Greek news update


About this video from Greece:

Athens Pride 2014 – 10 years Athens Pride : June 14, Klafthmonos Square

Posted on June 10, 2014 by DAWNOFTHEGREEKS

This year, Pride organizers focus on the concepts of equality and freedom of choice from the perspective of family life as defined by every LGBT person, and specifically on the legal recognition of all LGBT families.

The Greek State continues to deny us this right, even after the European Court of Human Rights decided on 11/2013 that “Greece has violated the European Convention on Human Rights by excluding same-sex couples from its Civil Partnership Law.”

Athens Pride advances the demand to expand of Family Law for all LGBT families and unwaveringly endorses the concept of the family that includes all sexualities and gender identities, as a nonnegotiable core value.

Spokesperson: Andrea Gilbert +306974187383

More information about the Athens Pride here

Greek Jewish Lawmaker Says Golden Dawn Would Send Her to ‘Concentration Camp’: here.

European elections in Greece: here.

Anti-Semitism and Islamophobia in Europe


French nazis' Islamophobic and anti-Arab graffitti at cemetery

By Sara R Farris in England:

On anti-Semitism and Islamophobia in Europe

Is Europe’s Islamophobia following the path of 19th century anti-Semitism?

5 June 2014 13:22

In 1844, Karl Marx published a short but dense text entitled “On the Jewish Question”. It was a critical review of two essays by the-then famous philosopher Bruno Bauer, who had argued against equal rights for Jews if granted on religious grounds. If Jews wanted to be considered full citizens – Bauer maintained echoing the widespread opinion of the time – Jews would have to abandon their religion and embrace Enlightenment. According to this logic, there was no room for religious demands in a secular society.

As Bauer’s position suggests, anti-Jewish racism in Germany and elsewhere in Europe in the first half of the 19th century, was justified mainly on cultural and religious grounds. Jews were discriminated and regarded with suspicion because they were considered an alien “nation within the nation”. In fact, it was not until the second half of the 19th century and the rise of “social Darwinism” that “racial anti-Semitism“, framed in biological terms, appeared on the political scene and Jews were openly discriminated against on the basis of their alleged genetic inferiority.

The question we might want to ask ourselves today is whether contemporary Europe is confronting a Muslim question similar to the Jewish question 170 years ago. Is European antipathy towards Muslims comparable to that first stage of hatred towards Jews, a hatred that culminated in one of the darkest pages of human history?

In spite of the obvious differences between the two contexts, the success of the far right during the recent elections in several European countries seems to suggest that the answer is a resounding yes. The victory of these parties attests to the incredible gains made by Islamophobic propaganda in the last ten years. In France, the president of the National Front, Marine Le Pen – who obtained one quarter of all votes – has asked school canteens to stop offering Muslim children alternatives to pork. In Britain, the UK Independence Party campaigned against the construction of mosques and became the biggest winner in the elections, with an astonishing 27.5 percent of the vote.

Many of these parties, as well as those who voted for them, do not consider themselves racists. After all, the problem with Muslims – according to the likes of Le Pen – is their alleged backwardness, fanaticism and unwillingness to integrate.

In short, it is the Muslims’ fault. Just like the Jewish question of the 19th century, the contemporary Muslim question is premised upon cultural differences and thus presented as legitimate and politically correct.

Though immigrants in general are singled out as a social and economic threat to European societies and workers, it is Muslims in particular who have come to epitomise the “bad other”. This has been achieved not only through the xenophobic propaganda of the far right. Actually, conservatives and even liberal and left-wing parties have contributed to the fanfare.

On the one hand, conservative leaders such as current UK Prime Minister David Cameron, France’s former President Nicolas Sarkozy and Italy’s former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi have repeatedly invoked the Christian roots of European countries, while, on the other, a much broader gamut of political forces, including liberals and leftists, have participated in decrying the headscarf as a symbol of backwardness and oppression. The voices nourishing anti-Muslim sentiment across Europe come from all sides of the political map.

Muslims have thus become, at least in many ways, the new Jews. They have become the scapegoats onto whom Europeans are projecting their anxieties about the future. Conservative and far-right politicians constantly intensify and exploit these anxieties in order to enhance neoliberal and nationalist agendas, while most liberal and left-wing parties have imitated the racist right, perhaps hoping it will bring them more votes.

Marx understood this process all too well. He criticised Bauer for claiming that the lack of political emancipation for the Jews was the result of their culture and religion. Marx maintained that religion had nothing to do with the continued discrimination of the Jews. The prejudice against the Jews and their lack of rights, Marx argued, is to be understood in the broader context of the state’s structural inequalities.

The transmutation of the Muslims into the Jews of the 19th century does not mean that a new genocide is imminent, or that the tragedy of the Jewish people in 20th century Europe will be replicated as the tragedy of the Muslim people in the 21st. History does not repeat itself in this way. But history can rhyme. It will only be the redoubled work of anti-racist militants and organisations that can potentially prevent that rhyme.Dr Sara R Farris is an Assistant Professor in Sociology in the Sociology Department at Goldsmiths, University of London.

UK schools witchhunted by government to foster anti-Muslim sentiment: here.

