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Ukraine Has a Minute of Silence in Honor of Symon Petliura, a Pogromist Who Killed 50,000 Jews

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Roman Shukhevy­ch’s Ein­satz­gruppe Nachti­gall (Nachti­gall Bat­tal­ion) in action in Lvov in 1941. The cadre was part of the UPA.

COMMENT: The already epic  fas­cist his­tor­i­cal revi­sion­ism in Ukraine has been sig­nif­i­cant­ly aug­ment­ed. The coun­try had a minute of silence in hon­or of Symon Petliu­ra, a pogromist butch­er whose cadre killed 50,000 Jews in the imme­di­ate after­math of World War I.

The point man for Ukrain­ian fas­cist revi­sion­ism–Volodomyr Via­tro­vych–has moved to re-name two streets in hon­or of OUN/B leader Stephan Ban­dera and Roman Shukhevych, the leader of the UPA, OUN/B’s mil­i­tary wing.

“Ukraine Hon­ors Nation­al­ist whose Troops Killed 50,000 Jews” [Jew­ish Tele­graph­ic Agency]; Times of Israel; 5/31/2016.

Coun­try for the first time observes a minute of silence in mem­ory of Symon Petliu­ra, a 1920s states­man killed by a Rus­sia-born Jew

Amid a divi­sive debate in Ukraine on state hon­ors for nation­al­ists viewed as respon­si­ble for anti-Semit­ic pogroms, the coun­try for the first time observed a minute of silence in mem­ory of Symon Petliu­ra, a 1920s states­man blamed for the mur­der of 50,000 Jew­ish com­pa­tri­ots. 

The minute was observed on May 25, the 90th anniver­sary of Petliura’s assas­si­na­tion in Paris. Nation­al tele­vi­sion chan­nels inter­rupted their pro­grams and broad­cast the image of a burn­ing can­dle for 60 sec­onds, Ukraine’s Fed­eral News Agency report­ed.

A French court acquit­ted Sholom Schwartzbard, a Rus­sia-born Jew, of the mur­der even though he admit­ted to it after the court found that Petliu­ra had been involved in, or knew of, pogroms by mem­bers of his mili­tia fight­ing for Ukrain­ian inde­pen­dence from Rus­sia in the years 1917–1921. Fif­teen of Schwartzbard’s rel­a­tives per­ished in the pogroms.

Sep­a­rately, the direc­tor of Ukraine’s Insti­tute of Nation­al Remem­brance, Vladimir Vya­tro­vich, said in a state­ment on Mon­day that Kiev will soon name a street for two oth­er Ukrain­ian nation­al­ists — Stepan Ban­dera and Roman Shukhevych — who are wide­ly believed to be respon­si­ble for lethal vio­lence against Jews. Anoth­er street is to be named for Janusz Kor­czak, the pen name of Hen­ryk Gold­szmit, a Pol­ish Jew­ish teacher who was mur­dered in Auschwitz.

Ban­dera and Shukhevych col­lab­o­rated with Nazi forces that occu­pied what is now Ukraine and are believed to have com­manded troops that killed thou­sands of Jews. Once regard­ed by Ukrain­ian author­i­ties as ille­git­i­mate to serve as nation­al role mod­els because of their war crimes against Jews and Poles, Petliu­ra, Ban­dera and Shukhevych are now open­ly hon­ored in Ukraine fol­low­ing a rev­o­lu­tion spear­headed by nation­al­ists in 2014.

Eduard Dolin­sky, direc­tor of the Ukrain­ian Jew­ish Com­mit­tee, con­demned the plan to name streets for Ban­dera and Shukhevych.

“My coun­try­men should know that Ban­dera and Shukhevych con­sid­ered me and all of the Ukrain­ian Jews — chil­dren, women, the elder­ly — ene­mies of Ukraini­ans,” he wrote on Face­book. . . .

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