among the targeted population, as well as more recruits for UPA. In many villages in the eastern districts, UPA partisans helped civilians to organize local village self-defense units. These were small patrol groups called varta that warned villagers to hide in forests during raids and deportation roundups. Villages in areas outside UPA’s operational territory also organized self-defense units and warning systems to alert residents to danger.  Some civilians even fled to Czechoslovakia, planning to return to their homesteads after the resettlements were over.

In some places, including some eastern areas of the Lemko region, particularly egregious actions by the Polish underground and civilians incited people to give up resistance efforts and register for resettlement. The varta were no match for random attacks by professionally trained Polish outfits that often consisted of quasi-military units, partisans, and/or roving gangs of bandits motivated by plunder. Ivan Bil’, from Krasna (Krosno County), recounted the tragic events that occurred in his village in the late summer of 1945.  Despite the existence of a varta, he remembered that a Polish gang led by a “lieutenant” (most likely members of the Polish underground) raided Krasna, robbing and killing a number of civilians in the process. Among those murdered were Ivan’s aunt and uncle, who had returned from deportation to the L’viv Oblast and were staying in Krasna. His cousins were orphaned and in addition to the carnage, their homes were ransacked.

… It was already becoming daylight, it was dawn, somewhere around three-o’clock in the morning, and so what was there to do? They had broken everything, they took everything, removed everything from the house.  There was not even anything left for the children to wear.  Absolutely nothing! …they took three cows, a calf, a pig, and a pair of horses. They laid everything out, packed it up and left. They left the children naked and barefoot.[19]

The brutality persuaded the family to sign up for relocation, and they were transported to western Ukraine in September 1945.

We wanted to stay…but when my mother's whole family was killed, we knew that we had to go in order to avoid being killed.[20]

Despite such tactics of violence and intimidation, many managed to avoid the initial relocation campaigns and remained in Poland. Lemkos were especially tied to their land and were determined to find any way possible to avoid deportation. This included petitioning the Polish government (at both the local and national levels), changing their religious rite to Roman Catholic to pass themselves off as Poles, hiding in forested areas, or temporarily fleeing south. Vasyl Mizerny (“Ren”), the commander of UPA’s “Lemko” battalion, wrote about the desperation among villagers in Krynica (in Nowy Sącz County) that he had observed during his visit to the area from Nov. 28 - Dec. 10, 1945:

The villagers …are ready to do anything to obtain a reprieve from the government…not a few are prepared at any moment to change their religion and nationality…a lot have already done so in Wierchomla Wielka and Wierchomla Mała, some in Tylicz, and a good number of others are keeping their change of creed a secret.[21]

Nevertheless, by August 1945, a total of approximately 222,509 people had been relocated to the Soviet Union.[22]

“Operation Rzeszów”: Resettlement by Military Force
(Fall 1945 – Spring 1946)

The increasing resistance to relocation prompted Polish authorities to take more aggressive measures.  In August 1945, three infantry divisions were deployed to assist the resettlement commissions, which cited pre-war legislation and “state security” as the legal basis for their actions.[23]  This use of the regular army transformed the “voluntary” resettlements to what unquestionably became military-driven ethnic cleansing operations. Their numbers, including police units, totaled somewhere between 12,000 –15,000 men.[24] 

   On the Soviet side, the increasing number of deportees who were illegally returning to Poland prompted authorities to establish virtually impenetrable fortifications along the Soviet border, a process that was completed by November. In the meantime, Polish-Ukrainian violence in southeastern Poland had erupted into a full-fledged civil war. UPA units increased their efforts to disrupt resettlement operations by cutting rail lines, destroying bridges, ambushing Polish units, and even attacking the resettlement commissions. Underground attacks were met with reprisals. Polish army regiments and NKVD units coordinated several attacks on villages whose inhabitants were suspected of supporting the underground. Polish troops often torched entire villages to hasten the deportation process and to dissuade people from attempting to return. Frequently, UPA units burned vacated villages to prevent Poles from the east from resettling there.[25]

Teodor Drozdyak from Bogusza (Boguša, Grybów County) was deported during the “Wisła” campaign, but much of his testimony focused on the period between 1945 and 1947, when his family remained in the village after many others had left for Ukraine. He observed that the Polish army, police and civilians cooperated in the raids and attacks, a situation that was driven not only by severe ethnic animosities, but also by a desire for plunder.

