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Darkness Descends on the Ukraine, or Can You Put Lipstick on a Nazi?

[1]

Dave Emory’s entire life­time of work is avail­able on a flash dri­ve that can be obtained here. [2] (The flash dri­ve includes the anti-fas­cist books avail­able on this site.)

COMMENT: An impor­tant new post by George Elia­son rais­es a num­ber of impor­tant points and, in so doing, deep­ens our under­stand­ing of the hor­ror show unfold­ing in Ukraine.

(We have done six pro­grams to date about the Ukrain­ian cri­sis: FTR #‘s 777 [3]778 [4]779 [5]780 [6]781 [7], 782 [8].)

Mr. Elia­son informs us:

“The Nazis Even Hitler Was Afraid Of” by George Elia­son; OpE­d­News; 3/16/2014. [9]

EU politi­cians that sup­port­ed the Maid­an Rev­o­lu­tion are voic­ing con­cerns bor­der­ing on fear about how much con­trol Ultra Nation­al­ists have over the gov­ern­ment in Kiev. Chan­cel­lor Merkel’s gov­ern­ment is telling her she can no longer afford to ignore the Ultra Nation­al­ists in Ukraine. They are scared Ger­many will be respon­si­ble for set­ting up a new Reich. It’s time to strip away the rest of the veneer and take a look at what’s real­ly there.

For­get about the Nazi sym­bol­ism, and ultra-nation­al­ist exu­ber­ance. I will even grant sup­port­ers of the cur­rent gov­ern­ment that much.

Every impor­tant min­istry, from edu­ca­tion and social pol­i­cy to polic­ing, pros­e­cu­tion and nation­al defense, is head­ed by Ultra Nation­al­ists. In every aspect of nation­al life, Ultra Nation­al­ists now deter­mine what it means to be Ukrain­ian and all the poli­cies need­ed to enforce it.

Even Prime Min­is­ter Arseniy Yat­senyuk falls among this mod­er­ate [?!–D.E.] major­i­ty. For gen­er­a­tions his own fam­i­ly has had a proud tra­di­tion of ser­vice to the Ultra- Nation­al­ist cause and has won awards for their ser­vice. Before Maid­an it hurt his chances for elec­tion. After Maid­an he did­n’t need to wor­ry about elec­tion.

What is Scary

In an OpEd in the LA Times, enti­tled “Ukraine’s Threat from With­in,” [10] Direc­tor of the School of Inter­na­tion­al Rela­tions at USC Robert Eng­lish very con­cise­ly warns that “the way Ukrain­ian Ultra Nation­al­ists white­wash Ban­dera his­to­ry, which is their past, makes the present and future all that much more scary.”
The Ban­deras, or Ban­derites, are activists in the Ukrain­ian Ultra Nation­al­ist move­ment that is now in con­trol of the gov­ern­ment in Ukraine. Under the mil­i­tant lead­er­ship of Stepan Ban­dera in World War II, the ultra-nation­al­ists orga­nized the Ukrain­ian Waf­fen SS Gali­cian, Nicht­en­gall, and Roland Divi­sions that col­lab­o­rat­ed with the Nazis and were respon­si­ble for the geno­cide of over 500,000 peo­ple. Fol­low­ing the war, how­ev­er, Ukrain­ian Nazis were the only group to escape tri­al at Nurem­burg for crimes against human­i­ty. More­over, nei­ther the Ban­deras, the Ukrain­ian Waf­fen SS, nor any oth­er Ukrain­ian col­lab­o­ra­tors have ever apol­o­gized for their par­tic­i­pa­tion in geno­cide.

In the land­mark work on the sub­ject , Geno­cide Com­mit­ted by Ukrain­ian Nation­al­ists on the Pol­ish Pop­u­la­tion Dur­ing World War II, Ryszard Sza­wlows­ki char­ac­ter­izes it this way:

“...the Ger­mans have long admit­ted to their crimes, and have apol­o­gized for them pub­licly .... [The] pres­i­dent of the Fed­er­al Repub­lic of Ger­many, Roman Her­zog, [said] in his speech in War­saw on August 1, 1994 ... ‘I bow before the fight­ers of the War­saw Upris­ing, and before all the Pol­ish war vic­tims. I beg for­give­ness for what the Ger­mans did.’ Russ­ian pres­i­dent Boris Yeltsin, when he kissed mon­sign­or Zdzis­law Peszkows­ki on the hand, whis­pered the words ‘I apol­o­gize’ ....

