Between Hitler and Stalin

Between Hitler and Stalin: Ukraine in World War II is a 2003 film produced and directed by Slavko Nowytski and narrated by Jack Palance. The one-hour documentary, part black-and-white and part color, is a project of Ukrainian Canadian Research and Documentation Centre – an attempt to tell the story of World War II from a Ukrainian perspective.

Between Hitler and Stalin
Between hitler and stalin film.jpg
Film poster
Directed bySlavko Nowytski
Written byKristi Wheeler
Story byWsevolod W. Isajiw
Produced bySlavko Nowytski
Narrated byJack Palance
Distributed byUkrainian Canadian Research and Documentation Centre
Release date
  • 2003 (2003) (Canada)
Running time
60 minutes

In a chronological manner, Nowytski's film unfolds during the years of Soviet–Nazi collaboration recounting the losses and suffering of the Ukrainian people; the documentary shifts to the destruction wrought by Joseph Stalin's scorched earth policy as the Soviet Union's Red Army retreated, and shows the ruins left behind by the German and then the Soviet offensives.[1]

Between Hitler and Stalin describes the activity of the underground resistance movements, and specifically the long and large-scale struggle of the Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UPA) on two fronts, against both totalitarian powers, for Ukraine's independence. As Oksana Zakydalsky writes for The Ukrainian Weekly: "although [World War II is] often called the Russo-German war or described as Russia at war, only parts of Russia were occupied, while all Ukrainian territories were invaded and laid waste by both the Nazi and Soviet war machines. ... The film documents Ukraine's contribution to the war against totalitarianism and the price Ukraine paid for its independence."[1]

For historical and political commentary, the film relies on Norman Davies, a historian from University of London; Robert Conquest, a Soviet scholar at Hoover Institute; John Armstrong, an insurgency expert, and Zbigniew Brzezinski, a former US National Security Adviser.


  1. ^ a b Zakydalsky, Oksana. Documentary "Between Hitler and Stalin" offers untold story of Ukraine Archived September 30, 2007, at the Wayback Machine. The Ukrainian Weekly. 9 November 2003, No. 45, Vol. LXXI.