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Nazis in Ukraine, Hypocrisy Elsewhere, Including Israel

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Babi Yar Massacre

COMMENT: Addressing the Knesset (Israel’s parliament), Ukrainian president Petro Poroshenko recently gave a pro-forma apology for the participation of Ukrainians in the Holocaust. The fact that he escaped significant criticized in Israel (or anywhere else for that matter) for laying a wreath in tribute to the OUN/B at Babi Yar speaks loudly for the overwhelming hypocrisy concerning the true nature of the Ukrainian government and the forces that brought it into being.

It would be impossible to exaggerate the role of the OUN/B successor organizations in Ukraine’s “new” government, with Svoboda and Pravy Sektor deeply involved with that benighted country’s military and intelligence establishments. Furthermore, the post-Maidan political landscape has featured OUN/B participants such as Roman Svarych (personal secretary to Ukraine’s World War II collaborationist government chief Jaroslav Stetsko) serving as an advisor to Poroshenko, after having served as Ukrainian minister of justice under the Yuschenko regime and both Timoshenko governments.

Poroshenko’s government passed a law criminalizing the accurate telling of World War II history in Ukraine and his government and intelligence service have institutionalized the fundamental revision of Ukraine’s history in that conflict.

Valenthyn Nalyvaichenko, head of the SBU (Ukrainian intelligence service)

Now, Israelis and Ukrainian Jews are “shocked, shocked” that a Nazi could get elected major in a Ukrainian town or that a member of the Ukrainian parliament could sing songs praising Hitler. They shouldn’t be.

Note the reference in the second article below to the fourteen words, minted by American Nazi David Lane, who drove the getaway car in the murder of Denver talk show host Alan Berg.

“Ukrain­ian Leg­is­la­tor Toasts Adolf Hitler” by Sam Sokol; The Jerusalem Post; 12/27/2015.

A video of a Ukrain­ian oppo­si­tion law­maker salut­ing Adolf Hitler made its way online this week­end, only days after his country’s Pres­i­dent apol­o­gized for Ukrain­ian col­lab­o­ra­tors’ role in the Holo­caust dur­ing a state visit to Israel.

In the video, Artyom Vitko, the for­mer com­man­der of the gov­ern­ment backed Luhansk-1 Bat­tal­ion and now a mem­ber of the Rad­i­cal Party of Oleh Lyashko, can be seen sit­ting in the back of a car wear­ing cam­ou­flage fatigues and singing along to a song by a Russ­ian neo-Nazi band extolling the virtues of the Nazi dictator.

“Adolf Hitler, together with us, Adolf Hitler, in each of us, and an eagle with iron wings will help us at the right time,” Vitko sang, salut­ing the cam­era with his water bot­tle as the car’s sound sys­tem blared “Heil Hitler.”

Vitko’s pro-Nazi sen­ti­ments emerged imme­di­ately on the heels of party leader Oleh Lyashko denun­ci­a­tion of Pres­i­dent Petro Poroshenko for for his recent com­ments apol­o­giz­ing or Ukrain­ian com­plic­ity in the Holocaust.

Ukrainian Auxillary Police, OUN/B Nazi Collaborators

Speak­ing before the Knes­set last week, Poroshenko said that “we must remem­ber the neg­a­tive events in his­tory, in which col­lab­o­ra­tors helped the Nazis with the Final Solution.”

“When Ukraine was estab­lished [in 1991], we asked for for­give­ness, and I am doing it now, in the Knes­set, before the chil­dren and grand­chil­dren of the vic­tims of the Holo­caust… I am doing it before all cit­i­zens of Israel,” he added.

“This kind of humil­i­a­tion of Ukraini­ans has not been recorded in our his­tory yet. Dur­ing a visit to Israel, Pres­i­dent Poroshenko apol­o­gized for the ‘Ukrain­ian par­tic­i­pa­tion in the Holo­caust,’” Lyashko posted on Face­book on Thursday.