“Ukrain­ian geno­cide com­mit­ted against the Poles dur­ing World War II sur­passed Ger­man and Sovi­et geno­cide .... [It] was marked by the utmost ruth­less­ness and bar­bar­i­ty, and ... up until the present day, it has been denied or, at best, pre­sent­ed with reminders that all is “rel­a­tive’ or oth­er such eva­sions.”

Accord­ing to Sza­wlowski’s descrip­tion of the meth­ods the Ban­derites employed against the Poles at Vol­hy­nia, treach­ery was the most fre­quent­ly used. The Ban­derites told the Poles they were one peo­ple and fam­i­ly with them and that it would be trea­son if they left. The Ban­dera groups even promised to pro­tect them–in writ­ing!

What else sep­a­rates the Ban­deras from every oth­er geno­ci­dal per­pe­tra­tor of the war is this: Even though the Ger­man SS had units ded­i­cat­ed to geno­cide, the Orga­ni­za­tion of Ukrain­ian Nation­al­ists (OUN) approached this mis­sion with a zeal and bar­bar­i­ty that Hitler’s own units could not muster. They rou­tine­ly tor­tured peo­ple with saws and axes, and used the most painful meth­ods they could devise as means to kill them.

The Ban­dera would attack using “self defense groups” that were local­ly orga­nized. These civil­ian Ban­deras were the main force used to attack and slaugh­ter the Poles. If any of the mas­sacre vic­tims man­aged to sur­vive, they were torched, robbed, and killed by fol­low-up groups of women and chil­dren.

Sza­wlowski’s work on the geno­cide com­mit­ted by Ukrain­ian nation­al­ists dur­ing World War II is brought up to date by the recent obser­va­tions of Ukrain­ian Wik­tor Poliszczuk. “... he con­demns the dan­ger­ous activ­i­ties of the post-UPA [Ukrain­ian Insur­gent Army] nation­al­ists in present-day Ukraine, tak­ing place not only in Lvov, but even in Kiev, ‘Gali­cian Fun­da­men­tal­ism,’ and oth­er such phe­nom­e­na. Also crit­i­cized by him are the pro­mot­ing of the total­i­tar­i­an and geno­ci­dal doc­trines of the Ukrain­ian Dmytro Dontsov, the erect­ing of mon­u­ments to the SS-men of the 14th Ukrain­ian SS Divi­sion “Gal­izien” (“Haly­chy­na”), the OUN [Orga­ni­za­tion of Ukrain­ian Nation­al­ists] and UPA lead­ers: Yevhen Kono­valets, Andryi Mel­nyk, Stepan Ban­dera, Roman Shukhevych and oth­ers, and the glo­ri­fy­ing of the mur­der­ers of Poles, Jews, Rus­sians and Ukraini­ans as nation­al heroes of the Ukraine, after whom streets and squares are named, awak­ing the spir­it of the Dontsov and Ban­dera era, so much hat­ed by peo­ple.” This was writ­ten only a few years ago.

Every major schol­ar­ly work–a prime exam­ple is the papers of Pers Anders Rudling–show that the Ban­deras mur­dered 500,000 peo­ple with­out even the pre­text of an apol­o­gy. They have lied and tried to change his­to­ry in an effort to make Stepan Ban­dera and the Waf­fen SS heroes of the Great War. Among oth­er tac­tics, they have tried to peti­tion the UN to reclas­si­fy Ban­dera and take his name off the UN’s list of lead­ing Nazi col­lab­o­ra­tors and per­pe­tra­tors of geno­cide. Legit­imiz­ing these men would irrev­o­ca­bly change the his­to­ry of the Great War.

Accord­ing to Huff Post , “Dmitri Yarosh, leader of Right Sec­tor, met with Israel’s ambas­sador to Ukraine, Reuven Din El, and told him that their move­ment rejects anti-Semi­tism and xeno­pho­bia and will not tol­er­ate it.”

Right Sec­tor became famous at the begin­ning of the Euro Maid­an protests and sub­se­quent rev­o­lu­tion. It serves as the umbrel­la group for the com­bined mil­i­tant Ultra Nation­al­ist groups that exist­ed in Ukraine pri­or to the rev­o­lu­tion and that insist on a pure Ultra Nation­al­ist Ukrain­ian nation under the most rigid con­for­mi­ty to Stepan Ban­der­a’s phi­los­o­phy. Mr. Yarosh is the leader of Tryzub (Tri­dent) which is the core Right Sec­tor group. He has spent twen­ty years doing noth­ing else but prepar­ing for the rev­o­lu­tion that will sweep Ukraine’s gov­ern­ment into extreme Ultra Nation­al­ism.

