DEAR MR. MYKYTCHUK
28, Vicar's Close
Dear Mr. Mykytczuk,
First of all, I must apologise for taking so long to answer your letter, please forgive the delay. Of course I remember our meeting in 1945, with "Verdi". I believe we also spoke with each other during the winter of 1944 in the mountains around Tramonti — or, if not with you, with one of your compatriots.
I too visited Udine and the places we were in and saw Don Lino and Don Aurelio among others, and have written a book about my experiences in 1944. At the moment publishing a book in England is not easy because of the economic depression, so I shall no doubt be lucky if it gets into print. This is partly why I have been so slow in answering.
I enclose a copy of the memorandum you gave me, made from a copy I made at the time. I made a few corrections in the English phrasing or grammar, but it is a true copy. I hope you will find this useful and acceptable.
Of the Ukrainian question, I have often thought about it since, more especially in recent years. Obviously perspectives alter with time, but I very much doubt whether anything else could have been expected at that period. My personal reaction was that it was very interesting, of great potential importance and possibly tragic. But it also seemed impossible that it could make any progress at that moment. The Western Allies had all they could manage to defeat Hitler (and Japan); to break the alliance with the USSR was just what Hitler wanted and would have been fatal. Although Churchill began to recognise the Soviet threat under Stalin (he had after all promoted the "intervention" in 1918/21), Roosevelt did not share his view but suspected British motives and thought he could handle Stalin better himself. England was the only European power in being, for the moment, and could not save Poland, whose integrity she had "guaranteed". Nobody was prepared for a Third World War or a continuation of the Second. It t ook several years for the British to convince USA that they must take over the leadership of the West.
The critical time seems to have been in the period after the Revolution when the Ukraine might have been invited to the Genoa conference in 1922. This is mentioned in an interesting French book, "L'empire eclate" by Helene Carrere d'Encausse (Flammarion 1978), which you may know. The little I have seen in English seems uncertain about the fact of Ukrainian "separateness", presumably because of distance and insufficient knowledge and information. This does not mean that it is not an idea whose time can yet come.
Being ignorant I should like to know more; if you can tell me of any comprehensive books on the history of the Ukraine I should be very much obliged. I believe it would be very useful if you could say as much as possible in your book about the activities of the Ukrainian partisans against the Germans e.g. Section C, part 7, last two sentences on page 7; Section E part 4 and Section F, first sentence when you mention the charges of "collaboration" with the Germans. In the West the difficulties of a nation or people squeezed between two powerful neighbours, Germany and Russia, are not much understood.
I should have sent this at the end of May but a difficult period supervened in June and I could not finish it until now, for which I apologise; having just been involved in preparing a book I realise how frustrating it can be to be held up by circumstances outside your control and I hope you will forgive my delay.
If there is anything further I can do to help please let me know; I may be going to Udine again later in the year. I wish you success with your book and look forward to reading it.
(written in France)