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THE MAIN LESSON OF HISTORY

Author: Alik Gomelsky

As someone who has conducted a rigorous study of documents related to the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists (Banderites) (OUN-B), the Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UPA), and the leaders of the Ukrainian insurgent movement, as well as similar materials related to the Jewish Zionist movement, and having devoted much time to learning about Jewish–Ukrainian relations in the twentieth century, I was astonished by Noakes’s extremely superficial approach to such an important topic. For an article that purports to accuse Roman Shukhevych of crimes against humanity, it lacks compelling documented evidence. Shukhevych was never declared a criminal by either the Nuremberg Tribunal or any other court of first instance. Thus, the article, which does not put forward any evidence of such an accusation, may be regarded as a PR stunt or as slander. Does it make sense to cite Efraim Zuroff’s opinion of…

Author: Alik Gomelsky.

(based on materials from Alik Gomelsky’s books, Jewish–Ukrainian Relations in the Twentieth Century and History. Inconvenient truth)

            Some time ago I spotted an article on the CBC website entitled: “Victims of communism memorial received donations honoring fascists, Nazi collaborators, according to website” (Taylor C. Noakes · for CBC News · Posted: Jul 23, 2021 4:00 AM ET | Last Updated: July 23    https://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/victims-communism-memorial-fascists-1.6112809 ) and read it carefully.

            As someone who has conducted a rigorous study of documents related to the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists (Banderites) (OUN-B), the Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UPA), and the leaders of the Ukrainian insurgent movement, as well as similar materials related to the Jewish Zionist movement, and having devoted much time to learning about Jewish–Ukrainian relations in the twentieth century, I was astonished by Noakes’s extremely superficial approach to such an important topic.

            For an article that purports to accuse Roman Shukhevych of crimes against humanity, it lacks compelling documented evidence. Shukhevych was never declared a criminal by either the Nuremberg Tribunal or any other court of first instance. Thus, the article, which does not put forward any evidence of such an accusation, may be regarded as a PR stunt or as slander.

            Does it make sense to cite Efraim Zuroff’s opinion of Roman Shukhevych? Dr. Zuroff already landed in hot water after accusing Adolfas Ramanauskas, one of the leaders of the anti-communist movement of Lithuania, of participating in the Shoah[1]. As a result, Zuroff’s protégé, Rūta Vanagaitė, was forced to issue a public apology for slandering Ramanauskas[2], thus avoiding a lawsuit possibly launched by the relatives of Ramanauskas[3], who was murdered by the KGB. She thus cast doubt on her competence and all her efforts to perpetuate the memory of the Shoah[10] in Lithuania.

            If we look closely at the scores of Nazi collaborators, then their numbers could be augmented by absolutely every last citizen of the USSR because between August 1939 and June 22nd 1941 this country actively and on the highest level gave support to Nazi Germany, including military deliveries, and regularly congratulated the Nazi leaders on their victories on the Western front, including the occupation of France.

            As I understand it, neither the historian Per Rudling nor Yad Vashem possess any proof of Shukhevych’s antisemitism. I’m sure of it because I’m aware that in late February–early March 2008 a group of Ukrainian historians and staff members of the Ukrainian Security Service (SBU) visited Israel to examine documents about Shukhevych’s participation in the Shoah, specifically his involvement, in events of the summer of 1941, while being a member of the Nachtigall Battalion, in the killings of the Jewish civilian population in the city of Lviv. The reason behind this was the statement issued by Yosef Lapid, chairman of the Yad Vashem Council, about the existence of such materials in Yad Vashem, which was broadcast on Deutsche Welle. During the visit, the leaders of Yad Vashem initially said that the Israeli side was not prepared to hand over documents because they had not been collected in a separate file. Later, however, Haim Gertner, the head of the Yad Vashem Archives, admitted that no such dossier exists. He also added that Lapid is a politician, not a historian in this field; therefore his claim about the existence of a file on Shukhevych does not correspond to reality[4].

In addition in March 2021, I signed a joint letter addressed to the administration of this Israeli institution requesting that it should either publish the file on Roman Shukhevych (if Yad Vashem even has one) or make an official announcement about the absence of such a file in this premier Shoah remembrance center.

