The SS Galizien is fairly complex. The original formation, drawn from
some members armed nationalist groups and others was pretty much
destroyed in the Battle of Brody. The few soldiers that managed to
regroup were withdrawn from combat and the unit was reformed with the
promise that the unit was to form the 1st Ukrainian Division of an army
to Liberate Ukraine.
> In March 1945, Ukrainian émigrés established the Ukrainian National
> Committee to represent Ukrainian interests in the Third Reich.
> Simultaneously, the Ukrainian National Army was created with the
> intention of combining all Ukrainians fighting on Germany’s side, the
> first being the SS Galizien Division. The C-in-C was General Pavlo
> Shandruk [Pawlo Szandruk], a decorated former colonel in the Polish
> army. He was assigned command of the Galizien division (which he
> renamed as "1st Ukrainian Division of the Ukrainian National Army" so
> as to remove the SS association). On 7 May 1945, the division
> capitulated to British and American forces and its members were
> interned in Italy. The renaming of the division, the fact that its
> members had been until 1939 de facto citizens of interwar Poland and
> the intervention of the Vatican all combined to save its members from
> deportation to the USSR. Following its surrender, 176 members of the
> division joined General Anders' Polish army. In 1947, former members
> of the Waffen SS Galizien Division were allowed to emigrate to Canada
> and to Britain, where they worked on farms.
In Canada, the Deschenes Commission investigated the allegations, but
took little action.
The historical problem is that many Ukrainians considered Polish rule of
the Galician, Wolyn and southern Podlasie kresy as an occupation. While
it is clear that Bandera and his ilk were bad folks, some saw (and still
see) the mission of liberation proclaimed by OUN, UPA and others as
heroic, none the less.