Dutch neo-nazis vandalize Anne Frank musical poster


Nazi vandalism in Velserbroek, photo by Jan Bregonje

Translated from Dutch site nieuws.nl:

Anne poster daubed all over with Nazi symbols

Published: May 11, 2014 15:00 Last Updated: May 11, 2014 15:15

In a bus shelter in Velserbroek, a poster of the musical Anne has been defaced with Stars of David, swastikas and Nazi slogans.

According to a bus driver, this probably happened this morning.

RTV Noord-Holland reports this. Also the rest of the bus shelter is covered with vandals’ black marker’s pollution. The musical Anne, which is about the story of Anne Frank, was premiered last week. The posters of the musical hang mostly in bus shelters.

Bus driver Jan Bregonje discovered this result of vandalism this morning. According to him, it must have happened this morning, because yesterday, he said, it was not there yet.

Bregonje has immediately contacted the local police. Passersby are also said to be shocked.

This Dutch TV video is about the musical Anne.

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Dutch Zionists against ‘pro-Israel’ Wilders’ collaboration with anti-Semites


Dutch poster against Geert Wilders' collaboration with the Austrian FPÖ

This is a poster from the Netherlands about the cooperation in the present European election campaign between Dutch xenophobic politician Geert Wilders and his extreme Right Austrian colleague Christian Strache, leader of the FPÖ party.

On the left in the poster, Strache is quoted: “Homosexuality is a disease!“.

On the right of the poster, Geert Wilders says: “What a really impressive man!“.

The caption at the bottom of the poster says: “Today, Wilders is in bed with all kinds of extreme Right parties which are full of racists, holocaust deniers and LGBTQ haters“.

Finally, the poster refers to the site WildersBFF.nl, about who Wilders’ ‘Best Friends Forever‘ are.

Translated from NOS TV in the Netherlands today:

The Jewish interests’ organisation CIDI

CIDI is an acronym for Center for Information and Documentation on Israel. One should call it a ‘pro-Israel’ organisation rather than a ‘Jewish’ organisation, there being both Jews and non-Jews in it.

criticizes PVV leader Geert Wilders. In daily De Telegraaf, the organization says that Wilders ‘betrays his principles’ by working with extreme right-wing parties in Europe such as the French Front National [National Front].

CIDI director Esther Voet calls it disturbing that Wilders reversed himself ‘like a leaf on a tree’. ‘He always said he would not join forces with the extreme right, but now that happens anyway. It’s a sliding scale.’

Wilders has a reputation of someone caring for the interests of the Jewish community. He has good contacts with Jewish lobby groups in the United States and has traveled dozens of times to Israel.

Former PVV MPs Wim Kortenoeven and Louis Bontes confirm to the newspaper that Wilders has changed his position. Previously, PVV MPs were not even allowed to be on the same photo as members of the National Front, said Bontes. “That was said to bring the PVV into disrepute.”

Wilders told De Telegraaf that he is “not afraid” of being perceived to be similar to the extreme right.

Already in November CIDI said it is concerned about the cooperation between the PVV and the National Front. According to Ms Voet that has major implications for Jews in the Netherlands. “The risk is that there will be a larger group in the European Parliament, for example, rejecting ritual [kosher] slaughter. And also against circumcision, attacking the core of Judaism.”

See also here.

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After burning people alive, anti-Jewish pogrom in Odessa, Ukraine?


Holocaust monument in Odessa, Ukraine, before anti-Semites vandalized it

From daily The Morning Star in Britain today, about Ukraine:

Kiev also made efforts to restore control over the city of Odessa.

The coup government sent a national guard unit to re-establish control over the Black Sea port city, prompting fears in the local Jewish community that they would be targeted by neonazis linked to the new regime.

Jewish leaders in the city told Israel’s Jerusalem Post at the weekend they had prepared to flee the city if necessary. Last month a monument to the 34,000 Odessa Jews killed during the nazi occupation was vandalised and painted over with swastikas and symbols of the Right Sector fascist group.

Kiev is escalating attacks on cities which do not recognise the new regime.

Odessa had been largely unaffected by Ukraine’s deepening conflict — until 46 people died on Friday, most incinerated in the trade union centre as they sought refuge from a pro-Kiev mob.

Anti-fascists gathered in Odessa yesterday morning at the funeral of regional member of parliament Vyacheslav Markin, who died in the fire and was known for speaking out against the interim government in Kiev.

New York Times covers up fascist atrocity in Odessa: here.

A politically conformist media has long been considered a characteristic of dictatorships. Not any more. One can also speak of such a conformist press in the coverage of Ukraine in the German media: here.

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Belgian anti-Semites stopped


This video from Belgium is about Voorpost and VMO, extreme right paramilitary organisations linked to the Vlaams Blok party (new name: Vlaams Belang).

From daily The Morning Star in Britain:

Brussels police disperse baying anti-Semites

Monday 5th May 2014

RIOT police in Brussels used water cannon yesterday to disperse a crowd defying a ban on a gathering of controversial far-right figures which critics called an “anti-semitic hatefest.”

Citing a threat to public order, Brussels district of Anderlecht Mayor Eric Tomas had banned both the meeting and any protests connected to it.