“This is exactly sit­u­a­tion if we would accuse Geor­gians and Jews in the Holodomor, appeal­ing to the atroc­i­ties of Dzhugashvili, Beria, Kaganovich, etc,” he said, refer­ring to a mas­sive famine that resulted from the forced col­lec­tiviza­tion of farms in the Soviet Union dur­ing the 1930s.

The Holodomor, as it is known in Ukraine, killed mil­lions and is seen by many in that coun­try as a geno­cide on par with the Holocaust.

“The Knes­set has not rec­og­nized the Holodomor as the geno­cide of the Ukrain­ian peo­ple. That is a goal for Ukrain­ian author­i­ties vis­it­ing the Holy Land rather than belit­tling Ukraini­ans [and] pro­claim­ing infe­ri­or­ity of his peo­ple on the inter­na­tional level,” Lyashko added.

“I would say that this is the rea­son Poroshenko is Pres­i­dent and not Lyashko. Lyashko is a pop­ulist only say­ing what he thinks peo­ple want to hear,” said Ukrain­ian Chief Rabbi Yaakov Dov Bleich.

The Jew­ish com­mu­nity, Ble­ich said, dis­agrees with the pop­ulist politician’s def­i­n­i­tion of humil­i­a­tion, see­ing dis­grace as when “one can­not face up to history.”

“Pride is to look back, and learn from mis­takes. No one accused the Ukrain­ian peo­ple of caus­ing or cre­at­ing the Holo­caust. How­ever, the fact is that there were Ukraini­ans who par­tic­i­pated in the mur­der and per­se­cu­tion of Jews. They are wor­thy of condemnation.”

“The sight of a mem­ber of the Ukrain­ian Par­lia­ment singing a song prais­ing Hitler, under­scores the extremely deep prob­lem in today’s Ukrain­ian democ­racy regard­ing the ongo­ing efforts in that coun­try (and else­where through­out post-Communist East­ern Europe, espe­cially in Lithua­nia, Latvia, Esto­nia and Hun­gary) to rewrite the nar­ra­tive of World War II and the Holo­caust,” said Dr. Efraim Zuroff of the Simon Wiesen­thal Center.

“The fact that the Ukrain­ian author­i­ties honor groups which actively par­tic­i­pated in the mur­der of Jews dur­ing the Holo­caust and glo­rify their lead­ers sends a mes­sage that dele­git­imizes the accu­rate his­tor­i­cal nar­ra­tive, and paves the way for dis­gust­ing scenes like this one. The Ukrain­ian lead­er­ship should not feign sur­prise or aston­ish­ment, they’re the ones at least par­tially responsible.”

Ear­lier this year Ukraine’s par­lia­ment has extended offi­cial recog­ni­tion to a nation­al­ist mili­tia that col­lab­o­rated with the Ger­mans dur­ing the Sec­ond World War.

How­ever, many Ukrain­ian Jews have appeared rather san­guine, explain­ing that they believe that such moves are more likely the result of a need to build up a national ethos and raise up heroes dur­ing a time of con­flict rather than a cel­e­bra­tion of such fig­ures’ anti-Semitic atti­tudes. Despite that, such moves have been widely panned by Jew­ish orga­ni­za­tions wor­ried about the long term effects of the glo­ri­fi­ca­tion of anti-Semites.

Asked about the deci­sion to honor such groups, Pres­i­dent Poroshenko told the Post that the gov­ern­ment was pay­ing trib­ute to those who fought for national independence.

“Let’s not try to find the black cat in the black room, espe­cially if there is noth­ing there,” he said.

“Local Jews in Shock after Ukrain­ian City of Kono­top Elects neo-Nazi Mayor” by Sam Sokol; The Jerusalem Post; 12/21/2015.

Two months after local elec­tions were held across Ukraine, res­i­dents of the small north­ern city of Kono­top are express­ing shock and dis­may over the behav­ior of newly cho­sen Mayor Artem Semenikhin of the neo-Nazi Svo­boda party.