Despite his words to the Israeli ambas­sador, Dmitri Yarosh has been very clear from his first inter­views that he is guid­ed only by Ban­der­a’s writ­ings and the writ­ings of the group’s found­ing lead­ers. He adheres to noth­ing else. Mr. Yarosh is adamant about the fact that Stepan Ban­dera was not an anti-Semi­te.

Both the Anti-Defama­tion League (ADL) and the State of Israel accept at face val­ue that, giv­en Yarosh’s claim that Ban­dera was not an anti-Semite–a claim he him­self believes–the Jew­ish com­mu­ni­ty can now relax about any con­tem­po­rary threat from Ukrain­ian nation­al­ists.

But can the State of Israel, or Abe Fox­man, chair­man of the ADL, or any­one else stick­ing his fin­gers into this pie explain away the deaths of over 200,000 Jews at Ban­derite hands? No! The ADL describes its main pur­pose as fight­ing anti-Semi­tism and all forms of big­otry, and defend­ing demo­c­ra­t­ic ideals. Coun­ter­pose to that the entire his­to­ry of the Ukrain­ian Ultra Nation­al­ist move­ment, includ­ing its his­to­ry of today. When you do, can there be any assur­ances from its rep­re­sen­ta­tives that don’t ring hol­low?

Babi Yar

The think­ing today is true to pre-WW2 form: “This can’t hap­pen again.” Part of what is cloud­ing the issue is the very Jew­ish back­grounds of some in the Kiev government–including Yat­senyuk. A few of the Oli­garchs-turned-gov­er­nors even have Israeli cit­i­zen­ship.

Dur­ing WW2, Babi Yar was the sin­gle most hor­rif­ic act of holo­caust at the time. Even today, the Ban­derite response to Babi Yar is “I am proud of the fact that among 1,500 Polizei exe­cu­tion­ers in Babiy Yar there were 1,200 OUN men but only 300 Ger­mans.” This quote is from a Rivne city offi­cial named Shku­ratiuk, and appears in the book Orga­nized Anti-Semi­tism in Con­tem­po­rary Ukraine: Struc­ture, Influ­ence and Ide­ol­o­gy by Pers Anders Rudling.

The atroc­i­ties at Babi Yar, and the accom­pa­ny­ing bru­tal­i­ty, were left to SS Nachti­gall and the polizei. Both were Ban­derite. The rea­son was sim­ple. The bru­tal work of geno­cide at this lev­el made even hard­ened Ger­man SS uncom­fort­able. This fact is even obscured in the Holo­caust Ency­clo­pe­dia at the Unit­ed States Holo­caust Muse­um.

Dur­ing the peri­od Sep­tem­ber 29–30, 1941, the first mas­sacre at Babi Yar killed over 30,000 Jews. Over the next few years the geno­cide piled up. Vic­tims from the Roma (Gyp­sies) alone num­bered almost 200,000. Ban­derite apol­o­gists have offered a range of ratio­nal­iza­tions, from “Ukraini­ans suf­fered too” to the sur­re­al “Ban­der­a’s men stepped back and the Jews did it them­selves.” No kid­ding. Babi Yar was racial sui­cide.

What sep­a­rates Ger­many from the Ban­dera Nation­al­ists in Ukraine is that Ger­many has tak­en respon­si­bil­i­ty for the atroc­i­ties they com­mit­ted. Until recent events, they could say believ­ably, “Nev­er Again.” Con­trast this to Lviv, Ukraine, where sur­viv­ing mem­bers of the WW2 Gali­cian SS, will­ing par­tic­i­pants in geno­cide, still parade on hol­i­days, proud­ly dis­play­ing medals giv­en them by the Ger­man Third Reich.

Instead of apolo­gies, the Ukrain­ian OUN/Banderites/UCCA offer apolo­get­ics and write hand­books on how to escape respon­si­bil­i­ty for griev­ous crimes against human­i­ty. They paint them­selves, quite lit­er­al­ly, as both vic­tims and heroes, not per­pe­tra­tors.

Iron­i­cal­ly, one such hand­book is enti­tled “Geno­cide- NEVER AGAIN- The Teacher and Stu­dent Work­book”, print­ed by the UCCA (Ukrain­ian Con­gres­sion­al Com­mit­tee of Amer­i­ca) on the 75th anniver­sary of the Ukrain­ian Geno­cide. The “NEVER AGAIN” in the title is of course the cry of peo­ple that man­aged to sur­vive the geno­cide. Can it also be used by the peo­ple that com­mit­ted it, unre­pen­tant­ly?