But organisers of the European Dissidents’ Congress, a right-wing extremist group called Debout les Belges, urged supporters to gather for “a surprise,” sparking the standoff with riot police.

Several hundred people who had planned to attend the meeting gathered in Anderlecht, watched by a line of riot police, while the organisers appealed to Belgium’s top administrative court, which did not immediately rule.

“It’s over. Everyone should disperse calmly,” said Laurent Louis, the far-right MP and founder of Debout les Belges, after police forcefully broke up the crowd of about 500 protesters without making arrests.

Businessman-cum-politician Laurent Louis started his political career in the centre-right “Liberal” (economically pro-big business) party of French-speaking Belgium, part of the government coalition. After several quarrels, Louis founded the extreme right Debout les Belges.

The event was to bring together a string of far-right figures, including so-called comedian Dieudonne M’bala M’bala, who has faced repeated accusations of anti-semitism, Holocaust denial and incitement to racial hatred.

Organisers had kept the venue a secret until the last moment to prevent it from being closed down and immediately challenged the ban before Belgium’s state council and around 200 rightwingers rallied in Anderlecht early on Sunday afternoon, many performing the infamous quenelle gesture which opponents have characterised as a neonazi salute.

The Belgian League against anti-Semitism had filed a complaint before the Brussels prosecutor on Friday against what it called “a day of hate, that would serve as a platform for the worst gathering of anti-semitic authors, theorists and propagandists that our country has seen since the end of World War II.”

The Simon Wiesenthal Centre rallied behind the calls for a ban.

“The fact that this hatefest is to be held in Brussels, the capital of Europe, the seat of its Parliament … is a threat to democracy reminiscent of the 1920s Weimar Republic, which brought Europe to the nazi abyss,” centre director for international relations Shimon Samuels warned.

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Svoboda party anti-Semitism in Ukraine


This video says about itself:

Jews upset over Ukraine election

11 November 2012

For the first time the nationalist Svoboda or Freedom party will be represented in Ukraine‘s parliament.

The movement which has links with foreign far-right groups like France’s National Front has been accused of anti-Semitism. Their election showing has raised concerns among the Jewish community.

“Unfortunately I have read their speeches and statements not once but many times. So I do not need any proof that they are anti-Semitic,” said Rabbi Pynchas Vyshedski.

More than 800,000 Jews were killed in Ukraine during the Second World War. There remains deep ties with Israel where there is anger at Svoboda’s success, winning parliamentary seats.

“We don’t understand why they gave them the opportunity to go to the election, we understand the democracy of Ukraine but this kind of party ought to be out of parliament,” explained
Alex Miller head of inter-parliamentary Ukrainian-Israeli committee.

[Svoboda leader] Oleh Tyahnybok was expelled from the centre right Our Ukrainian party eight years ago. In a speech he referred to Jews as being among the enemies of Ukraine. …

Tyahnybok and his party has forged links with other political groups including that of Yulia Tymoshenko and could be set to be part of a coalition in the forthcoming legislation.

From the Jewish Telegraph Agency:

Ukrainian Jews worry that rise of Svoboda party will bring anti-Semitism back into vogue

By Cnaan Liphshiz

April 26, 2013 6:14pm

KIEV, Ukraine — Marching in formation, six young men in dark jackets approach an anti-government rally in Cherkasy, a city some 125 miles southeast of Kiev.

At the appointed moment, they remove their windbreakers to reveal white T-shirts emblazoned with the words “Beat the kikes.” Their jackets carry the name of Svoboda, the ultranationalist Ukrainian political party.

A small riot quickly ensues. Angry protestors rip at the T-shirts, but the Svoboda-labeled men give as good as they get. One of the men beats Victor Smal, a lawyer and human rights activist, so savagely that he is rendered barely recognizable.

But denials notwithstanding, the incident has raised anxieties among Ukrainian Jews fearful of rising xenophobia and racially motivated violence they say is inspired by Svoboda, a party with neo-Nazi roots and a penchant for thuggery.

“Svoboda lifted the lid from the sewer of anti-Semitism in Ukraine and it’s spilling out,” said Joel Rubinfeld, co-chair of the European Jewish Parliament.

A U.S. State Department report this month singled out Ukraine, along with Hungary and Greece, as places of “concern” because of growing anti-Semitic parties. But open anti-Semitism is still rare in Ukraine. Tel Aviv University’s Kantor Center for the Study of Contemporary European Jewry documented just 15 cases of anti-Semitic violence in 2012. In France, the number was 200.

But the behavior of some Svoboda politicians risks changing that, some Ukrainian Jews worry.

Founded in 2004, Svoboda (“freedom” in Ukrainian) is the latest incarnation of the Social-National Party, a far-right movement ideologically aligned with Nazism. But while the Social-National Party never enjoyed any electoral success, Svoboda garnered more than 10 percent of the vote in the 2012 elections, becoming the country’s fourth-largest party.

“Svoboda is perhaps the biggest challenge facing Ukrainian Jewry today,” Ukrainian Jewish Committee President Oleksandr Feldman told JTA. “It has no structure and operates in a political vacuum and turmoil which allow it to run rampant.”

Svoboda’s unstructured nature also makes it difficult to pigeonhole. Party leader Oleh Tyahnybok has praised supporters for being the “worst fear of the Jewish-Russian mafia” and has called Jews “kikes.”

