Exclusive:
Exhibition in Ukrainian parliament glorifies Nazi collaborators

Months after hundreds march streets of Lvov commemorating 75th anniversary of SS division's creation.

Mordechai Sones,

Ukrainian nationalist parties mark Day of Ukrainian Cossacks
Ukrainian nationalist parties mark Day of Ukrainian Cossacks
Reuters

An exhibition inside the Ukrainian parliament, the Rada last week glorified the leading Ukrainian Nazi collaborators of World War II.

Information on the exhibition is available on the Ukraine Parliament's official website in Ukrainian and Russian, but on the Rada's English-language website the information is absent.

The Ukrainian site says, "A special exhibition has been organized in the parliament of Ukraine in Kiev. The dates of the exhibition: July 3- July 6, 2018. The name of the exhibition: Celebrating the Restoration of the Ukrainian Statehood, June 30, 1941-2018.

"The organizers of the exhibition: All-Ukrainian charitable Sobornist foundation, International charitable Jaroslav Stezko foundation, MP Jury Shuchevich."

Jaroslav Stezko was leader of Stepan Bandera's Organization of the Ukrainian Nationalists (OUN) military brigades from 1968 until his death. A fervent Ukrainian Nazi collaborator, in 1941 during the Nazi German invasion of the Soviet Union, he was self-proclaimed temporary head of the ostensibly independent Ukrainian government declared by Stepan Bandera. Stetsko was the head of the Anti-Bolshevik Bloc of Nations from the time of its foundation until 1986, the year of his death.

MP Jury Shuchevich opens Kiev Parliament exhibition last week
צילום: Dr. Inna Rogatchi

MP Jury Shuchevich is the octogenarian son of Roman Shuchevich, who was the one of the leaders of the infamous the SS Nachtigall battalion. SS Captain Roman Shuchevich was awarded the Nazi Iron Cross for his "exploits" during the Second World War in Ukraine and was an Abwehr agent from 1926.

"The fact that the son of the political leader of the SS Nachtigall battalion and the bearer of the Nazi Iron Cross is the most respected – according to Ukrainian authorities – member of their parliament is telling all by itself," wrote co-founder and President of the Rogatchi Foundation Dr. Inna Rogatchi. "He spent many decades in the Soviet Gulag and is clearly motivated against anything Russian – he even added a new Ukrainian name to his existing name of Jury. But it's ridiculous to see how a personal vendetta has driven the policy of a country with a population of 45 million.

"Recognized in his country as a political heavy-weight, Jury Shuchevich was asked recently by the very pro-governmental Kyiv Post English-language newspaper, 'is it not too much glorification of the Ukrainian nationalists, with the historically known record of their activities?' The senior MP of the Ukrainian parliament responded: 'It's a very complicated question which has to be examined in full detail. But what about those Jews? Those ones who were in Judenrats, and who were after their own people in ghettos? I saw it with my own eyes. But Jews don't like to talk about it'."

Highly disturbing images of what Ukraine is glorifying:

The exhibition is situated in the hall on the first floor of the parliament premises.

The exhibition shows blown-up images from pro-Nazi newspapers dated June 1941 heralding "the Act of establishing the Ukrainian state", after Nazi Germany occupied Ukraine. There are also enlarged images of documents issued by the Ukrainian Nazi collaborating bodies at the time, and large portraits of the leading Ukrainian Nazi collaborators - Bandera, Shuhevich, Stezko, and Konovaletz who all are presented as heroes. The colors of the exhibition are those of the current Ukrainian flag.

Ukrainians celebrate 75th anniversary of Nazi SS Galician Division; April 20, 2018.

The exhibition's stand features the following text from the Act of the Establishing of the Ukrainian State dated June 30, 1941:

"3. Newly established Ukrainian State will closely co-operate with National Socialist Great Germany under the leadership of its Leader Adolf Hitler building the New Order in Europe and the world".

This text has become the classic document on the Nazi character of Ukrainian nationalists and their bodies.

Many other documents at the exhibition openly glorify Nazism.

Parliament in Kiev
Reuters

At the exhibition's opening, current leaders of Ukraine's nationalistic organizations spoke, along with openly pro-Nazi MP Jury Shuchevich, son of the SS captain and the commander of the Nachtigall division Roman Shuchevich.

