EDITORIAL: Forgetting Russia

EDITORIAL

Forgetting Russia

Last week, the Russians were complaining that the Allied nations had forgotten to talk about Russia during their D-Day commemorations earlier this month, which Russia was not even invited to attend.

We agree with the Russians:  Their behavior in World War II should not have been forgotten. It was so loathsome, vile and contemptible that it must be made to live in infamy right along with the cowardly Japanese sneak attack on Pearl Harbor.

French, American and British leaders should have reminded the world how Russia stabbed them in the back during the conflict by making a secret alliance with Hitler and trying to carve up Eastern Europe with the Nazis. 

It is outrageous that they didn’t mention the barbaric manner in which Soviet dictator Josef Stalin carried out a campaign of mass-murder and ethnic genocide that made Hitler look like a small-time dreamer. 

How could they not have pointed out that because of its treachery and despotism, the USSR no longer exists while all three of them lead countries with economies and standards of living and political civility which make Russia, the USSR’s heir, look like a banana republic?

How dare our leaders speak about D-day without saying words like Katyn and Holodomor and Gulag Archipelago?  Those posed at least much of a threat to the values we fought to defend in World War II as the Nazis.

It would have been nice, too, if the Allied leaders had insisted that Russian text books stop lying about the role their countries played in World War II, seeking instead to lavish all the credit on Russia and ignoring the total collapse of the USSR just a short while later, in the 1980s.  Worse, they ignore Stalin’s malignant deal with Hitler, pretending that Russia was the innocent victim of Nazi aggression when in fact Russia was as much the caus of World War II as Germany.  Had Russia stood firmly with the Allies from the outset of Hitler’s rise to power, his armies might never have set foot outside Germany’s borders.

So next year, let’s be sure the remember the barbaric atrocities visited upon us by our so-called Russian “allies” during World War II. And let’s make sure we don’t get played for fools again.

152 responses to “EDITORIAL: Forgetting Russia

  1. We in the West have moved past WWII, it gets the respect it deserves, but, time has moved on. Russia’s obsession, and I mean cheap bread and circuses Kremlin driven obsession, with WWII is because it’s the only decent thing in the last century it can be proud of – it trounced Hitler with the Allies. Immediately after WWII Russia subjugated half of Europe and reverted back to the nasty autocrats that they were before their stint as liberators. It was the only time Russia joined forces with the democratic Good Guys in its modern history.

    It’s pathetic watching the teary eyed aged sovoks with their high proportion of drunks of course swoon over the Great Patriotic War annually without one iota of insight into the barbarity of their own legacy.

    • Hi penny,

      Why do you say roosha?

      Both Hitler and Stalin saw the Ukrainian nation as an obstacle to their plans and goals. Hitler wanted Ukraine as German Lebensraum and Stalin feared that Ukrainian nationalism and an independent Ukraine would wreck the Soviet Russian Empire. Both were guilty of war crimes and genocide in Ukraine on such a massive scale that they are virtually unequaled in history. We are not speaking here of thousands, or tens of thousands, or even hundreds of tousands of victims of mass murder. We are talking of millions of Ukrainians killed by both Hitler and Stalin.

      The great puzzle is: Did Hitler or Stalin during WW II kill the most Ukrainians? Hitler’s crimes in Ukraine have been better documented and are better known. Stalin once said that history is written by the winners. As a victor, Stalin’s USSR was able to hide its genocide of Ukrainians. After the war Stalin said that 7 million Soviet citizens died but we know he was concealing the true higher figures. Nikita Krushchev in 1961 set the death toll in the USSR at 20 million and this seems to be a credible and accurate statistic. Recently Moscow has quoted figures of 25 and 27 million. These new figures are either sheer propaganda or are based on new information about Stalin’s genocide of Ukrainians and other Soviet citizens during the War.

      No documentary evidence exists of Hitler’s order to eliminate all Jews in Europe but we know this is true. Likewise, we have no Hitler order to annihilate the Ukrainians. But we do have the evidence: 1) Millions of civilian victims perished which could not be “accidental”. 2) Documentary evidence of the wholesale executions of Ukrainians. 3) The order to execute up to 100 innocent Ukrainians for one German soldier shot by the partisans (and 460,000 German soldiers were killed by partisans and guerillas). 4) The Ostarbeiter Ukrainian slaves were to be “worked to death” in Germany. 5) Millions of prisoners of war were intentionally starved to death in concentration camps. 6) Ukrainian cities were starved to death according to plan. 7) Nazi leaders said that Ukraine as the Lebensraum of Nazi Germany would be colonized by German population and some Ukrainians would be used as slave labor. What about the other Ukrainians? 8) As late as 1943 Hitler refused status to Ukraine and when Ukrainians offered to form an army against the USSR it had to be named Galicia Division until the very last few minutes of the war in 1945 when it was renamed the Ukrainian National Army. 9) Ukraine’s disproportionate civilian losses compared to military also indicates a special Nazi German campaign.

