We must remember the Huta Pieniacka murder victims - PM

Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki wrote on Twitter on Thursday that Poland owes remembrance to Poles who were murdered in Huta Pieniacka (today western Ukraine) by Ukrainians from the Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UPA), a Nazi SS division and other barbaric units.

"Seventy-five years ago, under the German occupation, they died at the hands of their neighbours because they (Polish people - PAP) felt Polish, because they were Poles," PM noted.

The Huta Pieniacka massacre is considered to be the most serious crime committed by Ukrainian nationalists in that region of Eastern Europe. On Feb. 28, 1944, Ukrainian volunteers forming a unit of the German 14th SS "Galicia" Division massacred between 850 and 900 people in the village. The main reason for the massacre was that Poles killed two soldiers of the Ukrainian unit.

Victims of Ukrainian volunteers to the Waffen SS division and Ukrainian nationalist units were not only the inhabitants of Huta Pieniacka, but also many others who had escaped from Volhynia and from villages that the UPA had razed to the ground in 1943. Jews who were threatened by German extermination also hid in Huta Pieniacka. In the village inhabited by over 1,000 people, only 160 people survived.

The SS "Galicia" Division was formed in 1943 in Lviv, Eastern Galicia. The main founder of the division was the district governor SS Otto Waechter.