Accord­ing to reports, Semenikhin dri­ves around in a car bear­ing the num­ber 14/88, a numero­log­i­cal ref­er­ence to the phrases “we must secure the exis­tence of our peo­ple and a future for white chil­dren” and “Heil Hitler”; replaced the pic­ture of Pres­i­dent Petro Poroshenko in his office with a por­trait of Ukrain­ian national leader and Nazi col­lab­o­ra­tor Stepan Ban­dera; and refused to fly the city’s offi­cial flag at the open­ing meet­ing of the city coun­cil because he objected to the star of David embla­zoned on it. The flag also fea­tures a Mus­lim cres­cent and a cross.

Svo­boda, known as the Social-National Party of Ukraine until 2004, has been accused of being a neo-Nazi party by Ukrain­ian Jews and while party lead­ers have a his­tory of mak­ing anti-Semitic remarks, their rhetoric has toned down con­sid­er­ably over the past years as they attempted to go mainstream.

While it man­aged to enter main­stream pol­i­tics and gain 36 out of 450 seats in the Rada, Ukraine’s par­lia­ment, the party’s sup­port seemed to evap­o­rate fol­low­ing the 2014 Ukrain­ian rev­o­lu­tion, in which it played a cen­tral role. It cur­rently holds six seats in the legislature.

The party man­aged to improve its stand­ing dur­ing recent munic­i­pal elec­tions, how­ever, obtain­ing some 10 per­cent of the vote in Kiev and gar­ner­ing sec­ond place in the west­ern city of Lviv. For the most part, how­ever, Svo­boda is far from the major worry for Ukrain­ian Jews that it was only two years ago.

“It is a sad, but a real­ity when anti-Semites are being elected in local gov­ern­ing bod­ies, even may­ors pro­mot­ing hate and intolerance.

Kono­top is a clear case,” said Eduard Dolin­sky of the Ukrain­ian Jew­ish Committee.

For the Jews of Kono­top, how­ever, wor­ries per­sist, with Ilya Bezruchko, the Ukrain­ian rep­re­sen­ta­tive of the US-based National Coali­tion Sup­port­ing Eurasian Jewry, say­ing he believed res­i­dents, who gen­er­ally get along well with local Jews, voted for Semenikhin because he pro­jected an image of some­one who could bring change and reform a cor­rupt system.

How­ever, Semenikhin him­self has a his­tory of fraud, hav­ing been arrested for pos­ing as an elec­tric­ity com­pany worker in order to extract pay­ments from busi­nesses in Kiev in 2012, Bezruchko charged.

Bezruchko, whose late grand­fa­ther was the head of the com­mu­nity and whose mother cur­rently works for the city coun­cil, said Semenikhin and his assis­tant have left angry com­ments on his Face­book page in response to crit­i­cal arti­cles that the Jew­ish activist had posted on his blog.

He claimed that some­one close to the mayor claimed that he would be hos­pi­tal­ized if he returned to the city from Kiev, where he cur­rently lives, and that the mayor him­self posted to say that his mother was cor­rupt and should be fired from her job.

“The reac­tion of [the] com­mu­nity is shock. Peo­ple are shocked it could hap­pen in [a] city and nobody believed it could hap­pen here but it hap­pened some­how,” com­mu­nity activist Igor Nechayev told The Jerusalem Post by phone Monday.

While there have been a cou­ple of instances of anti-Semitic graf­fiti over the past decade and one occa­sion­ally hears ref­er­ences to con­spir­acy the­o­ries iden­ti­fy­ing Ukrain­ian polit­i­cal lead­ers as Jews, for the most part, rela­tions between the Jew­ish com­mu­nity and their non-Jewish neigh­bors are cor­dial, he said.