How can a group that unques­tion­ably com­mit­ted the most bru­tal tor­ture and bar­bar­ic mur­der in WW2 morph into cham­pi­ons of social jus­tice? They con­tin­u­al­ly deny involve­ment and try to con­vince the world of the same thing they teach their own peo­ple. They were vic­tims and heroes. At the same time, they glo­ri­fy their SS heroes at will. The 1st Divi­sion link is their homage to the Gali­cian SS.

Typ­i­cal UCCA Ban­derite pro­pa­gan­da looks like this: ” The only impor­tant OUN idea from the past that sur­vived is a desire for a free and demo­c­ra­t­ic Ukraine where all Ukraini­ans, regard­less of their eth­nic back­grounds, can live in peace.”

This response from a for­mer Ari­zona UCCA state chap­ter pres­i­dent real­ly needs to be con­sid­ered in the light of his­to­ry and present cir­cum­stances. That one state­ment says it all. The only ques­tion he leaves unan­swered is, Who is a Ukrain­ian? Do they include all fam­i­lies that have lived there for hun­dreds of years and speak Russ­ian? How about peo­ple that do not sup­port Ban­dera?

How Does Ban­dera Fit in 70 Years Lat­er?

On June 30, 1941 Stepan Ban­dera declared the for­ma­tion of the Ukrain­ian State in Lviv. Stepan Ban­dera made his lieu­tenant Yaroslav Stet­sko the Pre­mier. After the war the Ban­dera groups formed their Gov­ern­ment in Exile that was giv­en qui­et legit­i­ma­cy by both the US and Cana­di­an gov­ern­ments short­ly after WW2. Part of this was due to their sup­port dur­ing the cold war against the Sovi­et Union, and part due to the size of their lob­by­ing effort. They pump a lot of mon­ey into Con­gress. That they were legit­imized by the US Gov­ern­ment is clear from all the released Nazi War Crimes Dis­clo­sure Act doc­u­ments I have come across.

It is very clear that the most impor­tant branch­es of the Dias­po­ra gov­ern­ment are in the US and Cana­da. Until 2003 the exiled lead­er­ship of the Ban­dera Gov­ern­ment of Ukraine was only one step away from the per­son of Stepan Ban­dera him­self. The supreme lead­er­ship of Ban­der­a’s Ultra Nation­al­ists world­wide changed hands twice after his assas­si­na­tion. Both supreme lead­ers had been his clos­est asso­ciates.

The first was Yaroslav Stet­sko, Ban­der­a’s Pre­mier in exile. He took over con­trol of the Ultra Nation­al­ist Gov­ern­ment in Exile on the death of Stepan Ban­dera and held the posi­tion until his own death in 1986. Upon his death, his wife Sla­va Stet­sko took over the lead­er­ship role and lived to bring the world­wide move­ment home to Ukraine.

Most rec­og­niz­able Ukrain­ian politi­cians, includ­ing Vic­tor Yush­henko and Yulia Tymoshenko , are pro­tégés of Sla­va Stet­sko. This will explain why Mr. Yuschenko made Stepan Ban­dera a “Hero of Ukraine.” The EU sharply object­ed to this at the time, because of Ban­der­a’s involve­ment in geno­cide, and Vic­tor Yanukovych sub­se­quent­ly rescind­ed the award. That did­n’t work out well for him.

The 1st gen­er­a­tion Ban­dera gov­ern­ment, which pledged fideli­ty to Adolf Hitler and com­mit­ted ram­pant and bru­tal geno­cide that it still denies, was alive and well until 2003. It ruled and raised funds from the Ukrain­ian Dias­po­ra, which con­sti­tutes a third of the Ukrain­ian pop­u­la­tion world­wide, or 20 mil­lion peo­ple.

Today, the Kiev gov­ern­ment is only the 2nd gen­er­a­tion of Ban­dera gov­ern­ment. Looked at real­is­ti­cal­ly, it still pro­motes the teach­ings, poli­cies, and doc­trines of Stepan Ban­dera less than 10 years removed from their insti­tu­tion­al moor­ings.

The Ban­dera lead­ers of today were cul­ti­vat­ed to make sure they would not stray far. The present gov­ern­ment in Kiev can also be count­ed to be true to its his­to­ry.

One of the changes hap­pen­ing now in Ukraine is forced Ukrainiza­tion. If you remem­ber Nazi his­to­ry and the Hitler Youth, you’ll under­stand what Ukrainiza­tion means. It demands the same unques­tion­ing loy­al­ty from lit­tle chil­dren, a loy­al­ty even greater than that to fam­i­ly.

What is forced Ukrainiza­tion at the pre school lev­el ? Iri­na Far­i­on was a favorite for the Min­is­ter of Edu­ca­tion slot, until a dis­cus­sion behind closed doors in the Sen­ate. Sergei Kvit from Trizub (Yarosh core group), a real Ultra-Nation­al­ist, got the nod instead.