Yet the party also speaks admiringly of Israel, and Tyahnybok has made a point of advertising his meeting last December with Israel’s ambassador to Ukraine. Alexander Aronets, Svoboda’s press secretary, has praised Israel on his Facebook page as ”one of the most nationalistic countries in the world.”

Good relations with Israel may be desirable to Svoboda as a defense against accusations of anti-Semitism, a tactic employed by other European nationalist movements that have made overtures in Israel’s direction.

“They know anti-Semitism is preventing the good relations they seek,” said Moshe Azman, Ukraine’s Chabad-affiliated chief rabbi. “But Svoboda is not a uniform entity and I’m not sure the leaders control the rank and file.”

Feldman, an energetic businessman, lawmaker and founder of the Kyiv Interfaith Forum, says Svoboda has helped erode the shame associated with open expressions of anti-Semitism and other ethnic hatreds. His interfaith forum, which each year brings together hundreds of clerics from five faiths, was marred for the first time this year by a minor assault on a Muslim participant outside the conference.

“Svoboda is very frightening to Ukrainian Jews and other minorities because it is an ultra-Jobbik that evolved quickly,” Feldman said, referring to the anti-Semitic and Iran-friendly Hungarian party that also has enjoyed recent electoral success.

“We had hoped Svoboda would tone it down once it’s in parliament, but the opposite has happened,” said Vyacheslav Likhachev, a Ukrainian researcher with the Euro-Asian Jewish Congress. “The electoral gains have emboldened Svoboda lawmakers to incorporate thuggery as a modus operandi, a very dangerous development.”

One example came in February, when party member Igor Miroshnichenko shimmied up the towering statue of Vladimir Lenin in the town of Akhtyrka, threw a rope around the communist leader’s head, tied the other end to a truck and brought down the monument.

In December, the same man said Mila Kunis, a Ukrainian-American Jewish actress, was “no Ukrainian, but a kike.” Asked by a newspaper if Miroshnichenko could be prosecuted for making a racial insult, a Justice Ministry official said the word he used — “zhydovka,” a feminized version of kike — was permissible and part of the official vocabulary.

“This was another Svoboda success in poisoning the public sphere,” Likhachev says.

Svoboda officials declined several JTA requests for comment for this story.

In February, Likhachev signed a letter along with several other Jewish Ukrainians asking the Jewish Agency for Israel to cancel plans to hold its board of governors meeting in Kiev in June. The letter, which several Jewish leaders dismissed as overblown, said that poor democratic standards and Svoboda’s ascent made Kiev an ill-suited choice.

“Svoboda are riffraff — nothing comparable to Jobbik, which has its own militia and coherent policy,” said Yaakov Bleich, a Ukrainian chief rabbi.

“Svoboda is troubling as a symptom of the main challenges facing Ukrainian Jewry: the economic recession and political uncertainty,” Bleich said. Still, he added, “because Svoboda is a mob, it’s less predictable than Jobbik. Svoboda’s leaders may be unable to control anti-Semitic displays.”

Despite the disagreements, many Jewish leaders seem to agree that Svoboda’s success owes more to frustration with the establishment than to its anti-Semitic statements. Likhachev pointed specifically to the discontent that emerged in the wake of the Orange Revolution, the protests following the 2004 election that brought former president Viktor Yushchenko to power on a platform of greater government accountability.

Bickering and disunity cost Yushchenko the presidency in 2010. He was succeeded by Viktor Yanukovych, the man whom protestors accused five years earlier of election fraud. That development strengthened Svoboda in two ways, Likhachev says.

“First, it radicalized disgruntled voters,” Likhachev says. “Second, the opposition allies learned they needed to stay united to win. So they are willing to overlook Svoboda’s anti-Semitism — to the detriment of Ukrainian society and its Jewish population.”

KENNY COYLE examines the liberal media’s refusal to put the true politics of Kiev’s neonazi groups under the spotlight: here.

Swedish neonazis to Ukraine to support their local colleagues: here.

As the Obama administration and its allies in Europe escalate their threats against Russia over the crisis in Ukraine, the American media plays its assigned role as propaganda mouthpiece: here.

Britain: Gung-ho Tory backbenchers demanded action yesterday to stoke up the Ukraine crisis: here.

By Patrick Martin:

White House cynicism on the Holocaust

29 April 2014

For sheer cynical doubletalk, it is hard to top the statement issued by President Obama Monday, to mark the annual worldwide commemoration of the Holocaust, one of the greatest crimes in modern history.

The statement concludes, “let us recommit ourselves to the task of remembrance, and to always oppose anti-Semitism wherever it takes root. Together, we must give enduring meaning to the words ‘Never Again’.”

The two-paragraph text is posted on the White House web site immediately below a statement issued the same day on US policy in Ukraine, announcing new sanctions against Russia for Moscow’s public opposition to the US-backed takeover of Ukraine by right-wing nationalist forces that hail the Ukrainian Nazi collaborator Stepan Bandera.

The February 22 coup was spearheaded by thugs and gunmen from the Right Sector, an openly fascistic organization, and it elevated into the Kiev government representatives of the fascist Svoboda (Freedom) Party.

