Sol Littman   Letter 08   02-Oct-1999   Please disclose Huktyniachka documentation
"One of the atrocities that the Division committed which is probably best documented is what took place in a town called Huktyniachka." Sol Littman
  October 02, 1999

Sol Littman
Director, Simon Wiesenthal Center
8 King Street East, Suite 710
Toronto, ON

Tel: (416) 864-9735
Fax: (416) 864-1083

Sol Littman:

In your Tryzub and Swastika speech of 31Aug99 whose audio file you have posted on the Internet, you recount an incident which I transcribe as follows:

One of the atrocities that the Division committed which is probably best documented is what took place in a town called Huktyniachka.  There were a triangle of three Polish towns east of Lvov.  And in Huktyniachka during the winter, a few partisans began hiding in the barns, and trying to protect themselves against the brutal winter.  I suppose they stole some potatoes and beets from the field as well, from the storehouses.  And one day a German patrol went by and spotted them, and there was an exchange of fire, and two German soldiers were killed.  Rather, two members of the Division, two Ukrainian soldiers were killed.  The following week, a large contingent of German Wehrmacht, regular German soldiers, and a large contingent of Ukrainian policemen, and a large contingent from the Division, from the Waffen-SS Division, the Ukrainian Division, surrounded Huktyniachka.  They gathered all the men in the village into the village square and they shot them there.  Then they took the women and children and put them in the church.  They had wooden churches in that area.  They nailed all the doors and windows shut, and torched the building.  And if anybody managed to get out, they were machine-gunned as they emerged from the smoke and flames.

As you state that the above incident is one that is "probably best documented," I expected to have no trouble in finding accounts of it in Holocaust books, or history books but I couldn't.  I couldn't even find "Huktyniachka" on a map.  I looked for "Huktyniachka," I looked for "Buktyniachka," I looked for "Vuktyniachka" nothing!

Therefore, I request that you verify that the name of the town is indeed "Huktyniachka," and I request that you inform me what the source of your documentation is for the atrocity story.

More generally, I would remind you that when making startling claims as you do more than once in your Tryzub and Swastika speech in order to win credence it is advisable to simultaneously disclose what evidence you have to support those claims.  Since you laid your claims before the public in your speech of 31Aug97, you have had more than two years to disclose your supportive evidence.  If you have already done so, please inform me of where this disclosure of supportive evidence can be found.  In the alternative, if you have not as yet done so, then you should immediately do so, as your statements are damaging, and in the absence of substantiation give the appearance of hate propaganda.  If, in the third alternative, you are unable to provide substantiation for your statements, then it is obligatory that you admit to being unable to do so, and to withdraw the statements.  Mere silence will invite the interpretation that you have neither the evidence nor the integrity to admit that you do not have the evidence.

But to return to Huktyniachka I await your forwarding to me the correct spelling of the name of this town, and as well the source or sources which you claim render the story of Huktyniachka among the "best documented" of all the atrocity stories connected with the Galicia Division.

Lubomyr Prytulak