Here is Iri­na Far­i­on speak­ing to a lit­tle child: What is your name? Misha. It’s not Ukrain­ian. You are Mihai­lo!

And your name? Masha. You are Marusa. But my mom calls me this! If you want to be Masha, go to Moscow!

Don’t call oth­er chil­dren Russ­ian names. It is degrad­ing. It’s like call­ing them an ani­mal that lives in the woods and walks on all fours.

Imag­ine a gov­ern­ment offi­cial speak­ing to chil­dren like this. Chil­dren are now taught that if they have Russ­ian names they are sec­ond-class cit­i­zens. All of the chil­dren of Ukraine will grow up to be Ultra Nation­al­ists. Those instilled with Nation­al Social­ism will get a bet­ter edu­ca­tion, a bet­ter job, a bet­ter life.

What Does This Mean for South and East Ukraine?
South and East Ukraine don’t want their chil­dren taught these things. Would you? Vladimir Putin and Rus­sia are the only par­ties putting the brakes on that right now. The same Europe and Amer­i­ca that 70 years ago vio­lent­ly over­threw the forces of big­otry and indoc­tri­na­tion are now say­ing that the Ukrain­ian peo­ple must accept them qui­et­ly!

Dmitri Yarosh (Trizub and Pravy Sek­tor, and Assis­tant Sec­re­tary of Defense [Mil­i­tary] and Nation­al Secu­ri­ty): “It is bet­ter for us to build our own Nation­al State! Does that mean knives to the Moskals and ropes to the Jews? Well, not so unso­phis­ti­cat­ed. There must be a Ukrain­ian author­i­ty in Ukraine; the tit­u­lar nation must dom­i­nate in busi­ness, pol­i­tics, and culture...then–forced Ukrainiza­tion. Rus­sians do not like it? Well, go back to F#cking Rus­sia! Those that don’t want to go–we can help them. Rus­sians are not even Slavs.... Next we will lib­er­ate our lands: Voronezh, Kursk, Bel­o­gorod Oblast, and Kuban. These are all Ukrain­ian lands!”

The only prob­lem is all of these Oblasts (regions) are in Rus­sia!

No, I am not talk­ing about the US and Rus­sia. The spit pro­pa­gan­da that became west­ern media por­trays this as Cold War redux. Are you for the West? Good, you sup­port democ­ra­cy! Not so fast.

The Russ­ian inva­sion of Crimea took a turn for the weird yes­ter­day. The Prime Min­is­ter of Crimea, Sergei Aksy­onov, direct­ed Crimea’s vol­un­teer mili­tia to arrest any per­son they see that looks like a Russ­ian sol­dier!

Crimean author­i­ties have heard that Pravy Sek­tor is mas­querad­ing as Russ­ian sol­diers, try­ing to pro­voke con­flict. The now offi­cial Ukrain­ian gov­ern­ment orga­ni­za­tion tried to set off a bomb at a cafe in Crimea 2 days ago.

This isn’t about East vs. West. The choice is sim­pler than that. It is about life and death. There are no com­pro­mis­es to make. If Kiev declares Stepan Ban­dera and all asso­ci­at­ed groups are ille­gal and geno­ci­dal war crim­i­nals, the south­east in Ukraine will relax. But, quite to the con­trary, the first thing the Kiev gov­ern­ment did was to make laws that legal­ized the teach­ing of Nazi pro­pa­gan­da. With­out rep­re­sen­ta­tion, they decid­ed that 10 per­cent of peo­ple’s pay in the south­east would be tak­en with­out con­sent and giv­en as sup­port to the fam­i­lies of peo­ple that over­threw a con­sti­tu­tion­al gov­ern­ment.

Ukraine is not West vs. East. They want you to make the same deci­sion with them. Are you for a world ruled by Ultra Nation­al­ists? Ukraine says no. Are you for a gov­ern­ment that sup­ports the doc­trines of the 3rd Reich? Will you sup­port one? Are you sup­port­ing one?

If the Ukrain­ian gov­ern­ment that was pro­pelled into pow­er is not Ultra Nation­al­ist, why are they mak­ing every move to show oth­er­wise? Does the US gov­ern­ment sup­port Ultra Nation­al­ist val­ues? If not, why are they show­ing oth­er­wise?

Clar­i­fi­ca­tion starts with both gov­ern­ments adher­ing to the rule of law. Oth­er­wise, as I once heard some­one I respect­ed put it: “You can put lip­stick on a pig, but at the end of the day it is still a pig.”