      It would be naive to think that Adolf Hitler and the Nazi German government was not bent on destroying as many Ukrainian Untermensch as possible in view of the statements which prove it.

      For example, Reichmarshal Goering, who was next to Hitler in power said: “This year between twenty and thirty million persons will die [in Ukraine and] and Russia of hunger. Perhaps it is well that it should be so, for certain nations must be decimated.” — Hermann Goering, Nov. 24-27, 1941 (Dallin p. 123).

      Today all over independent Ukraine there are discoveries of mass murder graves in the suburbs of cities (such as Bykivna in Kiev), and near all the KGB (NKVD) secret police stations throughout Ukraine. The Ukrainian victims of Stalin’s Soviet Russia number in the millions. Many Ukrainians are also buried in the mass graves of Siberia. It is unknown how many of these Ukrainian victims of the Soviet system perished during the war years.

  2. “Had Russia stood firmly with the Allies from the outset of Hitler’s rise to power, his armies might never have set foot outside Germany’s borders.”

    The US was complacent during the rise of Hitler, anyone who says otherwise is also a revisionist, just like the Soviet revisionists. The US did nothing before 1940 except war profiteering: cash sales of arms to Britain. Those who only idealize the US’s role in WWII are also delusional like Soviet historians. We had many chances to stop Hitler, to accept Jewish refugees and to support the UK, and we only got involved when the damage was being done.

    It took the US a long time to join what you call the “good guys.” People who rewrite history to fit their current political ends are indeed a low form of life.

    • You’re spot on with that. I love America (well, I liked it better before Obama was elected, but that’s not the point here) and I think getting involved in WWII was the right thing for us to do, but it should have been done way sooner.

      There’s also the fact that the USSR’s involvement in the war was instrumental in helping us win. That does not excuse Stalin’s crimes, of course, but it’s an interesting fact worth remembering.

  3. Basically, Marc, the US had no interest in participating in another European war. You mistake American isolationism for complacency. It was not complacent, it was deliberate.

    It is accurate to say that the USSR gave Hitler the freedom to attack his west European neighbors, by their signing of a non-agression pact with him. This removed the fear that Germany would again face a 2 front war.

    What is there to idealize about America’s role in WWII? It was, in the beginning, a European war that did not directly involve the US.

    I suppose that, as you say, I am “delusional” or a “revisionist”, however I suspect that it is you who are those things.

    Why do you have “good guys” in parentheses?

    • I meant to say quotations…

      Marc do you believe that England, France, and the other nations victimized by German and Russian aggression were not really the “good guys”?

      As far as revisionism goes, most western historians think and work independently. Unfortunately, this is not the case in present day Russia, where there is an officially sanctioned historical viewpoint.

      Some day, Russia will have a government that will face its past, present and future and can move into the community of nations. Yes, other nations have made mistakes, but they have generally owned up to them. The facts in such cases are at least subject for discussion among independent historians and writers.

    • You are right Shane, but Marc does not get it right. Whether we were complacent or isolationist, however, is immaterial and is only a matter of semantics. Most likely, we were isolationist. So what? The truth was that even if we were not and even if FDR was inclined to interfere sooner (there are some documents indicating that he was), he wasn’t able to.

      The Army was not ready and there was not enough military strength and weapons, except maybe for the Navy. Pearl Harbor clearly showed a low level of readiness. The Army did basic training with wooden sticks instead of rifles, for Christ’s sake! It took FDR at least until 1942 to build everything up basically from nothing

  4. Not only the US, but also Britain and France were very reluctant to meet Nazi aggression with force, although for them it was a direct threat. Even having declared the war they did not make a single move for nine months, until Germany attacked them. But hey, weren’t they only giving the peace a chance – kind of like Obama today with Iran and Russia? Reloading until the SS banged on their doors…

    However, even this disgraceful behavior pales in comparison with Stalin’s not-so-secret alliance with Hitler in 1939-1941 and his direct participation in the rape of Poland.

    • Not just Poland. Don’t forget about 10 % of Finland that Stalin had annexed and about one third of Romania, to say nothing of the entire nations of Latvia, Estonia and Lithuania.

      And look, the was is over and Hitler is a monster and a mass murderer (undoubtedly true), but his friend Uncle Joe is suddenly a liberator of the oppressed nations. And the Russians continue to perpetuate this despicable lie till this very day.