It is important to point out that, according to the testimonies provided by Roman Shukhevych’s son, Yuriy-Bohdan, the Shukhevych family hid a Jewish girl named Irene Reichenberg in their family home[5]. Furthermore, at Roman Shukhevych’s request, a fake birth certificate was prepared for Irene, stating that she was the daughter of Roman and Nataliia Shukhevych. The Shukhevych family hid the girl in their house from September 1942 to February 1943. When it became dangerous in Lviv, new documents were prepared for Irene in the name of a Ukrainian girl, Iryna Vasylivna Ryzhko. The year of birth was changed from 1936 to 1937. According to these documents, Iryna was the daughter of a fallen Soviet officer. After Nataliia Shukhevych was arrested by the Gestapo in 1943, Roman Shukhevych managed to move the child to an orphanage based at the Ukrainian Greek Catholic convent of the Basilian order of nuns near the town of Kulykiv, thirty kilometers from Lviv. Iryna lived there until the end of the war, having survived the occupation and the Shoah. After the war she moved to Kyiv. In 1956 Iryna sent the abbess of the convent a letter along with a photograph of herself. Iryna died in Kyiv at the age of seventy-two. Yurii-Bohdan Shukhevych met with her son after Iryna’s death and also during the Shukhevych Fest – 2017. Needless to say, all the members of the family of the UPA commander put their lives at great risk, because, in keeping with the Nazi laws of occupation, both rescuers and rescued would have been executed if discovered.

Unfortunately, neither Noakes nor the historians Zuroff and Rudling acknowledge this stunning act of humanity on the part of this “killer of Jews”. It would appear that they are also woefully unaware that as of May 31st 1943, Roman Shukhevych was on the Most Wanted list of the Sicherheitsdienst (SD), the intelligence agency of the SS and the Nazi Party (NSDAP) on the territory of the Generalgouvernement. Named there along with Shukhevych were other Ukrainian nationalists – Yaroslav Starukh, Vasyl Sydor, and Omelian Hrabets.

            I would also add that there is proof of the UPA’s military confrontation with Nazi Germany. But Soviet organs of agitation and propaganda disseminated rumours, leaflets, and other materials to distort the truth. To this day, no one has managed to produce any evidence pointing to the involvement in the Shoah of units under Shukhevych’s command or his personal participation, despite numerous attempts to do so.

Moreover, there is the evidence[6] that the Soviet campaign to defame Theodor Oberländer, the former commander of the Nachtigall Battalion, along with the Ukrainian commander of this unit, Roman Shukhevych, took place in the late 1950s. I have published declassified KGB documents and written about how the Soviet propaganda campaign against Oberländer unfolded. Below is a quotation from Herbert Romerstein’s paper “Divide and Conquer: The KGB Disinformation Campaign against Ukrainians and Jews”: “…Stasi reported, “There are near daily conversations with the member of the Politburo responsible for agitation in the West, Comrade [Albert] Norden or Comrade [Werner] Lamberz, Secretary of the Central Committee and Chairman of the Agitation Commission of the Politburo”. Albert Norden had been a German Communist Party activist since he was 16 years old, in 1920. During World War II he operated in the United States as a communist propagandist. In East Germany he served as the loudest and most vicious voice against the West in the communist dictatorship. In 1959 he led the smear campaign against the West German Federal Minister of Refugees, Theodor Oberlander. Norden issued a book attacking Oberlander and at a press conference in East Berlin on October 22, 1959, Norden identified Oberlander as the political commander of the Ukrainian Nachtigall Unit, which together with the German Wehrmacht fought against the Soviet Union. That was the true part of Norden’s story. The false part was the claim that the military unit was involved in a pogrom against the Jews of Lviv…”.

            It is important to note that, as revealed in recently declassified CIA archival documents, the training and involvement of the Nachtigall and Roland battalions were undertaken by the Abwehr in secret, without the knowledge not only of the SS and the SD, but also of the Nazi Party. However, one should not rush to accuse the Abwehr of committing crimes because for many years now Chabad, one of the largest Jewish religious organizations in the world, has been submitting applications to Yad Vashem for the title of Righteous Among the Nations to be bestowed on Admiral Canaris, the chief of that German military intelligence service. To date, several former Abwehr officials, including the world-famous Oskar Schindler, have received this title.