Svoboda’s top leader for the last 10 years, Oleh Tyahnybok, is on record calling for an all-out struggle against the “Yid-Russki mafia” in Ukraine (i.e., Jews and Russian speakers). He made that statement in a speech at the graveside of a leader of Bandera’s Ukrainian Insurgent Army, which fought alongside Hitler’s Wehrmacht in World War II.

Tyahnybok has received a series of high-level visitors in Kiev, including US senators John McCain (Republican) and Christopher Murphy (Democrat), Secretary of State John Kerry (for a photograph of Kerry with Tyahnybok see the Kyiv Post here), and most recently Vice President Joe Biden.

Anti-Svoboda demonstrators in Washington DC, USA

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Hitler’s holocaust in Ukraine, documentary


This video says about itself:

The Killing Fields – Einsatzgruppen – The “other” Holocaust

****This video contains disturbing images ****

Holocaust deniers seem to think that the Holocaust is all about whether people were gassed or not in the death camps. Before the extermination camps even started operation, the Nazis were already shooting hundreds of thousands of men, women and children all over Eastern Europe.

Deniers will say that the images and clips in this video are all manufactured by the Soviets, totally disregarding historical documents and the eye-witness accounts of victims, bystanders and even the testimony of the perpetrators themselves.

By Clara Weiss in Germany:

French TV documentary: “Shoah by Shooting—SS Death Squads in Ukraine

22 April 2014

Earlier this year, the 2008 French television documentary “Shoah by Shooting—SS Death Squads in Ukraine,” by Romain Icard, was released on DVD with German subtitles by Absolut Medien. The documentary describes the journey of the French Catholic priest Patrick Desbois through Ukraine in his search for the mass graves of some 1.5 million murdered Jews.

The release of the DVD coincides with the German- and US-backed coup in Kiev that brought to power an extreme right-wing regime that includes neo-Nazi forces. The documentary underscores the criminal character of a policy of relying on fascistic forces.

The Nazis occupied Ukraine in the summer of 1941 and were expelled by the Red Army two-and-a-half years later. During the period of German occupation, the war and the mass murders carried out by the Nazis and their Ukrainian collaborators took the lives of between five and eight million people. Another one million Ukrainians were deported to Germany to serve as forced laborers. The Soviet Republic was plundered and savaged. Hitler planned to resettle 20 million Germans on the territory of Ukraine.

At the time of the attack on the Soviet Union, the Nazi leadership had already decided on the annihilation of European Jewry. The systematic murder of the Jews became an integral part of the occupation.

In Lithuania, the Nazis and their collaborators liquidated over 90 percent of the Jewish population. In Belarus, the Nazis murdered a quarter of the total population—800,000 people—including more than 90 percent of all Jews. In Ukraine, an estimated 1.5 million Jews were murdered—over half of the total Jewish population of 2.7 million.

As the director of the US Holocaust Memorial Museum explains in the documentary, “Ukraine is and will remain a vast cemetery.”

The Catholic Church played an important role in supporting the Hitler regime, together with other fascist regimes in Europe. Through its backing for Desbois’ work, the Vatican sought to erase the traces of its crimes. Nevertheless, the research carried out by Desbois, whose own father was held as a French prisoner of war in Ukraine and later informed his son of what he had seen of the Holocaust, is of great importance. Many crimes of the Nazis in Eastern Europe have not been fully explored and the sites of most of the mass graves in Ukraine were unknown until Desbois’ investigations.

Through systematic interviews, beginning in 2004, with thousands of eyewitnesses and survivors of the Holocaust, most of whom had never been questioned before, Desbois and his team were able to locate some 700 mass graves. The results of the research by his organization Yahad in Unum, which is also active in other countries in Eastern Europe, have been compiled on a web site.

At the moment, Yahad in Unum’s Internet map of mass graves is not working properly. Was the site hacked by some anti-Semite?

In total, some 1,200 mass graves have now been identified in Ukraine.

The majority of Ukrainian as well as Belarusian and Lithuanian Jews were shot by the dreaded Nazi SS strike forces (Einsatzgruppen) in mass actions, with the Ukrainian police playing an important role.

The most powerful scenes in the documentary are the interviews with survivors and eyewitnesses of the mass murders. Desbois encounters many of the survivors in impoverished rural areas that are more evocative of the 19th than the 21st century. “The Holocaust in the East remains in the memory of the poor,” he comments.

Desbois conducts most of the interviews with villagers who were between 8 and 15 years old during the occupation. These survivors remain marked by the horrors they witnessed as children, when the German occupiers terrorized the entire population and murdered their Jewish neighbors.

Temofis Ryzvanuk, a poor farmer from the village of Bakhiv (in the Lutsk region), observed a mass execution at the age of 14. “Everyone was afraid here,” he tells the interviewer. “We were terribly fearful of the Germans.”

Ryzvanuk relates how Jewish men and women were forced by the lash to dig their own graves, only to be mown down by machine guns. “They were stripped naked. Men and women without distinction. After they killed them, they laid them head to head next to each other to save space…They were stacked like sardines.” German officers drove by during the executions and honked.