  5. It is outrageous that [our leaders] didn’t mention the barbaric manner in which Soviet dictator Josef Stalin carried out a campaign of mass-murder and ethnic genocide

    While it is worth discussing the policies, actions and inactions of world leaders that led to WW2, I think the most embarrassing moment for the West is Yalta conference, and Western complicity to Uncle Joe. British and American liberators send Russian POWs back to Russia, knowing full well that they are going from one concentration camp straight to another. So, maybe not mentioning Stalin’s barbaric policies allows our leaders not mention less than honorable policies of the West.

    LA RUSSOPHOBE RESPONDS:

    Too true! You are apt as always, Felix. We have met the enemy, and he is us!

    • They approached things from the point of view of Realpolitik. The A-bomb was not yet tested on Hiroshima chidren, and so the Red Army might just as well continue its advance from Vienna, Berlin and Prague to the English Channel and Pyrenees. Too bad the great task was not accomplished then, but at least something is left for the 21st century Russians to do. :-)

  6. If there had been no “western betrayal” as we Czechs call it, then there’d problly be no World War II or at least it’d had not ended up as it ended in the end.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Western_betrayal

    • The Czechs might just as well do some fighting for themselves. According to Field Marshal Manstein’s memoirs, the inexperienced Wehrmacht of 1938 would storm the Czech strongholds in the Tatra mountains for 6 months, but they were given up without a shot. :-(

  7. As always you are dead right, Felix.

    Roosevelt was complicit in giving in to Stalin at Yalta. Churchill stood opposed. He actually proposed while the Allies had their armies in place invading Russia because he understood them correctly as the next big threat to the west.

    http://www.escolar.com/NewsArchives/12/12c/archivo-k1187_esen.shtml

  8. Tolstoy described the scene of Americans returning to the internment camp after having delivered a shipment of people to the Russians:

    The Americans returned to Plattling visibly shamefaced. Before their departure from the rendezvous in the forest, many had seen rows of bodies already hanging from the branches of nearby trees. On their return, even the SS men in a neighboring compound lined the wire fence and railed at them for their behavior. The Americans were too ashamed to reply.

    The Allies used grand deceptions and lies to trick victims into submitting to forced repatriation. Here is one egregious example from Epstein’s book.

    “General Shkuro and his Ukranian Cossack troops had long been known to be anti-Bolsheviks. Gen Shkuro, himself, had emigrated after World War I and had never been a Soviet citizen. He felt he was safe from repatriation. The Cossacks had fought for Germany and surrendered to British troops. They demanded political asylum for which they easily qualified. The British confiscated all their Western currency and held them in detention. They were told on May 28 that all officers and enlisted men were to attend a conference with higher British authorities, and would be transported by truck. This seemed implausible. Why transport everyone in trucks when the British could come to them? When the Cossacks started to feel nervous about the destination, an English Lieutenant said, ‘I assure you on my word of honor as a British officer that you are just going to a conference.’ Another British officer gave the same assurance. The convoy was guarded, which did nothing to alleviate the Cossack’s anxiety. A few jumped from the trucks and escaped into the forest. They were the smart ones. Those that trusted the British ended up at a prisoner of war camp in Spittal, Austria (in the Russian sector of control). A British officer then informed them that, ‘in accordance with an agreement concluded between the military authorities of the United Kingdom and the Soviet Union, all officers will be put at the disposal of Soviet military authorities.’ A Cossack General asked the officer when the agreement was signed. He replied, ‘On May 23 of this year (1945).’” According to Epstein, one Cossack officer remarked, “The NKVD or the Gestapo would have slain us with truncheons, the British did it with their word of honor.” There were multiple suicides that night in the camp, and all of the others had to be subdued by clubs and rifle butts as none would leave the camp voluntarily.
    Operation Keelhaul; Even New Jersey’s Fort Dix the Ukrainian Americans were rounded up and who resisted were drugged with barbiturates in their coffee. Some were even in a coma when sent to Stalin.

    • Actually people continue being deported to Russia to face torture and/or death. The most recent case:

      The fate of a Chechen rebel leader’s son, who was deported by Egypt on Friday, is unknown, his family and Moscow-based rights group Memorial said.
      (…)
      Rights watchdog Amnesty International warned on Thursday that all six risk “torture or other ill treatment” if deported to Russia.
      (…)
      The students all claim to have refugee status in Azerbaijan but the Egyptian authorities insisted they return instead to Russia, Amnesty said.

      http://www.alarabiya.net/articles/2009/06/21/76577.html

      • And actually it’s not just a third-world “managed democracies” like Egypt – European Union’s Spain (deportation on the last day of 2008):

        http://www.hrw.org/en/news/2008/05/07/letter-spanish-government-regarding-extradition-murat-ajmedovich-gasayev

        • And also the United States and… Georgia (from the same link):