            That’s not all where the Abwehr is concerned. At a secret US Senate Committee meeting held on 27 June 1947 Allen Dulles, Swiss Director of the Office of Strategic Services (OSS) and the future director of the CIA, announced that Admiral Canaris and his representatives had contacted the OSS and Dulles himself. The Western Allies thus learned about the details of Nazi Germany’s rocket development program, which would allow the British and U.S airforces to bomb over Germany rocket bases that were bombing Britain. According to Dulles, ten percent of the Abwehr personnel, contemptuous of Hitler’s methods and the Nazis’ attitude to the citizens of the USSR, were involved in the anti-Nazi activities of the German resistance movement.

            The brutal execution of Admiral Canaris and his associates one month before the capitulation of Nazi Germany, and, naturally, their anti-Nazi activities were decisive in the decision not to recognize the Abwehr as a criminal organization.

            In addition I’ll bring to the reader’s attention photocopies of recently declassified SBU documents from the archives of the KGB USSR. They concern a plan drafted by the MGB USSR to enlist the Jewish intelligentsia in the city of Lviv in the search for Roman Shukhevych and Vasyl Kuk, leaders of the UPA, as well as their couriers. This plan is dated June 1949, and I would like to draw attention to several key points in this document:

1) “…Various incidents have been recorded in which Roman Shukhevych and other well-known OUN members consulted with physicians of the Jewish nationality…”, so that is, while in the underground, Shukhevych (and other OUN members) turned to Jewish doctors for assistance MANY TIMES. This attests to the fact that the ‘executioner of the Jewish people’ received medical assistance and medications from Jews. Roman Shukhevych was quite a well-known person in Lviv. He owned an advertising agency that organized special campaigns from time to time, which were later the talk of the town. Shukhevych was also a pianist and often accompanied his vocalist-brother during concerts. Another point: Some Jewish doctors returned to the city from the UPA formations (naturally, they did not talk about their service there), and they knew Shukhevych from the underground. If Shukhevych had really killed Jews during the Second World War, as the victims of Soviet Agitprop[7] have sought to prove to this day, then among the Jews who had just survived the Shoah, eventually someone would be found who considered it his or her sacred duty to help the punitive organs of the USSR to destroy the executioner of the Jewish people, regardless of fears of revenge on the part of the UPA or even their hatred of the Soviet authorities.

2) The cynical statement “…the correct and skillful use of agents from among the Jewish intelligentsia also makes it possible to prevent double-dealing and treason on their part in the execution of our tasks…”, translated from Soviet jargon into everyday speech, refers to a set of measures, an inventive blend of lies, bribery, the use of threats to intimidate a given individual and his or her family and friends, etc. (depending on the nature and living situation of the “object of processing”), with which the employees of the Soviet Gestapo (means Stalin’s MGB) planned to force members of the Jewish intelligentsia to work for the communists and with which they hoped to prevent the well expected (that’s right!) attempts of their dragooned agents to sabotage their demands. After all, they were great masters and specialists in this.

            Ukrainians should not be outraged at the fact that Jews were recruited to betray Ukrainian leaders. And Jews should not be outraged at the fact that these “measures” were planned by MGB officers with Ukrainian surnames. The communists did not recognize nationality, conscience, faith, or nobility.

            Since the Lviv pogrom of July 1941 is one of the most important factors underpinning the accusations against the OUN(B) of having supposedly committed terrible mass killings of Jews, I will examine it in detail. The pogrom was triggered by the discovery of the mass killings of inmates in the prisons of Lviv, which were carried out by the NKVD prior to the Red Army’s retreat from the city. Einsatzgruppe С opened the city jails to discover the consequences of NKVD brutality. The Nazis forced the Jews of Lviv to drag out the bodies of inmates who bore the marks of ghastly torture. The victims’ bodies were laid out for inspection, so that relatives could identify and bury their loved ones. The Nazis accused the Jews of these crimes, and conducted masterful agitation amidst the masses, provoking them to commit violent actions against the city’s Jewish population. Nazi propaganda declared that the pogrom was an act of “sacred vengeance” on the part of Ukrainians for the crimes of the “Judeo-Bolsheviks”.