After questioning other villagers, Desbois was able to determine the location of the mass grave in which an estimated 9,000 people were buried. Grave robbers have searched there recently for jewelry and dental gold, leaving skulls and bone fragments strewn over the ground.

The mass executions were carefully planned. SS officers of the strike forces often drew up sketches of the executions in advance.

Desbois carried out particularly thorough research in northwest Ukraine, which is today one of the poorest regions of the country. Prior to the war, more than 150,000 Jews, almost half of the local population, inhabited the region. The area was also called “Jewish land” and was a cradle of Jewish culture. During the Holocaust, all of the Jews there were liquidated.

Resistance against the German occupation was brutally put down in “revenge actions.” Thousands of Ukrainians—the populations of entire villages and rural communities—were burned alive. Nadia Stepanova, whose father was burned along with other villagers in a church, describes the attack on the area:

“The German soldiers came from Lutsk to occupy the whole region. There are almost no houses there anymore, if you noticed. There was resistance against the Germans. After the shooting, they came into the village. They stayed overnight and in the morning rounded up all the residents.

“They separated the Jews and drove them to a ghetto. Then they separated men on one side, women and children on the other side of a barn. We thought, now it’s over. We thought we would all die, burn, as was the case in other villages.”

Her husband, Misha Stepanov, leads the film team to two mass graves of murdered Jews. He relates that trucks full of Jews were brought to the spot. He estimates that around 1,000 victims are buried in the two nearby graves, with many children among the murdered.

Leonid Kvil, who was just seven at the time, watched the executions. “They killed them, collected their clothes and brought them to the ghetto in the city,” he says. “Then they threw more Jews on top of the dead. Some were still alive. And it began again. They killed them and then brought new victims. They all came from the ghetto. This went on for two days.

“They covered the grave. It was still moving after six months, with blood seeping out. The Germans took jewelry, earrings, they took everything. It…[the blood ] flowed out three or four hundred yards. It flowed down to the river. It was awful.”

After their defeat at Stalingrad in February 1943, the Nazis were in retreat, as the Red Army began to retake the occupied territories. SS chief Heinrich Himmler ordered that all traces of the war crimes of the SS and the Wehrmacht be systematically erased. In the course of so- called Operation 1005, hundreds of thousands of corpses of murdered Jews were disinterred from their graves and burned.

Often, Jewish survivors were forced to take part in these actions. Desbois spoke with Dr. Leon Wells (1925-2009), one of the few Ukrainian Jews to survive and a man who testified at the trial of Adolf Eichmann in the 1960s. He was forced by the SS to burn corpses and then examine the ashes for gold. (A detailed interview with Leon Wells can be found on YouTube.)

In the forest of Lysinitchy, where 90,000-100,000 Jews were murdered, the burning of corpses lasted up to six months.

The documentary indicates that the Stalinist regime in the Soviet Union had partly encouraged anti-Semitic sentiments in the Ukrainian population, and that following the starvation of millions of Ukrainian peasants resulting from Stalin’s forced collectivization (1929 to 1932), many, especially in rural areas, subsequently greeted the Nazis in 1941 as “liberators.”

At this point the documentary adopts a pronounced anti-communist stance. In fact, it was the October Revolution of 1917 and the victory of the Bolsheviks in the civil war in 1921 that brought an end to the anti-Semitism of the Czarist regime and the mass murder of Jews. Tens of thousands of Jews had been killed during the civil war in Ukraine by both the White enemies of the Bolsheviks and the regime of Symon Petliura.

The Soviet government, led by Lenin and Trotsky, fiercely opposed anti-Semitism. The incitement of anti-Semitism by the Stalinist bureaucracy, which began particularly during the Moscow trials in the 1930s and culminated in the anti-Semitic purges of the late 1940s and early 1950s, was one of the most egregious expressions of the counterrevolutionary nature of Stalinism.

After the Second World War, the Holocaust was treated in the Soviet Union solely under the category of “crimes against the Soviet people.” A “Black Book” on the systematic murder of Jews, assembled by the Jewish intellectuals Vasily Grossman and Ilya Ehrenburg from 1943 onwards, was published only in 1946. It was pulped in 1948.

Since the collapse of the Soviet Union and the independence of Ukraine, a systematic rehabilitation of Ukrainian anti-Semites and Nazi collaborators has taken place. President Viktor Yushchenko, who came to power in 2004 in the Western-backed “Orange Revolution,” made the glorification of Symon Petliura and Stepan Bandera, head of the fascist Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists during the Second World War, official government policy. He authorized public monuments for both men.

The Fatherland Party of the new Ukrainian prime minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk, and the far-right Svoboda party, which has several ministers in the coup government, both revere right-wing Ukrainian nationalists and fascists.

Berlin and Washington support this policy and are working directly with fascist forces to prepare for war against Russia and impose massive attacks on the Ukrainian working class. The documentary on the Holocaust in Ukraine is an important reminder of the monstrous deeds of German imperialism, which has now returned to the scene of its former crimes.

A day after the New York Times published a front-page report purporting to show the involvement of Russian Special Forces in protests in east Ukraine, its report, titled “Photos Link Masked Men in East Ukraine to Russia,” has been exposed as a blatant fabrication: here.