We hoped for better times, but the Poles turned on us and starting harassing and robbing us. Polish authorities told us to let them know about any harassment or attacks. The villagers set up watches every day at opposite ends of the village and would ring the church bells if there were “bandits” in action. They would often come to steal cattle and horses.  On one occasion, we went to the station where there was a telephone and notified the police. The call was made at 1:15 a.m. and the police did not arrive until the next day at 11:00 a.m.  On another occasion, a bull was stolen and three men from Krilova Ruska (now Królowa Górna) and Boguša (Bogusza) were going to Nowy Sącz to report it to the police, but the bandits were waiting for them on the way and killed two of them. They told the survivor that if he didn’t want to end up the same way, he should not report any incidents.[26]  

Despite the provocations, the remaining population continued to resist resettlement to the Soviet Union at all costs.  Thus began a cycle of violence that included deportation, UPA sabotage of infrastructure to slow or prevent deportation, Polish raids on villages, UPA attacks on Poles (including officials and neighboring Polish villages) and Polish reprisals (typically involving attacks on civilians.) During that period, army and police units, elements of the Polish underground, village self-defense units, and roving bands massacred civilians, sometimes even entire villages, and robbed them of their belongings with impunity.

One of the most large-scale and brutal attacks happened in the Lemko village of Zawadka Morochowska (Zavadka Morochivska, Sanok County). According to several accounts (including victim and eyewitness testimonies), the 34th infantry regiment, under the command of a Soviet officer, conducted a raid there on January 24, 1946. They severely beat many of the villagers, killed a few, and plundered goods and livestock. As the unit retreated toward its garrison in Bukowsko, the soldiers were intercepted by a platoon from Stepan Stebels’ky’s (“Khrin”) sotnia,[27] which resulted in significant Polish losses, and many plundered items were returned to the villagers.[28] The next morning, the regiment returned in force, augmented by militia units from the nearby Polish villages of Niebieszczany and Poraż. Ukrainian underground literature contains an account of the January 25, 1946 assault on Zawadka:

…at 8 o’clock (sic), the 34th regiment, under the command of a Soviet officer, the colonel Pluto, occupied the villages: Mokre, Vŷsočanŷ (Wysoczany), Kamienne (sic) and Zavadka Morochivska (Zawadka Morochowska.)  At 8 o’clock, they surrounded the village…The soldiers, responding to the orders of their commanders, immediately began to catch, beat, and to drive together the inhabitants to the village center. Those who were caught…men as well as women and children, were beaten and (tortured) with bayonets and wires. Their eyes were picked out, their chests, their ears, their noses, their tongues were cut off.  The dead together with the living wounded were thrown into fire…among the killed was a great number of children, even infants of several months…[29]

Kateryna Bilas, who was then seventeen years old, was instructed by her mother to hide in the forest when the Polish army approached on the morning of the 25th.  When she eventually emerged from her hiding place, she discovered that most of residents had been murdered or mortally wounded, including her mother. Her account is harrowing, as she graphically described the mutilations of dozens of people. The following represents only a small excerpt of her extensive testimony, which is fairly consistent with other accounts, including the Ukrainian Underground literature.[30]

The army started shooting and I sat in the forest until they left.  When the shooting stopped and it became quiet, I returned to the village and found my mother murdered! I don't know if it was from a bayonet or what...she had her throat cut and was lying on her side.  They had dragged her onto a pile of wood and she was burning, so I ran to the well to draw some water…to put out the fire…I walked further down into the village and found the neighbor woman. She had a large icon of the Mother of God, and one daughter was lying on each side of her...she was sitting and holding this icon and they had shot through the icon, and shot both of her daughters also.... then there was a baby girl, seven or eight months old, who was stuck on a fence spike. Her arms and legs were shaking about, and the blood was flowing out...the baby lived for about half an hour.[31]