          The government of Russia has failed to abide by diplomatic assurances it has offered in the past. The US government transferred seven Guantanamo Bay detainees to Russia in March 2004 in reliance on promises from Moscow to prosecute the detainees only on terrorism charges and to treat them humanely. Russia did neither. Some of the men were subsequently harassed and convicted on trumped up charges. Former detainee Rasul Kudaev, a resident of Kabardino-Balkaria in southern Russia, was detained after an armed uprising in the provincial capital in October 2005. According to photographs, medical records, court documents, and the testimony of lawyers and family members, Kudaev was repeatedly beaten in custody in an effort to compel him to confess to involvement in the uprising.17

          In 2003, Russian authorities denied a delegation of the European Court of Human Rights access to five extradited Chechens. Georgia had extradited the men in October 2002 despite a request from the Court that it suspend any transfer until it had had an opportunity to review the cases.18 The Russian authorities had subsequently offered diplomatic assurances, including guarantees of unhindered access for the Chechens to appropriate medical treatment, to legal advice, and to the European Court itself. In its April 2005 ruling, the Court found that Russia had violated the European Convention (article 38) by “obstructing the Court’s fact-finding visit and denying it access to the applicants,” having thereby “unacceptably hindered the establishment of part of the facts in this case.”19

      • Memorial:

        “Memorial” is concerned about life of Maskhud Abdullaev deported from Egypt to Russia

        jun 19 2009

        The Human Rights Centre “Memorial” has expressed its anxiety of the fate of Maskhud Abdullaev, who was deported today from Egypt to Russia for violating the migratory legislation of the former country.

        Maskhud Abdullaev, son of Supyan Abdullaev, leader of the Chechen armed underground movement and the closest ally of the leader of all militants of Northern Caucasus Doku Umarov, and Ahmed Azimov were today brought by air to Moscow.

        Ahmed Azimov has confirmed that fact that he flew from Cairo together with Maskhud Abdullaev. However, immediately after landing at 5:30 p.m. they were detained by people in civilian and brought to different rooms.

        Ahmed Azimov was interrogated for several hours and then released. What happened and happens with Maskhud Abdullaev – he does not know.

        http://www.eng.kavkaz-uzel.ru/articles/10403

    • Those Cossacks were guilty of suppressing anti-Nazi resistance in Yugoslavia, including massacres of Serb civilians. OK, 50 years later the Civilized Western Democracies continued where Nazis and their collaborators had left off. :-(

  9. I am very happy that in West people are starting to realize that in WWII was not only Hitler with genocide against Jews, but also Stalin genocide against all nations under his rule. I live in East Europe and sometime I get “sick” of “tons” of movies about Nazi genocide against Jews because sometime I feel like they forgot about Stalin mass murders. Now I am happy that this is changing – one good movie “Soviet story” http://www.sovietstory.com/ .
    P.S.
    Every killed in mass murders deserves remembrance.

    • The ‘good movie’ is actually a C grade propaganda from the the Eastern Europe junkyard without a single reference source (not to excuse the Soviets, but just to state a fact). Using it as an argument is a self-depreciation.

      • Unfortunately for retards such as “dittohead” the braindead “scientist”, the content shown in “The Soviet Story” is corroborated by historians (even including some very brave Russian ones), by the contents of the Chekist/OGPU/NKVD/KGB/FSB (whats in a name?) archives that Putin and his ass licker Medvedev have now closed to researchers (because they confirm, and in most cases exceed the worst case projections of Russian crimes), and by the stirling work done by groups such as Memorial.

        • I look at you, my dear internet trolling lemmings with a tired but kind smile (don’t forget that I’m Russian so I only smile when I have some real reason to do that) :-)

          1. The creators of the above-mentioned lampoon don’t even pretend to follow historic accuracy, it’s a trash filmed for the sole purpose of shocking, and yet they’re honest enough to admit it.

          2. Do you ever sleep? It must be very late in NZ, maybe you write while you sleep? That might explain a lot :-)

          3. It seems like I’ve already asked you not to write to me anymore. But for some reason you keep on responding to my posts. Puh-leease. Was my, quite polite, request a sort of Greek to you? Take two. Αν δεν κάνω λάθος, σου είπα, μη γαυγίζεις, αν δεν σε ζητάω κι αν δε μπορείς να βρείς έναν χορηγό εγκεφάλου. Και τώρα — το τελευταίο το αντίο, είναι πολύ αργα στη Νέα Ζηλανδία, καλά ονειρά :-)

          • Well ditt0head, I am not in NZ, it is daytime here right now.

            Your claim to be polite is somewhat undermined by the racist, misogynistic, and generally idiotic nature of your posts. Not too mention the personal attacks on people such as Wally, Penny, and of course myself.