There are also two very important historical aspects that are ignored by some historians and propagandists. The first of these: According to declassified archives, there was a substantial number of Jewish political prisoners in NKVD prisons. When I perused the lists of political prisoners who were murdered in Lviv Prison No. 1 (Lonsky Prison), out of 706 names I discovered 50 whose patronymics and surnames leave no doubt that their background was Jewish. There were also descendants of mixed families or those who were registered under Russified names or surnames.

            The second aspect concerns the fact that the Nazis ordered the publication of the nationalities of the Poles and Ukrainians who were killed in the prisons but identified Jews under the category “nationality unknown.” This was done because the Nazis wanted to turn the population against the Jews, and they did not want it to become known that the communists were killing Jewish intellectuals as well as Ukrainians and Poles[6].

            During the Nuremberg trials (1945–1946) it was determined that the reign of terror in Lviv was carried out by a German SD operative group[11] that entered the city on the morning of June 29th 1941. The trial established that subunits of Einsatzgruppe C, particularly Einsatzkommando 5 and 6 as well as Sonderkommando 4b, took part in the destruction of the Lviv Jews. It must be clarified that, contrary to popular belief, the composition of Einsatzgruppen was exclusively Aryan, re were no Ukrainians at all in them. The perpetrators of these crimes testified that the shootings of the Jews were carried out on the Führer’s orders and were presented to the public as an act of vengeance for the killings of Poles and Ukrainians in Lviv by the Soviet authorities between 1939 and 1941.

            The attempt of some researchers to lay the blame for the Lviv pogrom on the OUN(B) is based on the accusations that this organization had a totalitarian ideology and was anti-Semitic. Efforts to uncover concrete proof of its guilt have encountered reasoned criticism. The programmatic documents of the OUN(B) that were drawn up at the Second Grand Assembly of this organization in April 1941 reveal the following prediction: “…The anti-Jewish moods of the Ukrainian masses will be exploited in order to distract their attention from the actual perpetrator of the troubles and so that, at the moment of disruption, Ukrainians will be aimed at instigating pogroms against the Jews…”[12].

            Moreover, according to the testimony of Kost Pankivsky[13], a member of Yaroslav Stetsko’s government formed on 30 June 1941, a mob of pogromists in Lviv, comprised of the urban riffraff, some of whom had donned blue-and-yellow armbands and tried to speak Ukrainian, attacked the members of the Ukrainian administration, including ethnic Jews and Poles. It is neither an exception nor make-believe that Jews supported the independence of Ukraine. As German archival documents attest, during the occupation the OUN(B) supplied false documents to Jews who were connected to the organization. The fact that Yad Vashem has officially recognized as Righteous Among the Nations at least two leading members of the OUN—Olena Viter (case 421.1 on 1976) and Fedir Vovk (case 8152 on 1998) – is very revealing.

            To compare politicians who, over dozens of years, were in complete control of tyrannical states with the head of an insurgent army is not just ludicrous but unprofessional. If Noakes had bothered to study the biography of Roman Shukhevych and to trace the fate of his closest relatives, he might have seen that all of them were victims of both communist and Nazi repressions. This is a very revealing case, in which people were consistently persecuted and destroyed, first by the Soviet punitive organs, then Nazi ones, then Soviet all over again.

            Right after I read the Noakes article, my attention was drawn to another article. This one, written by Duncan Kinney, was headlined “Nazi collaborator monuments in Edmonton defaced with red paint and words “Actual Nazi” and “Nazi Monument” (10 August 2021): https://www.theprogressreport.ca/monuments_to_nazi_collaborators_in_edmonton_vandalized_again

            Kinney repeats the accusations directed at Roman Shukhevych, citing Abe Silverman, B’nai Brith’s Alberta public affairs manager: “Was Roman Shukhevych an actual Nazi? He was a Ukrainian nationalist and the evidence shows that was a fascist organization aligned with Nazi Germany. Did he hate Jews? Yes. Does that make him a Nazi? Probably yes.”

