On October 2nd-4th, the Warsaw Europium Center of Orthodox Culture will host an international conference entitled, “Reconciliation in Central and Eastern Europe: New Challenges”, which will be held within the scoped of the “Reconciliation in Europe” project.
The theme of the conference will be linked with reconciliation in Central and Eastern Europe. An important impetus for the organization of the conference was recently published documents concerning Polish-Ukrainian relations, in particular, the “Joint Declaration on the Occasion of the 70th Anniversary of the Volyn tragedy between the Roman Catholic and Greek Catholic churches in Poland and Ukraine”.
Considered one of the darkest periods in the history of both nations, the Volyn Tragedy occurred between 1943-1944. Units of the Ukrainian Insurgent Army killed up to an estimated 100,000 Poles in Volyn and eastern Galicia, which were former Polish territories that are now in western Ukraine, as part of an ethnic cleansing operation.
Numerous publications and statements in the media – both in Poland and in Ukraine – illustrate the diversity of opinions and interpretations of the historical events. Therefore, during the conference historians and experts will present the roots of the problem of the Polish-Ukrainian reconciliation efforts and the effects of the already achieved results from the point of view from the historical perspectives of both nations.
Historians will also try to answer several basic questions, including: “What is the Polish- Ukrainian problem?”, “What are its roots?”, “What are the agreements in place between Poland and Ukraine?”, and “At what stage do both nations find themselves in the process of reconciliation?”
Representatives from the Ukranian Greek Catholic Church, the Ukranian Orthodox Church, the Roman Catholic Church and the German Evangelical Lutheran Church are also expected to address the conference.