            If you don’t want people to post in response to your posts, try to not to post such stupid comments. If you stop posting such vile stupidity, we won’t be forced to post in order to correct you.

            Here is an academic study that corroborates the horrors of Russian imperialism and mass murder as comitted by the Russian government during the Soviet period.

            http://www.hawaii.edu/powerkills/NOTE4.HTM

            Unfortunately idiots such as yourself are perfect examples of the genus “homo sovieticus”, poorly educated, brainwashed simpletons.

            There is no hope for Russia as long as people like yourself insist on closing their eyes and repeating the mistakes of their parents.

      • DittO,

        Here is a list of contributors to The Soviet Story which include Russian academics:

        Norman Davies
        historian, professor, Cambridge University:
        ”People were being shot day and night throughout the biggest country in the world. Stalin even got to the point of killing people by random, by quotas.”

        Mikhail Gorbachev
        Soviet president:
        “Stalin was awash in blood! I saw the death sentences, which he signed in packages!”

        Emma Korpa
        GULAG survivor:
        “Children were not considered inmates, so they were buried in a civilian graveyard.”

        Ģirts Valdis Kristovskis
        Member of the European Parliament:
        “Europe continues to ignore Soviet crimes, mass murders, while millions of the victims are neglected.”

        Volodimir Sergiychuk
        professor, University of Kyiv:
        “This is a sacred place for me. Because it is the resting place of the Famine victims, including my grandmother…”

        Vladimir Karpov
        former Soviet Colonel [of Military intelligence – GRU]:
        ”Khrushchev was allowed to kill 7 or 8 thousand „enemies”. He asked: “Please increase my quota to 17 000!”

        Françoise Thom
        professor of Modern History, Sorbonne
        ”Stalin authorized children to be shot from the age of twelve!”

        Natalia Lebedeva
        historian, Institute of General History, RAS, Moscow:
        ” If a regime is criminal, then it acts criminally in all areas, including foreign affairs.”

        Boris Sokolov
        professor, Moscow State Social University:
        ”Nobody wants to admit that one’s ancestors were simple criminals.”
        Viktor Suvorov
        former Soviet Secret Agent:
        “A delegation of German Gestapo and SS came to the Soviet Union to learn how to build concentration camps.”

        George Watson
        literary historian, Cambridge University:
        “Marx and Engels called Basks, Bretons, and Serbs – „racial trash”, Voelkerabfall.”

        Nicolas Werth
        historian, co-author of “The Black book of Communism”:
        “Yes, people were killed by bullet in the head. We know that usually they were killed by bunches of between one hundred and several hundreds every night.”

        Vladimir Bukovsky
        former Soviet dissident:
        ”Stalin exiled about a dozen of nations completely. Part and parcel. Chechens, Ingush, Kalmiks, Karachaevs, Crimean Tatars. A dozen of nations completely wiped out!”

        Pierre Rigoulot
        historian, Institut d’histoire Sociale, Paris:
        ”French Communist party say today that they were resistant well before June 1941, when Soviet Union was attacked. In fact, they were in fight with marshal Peten’s government more than the German.”

        Inese Vaidere
        Member of the European Parliament:
        ”The Soviet Union transferred a lot of ethnic Russians into the occupied Baltic countries. It was a clear violation of Geneva Convention.”

        Sergey Sluch
        historian, Institute of Slavic Studies, RAS, Moscow:
        ”According to all norms of international law, the decision of the Soviet Government to invade Poland [in 1939] was a clear act of aggression.”

        Ari Vatanen
        Member of the European Parliament:
        ”My father lost four of his brothers in that war. Four! That was the price we paid that we did not have a democratic society next to us.”

        Alexander Guryanov
        “Memorial” society, Moscow:
        ”In the 1930s the technology of murder and executions was introduced. Every administrative region had a designated area where corpses were to be buried.”

        Wojciech Roszkowski
        Member of the European Parliament:
        ”Russian identity has been shaped up by the sense of being part of a big empire.”

        Michael Gahler
        Member of the European Parliament:
        ”There is a equal right for all the victims to see those who committed crimes to see them tried and sentenced.”

        Rita Papina
        survivor of Soviet terror:
        ”It is hard to speak about it. It is as if a scar was torn and is bleeding again.”

        André Brie
        Member of the European Parliament :
        ”Russia as a successor of the Soviet Union is obliged to carry out a real investigation of the crimes and the character of their system.”

        Christopher Beazley
        historian, Member of the European Parliament:
        ”The agreement, which Stalin made with the West affected the whole of Europe for the next 50 years.”

        The main sponsor of ”The Soviet Story” production was the UEN Group in the European Parliament, which supported the film based on a proposal by the members of the European Parliament – Girts Valdis Kristovskis and Inese Vaidere. ”The Soviet Story” was also supported by: Riga City Council , and “Tēvijas Sargs”.