            However, at the height of the German occupation of Ukraine (1942-1944) the UPA engaged in 2,526 armed operations against the Nazi forces. From July 1941 to the end of WWII (8 May 1945) up to 13,000 OUN members and UPA soldiers died in action against the Germans and/or perished in Nazi concentration camps [17].

            There are a few new accusations in the Kinney article, for example: “The OUN aligned itself with Nazi Germany for most of the Second World War and was one of several groups from which the 14th Waffen SS Division, or the Galicia Division, a Nazi division made up of Ukrainians, recruited from [sic].”

            The author thus links the OUN with the Galicia Division without providing a scrap of evidence—and, rest assured, that no such evidence exists because by the spring and summer of 1943, when the division was just beginning to take shape, both factions of the OUN (the Melnykites and Banderites) were practically eviscerated and banned by the Nazis. It is also crucial to point out that, from the outset, the OUN(B) was categorically opposed to the formation of the Galicia Division.[14] Later, however, the organization decided to capitalize on German resources for the military training of young people and in order to gain access to weapons. Accordingly, it sent its agents into the division. Subsequent events fully validated the OUN(B)’s calculations.

           It is important to note that an estimated 3 to 4 thousand soldiers defected from the Galicia Division to join the Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UPA) still battling the German forces in the western regions of Ukraine [18].

           The article reveals further accusations, for example: The 14th Waffen SS Division had officers and noncommissioned officers who came from the Nachtigall battalion, the same division that Shukhevych commanded.”

It is worth recalling that quite a few ethnic Ukrainians, some of whom became officers of the Waffen SS Division Galizien, had served in the Polish army and bravely defended Poland from Nazi and communist aggression in 1939. Among them were:

•Pavlo Shandruk (born in Volyn) fought in the First World War in the ranks of the Russian imperial army (rank of staff captain). After the Russian Empire collapsed, he served in the ranks of the Army of the Ukrainian National Republic (rank of major). After 1920 he immigrated to Poland, where he served in the military structures of the Ukrainian government-in-exile. In May 1936 he became a contract officer in the Polish army (rank of lieutenant-colonel), and in 1945 he headed the Waffen SS Galizien as the basis of the Ukrainian National Army (rank of general). He fought in the Polish campaign of 1939. After being wounded and captured by the Germans, he was a POW from September 1939 to January 1940. For his bravery during the defense of Poland (1939), in 1965 he was awarded Poland’s highest military decoration, the War Order of Virtuti Militari, on the orders of the Polish government-in-exile.

• Borys Barvinsky was born in the Cherkasy region and fought in the First World War in the ranks of the Russian imperial army (rank of staff captain). After the collapse of the Russian Empire, he served in the ranks of the Army of the Ukrainian National Republic (major-general). After 1920 he immigrated to Poland, and in 1928 he became a contract officer in the Polish army (his last rank was that of lieutenant colonel). He fought in the Polish campaign of 1939. From September 1939 to January1940 he was a POW of the Germans. From 1943 he was in the Waffen SS Galizien (commander of a regiment).

•Viktor Malets was born in the Kharkiv region and fought in the First World War in the ranks of the Russian imperial army (rank of staff captain). After the collapse of the Russian Empire, he served in the ranks of the Army of the Ukrainian National Republic (regimental commander). After 1920 he immigrated to Czechoslovakia. In 1928 he became a contract officer in the Polish army (his last rank was that of major). He fought in the Polish campaign of 1939. From 1943 he was in the Waffen SS Galizien.

•Mykola Paliienko was born in the Kyiv region and fought in the First World War in the ranks of the Russian imperial army (rank of lieutenant). After the collapse of the Russian Empire he served in the ranks of the Army of the Ukrainian National Republic (rank of captain). After 1920 he immigrated to Poland, and in 1928 he became a contract officer in the Polish army (his last rank was that of major). He fought in the Polish campaign of 1939. After being wounded and captured by the Germans, he was a POW from September 1939 to January 1940. From 1943 he was in the Waffen SS Galizien (holding the rank of Sturmbannführer, he commanded an artillery division).

