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Deniers will say that the images and clips in this video are all manufactured by the Soviets, totally disregarding historical documents and the eye-witness accounts of victims, bystanders and even the testimony of the perpetrators themselves.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

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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Reed buntings and little ringed plovers


Reed bunting male, 21 April 2014

On 21 April 2014, again to the “Baillon’s crake reserve”. There were many birds which we did not see there two days ago; like this male reed bunting.

Hybrid goose, 21 March 2014

Near the entrance, a strange goose. Looking like a bar-headed goose, but with only one bar, not two, on its head. A hybrid between a bar-headed goose and another goose species?

Grey lag goose gosling, 21 March 2014

Many grey lag geese with goslings.

A male common pochard swimming.

A male tufted duck.

Two adult coots with three chicks.

Above the southern lake, two common terns flying. My first common terns of this spring; probably returned recently from Africa; maybe even South Africa.

Moorhens mating, 21 April 2014

Near the northern end of the southern lake, two moorhens mating, with the female’s head under water for some seconds.

Then, a male reed bunting singing in a small tree. While the female perched on a reed stem not far away. Sometimes, they changed position.

Three coots, 21 April 2014

A bit further, coots quarreled about nesting sites.

On the northern lake, northern shovelers and teal swimming.

A barn swallow flying.

Black-tailed godwit, 21 April 2014

A few black-tailed godwits are left, now that their spring migration is almost over.

A redshank flies, and lands.

Gadwall couple, 21 April 2014

A gadwall duck couple.

Little ringed plover, 21 April 2014

Two little ringed plovers in mating season mood on a muddy islet.

Stay tuned, as there will be more about this nature reserve on 21 April!

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New giant horse sculptures in Scotland


This video from Scotland says about itself:

11 March 2014

A fantastically clear, calm evening in central Scotland and the perfect time to admire the Kelpies as building work continues and the surrounding area takes shape. Looking forward to the grand opening in April when the Kelpies will be centre stage for the launch of the John Muir Way.

Music courtesy of last.fm featuring Intuíció playing Isten áldja édesapám.

From daily The Morning Star in Britain:

Tuesday 22nd April 2014

Huge horses’ heads open as Scotland’s newest cultural landmark

A pair of gigantic horses’ heads sculpted from 300 tons of steel, Scotland’s newest cultural landmark, will be open to the public today.

Titled The Kelpies, the 98ft-tall sculptures in Falkirk were inspired by Scotland’s history of working horses which once pulled barges along the nearby Forth and Clyde Canal.

Created by Glasgow artist Andy Scott, the Kelpies form the centrepiece of the new Helix Park development close to the M9.

The artist said: “I have always been fascinated with horses and the heavy horse was at one time the driving force in industry.”

The sculptures were brought to life over the weekend with an inaugural firework display.

A canal link to the North Sea is expected to open up the inland waterways to more boating traffic and it is hoped the Kelpies will draw up to 350,000 visitors each year, bringing £1.5 million of extra tourism revenue.

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Second beaver lodge on Tiengemeten island


This video is called How Beavers Build a Lodge – BBC Animals.

Dutch conservation organisation Natuurmonumenten reports that this year, beavers have built a second lodge on Tiengemeten, an island which is a nature reserve.

Last year, beavers built their first lodge on Tiengemeten.

Beavers had become extinct in the Netherlands in 1826. In 1988, they were reintroduced.

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Long-tailed duck spring hunting now banned in Finland


This video is called Long-tailed Duck, (Clangula hyemalis).

From BirdLife:

BirdLife Finland succeeds in court battle over endangered species

By Rebecca Langer, Tue, 15/04/2014 – 10:35

The Long-tailed duck is classified worldwide as endangered. In southern Finland, a license for spring hunting of the species was authorized in year 2011, further threatening the survival of the population. BirdLife Finland and its local member organization are working to save the species and lodged a complaint to the Supreme Administrative Court of Finland. The complaint proved successful as the Court found the license for spring hunting illegal.

The court decision was based on the unfavourable conservation status of the species and the fact that there is a satisfactory alternative to spring hunting since Long-tailed duck occurs in the area also during the autumn.

Pursuing the complaint required considerable work by the NGO´s: the appeal documents were lengthy and were supported by numerous expert statements, boat research expeditions and long-term monitoring data collected by volunteers at bird research stations. Results of Long-tailed duck counts carried out by neighboring BirdLife Estonia also helped to prove that the population had decreased considerably.

The majority of the long-tailed ducks breeding in northern Europe and western Siberia spend the winter in the Baltic Sea. These birds occur on the coast of Finland especially during spring and autumn migration. What happens to the birds during spring migration in Finland has impacts on the entire Eurasian population of the species.

The BirdLife Partnership hopes that the positive decision by the Finnish Court helps to preserve the species, not only in Finland, but everywhere it migrates.

Legality of spring hunting under fire in Malta and Brussels: 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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Good Seychelles conservation news


From BirdLife:

Cousin Island Special Reserve – a success story

By Martin Fowlie, Tue, 15/04/2014 – 11:23

This video tells the conservation success story of Cousin Island Special Reserve, a former coconut enterprise now turned nature reserve in the Seychelles. Managed by local NGO and BirdLife Partner, Nature Seychelles, Cousin lies approximately 2 km from Praslin Island, Seychelles. The island became the World’s first internationally-owned reserve in 1968 when it was purchased by the International Council for the Protection of Birds (now Birdlife International) to save the last remaining population of the Seychelles warbler.

Cousin at the time had been cleared of its native vegetation and planted wall to wall with coconuts. Pigs, chickens and cattle had been introduced. Soon after its purchase, the Seychelles Government designated the island as a Nature Reserve under the Wild Animals and Birds Protection Act. In 1975, Cousin was designated a Special Reserve. This included the marine area up to 400m beyond the High Water Mark. Today, Cousin Island is a bird sanctuary; home to many endemic land birds and an important breeding site for seabirds. It is the most important rookery for Hawksbill turtles in the Western Indian Ocean. The island has been successfully restored to its natural vegetation and has received international awards for its conservation efforts and eco-tourism initiatives.

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