        • Well, my own family ancestors suffered from the regime in the 1930s, so you didn’t run into a Stalin’s fan here. But the movie is still lampoon which fails to point out the underlying motivation of the regime, doesn’t reveal anything unknown to the moment (yet it hypocritically avoids mentioning the infamous role of Latvian batallion in mastering the Red terror) so it’s of zero just a poorly staged horror movie of zero interest, only a tool of pursuing some current goals. Well, it has attracted some people, but it only shows the unwillingness of the current RF regime to qualify the fact of the inhuman genocide which affected the Russian people in the most harmful way, that’s it.

        • Review of the trash movie by Alexander Dyukov “The Soviet Story”: Forgery Tissue”

          http://www.historyfoundation.ru/dl.php?url=/upload/57555abbf0a1c5636fc1350fd9c9b340.pdf&nn=

    • Try Europa Europa (1990).

    • Dear AB,

      Why do you think that the kremlin is making it a crime to speak historical truth! President Yushcheko stirred up a hornets nest in the kremlin when he opened up the KGB files on the territory of Ukraine, and insisted that the truth was learned. The history books used in the schools of Ukraine, are much different than those used in moscow.

      Revival of Stalinism in Russia shows gap between neighbors
      17 December 2008, 20:02

      Russia’s embrace of the dictator shows Ukraine is going down a better path
      In November, Ukraine commemorated the 75th anniversary of an artificial famine that claimed more than four million lives. The official commemoration – timed to coincide with Liberty Day, a holiday established four years ago to celebrate the Orange Revolution – was attended by 44 foreign delegations, including four European leaders.

      Russia’s rehabilitation of Stalinism that began under Vladimir Putin precluded an official Russian presence and President Dmitry Medvedev refused to attend the commemoration. Anger over President Victor Yushchenko’s criticism of Medvedev’s snub has probably led to a new gas war and exposed sensitivities over the past. Yushchenko called upon Russia to follow Ukraine’s path in denouncing Stalinist crimes committed on Russian territory.

      Medvedev’s refusal to attend Ukraine’s famine commemoration contributed to the daily war of words between both countries. Ukraine’s image in Russia is now the worst it has ever been since the disintegration of the Soviet Union. Diverging attitudes towards Soviet crimes against humanity have expanded the list of the more commonly known areas of conflict between Ukraine and Russia, such as NATO membership, energy, the Crimea, the Russian Black Sea Fleet and the status of the Russian language.

      How a country relates to its past is a mirror image of what kind of regime it is building. And here, Ukraine’s condemnation and Russia’s rehabilitation of Stalinism are indicative of the growing divergence. Think of the alarms that would have gone off if, two decades after the defeat of Nazism, Germany conducted a state-sanctioned rehabilitation of Adolf Hitler and the country was led by a former Gestapo officer? In Russia, in the second decade after the fall of communism, the country is led by a former KGB officer, while the U.S.S.R. and Josef Stalin are back in vogue.

      Yushchenko has taken personal leadership in reviving the historical memory of famine as a crime against humanity, both inside Ukraine and internationally. But it would be wrong to believe that the famine issue is only promoted by Ukrainian nationalists. The famine issue has been consistently raised by all three Ukrainian presidents who had already laid the groundwork in denouncing Soviet crimes and the famine. Yushchenko is, therefore, no more of a nationalist on the famine question than his two predecessors.

      Yushchenko’s greater determination to revive memories about Soviet crimes committed in Ukraine builds on a long-established process. Ukrainian diaspora began the process of setting the record straight and reviving historical memory on the 50th anniversary, in 1983, at a time when the Soviet Union was historically revisionist in claiming there had never been a famine.

      In the 1980s, the United States established a government commission headed by James Mace to study the famine. The well-known historian of Soviet crimes, Robert Conquest, authored the book “Harvest of Sorrow.” Later in the 1980s, Ukrainian intellectuals took up the process of reviving historical memory during Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev’s perestroika.

      Russia’s refusal to heed Yushchenko’s call for a mutual recognition of the famine as genocide says a lot about the rehabilitation of Stalinism under Putin. Russia supported calls five years ago by President Leonid Kuchma to recognize the famine as genocide. Ukraine’s position on Soviet crimes has, therefore, not changed. Under Putin, Russia has moved from condemnation to celebration of Stalinism.

      In the first decade after the fall of Soviet communism, President Boris Yeltsin continued the denunciation of Stalinism that had begun under Gorbachev. Putin radically reversed Russian attitudes towards the “greatest tragedy of the 20th century,” as he defined the collapse of the U.S.S.R. Next came a complete rewriting of Soviet history. Crimes against humanity were studiously ignored. Stalin was praised as the Soviet leader who transformed the U.S.S.R. into a respected and feared superpower.