            The next point in Kinney’s article is either the result of his misunderstanding of statements issued by the Polish Institute of National Remembrance or outright disinformation: “The crime [in the Huta Peniatska village] was committed by the 4th battalion of the 14th division on February 28. On that day, early in the morning, soldiers of this division, dressed in white, masking outfits, surrounded the village. The village was cross-fired by artillery. SS-men of the 14th Division of the SS Galizien entered the village, shooting the civilians rounded up at a church. The civilians, mostly women and children, were divided and locked in barns that were set on fire. Those who tried to run away were killed. Witnesses interrogated by the prosecutors of the Head Commission described the morbid details of the act. The crime was committed against women, children, and newborn babies.”

However, I am convinced that attributing this crime to the 14th Division of the Waffen SS Galizien is Kinney’s mistake, and I will explain why. According to the Polish historian Grzegorz Motyka[8], the Germans formed several SS police regiments numbered from 4 to 8 and called them “Galizien.” The 4th and 5th SS Pоlice Regiments, which in fact took part in the Huta Pieniacka (Ukr. Huta Peniatska) massacre was comprised of 60 percent Ukrainians and 40 percent Germans; the officers were mostly Germans. It is important to note that at the time of the events in Huta, these police regiments were not subordinated to the divisional command but were carrying out the orders of the German police and the SD. Thus, these policemen had no connection whatsoever to the frontline formation known as the 14th Waffen SS Division Galizien, and it was the Soviet side that unjustifiably shifted the blame for war crimes onto the Ukrainian Waffen SS Galizien.

By analyzing both these articles and their chronology, I see that the opponents of independent Ukraine are seeking to recruit the Polish community to the ideological battle in Canada. In other words, they are trying to distract the attention of this community from the USSR and its legal heirs to focus on the Ukrainians, in an attempt to nullify Soviet crimes against the Polish nation, such as the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact (1939), the Katyn massacre (1940), and communist terror against the Armia Krajowa and Polish patriots. In addition to the above-mentioned list of Ukrainian officers of the Galicia Division who courageously defended Poland in September 1939, I offer some striking facts about Polish–Ukrainian cooperation.

            Starting in mid-1942 in London, on the orders of the commander of the Armia Krajowa, General Stefan Rowecki, and also thanks to the American influence, work began on the declaration of the government of the Rzeczpospolita concerning the Ukrainian question. In a radiogram broadcast on 11 March 1943 Gen. Rowecki requested instructions that would contain principled political guidelines concerning compromises, since “…the Ukrainians are demanding territorial separation… The Banderites, who are completely trained militarily, are real political factors, as are conservative Catholic circles, which rely on the church apparatus. There are attempts from above to reduce anti-Polish antagonism in the Generalgouvernement, but fears around the massacre of Poles in Volyn are still justified. Today, the Catholics (in the person of Metropolitan Andrei Sheptytsky—author]) and the Banderites see the Bolsheviks and the Germans as the principal enemies. They desire an agreement with the Poles, demanding nonetheless concrete, unconditional commitments. Already today the Catholics see Ukraine’s future within the Rzeczpospolita; they are proposing to form a Polish–Ukrainian commission to study the question of the status of national minorities. Please note that the Banderites will not proclaim the renunciation of independence until they lose all hope. At the present time they aspire to military cooperation against the Bolsheviks and the Germans, and all disputes are to be put aside until later. In Volyn they simply want a Polish–Ukrainian truce…the course of events will lead them to the renunciation of independence…”[15].

