New book on 14 Galician Division

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Melnyk
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Location: England

New book on 14 Galician Division

Post by Melnyk » 21 Oct 2009 19:02

Hello,

A new photo history book entitled “Ukrainian Division ‘Galicia’ 1943-1949” [that is to say from the formation of the division up until the end of its internment in Italy] , edited by Bohdan Maciw has just been published in L’viv. The Editor also happens to be the veterans association official photo-archive keeper.

The limited text is in Ukrainian as are the picture captions but general translations of the captions together with a brief synopsis are given in the back of the book in English.

General Comments
It is a sign of the changing times that for the first time ever Mr Maciw, himself an officer veteran of the Galician Division has been brave enough to publish a photo of the first page of his Soldbuch. Although at first I thought finding a Soldbuch issued to a Ukrainian would be a tall order, during the 15 years of my research I quickly discovered that many veterans had retained them. Some would not allow me to copy or photograph them, whilst others were happy for me to do so but always under the strict proviso that they would not be made public in any way until they had passed away. Hence although I collected quite a number of Soldbuchs, the examples I used to illustrate my book To Battle, (with the exception of Heike’s) all belonged to vets who had died before I published.

Photos
I should also record that quite magnanimously Mr Maciw gave me unlimited access to the photos from the vets archive from which I chose those which I considered to be the best or most appropriate. Hence some of the pictures in this new book have already appeared in mine. A number of others have previously been used by Landwehr in his book ‘Fighting For Freedom’, but appear here for the first time with accurate captions (Landwehr mixed his pictures with some which do not show the Galician div or it’s member at all).

Of the remainder, at least 50% are newly published for the fist time (outside of vets periodicals etc) and some are really excellent whilst the overall choice will perhaps disappoint the hard core military enthusiasts who are looking for specific pictures of weapons and insignia etc. Hence occasionally the content / quality and to a lesser extent the subject matter of the pictures has been sacrificed to maintain continuity or because the illustrations have been used to convey a distinct ‘Ukrainian’ feel as might be expected. For example there are plenty of superb, professional quality pictures taken during Himmler’s visit to the division in May 1944, which have yet to see the light of day, because the vets understandably don’t want to use anything associated with Himmler. Instead pictures from Wachter’s visit in April 1944 have been used which as a rule are not as good as the photo from Himmler’s visit. Notwithstanding this, some pictures have been used that would have previously been considered “unsuitable”, by the vets (ie showing Swastika flags etc) which does something to redress the balance and help maintain its credibility.

A fair number of the photos also show Ukrainians wearing the SS lightning runes (almost all the pictures are captioned with names and dates) which was something common in the early days of the Division. However I am sure there will still be a hard core element of readers who will simply deny that they show Ukrainians, or that the pictures have been doctored or give some other ridiculous reason to support their view that Ukrainians never wore them.

Overall in my opinion the overall content is very good, and gives a more complete photo record of the Div, than any other publication to date. The book is a valuable assest to anyone wishing to have a photo history of the Galician division, and I for one shall treasure my copy.

Best wishes

Mike Melnyk

Phil Don
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Re: New book on 14 Galician Division

Post by Phil Don » 21 Oct 2009 19:28

Hi Mike

Good info but do you know where to found this book?

Phil D.

Melnyk
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Location: England

Re: New book on 14 Galician Division

Post by Melnyk » 22 Oct 2009 17:17

Subject: Mistake in previous message.

Hello

in my last message I wrote that all the photos of Soldbuchs I published in my book belonged to those who have had passed away by the time of publication but this is not true.

Thinking back (although I haven't actually looked) I published the Soldbuch of Jaroslav KUNYSKJ who was alive at the time and I remember being very grateful that he was prepared to allow me to do it.

From memory the other Soldbuchs / documents belonging to KOSAK, MASLIJ, RAKOBOWCHUK etc I published all belong to those who had passed away.

In answer to a question, i think i have around a dozen or copies and these (with two exceptions one German and one Ukrainian) were received directly from the veterans themselves or via the vets organisation. Other books I was sent I returned to families after their loved one had died and I think I may have sent one or 2 to Museums such at the Divisional Musuem in L'viv.

I spent a great deal of time trying to find Soldbuchs of living members of the Galician Div who had had them taken from them by British or US soldiers, but despite a great many letters and emails to militaria dealers throughout the world, I was never able to track down the individual books.

One guy hid his book in a crack under a bridge in Austria during the retreat in May 1945, but was unable to find it when he returned 50 years later. Sadly he has passed away and I cannot remeber exactly which bridge it was but it must have been one of a handful along the retreat path.


Later I will post details of how to obtain this new book


Best wishes

Mike Melnyk

Melnyk
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Location: England

Re: New book on 14 Galician Division

Post by Melnyk » 24 Oct 2009 19:36

I have had an email from the author of the book which reads as follows:

Dear Michael,

Thank you for your letter. I am glad that the album safely arrived at your address. Am waiting for your comments.

Tomorrow there will be the presentation of the Album in Lviv . Please see the attached invitation. Unfortunately, due to health problems, I shan’t be able to attend.

To order the album, please give the address, and I shall order it to be sent from Ukraine.

The cost of the album is 35.00 U.S. dollars, including shipment. Delivery may take two to three weeks. The order can be placed to me by e-mail or regular mail.

Bohdan

I will try and establish whether interested parties can email him directly, and if so how payment can then be made.

Best wishes

Mike Melnyk

Melnyk
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Re: New book on 14 Galician Division

Post by Melnyk » 26 Oct 2009 17:45

As a matter of interest the book is approx 250 pages long and has an estimated 100 or so wartime pictures which are probably new to most people (well they certainly don't spring to mind as being in my collection or in any of the other publications that I have).

best wishes

Mike Melnyk

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Askold
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Re: New book on 14 Galician Division

Post by Askold » 30 Oct 2009 02:04

The album cover. Will try to get my hands on it, they go somwhere around 50-60$, but are apparently hard to find.

Image

moblyschuk
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Re: New book on 14 Galician Division

Post by moblyschuk » 02 Jan 2010 20:24

Hi Mike
My father died last year, which prompted me to explore where we came from. We did do this whilst dad was alive as he did not wish to discuss his past, apart from his home in Tluste, Zalischykya. I received some of his personal belongings and found a photo of him as a teenager in a uniform. I found your site and it appears that he was a member of the Ukranian Galacian Division. You seem to know alot about this unit, my initial question is could I confirm his membership by checking a list, he did once mention being captured in Italy, could be Rimini.

best regards

Marko

POMAH
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Re: New book on 14 Galician Division

Post by POMAH » 27 Feb 2010 21:47

I am wondering how i can get a copy of this book. My grandfather fought in the division when he was 18. He passed away a short time ago and i have taken an interest in his history. I have looked for books everywhere and have not found anything. If you have any information on how i can purchace or order this book it would be greatly appreciated.

Roman

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Marcus
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Re: New book on 14 Galician Division

Post by Marcus » 28 Feb 2010 11:52

Three posts were split off into a new thread entitled War crimes of the 14th SS Division.

/Marcus

JamesL
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Re: New book on 14 Galician Division

Post by JamesL » 08 Mar 2010 22:13

I don't have a dog in this fight but I just hate it when a thread gets hijacked. Somebody has a chip on their shoulder and the next thing you know we are in Never-Never Land.

Let's ban all Boston Red Sox fans!

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