      Most telling is the different treatment of history in school textbooks. For the last two decades, Ukraine’s textbooks have taught new generations of schoolchildren about the horrors of Soviet crimes against humanity. Opinion polls show that this educational work has reinforced negative attitudes towards extremism and totalitarianism. Young Ukrainians overwhelmingly are pro-Western, wish to see their country inside NATO and supported the Orange Revolution.

      In Russia, school textbooks were rewritten under Putin to ignore Soviet crimes in the 1930s and instead focus on Stalin as the great leader of the 1940s. The result has been that a new generation of Russians has accepted the rehabilitation of the U.S.S.R. and Stalin. Young Russians will become Russian leaders in the not-so-distant future, taking with them their neo-Soviet attitudes and a view of Russia as a great power.

      Young Russians flock to nationalist youth groups such as Nashi and hold negative views about the Orange Revolution as a U.S.-backed conspiracy against Russia. It is little wonder that a majority of young Russians hold anti-American views or that an overwhelming majority of Russians supported the invasion of Georgia. Young Ukrainians do not hold anti-American views and did not support the invasion.

      Ukraine and Russia’s diverging paths began before the Orange Revolution, but have deepened after Yushchenko’s ascent to power four years ago. Russia’s rehabilitation of Stalinism stands in stark contrast to Ukraine’s condemnation of Soviet crimes against humanity. This shows the difference between an authoritarian, neo-Soviet Russia and a still young and imperfect – but nevertheless democratic – Ukraine. Ukraine has taken the right path by following post-war Germany in repudiating totalitarianism.

      http://www.kyivpost.com/blogs/bloggers/tarasgkuzio/5069

      Russia, Again Evading History
      By Masha Lipman
      Saturday, June 20, 2009

      MOSCOW — The Russian government has intensified its attempts to perfect the nation’s past. ………………..

      Sergey Markov, a Kremlin loyalist and member of the commission, was more specific: Estonia, Latvia and Ukraine, he said, “have fully committed their government powers to finance falsifications of history.” Markov, who is known for his grandiloquence, plans “to liberate historians in Ukraine, Latvia, Estonia, Georgia and Poland from the pressure of state dictatorship applied unto them.”

      http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/06/19/AR2009061902062.html

  10. the cowardly Japanese sneak attack on Pearl Harbor

    Triple bwahaha. The date and location of this long-awaited gift for FDR, were well-known beforehand. He needed a reason to enter the war, and he got it, with the least damage possible. Leave ‘the day that will live in infamy’ story for kids.

    • Ditto,

      Read up about the third wave of planes which were held back after the ‘element of surprise’ was lost.

      Also, please add ‘conspiracy theorist’ to your long list of personality flaws.

      • Who are you to diagnose me in absentia, my perfect friend? I’m not a fond of conspiracy theories at all, read below carefully, then judge. And I completely miss your point about my alleged misogynic (it’s spelled so) traits, where have you excavated them?

  11. Hey, dittohead, lame conspiracy statements count for only what they are, stupid unsubtantiated garbage spewed by the smallest minds in the universe of trolling site pests.

    Geez, you are dumb.

    • My dear pennywise! What conspiracy are you talking about? If you want to prove your case, please try to tell me, where did all the valuable ships/vessels, such as aircraft carriers, go, just before the allegedly ‘unexpected’ attack?

      • The destroyed/damaged battleships were actually very valuable by the 1941 standards.

        • Sure, but comparison with those survived is quite impressive.

          • Really? The battleships were back then considered the very backbone of all navies.

            Pearl Harbor (battleships easily defeated by carrier-based aircraft) was the first to evaluate this.

            • Many things changed during the WWII. The loss of battleships brought to life the new winning aircraft-carrier oriented strategy, which made the major contribution to the US military success in the Pacific theater. Battleship rivalry with the Japs wouldn’t work.

          • Aircraft carriers were classified as scouting ships and were not considered nearly as valuable as battleships. Moreover, one of the aircraft carriers, USS Enterprise, was due in Pearl Harbor on December 6, but delayed by weather.

            How sad that even fluency in Greek does not prevent people from swallowing conspiracy bull by the bowlful.

            • Well, don’t label me, it’s quite the opposite. I don’t want to swallow anything, and having spent a good portion of my life under f’n Commies, I’ve become quite allergic to propaganda, whoever it comes from. The ‘blind’ use of Kimmel and Short, a very suspicious death (suicide?) of Wilkinson, and the whole work of an investigation commission leave too many questions unresolved in the ‘official’ version.