Similar raids and massacres were conducted in many villages between 1945-1946, including large-scale massacres in the villages of Terka, Pawłokoma, and elsewhere in southeastern Poland. Frequently, Polish militia units and bandit groups either carried out or assisted the operations (it was often unclear to civilians who the perpetrators were). It is clear, however, that coordinated military attacks became more frequent and systematic in 1945 and 1946. Official Polish documentation generally labels the victims (casualties) as “banderovtsi,” regardless of whether or not the victims had any actual contact or organizational affiliations with the Ukrainian underground. For example, Internal Security troops who led a raid in the village of Gorajec in Lubaczów County on April 5, 1945 recorded that they had killed approximately 400 “banderovtsi” without sustaining any casualties, although the UPA battalion that operated in that region (“Zalizniak”) only totaled about 400 men, and there is no evidence in the underground literature to indicate that a battle took place in Gorajec or that the Zalizniak battalion had sustained catastrophic losses at that time.[32]

There is documentary evidence proving that some high level officials in the Polish army explicitly condoned violence against Ukrainian civilians, including a March 24, 1946 statement by General Adam Daszkiewicz, Chief of Staff of the 5th Military District, who ordered his subordinates to “…consider all Ukrainian males as bandits, take them into custody, and shoot a certain number of them.”[33]  In addition, the frequency and brutality of raids and attacks, as well as the participation of the local Polish militia and “bandit” groups, suggests a political climate that engendered ethnic violence and incentivized criminal activity. Acts of banditry, terror and murder could easily masquerade as patriotism, and opportunistic perpetrators of such actions were rarely punished by the authorities. Ukrainian underground literature contains the depositions of three Polish Army soldiers who were captured by UPA after the January assault on Zawadka. The deposition of a Polish soldier named Kutylo Francis is consistent with the other two soldiers’ reports about the raids and provides some insight into Polish motivations for attacks on “enemy” villages:

During the quartering (in) the village Dukla, our 3rd battalion took part in (the) compulsory displacement action of villages Tchoka (sic) and Tŷl’ova (Tylawa.) The inhabitants of those villages were expelled, by force, and all their property was robbed. The lieutenant Lewicki who managed that compulsory displacement action against Ukrainians, has in his house plenty of robbed belongings.[34]

UPA’s actions to disrupt the deportations, including attacks on Polish authorities, sabotage of infrastructure, and reprisals for attacks on civilians, further motivated Polish urgency to deport the targeted population
and deprive the insurgency of their bases of support. At that time, Polish forces were still operating in direct collusion with the Soviets. In the spring of 1946 they  had initiated Operation Group Rzeszów (Grupa Operacyjna “Rzeszów.”)  Consistent with their prior modus operandi, Polish army units (commanded by Soviet officers) were frequently augmented by Polish reserve militias and self-defense units.

Operation Rzeszów concluded on June 15, 1946 without the Polish government achieving its objective of removing the entire population targeted for resettlement. The Soviets withdrew their tactical assistance and dismantled their relocation machine, marking the end of the official Soviet-Polish resettlement partnership. Events to come, including the April 1947 ambush of Polish general Karol Świerczewski by an UPA unit near Baligród, would provide Polish authorities with a pretext for continuing the resettlements and devising Operation Vistula (Akcja “Wisła”) with the interrelated goals of removing Poland’s “Ukrainian problem” and annihilating the Ukrainian underground once and for all.

To be continued in the next issue: “Part II: Akcja ‘Wisła’: Resettlement to Poland’s ‘Recovered Territories’ (Spring – Summer, 1947)”

All interviews with participants were respectfully conducted with written permission from the participants.  All rights reserved. Please do not cite or republish without the authors’ permission.


