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Józef "Ziuk" Turowski (died in Warsaw, 24 July 1989) was a Polish military historian associated with the Polish Society of War Veterans.[1] He wrote the first, ground-breaking publication dealing with the number of Poles massacred by OUN-UPA in Volhynia (Polish language: Województwo Wołyńskie ) during World War II—(English translation of title) Crimes Perpetrated against the Polish Population of Volhynia by Ukrainian Nationalists, 1939–45,[2] published in 1990, soon after the collapse of the Soviet Union.[3] Turowski died shortly before the book, kept from publication for four years by the authorities, became available in Poland in a limited edition.


Volhynian Voivodeship, Eastern Poland, 1939

Turowski's book, written with the aid of publicist and former Armia Krajowa soldier Władysław Siemaszko, is fundamental to an understanding of postwar questions surrounding the 1942–45 massacres of Poles in Volhynia.[3] It was reprinted in large numbers and made available across the new democratic Poland by Volhynian veterans of the Home Army. The second print run produced an avalanche of letters from survivors of massacres, giving additional facts and localities that had been left out. The book features first chronological register of the OUN-UPA’s attacks on the Polish population with dates, places, short descriptions of the committed crimes as well as estimates of the number of victims and their names whenever possible. Most of the accounts listed are based on materials gathered by Turowski for a memorial project initiated in 1985 by the Polish veterans of the Twenty-Seventh Division of the AK.[4] About a thousand Volhynian localities are mentioned there for the first time.[3] The author points out, however, that this was only the first stage of research. The book was followed by a more recent and much more extensively documented ten-year long project undertaken by Władysław Siemaszko with daughter, Ewa Siemaszko, who were able to identify by name almost 20,000 victims of Ukrainian ethnic cleansing in only half of the administrative units of Volhynia with the true losses exceeding 60,000 civilian Poles; men, women and children. The book was published in Warsaw in 1990 by the Institute of National Remembrance Środowisko Żołnierzy 27 Wołyńskiej Dywizji Armii Krajowej.

Turowski is the author of Pożoga: Walki 27 Wołyńskiej Dywizji AK (English: The Blaze: Battles of the 27th Volhynian Division of the Home Army) published in 1990.[3] Like many historians, Turowski attempted to estimate the scope of Jewish losses in Volhynia as well during the war. His research was supplemented with citations from memorial books and testimonies of survivors of terror inflicted by the OUN-UPA on Jewish Poles; books written by Zofia Grzesiakowa,[5] Tadeusz Piotrowski,[6] Władysław Hermaszewski,[7] Wincenty Romanowski,[8] Czesław Piotrowski,[9] and Jędrzej Giertych.


  • Józef Turowski, Pożoga: Walki 27 Wołyńskiej Dywizji AK (English: The Blaze: Battles of the 27th Volhynian Division of the Home Army) published by Polskie Wydawnictwo Naukowe, Warsaw, 1990; 597 pages, maps and over 70 photographs. ISBN 978-83-01-08465-3 [3] [4]
  • Józef Turowski, with Władysław Siemaszko, Zbrodnie nacjonalistów ukraińskich dokonane na ludności polskiej na Wołyniu 1939-1945, Warsaw: Główna Komisja Badania Zbrodni Hitlerowskich w PolsceInstytut Pamięci Narodowej, Środowisko Żołnierzy 27 Wołyńskiej Dywizji Armii Krajowej w Warszawie (English: Crimes Perpetrated Against the Polish Population of Volhynia by the Ukrainian Nationalists, 1939–1945, published by the Main Commission for the Investigation of Nazi Crimes in Poland – Institute of National Remembrance, and Association of Soldiers of the 27th Volhynian Division of the Home Army; Warsaw, 1990.

See also

  • List of Poles

Notes and references

  1. (Polish) "Musieliśmy pokazać tragedię na Wołyniu" Z Ewą Siemaszko rozmawia Mariusz Bober, Nasz Dziennik, 22-23 listopada 2008, Nr 273 (3290); (English: Interview with Ewa Siemiaszko by Mariusz Bober, published by Nasz Dziennik magazine, November 22, 2008)
  2. (Polish) Józef Turowski; Władysław Siemaszko, Zbrodnie nacjonalistów ukraińskich dokonane na ludności polskiej na Wołyniu, 1939–1945. Warsaw, Wydawnictwo von borowiecky Publishing, 2000. Second edition, foreword by Prof. dr Ryszard Szawłowski. ISBN 83-87689-34-3. [1] [2]
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 Krzysztof Łada, Creative Forgetting. Polish and Ukrainian Historiographies on the Campaign against the Poles in Volhynia during World War II in Volhynia 1943-1944 by Chudzicka. Pages 340–374.
  4. (Polish) Henryka Rotbart, Spis żołnierzy 27. WDP AK, samoobrony i konspiracji (English: Register of soldiers, self-defence and resistance), Wołyńska Dywizja Piechoty AK, homepage.
  5. Zofia Grzesiakowa, Miedzy Horyniem a Słuczą (English: Between the Horyń and Słucz Rivers', Warsaw, Państwowy Instytut Wydawniczy, 1992
  6. Tadeusz Piotrowski, Vengeance of the Swallows: Memoirs of a Polish Family’s Ordeal Published by Jefferson, North Carolina, and by London: McFarland, 1995.
  7. Władysław Hermaszewski, Echa Wołynia (English: Echoes of Volhynia), Warsaw: Bellona, 1995.
  8. Wincenty Romanowski, Kainowe dni (The Days of Cain) Warszawa: Instytut Wydawniczy Związków Zawodowych, 1990.
  9. Czesław Piotrowski, Krwawe żniwa za Styrem, Horyniem i Słuczą (Bloody Harvests Beyond the Styr, Horyń and Słucz Rivers), Warszawa: Światowy Związek Żołnierzy Armii Krajowej Okręg Wołyński, 1998.

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