Before the tragic events in Volyn, the situation was as follows: Both the Germans and the Bolsheviks in all ways goaded the Poles and Ukrainians against each other. Owing to the fact that the Armia Krajowa and the OUN were without leadership at this time and that strategic mistakes were made in Polish–Ukrainian relations, the explosion of a horrible mixture of anger, resentment, and prejudice was the inevitable finale. It is crucial to understand that the situation in Volyn was exacerbated by the Bolsheviks, who acted in accordance with a clear-cut plan and closely monitored events to ensure that they developed in the direction anticipated by Moscow. In order to execute their plans, the Bolsheviks, with gloves off, were not fussy about their methods, applying an entire spectrum of methods, including all manner of provocations, in order to intensify German repressions. In addition, the USSR persistently tried to convince England and the US that the Poles and Ukrainians were German collaborators. As concerns the Germans, as early as 1939 they themselves were engaged in inciting Ukrainians against Poles, and vice versa. An uprising, engineered by the Bolsheviks (and with the Nazis’ indirect assistance) finally exploded. The fact is that the NKVD was able to incite the Germans against the Ukrainian policemen: “…Many policemen from Volyn oblast, including Banderite ones, were arrested and shot. Then the policemen fled to the woods. Exasperated by the actions of the German authorities, the population of Volyn oblast mounted an uprising…”[16]. (It is estimated that nearly five thousand Ukrainian policemen fled to the woods with stolen weapons and ammunition.) The Nazis urgently recruited ethnic Poles to the administration and police (approximately 1,500–2,000), who were used straight away to crush the Ukrainian uprising. The Nazis, consistently adhering to their policy of incitement, vehemently proclaimed that these anti-Ukrainian actions were an exclusively Polish initiative. The torch of interethnic hostility flamed up instantly.

It is worth mentioning that on 13 May 1943 the OUN(B) and its military arm, the UPA, were under the collective command of three leaders: Roman Shukhevych, Zenon Matla, and Dmytro Maivsky. According to the historian Volodymyr Viatrovych, “…it is important to note that the UPA tried to keep the conflict within certain limits, prevent its escalation. The army command issued instructions cautioning soldiers to refrain from killing women and children…”[9].

Viatrovych also writes that during a meeting of the OUN(B) leadership that took place in late 1943, Shukhevych stated that the UPA was trying to stop the “third, unnecessary Polish front”[9], the anti-Nazi and anti-Soviet fronts being the first and the second.

Here is some information that is frequently overlooked in favor of political gains. On 22 July 1943 a secret meeting was arranged in the Zellenbau isolation cells of the Sachsenhausen concentration camp between Stepan Bandera and Stefan Rowecki, during which they discussed the further prospects for Ukrainian–Polish relations, the policies of the Western Allies, and the arrival of the Bolsheviks in Ukraine and Poland. The meeting with Bandera resulted in the following announcement transmitted by the general: “…Even now we must anticipate the loss of our eastern lands to the Ukrainians…”[17].

We must realize that Poles and Ukrainians share the experience of having fought together against their mutual enemy, the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic, during the Soviet–Polish War of 1920. People in Poland today remember this. For example, in 2016 Poland’s defense minister came to the Orthodox Cemetery in the Wola district of Warsaw to pay tribute to the memory of the Major-General of the Army of the Ukrainian National Republic, Marko Bezruchko, the hero of the Battle of Zamość, which, in point of fact, saved Poland (and all of Europe) from a Bolshevik invasion in 1920. At the time, General Bezruchko headed the united Ukrainian–Polish forces, which jointly withstood Budenny’s 1st Cavalry Army that was many times superior to them in numbers and weapons.

Should we agree with Mr. Zuroff that it makes no sense to compare the communists with the Nazis? A host of documents confirms that the communists and the Nazis repressed both the Ukrainians and the Jews, who were fighting for the independence of their respective peoples against occupiers and executioners. But, given the duration and scale of repression in the USSR to which was subjected the absolute majority of the leaders of the Ukrainian independence movement and Zionist Jews practically throughout the entire twentieth century, the communists’ guilt must be recognized, as this was done in relation to the Nazis.

The communists of the USSR brought immense misery not only to the Ukrainian people, the Jewish people and the Polish people, but to all of humanity.

 

[1] https://www.delfi.lt/ru/news/live/evrejskaya-obschina-litvy-otmezhevalas-ot-obvinenij-v-adres-ramanauskasa-vanagasa.d?id=76227689

[2] https://www.delfi.lt/ru/news/live/vanagajte-priznaet-lozhnost-utverzhdenij-o-komandire-partizan-ramanauskase-vanagase.d?id=76250931

[3] https://www.delfi.lt/ru/news/live/prokurory-v-litve-reshayut-zavodit-li-delo-v-otnoshenii-ruty-vanagajte.d?id=76269363

[4] https://www.bbc.com/ukrainian/domestic/story/2008/03/080304_shukhevych_israel_oh

Volodymyr Viatrovych – former Director of the Ukrainian Institute of National Remembrance. Former director of the Archives of the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU). Ph.D in historical sciences. Former Director of the Center for Research of Liberation Movement. Member of the board of trustees of the National Museum-Memorial of Victims of the Occupation Regimes.