[1] For the figures cited for Ukrainians and Lemkos resettled in Ukrainian between 1944-1946 and during Operation Vistula in 1947, we referred to Rapawy, S. (2016), The Culmination of Conflict: The Ukrainian-Polish Civil War and the Expulsion of Ukrainians After the Second War. Stuttgart: Ibidem-Verlag, pp. 302, 347-348, and 427-428. See also Drozd, R. (2012). The Ethnic Policy of the Polish Communist Regime with Regards to the Ukrainian Population in Poland, 1944-1989. In T. Hunczak (Ed.), Zakerzonnia: The ethnic cleansing of the Ukrainian minority in Poland, 1944-1947 (p. 44). Clifton, NJ: Organization for the Defense of Lemko Western Ukraine, and the Lemko Research Foundation. 
[2] Subtelny, O. (2001). Expulsion, Resettlement, Civil Strife: The Fate of Poland’s Ukrainians, 1944-1947. In P. Ther & A. Siljak (Eds.), Redrawing Nations: Ethnic Cleansing in East-Central Europe, 1944-1948 (pp. 202-222). Boulder, New York, Oxford: Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield.
[3] Between 2009-2014, we interviewed individuals in Poland, Ukraine and North America who originated in villages located in the Lemko settlement region (the counties of Lesko, Sanok, Krosno, Jasło, Gorlice, Nowy Sącz and Nowy Targ) and who had been resettled between 1944-1947. Our study sample included ethnic Lemkos who self-identified as both “Ukrainian” and “Rusyn.”
[4] Misilo, E (2002). Polish Pre-war Legislation in Regard to the Post-war Deportation of the Lemkos (1944-1946). In The Lemko Region, 1939-1947: War, occupation and deportation (P. J. Best & J. Moklak, Eds.). Cracow: Historia Iagellonica Press, pp. 75-82. The people targeted for deportation included nonpolitical and Rusyn-oriented Lemkos who did not embrace a Ukrainian national identity, but were targeted for deportation based on how Polish and Soviet authorities viewed them in terms of their official ethno-national classifications.
[5] See Kordan, B. (1997). Making Borders Stick: Population Transfer and Resettlement in the Trans-Curzon Territories, 1944-1949. International Migration Review, 31(3), 704-720.; See also Drozd, pp. 35-36 in Hunczak, T. Zakerzonnia. According to Drozd, approximately 742,452 Poles and 33,105 Jews were also resettled between 1944-1946.
[6] The Chełm (Kholm) region had been part of Russian empire before World War I. Consequently, many young men from the region had served in the Russian army had been influenced by communist propaganda and formed political committees.
[7] See Ther and Siljak. p. 174
[8] For clarity and consistency, we have used Polish toponyms in this paper, with Rusyn or Ukrainian toponyms placed in parenthesis where appropriate.
[9] Although there was some OUN presence in the western Lemko region, including Mykhailo Fedak’s (“Smyrni”) self-defense units, this territory wasn’t specifically in UPA’s operational zone until late 1946. OUN had some presence until 1946 when one unit (Brodych sotnia) went there from Sanok area. There was also much less military action in this region where Ukrainian identity wasn’t as prevalent compared to the eastern Lemko region.
[10] Between April and September of 1945 there were 23 convoys, all from Kraków province going to Voroshylovhrad (Luhan’sk) transporting a total of 6,663 people.  See , p.10. (Accessed 4/23/2014.)  See also, which states that more than 12,000 Lemkos were settled to Luhan’sk between 1944-1953 (Accessed 4/23/2014)
[11] The northern and western Ukrainian oblasts (including part of Volyn) had been part of interwar Poland until the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact resulted in Soviet annexation in the autumn of 1939. See Subtelny, p.158 in Ther and Siljak (Eds).
