Disinformation: The 14th Waffen SS Galicia Division was a “collaborationist criminal fascist” formation and participated in various war crimes during WW2.
Between 1943 and 1945, TWENTY-FOUR non-German divisions were formed in various Nazi-occupied European countries due to a shortage of German manpower, among them: Ukraine, Holland, Denmark, Belgium, Italy, France, Norway and others.
All of these military units were designated as Waffen SS divisions. To be sure, the Waffen SS divisions participated in military operations ONLY, and NOT in police actions.
After much debate, the Ukrainian Central Committee (UCC located in Krakow, Poland) acceded to the German “proposal” of forming a Ukrainian division to be officially called “14 Waffen Grenadier Division der SS, Galizische Nr. 1” – or the “Galicia Division”. Moreover, it was agreed that the Ukrainian division was to be deployed for service ONLY on the EASTERN FRONT against the Soviets. The UCC also hoped that this enterprise might help improve the treatment of Ukrainians, whom the Nazis also considered “Untermenschen” (“sub human”). The Galicia Division and the Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UPA) were two separate military entities with different origins and immediate objectives.
The motivation behind forming a Ukrainian military unit within Germany’s armed forces was greatly influenced by the experience of WW1. At the beginning of WW1 Ukrainians living in western Ukrainian provinces under the Austrian Empire were able to form their own regiment, the Sich Riflemen (Sichovi Striltsi), within the Austro-Hungarian armed forces. The war in the east ended with the front lines in Ukraine, and soldiers and officers of the Sichovi Striltsi soon formed the core of the nascent army of the newly declared Ukrainian National Republic (UNR). These experienced and disciplined soldiers allowed the UNR Army to fight off the invading Soviet Russian and Polish armies for three years (1918-1920) despite a total lack of support from the West. It was therefore surmised that if WW2 ended with the front lines in Ukraine, or if Allied forces of the West were to engage the Soviet Union, then a highly trained, well equipped fighting force would be an effective argument for an independent Ukrainian state. Sadly, neither scenario came true, but while stationed in Slovakia, the Galicia Division saved the lives of thousands of Ukrainian refugees fleeing the Soviet onslaught. It is important to note that prior to the end of WW2, the Division became the core of the Ukrainian National Army, commanded by General Pavlo Shandruk, and surrendered to the British and Americans as such on May 8-11, 1945. After being investigated by the Allies and cleared of any crimes during the war, its members settled in Great Britain, Canada, the USA and other countries. In Canada the Deschenes Commission (February 1985 – December 1986) also found that this fighting unit committed NO war crimes.