In his opening speech, MP Jury Schuchevich said: "The fact of us having an independence today, in truth, is a huge cornerstone of the edifice called today the Ukrainian State. That huge cornerstone was laid into this edifice by this very struggle (of the Ukrainian nationalists) and by these very people (Ukrainian Nazi-collaborators), and I beseech you all very much to visit this exhibition which the Congress of the Ukrainian nationalists is carrying on in commemoration of this date." In any other official sources the participation of the pro-Nazi Ukrainian Nationalists Congress is not mentioned.

The official site of the Ukraine Parliament said: "In the beginning of the Second World War, OUN under Stepan Bandera's leadership started preparing for re-establishing Ukraine's independence. As the German-Bolshevic War (Nazi term for WWII used today by Ukraine's Parliament) ignited, mobile OUN groups went to Ukraine to establish there Ukrainian power.

"On June 30th, Nachtigall division under the command of Roman Shuchevich and OUN group under the command of Jaroslav Stazko entered Lvov with their first aim to announce re-establishing Ukrainian statehood. The Act of re-establishing Ukrainian statehood declared the independent policy of Ukraine. By it, it has been stated to the international community that the Ukrainian people is content neither with an imperial occupation, nor with a communist one ... it will continue its struggle to the end."

Ukrainians warmly receive Nazis as Galicia division formed.

Hundreds march on streets of Lvov to commemorate 75th anniversary of creation of SS division 'Galicia' that fought for Nazis against Soviet Union in World War II.

Upon entering Lvov, the Nachtigall division and OUN forces initiated and conducted the unprecedentedly horrific massacre of Lvov's Jews known in history as Lvov massacre of June-July, 1941 in which at least seven-thousand Jews were barbarically murdered. The exhibition in Ukraine's Parliament opened on July 3rd, the peak day of the horrendous Lvov massacre, the one of the most terrible genocides of the twentieth century.

​At the same time, a similar exhibition called Fighters for the Ukrainian State opened at the National History of Ukraine Museum in Kiev. That exhibition was ceremonially visited by Vice Prime Minister Vyacheslav Kirilenko, as stated on the Ukraine government's official website, who said: "It's only relatively recently when we started to get familiar with history works, art works celebrating UPA (Ukrainian Patriotic Army, Nazi collaborators and war criminals). It was a long way for Ukraine to recognize UPA, which is our common history."

Dr. Rogatchi responded to the exhibition: "Just imagine that inside the Bundestag today there would be a non-critical exhibition demonstrating in full seriousness and with pride the Third Reich newspapers from 1941 on colorful big stands with captions commenting that those slogans, policies, events, documents, and people who perpetrated them were all 'assuring and strengthening Germany's Independence and statehood.

"Imagine the same thing at any parliament of any European country or 90% of the countries world-wide, for that matter. Imagine this being done at the United Nations or UNESCO. They'd be called lunatics, quite correctly.

"But this is exactly what's going on today inside the Ukraine Parliament, and the world's leaders are shy to condemn. Or perhaps they're unaware of it. After all, there were 'just' three big stands for 'just' four days, and the exhibition wasn't public, it was inside the Parliament, and one needs journalist accreditation to get inside to be honored to view this sheer Nazi salutation.

"I'd like to hear the comment and reaction of Chancellor Merkel, the big patron of the current Ukraine and its leadership to that open glorification of Hitler and Nazism as displayed in the parliament of Ukraine. And I hope the State of Israel won't tolerate such open declaration of pro-Nazi sympathies by the parliament of Ukraine.

"By organizing and exhibiting this open glorification of Nazism, and identifying Ukrainian statehood with it as done in this exhibition, the Ukrainian legislating body and government represented by its Vice Prime Minister who visited the exhibition with a supportive speech, declared to the world who they are: Followers of the Nazis. Period. And they should be treated like that, world-wide and officially. They asked for it themselves. Never before have the Ukrainian pro-Nazis gone that far. When given free reign they enjoy it. And Europe and the rest of the world stay silent, again. Not one or another Nazi-glorifying exhibition in the modern-day Ukraine, which is a daily reality there, but Europe's and the world's ongoing numbness regarding it is outrageous and intolerable," Rogatchi said.

Self-defense battalion "Azov" marks Ukrainian Cossacks Day
Reuters

Ukraine, Russia
iStock

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