[12] Łukasz Wozniak [Interview by R. Garbera]. (2012, July).
[13] Anna Danylo Pavlak, [Interview by Corinna Caudill and Maryann Sivak]. (2011, September).
[14] See Ellman, M. (2000). The 1947 Soviet famine and the entitlement approach to famines. Cambridge Journal of Economics, 24(5), 603-630. It is important to note that a large proportion of the resettled people (including Lemkos) were placed on collective farms (kolkhoz) and state-run farms (sovkhoz) in the eastern oblasts of Ukraine; including the Sumy, Poltava, Kharkiv, Kirovohrad, Odesa, Mykolaiv, Stalino (now Donetsk), Dnipropetrovsk and Luhansk oblasts. A severe drought in the spring of 1946 resulted in a poor harvest in these regions. The problem was exacerbated by poor agricultural mechanization, low agricultural output, high grain procurement quotas (and low procurement prices), restrictions on private trade, as well as administrative inefficiency and corruption.  This confluence of factors resulted in acute food shortages in rural areas. A famine began in the second half of that year and reached its peak between February and August of 1947, resulting in the total famine-related deaths of approximately one million people by 1948.
[15] Caudill and Sivak, Pavlak interview.
[16] See Subtelny in Ther and Siljak, p. 159
[17] Dmytro Ksenich [Interview by Corinna Caudill and Maryann Sivak]. (2011, October). 
[18] Olena Lavryck [Interview by Corinna Caudill and Maryann Sivak]. (2011, October).
[19] Ivan Bil’ [Interview by Corinna Caudill and Maryann Sivak]. (2011, October).
[20] Ibid.
[21] Cisek, J. (2012), 650 Lat Tylicza Dawnego Miastka, Tylicz, p.114.
[22] See Subtelny p. 160 in Ther and Siljak.  See alsos Ukrainskoyi Povstanskoyi Armiy Bilas, I. (1994) Represyvno-Karalna Systema v Ukraïni 1917-1953: Suspilno-Politychnyi ta Istoryko-Pravovyi Analiz: U Dvokh Knyhakh, Vol. I, p. 224.
[23] See Horbal, B. (2010). Lemko studies: A handbook. Boulder, CO: East European Monographs, p. 423. See also Misiło in The Lemko Region, pp. 75-82.
[24] See Subtelny in Ther and Siljak, p. 160.
[25] Ibid, p. 167.
[26] Teodor Drozdyak [Interview by Corinna Caudill and Maryann Sivak]. (2011, September).
[27] A sotnia was an UPA unit usually consisting of approximately 100-120 men.
[28] See the memoir of Anna Babiak (2012) in Za to że jesteś Ukraińcem Wspomnienia z lat 1944-1947 (B. Huk, Ed.), Koszalin, pp. 42-49.  See also Smoleński, P. (1998). Ukraińcy w Polsce, Historia stosunków polsko-ukraińskich, Gazeta Wyborcza, Warsaw, and Lyko, I., Zavadka Morokhivs’ka in Annals of Lemkivshchyna (Hvozda, I., Ed.), Vol. 3., pp. 77-86.
[29] Potichnyj, P. (Ed.) (1988) Litopys Ukrainskoyi Povstanskoyi Armii: English Language Publications of the Ukrainian Underground. Vol. 17. Toronto: Litopys UPA, p. 20.
[30] For the Ukrainian account, see Potichnyj, Litopys Vol. 17, pp. 17-27. Also see articles by Smoleński and Lyko.
[31] Kateryna Bilas Karachun [Interview by Corinna Caudill]. (2013, December).
[32] In his forthcoming book The Culmination of Conflict: The Ukrainian-Polish Civil War and the Expulsion of Ukrainians After the Second World War (Ibidem Press: April 2016), historian Stephen Rapawy noted that these figures are highly unlikely since the entire UPA battalion that operated in that region (“Zalizniak”) was comprised of 400 men, the casualties were not recorded in underground literature, and the battalion was clearly not eliminated by this point in time. See also Potichnyj, Litopys Vol. 30, p. 375, and Misiło, E. (Ed.). (1996). Repatriacja czy deportacja: Przesiedlenie Ukraińców z Polski do USRR 1944-1946 (Vol. I). Warszawa: Archiwum Ukraińskie. p. 104. 
[33] See Drozd in Hunczak (Ed.), pp. 30-31.
[34] See Potichnyj (Ed.), Litopys Vol. 17, p. 28.