[5] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7alSYFeHf8A

[6] Herbert Romerstein – staff member for the US House of Representatives. Investigator for the House Committee on Un-American Activities (HUAC). Chief investigator for the House Committee on Internal Security and on the staff of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence. Director of the Office to Counter Soviet Disinformation at the U.S. Information Agency Romerstein. Herbert (2004). “Divide and Conquer: The KGB disinformation campaign against Ukrainians and Jews”:https://www.iwp.edu/papers-studies/2004/11/01/divide-and-conquer-the-kgb-disinformation-campaign-against-ukrainians-and-jews/

[7] Agitprop – department of agitation and propaganda of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of USSR

[8] Grzegorz Motyka – member of Board of Directors of Institute of National Remembrance, professor, Ph.D in History. Grzegorz Motyka. «Dywizja SS «Galizien» – Zbrоdnie wоjenne ukraińskich żоłnierzy Ssgalizien».

[9] «Роман Шухевич: політик.» Володимир В’ятрович, для УП — середа, 7 травня 2008 2008, 12:45      https://www.pravda.com.ua/articles/2008/05/7/3431051/

 

[10] The Shoah is the real name of the Holocaust in Hebrew. Literally means: «catastrophe», «disaster», «thickened terrible darkness».

[11] MILITARY TRIBUNAL Volume IV «The Einsatzgruppen Case».

[12] ОУН в 1941. Документи. Київ, Інститут історії України, НАН України, 2006.

[13] Паньківський К. Від держави до комітету (Літо 1941 року у Львові). Нью-Йорк – Торонто, 1957.

[14] https://www.istpravda.com.ua/articles/2021/04/29/159384/

[15] Мирослав Чех. «Як Москва відкрила ворота в пекло на Волині», 5 квітня, 2013.

https://zn.ua/HISTORY/kak-moskva-otkryla-vorota-v-ad-na-volyni-_.html

[16] Гавриш І. Таємниця в’язня № 72192. Бандера у Заксенгаузені // Історія. -Львів, 2016. — № 2

[17] 1) Ivan Patryliak, The Ukrainian Nationalist Underground and the Insurgent Movement, 1939-

           

            1960, 2nd Edition, Kyiv, 2020, p. 351.

      

        2) Ukrainian Echo Weekly Periodical. Vol. LXII, № 40, Toronto (26 October 2021), 48 pp.  

            

             Special edition “I Want to Live” dedicated to victims and survivors of Nazi concentration

            

             camps, who were participants of the OUN-UPA National Resistance during WWII.

 

[18] Michael Logusz, Galicia Division: The Waffen SS 14th Grenadier Division, 1943-1945. Atglen,

       

        Pa., 1997, pp. 259-61.

 

Alik Gomelsky is a writer, member of the Canadian Authors Association, historical researcher, founder of Jewish-Ukrainian International Association, expert on Jewish-Ukrainian relations in the twentieth century, essayist, lecturer, blogger, and consultant.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

List of the most wanted persons of the Sicherheitsdienst (SD) in the territory of the Governor-General. Roman Shukhevych’s name is seen in the next photo.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Documentary evidence of the UPA’s military confrontation with Nazi Germany.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A document from the CIA archives regarding the creation of Abwehr battalions.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Statement by Allen Dulles at the hearings of the US House Committee.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Document on Soviet-Nazi cooperation.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

From the German Bundesarchiv – regarding forged OUN(B) documents for Jews.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

List of political prisoners in Lviv Prison № 1 (Lonsky Prison).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

MGB USSR: the plan about search for Roman Shukhevych and Vasyl Kuk.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

KGB USSR: preparation of a provocation against Theodor Oberlander.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Polish Minister of Defense kneels in front of the grave of Major General of the UPR Army Mark Bezruchko.