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‘Undetermined’ Ukrainians

Post-War Narratives of the Waffen SS ‘Galicia’ Division

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Olesya Khromeychuk

Memories of the Second World War play an important role in contemporary politics and society across Eastern Europe. One of the most controversial yet least studied pages of Ukraine’s wartime history is that of the Waffen SS ‘Galicia’ Division, whose members are usually portrayed either as war criminals or as freedom fighters. The history of this unit is not limited to the Ukrainian context; it also has relevance throughout Eastern Europe, as well as in Britain, Canada and the USA. In the aftermath of the war, the ‘Galicia’ Division surrendered to British and American troops, but was not repatriated to the USSR, despite Soviet demands. Instead, its members were brought to the UK and eventually allowed to settle in the West, and this unexpected turn of events continues to cause much controversy.
This book explores why over 8,000 members of the Waffen SS were allowed to move permanently to the West, by analysing the complex series of events and decisions that characterized the journey of the ‘Galicians’ from capitulation to acceptance into civilian life. Drawing on a rich range of different sources, the book examines the variety of often conflicting narratives created by the Division members, their supporters and their opponents, as well as the continuing influence of these narratives today. In doing so, the book sheds light on the complex processes of memory politics.

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Acronyms and Abbreviations

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1st UD UNA 1-a Ukraїns’ka Dyviziia Ukraїns’koї Natsional’noї Armiї, 1st Ukrainian Division of the Ukrainian National Army. AUGB Association of Ukrainians in Great Britain. CROWCASS Central Registry of War Criminals and Security Suspects. CURB Central Ukrainian Relief Bureau. DP Displaced Person. DUN Druzhyny ukraїns’kykh natsionalistiv, Legion of Ukrainian Nationalists. EVW European Voluntary Workers. HIAG Hilfsorganisation auf Gegenseitigkeit der ehemaligen Angehörigen der Waf fen-SS, Mutual Support Organization of Former Members of the Waf fen SS. Hiwi Hilfswillige, voluntary assistant. IGCR Intergovernmental Committee on Refugees. IRO International Refugee Organization. NA National Archives, UK. NKVD Narodnyi komissariat vnutrennikh del, People’s Commissariat for Interior Af fairs. OKW Oberkommando der Wehrmacht, German Supreme Command of the Armed Forces. Orpo Ordnungspolizei or Order Police, regular uniformed German police. OUN Orhanizatsiia ukraïns’kykh natsionalistiv, Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists. (OUN-B: Stepan Bandera’s branch; OUN-M: Andrii Mel’nyk’s branch). x Acronyms and Abbreviations POW Prisoner of War. ROA Russkaia osvoboditel’naia armiia, Russian Liberation Army. RONA Russkaia osvoboditel’naia narodnaia armiia, Russian Liberation People’s Army. SA Sturmabteilung, ‘Storm Detachment’ or assault division. SEP Surrendered Enemy Personnel. SS Schutzstaf fel, ‘Protection Squadron’ or defence corps. UNDO Ukraїns’ke natsional’no-demokratychne ob’iednannia, Ukrainian National-Democratic Alliance. UNR Ukraїns’ka Narodna Respublika, Ukrainian People’s Republic. UNWCC United Nations War Crimes Commission also known as United Nations Commission for the Investigation of War Crimes. UPA Ukraїns’ka povstans’ka armiia, Ukrainian Insurgent Army. UTsK Ukraїns’kyi tsentral’nyi komitet, Ukrainischen Hauptausschuß, Ukrainian Central Committee. UVO Ukraїns’ka viis’kova orhanizatsiia, Ukrainian Military Organization. UVV Ukraïns’ke Vyzvol’ne...

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