How­ever, while the mayor attempts to make sure his state­ments never cross over into out­right anti-Semitism, many things he says can be inter­preted in such a way, he con­tin­ued. As an exam­ple, he referred to a recent state­ment by Semenikhin in which the mayor refused to apol­o­gize for anti-Jewish actions taken by far-right nation­al­ists in World War II, inti­mat­ing that it was because those respon­si­ble for the Holodomor famine of the 1930s were largely Jewish.

The Holodomor was a man­made famine that came about dur­ing the col­lec­tiviza­tion of agri­cul­ture in the Soviet Union and which led to the starv­ing deaths of mil­lions. Ukraini­ans con­sider it a genocide.

“The com­mu­nity is dis­cussing the sit­u­a­tion and they under­stand that the mayor is bal­anc­ing between anti-Semitism— – he isn’t cross­ing a red­line with state­ments but say­ing bor­der things that can be under­stood as anti-Semitic,” he explained.

Speak­ing to the Post, Vyach­eslav Likhachev, an anti-Semitism researcher affil­i­ated with the Vaad of Ukraine and the Euro-Asian Jew­ish Con­gress, said “Ukraini­ans are afraid of the Russ­ian threat, not the threat of national rad­i­cal­ism,” and that “Semenikhin has suc­cess­fully cre­ated him­self an image of a defender of Ukrain­ian inde­pen­dence, and vot­ers were able to sup­port him, not pay­ing atten­tion to the rad­i­cal­ism of his views.

Unfor­tu­nately, Likhachev said the cur­rent Ukrain­ian leg­is­la­tion does not allow to for­bid those with right-wing views to take part in the elec­tion, or to remove them from the elected positions.

“The spe­cial anti-communist and anti-Nazi law says about ban­ning the sym­bols of the National Social­ist (Nazi) of the total­i­tar­ian regime, which includes sym­bols of the Nazi Party and the state sym­bols of the Third Reich only,” he said. It is impos­si­ble to inter­preted in legal terms sym­bols like 14/88.”

(It is impossible within the scope of this post to cover our voluminous coverage of the Ukraine crisis. Previous programs on the subject are: FTR #‘s 777778779780781782783784794, 800803804, 808811817

818824826829832833837849850853857860872875876877Listeners/readers are encouraged to examine these programs and/or their descriptions in detail, in order to flesh out their understanding.)




3 comments for “Nazis in Ukraine, Hypocrisy Elsewhere, Including Israel”

  1. Whatever it is that is on the radio tonight on KFJC is very interesting. Mostly making the case that the US military action has been working with Germany and Turkey in the service of restoring the Ottoman empire.

    It would be nice to see this website a little more accessible and organized, there is a lot of very good information, important information, but it is in mostly serial audio format, with different issues all jammed together and very difficult to unthead and follow.

    Also, the theme here is anti-fascism, and I would have to say that one reason corporations and fascists do so well is that they are funded like our government – via private money funneled globally, but also they are well organized and planned.

    On this side there are just a bunch of individual people with their own ideas about what is going on, and no pragmatic organized effort to put together how a global citizen should or could view fascism in their country, and what and how can we all weaken or destroy fascists organizations by democratizing and making our own governments transparent.

    If nothing like that can happen, then having a handful of very brilliant and dedicated anti-fascist researchers is not very useful to the world or its citizens.

    Thanks for the wonderful information, Would love to see more discussion forums and linking/threading or subjects/discussions. Maybe the anti-fascists would benefit from a little of that fascist ability to organize! ;-)

    It was FTR #879 I was watching.

    Posted by Brux | January 1, 2016, 6:58 pm
  2. @BRUX–

    Using the written descriptions, following the links and using the archive shows, books, lectures and other FTR broadcasts is the best that can be done.

    This is, after all, a radio show that has been on for 36 years.

    For example, here is the description for the program you were listening to:




    Posted by Dave Emory | January 1, 2016, 7:25 pm
  3. Posted by JT | January 18, 2016, 7:51 pm

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