The New York Times responded yesterday to the exposure of its fabricated report alleging that Russian Special Forces are stirring up protests in east Ukraine against the pro-Western regime in Kiev: here.

Evidence for Russian Involvement in Based on Shoddy Journalism: here.

US Vice President Joseph Biden’s two-day visit to Ukraine has ended with a resumption of the Kiev regime’s military crackdown against its political opponents in the southeast of the country and a dangerous escalation of US threats against Russia: here.

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Ukraine Jews denounce anti-Semitic provocation


This video says about itself:

31 October 2012

Ukraine far-right Svoboda party anti-Semitism:

Ukraine’s far right-wing Svoboda party has secured nearly 12% of the vote in the country’s recent parliamentary election, provoking concern among European Jewish groups.

This is the first time in Ukraine’s brief history — the country only became independent in 1991 – that a far-right faction has entered parliament; the party received just 1 percent of votes cast at the previous election in 2007. Svoboda — which translates into English as “Freedom” – performed strongly in western Ukraine, which borders the European Union.

Member of the European Jewish Parliament Rabbi Levi Matusof implored people to “vigorously condemn, unambiguously isolate and unequivocally ostracize those seeking the revival of the darkest ideology of European history“.

The EU has witnessed a general rise in support for far-right parties since the onset of the global economic crisis in 2008, with parties such as Jobbik in Hungary and the Golden Dawn in Greece entering their respective national parliaments despite openly professing anti-Semitic views.

By Alex Lantier:

Donetsk rabbi, protesters reject anti-Semitic leaflet as “provocation”

21 April 2014

In Donetsk, the Jewish community and pro-Russian forces protesting against the US puppet regime in Kiev have rejected as a fraud an anti-Semitic leaflet distributed by an anonymous group and attributed to the anti-regime Donetsk People’s Republic.

In language directly recalling the measures implemented by the Nazis against the Jewish people in the years before the Holocaust, the leaflet demanded that Jews in Donetsk register themselves and their property with the pro-Russian authorities and pay a $50 fee or face deportation and persecution.

The chief rabbi of Donetsk, Pinchas Vishedski, denounced the leaflet as a “provocation.” He said, “We are not taking this out of proportion. It did not come from some organization …We called on the security service of the country and the police and we asked them to take care and find out who made it.”

The leaflet was also denounced by the pro-Russian Donetsk People’s Republic, led by Denis Pushilin, which has occupied local state administration buildings in Donetsk.

“This is the method Kiev has used,” Pushilin said. “The leaflets say they are from the People’s Republic about Jews—all these are provocations. They have no basis at all.”

These comments refute the attempts of US officials to turn the leaflet into an asset in a propaganda campaign to smear pro-Russian protesters and prop up their puppet regime in Kiev, which is based on fascist groups with deeply anti-Semitic politics.

In line with comments by US Secretary of State John Kerry, US Ambassador to Ukraine Geoffrey Pyatt had declared, “Everything we’re hearing suggests this is the real deal, and that it is coming from someone on the ground there among these radical groups.”

Given the widespread reports that Donetsk residents viewed the leaflet as a fake and a provocation, one can only conclude that Pyatt’s comments had ulterior motives. They served the function of creating an alternative media story to the open and intimate ties of the pro-Western Kiev regime to fascist groups such as the Right Sector militia and the Svoboda party, which openly praise Nazi-era Ukrainian fascist groups that participated in the Holocaust, and whose leaders have issued public attacks on Jews.

See also here.

Western powers, Ukrainian regime call for military buildup against Russia: here.

The German government is taking part in the NATO mobilization in Eastern Europe with at least one warship and six combat planes. According to the Ministry of Defence, the vessel “Elba” will head a flotilla of five mine detectors due to depart soon from the port of Kiel in the Baltic Sea: here.

Canada: Stephen Harper’s acutely embarrassing behaviour regarding the crisis in Ukraine — demonizing Vladimir Putin and upping the rhetoric — must be welcomed in the U.S. which created the crisis in the first place and apparently believes it still has something to gain by isolating Russia. But it is not clear that Harper even realizes — or cares — what the larger game is: here.

US Vice President Joseph Biden began his two-day trip to Ukraine Monday as the country continued to teeter on the edge of civil war. Tensions are mounting over killings in the eastern part of the country, where demonstrators calling either for union with Russia or a federalized system of government have seized control in at least ten towns and cities: here.

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Anti-Semitism in Ukraine and the US State Department


This video from the eastern Ukraine says about itself:

19 April 2014

Ukraine: In multinational Donetsk, all are equal – Pushilin

Leaders of the Donetsk interim government gave a press conference in the Regional administration building in Donetsk, Saturday.

Denis Pushilin, the Deputy ‘People’s’ Governor of Donetsk and member of the interim government, recently said that it’s up to residents to decide where and how they want a referendum to take place.

Pushilin also responded to questions relating to a forged leaflet which showed up on social media networks, calling for Jewish people in Donetsk above the age of 16 to register their names and pay $50 (€60) in cash. Pushilin said that the republic of Donetsk is multinational and that all people are equal.

By Alex Lantier:

US imperialism and the anti-Semitic leaflet in Donetsk

19 April 2014

US outrage at a vile anti-Semitic leaflet circulating in the eastern Ukrainian city of Donetsk, demanding that all Jews register with local pro-Russian authorities, is a hypocritical fraud. US officials have seized on the leaflet, whose authorship is totally unclear and which stinks of a provocation to smear protesters hostile to the US-backed Ukrainian regime in Kiev, to denounce protesters and posture as opponents of anti-Semitism.

At talks between US, European, Ukrainian and Russian officials in Geneva, US Secretary of State John Kerry said: “In the year 2014, after all the miles traveled in the journey of history, this is not just intolerable, it’s grotesque … beyond unacceptable.”

What hypocrisy! In the February putsch that toppled Ukraine’s government, Washington and its European allies worked directly with fascists, including the Right Sector militia and the Svoboda party. These forces—which hail the World War II-era Ukrainian fascists led by Stepan Bandera, who collaborated with the Nazis as they carried out the mass murder of Jews in Ukraine—now occupy top positions in the unelected, pro-Western puppet regime in Kiev.

Kerry was cynically seizing upon the leaflet to improve the US position in talks with Russia, by distracting from popular anger with the Kiev puppet regime’s ties to fascism and providing ammunition for hysterical attacks on Moscow.

US officials ignored the multiple signs that the document is a crude forgery. The leaflet—bearing the name of the pro-Russian Donetsk People’s Republic, which is occupying local government buildings in Donetsk, and signed by its leader, Denis Pushilin—was reported on Wednesday in Israeli media.

It begins, “Dear Ukrainian citizens of Jewish nationality, due to the fact that the leaders of the Jewish community support the Bandera junta and oppose the pro-Slavic People’s Republic of Donetsk, [we have] decided that all citizens of Jewish descent, over 16 years of age and residing within the republic’s territory are required to report to the Commissioner for Nationalities in the Donetsk Regional Administration building and register.”

It demands that Jewish citizens provide extensive documentation as to their property holdings and religion and pay a $50 fee to officials in Room 514 of the local government building occupied by the pro-Russian protesters. Otherwise, the leaflet said, they would face deportation.

The initial Israeli media reports made clear the highly dubious character of the leaflet. They cited Pushilin’s denials that his group had issued it, as well as broader doubts as to its authenticity. Alex Tenzer, a director of the National Association of Immigrants from the Former USSR in Israel, said: “It’s hard to tell whether the leaflet is valid or simply a provocation.”

Olga Reznikova, who sent YNet a copy of the document from Donetsk, said: “I do not intend to register. I am 32, I have lived in Donetsk my entire life, and have never had to deal with anti-Semitism until I laid eyes on this piece of paper. Though I take it very seriously, I am uncertain of its authenticity.”

Reporters for the New York Times who visited Room 514 of the Donetsk local government building on Thursday found it empty. They spoke to protesters who said the leaflet was a trick of the Kiev regime to discredit them. “We are laughing; this is propaganda,” one said.

As Western officials and media prepared for the Geneva talks, however, they baldly attributed the leaflet to pro-Russian groups. Ignoring continuing reports from Donetsk challenging the authenticity of the leaflet, they speculated that it could harm the pro-Russian forces and “change the narrative” about Ukraine—that is, undermine the credibility of anti-Kiev protesters.

Britain’s Daily Telegraph wrote: “A shocking story coming out of Ukraine: pro-Russian separatists in the eastern part of the country are accused of asking Jewish citizens to register their identity or face deportation … It could change the narrative of the conflict yet again: the Russian separatism becomes a call not for self-determination, but outright bigotry informed by a desire for racial purity and Orthodox chauvinism.”

Kerry’s denunciations of the Donetsk protesters over the leaflet were echoed by other US diplomats. “Everything we’re hearing suggests this is the real deal, and that it is coming from someone on the ground there among these radical groups,” US Ambassador to Ukraine Geoffrey Pyatt told CNN, “either to stir fear or to create provocation justifying further violence.”

Reporting from Donetsk, however, CNN’s Nick Paton Walsh called the leaflet “by all accounts an isolated incident.” Referring to protesters and the Jewish community in Donetsk, he added, “All sides are really trying to calm this down. Bizarrely, really, it’s the US State Department focusing specifically on this allegation.”

This comment from CNN, which can hardly be accused of having a critical attitude towards US foreign policy, gives a far better idea than Kerry’s hypocritical statements about the political origins of the anti-Semitic leaflet. The US State Department, Kiev, and their collaborators in Europe know more about it, one may safely assume, than Moscow or the protesters in Donetsk.

The Washington Post reported Friday that Poland and the United States would announce next week the deployment of US ground troops to Poland as part of an expansion of NATO military forces in Central and Eastern Europe, in response to the crisis in Ukraine: here.

Leading German journalists, who have been agitating for weeks for a war against Russia, intensified their propaganda after Tuesday’s announcement that NATO was stepping up its intervention in Eastern Europe. Even after the experiences of the First and Second World Wars, some clearly can’t wait for a re-run of the Eastern Front: here.

Canada is deploying six F-16 fighter jets to Eastern Europe in support of the war threats against Russia made by the US, Germany and NATO, Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced Thursday: here.

Russia: Fatal gun battle near Ukrainian city of Slovyansk shows Kiev is failing to rein in extremists: here.

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