              • Yeah, right, like 9/11. Or the Kennedy assassination. I happen to live in Dallas, and every time driving past the spot I see people peddling brochures and what not blaming just about everybody for his death but never mentioning the very likely KGB role. And they don’t even know a word in Greek!

                There is a principle (an extension of Occam’s razor, in fact): don’t explain by malice what can be explained by incompetence.

                • First of all, as for the ‘possible’ KGB role, I guess the US of A wouldn’t miss a slightest chance to expose such a version to the public during the hottest years of the Cold War, since it would satisfy nearly all the interested parties (leaving aside non-KGB, too jamesbondesque scenography). Nevertheless, for some reason, the documentation still stays the state secret as of today.

                  don’t explain by malice what can be explained by incompetence

                  200% truth, Gorbie’s case is the best illustration. Still, Pearl Harbour events leave only one possible incompetence point, an exact place of attack, but all the possibilities are more than countable so it’s actually hard to believe in that.

                  • The whole premise of the Pearl Harbor conspiracy theory is so stupid as to render everything else irrelevant. Roosevelt did not need a pretext to enter the war because Japan (and then Germany) declared war on the US. And even supposing that he was not sure whether they would do it, even a largely unsuccessful aerial attack by Japanese would certainly suffice. Why then sacrifice what was then considered the most valuable elements of the Navy? Why hand the Japanese the strategic initiative that brought them to the doorstep of Australia, Hawaii, and the Aleutians? Perhaps there was some kind of government cover-up of Pearl Harbor, but it was cover-up of incompetence, not malice.

                    • Japan declared a war only one day later. Sure, an unsuccessful aerial attack would certainly suffice, and the certain degree of incompetence may be a key. But the very failure to provide the navy commanders Kimmel and Short with available information (at least portions thereof) is hardly a simple lack of competence, the readiness to label them scapegoats is also a major source of speculation about their predefined guilt (e.g. works of Cpt. Beach).

                      Still, the truth is likely somewhere in between.

                  • And, no even if the US had proof of KGB involvement they would not be interested in exposing it, because that could lead to a nuclear war with the Sovok. But more likely they simply did not have anything incontrovertible.

                    • In 1960s, the degree of post-Hiroshima triumphalism and facile optimism still was not negligible, and the whole idea of nuclear warfare wasn’t that unacceptable, why not? The modern approach emerged during the Détente years only.

                  • Interesting.

                    The scientist is now quoting ‘200%’ truths.

                    • The guy ain’t got no sensayuma? (oops, sorry in advance, quoting Flemming may be also lame in your immaculate eyes)

                    • Actually Dittohead is showing his (all too Russian) lack of a real education.

                      Japan had transmitted instructions to its embassy in Washington to declare war just prior to the attack, but due to the fact that the transmission was in a code not regularly used by the embassy, it took too long to decode.

                      This is a well known historical fact.

                      At least in educated circles it is.

      • Ad the aircraft carriers went on training maneuvers (the first wave of Japanese planes was actually mistaken by the radar operator for the US planes returning from the maneuvers).

        The US losses included 8 battleships (4 of them completely destroyed). It was about the number (maybe a few less or more) the Soviet Union and Germany combined had at the time!

  12. Dear dilldohead,

    You stated, “propaganda from the the Eastern Europe junkyard without a single reference source ”

    We all know that your main source of info is the kremlin and the soviet encyclopedia, and that you disregard educated rooshans as references.

    • Go stand next to Andrew and never write to me anymore. (I’d suggest you to scroll the page down in order to see an example of some basics of normal discussion with the people you don’t agree with… but I’m afraid your irreverence and overall hatred towards me is something deliberate so… if you find it so interesting, suck on your Kremlin propaganda yourself, without my participation.)

      • Dear dilldohead,

        You lie like a dog, assuming that useful idiots will believe you, then you pout and cry like a baby when someone proves that you lie.

  13. And once again, Germany and Russia have reconstituted their WWII camaraderie. This time, instead of splitting up physically the territory of nations between them, they are collaborating in trying to prove to the world that their own degrading history was, in fact, not so very much their doing.

    Russia will never forgive Ukrainian nationalists for fighting them for Ukraine’s independence and therefore, since the war, has made it a central tenant of their propaganda to convince the world that Ukrainian nationalists were Nazi collaborators (preferring to ignore documentation to the contrary in Ukraine’s interior ministry, newly opened, archives).

    Aiding its ally, Germany is selling out historical truth for payment in Russian gas. Add to that the longterm “incentive” provided by the Simon Weisenthal Centre to find something to minimize its culpability for WWII war crimes, Germany is getting ready to prosecute, for Nazi war crimes, a Ukrainian prisoner of war captured by the Germans, as they razed Ukraine and brought its people to their knees (with 8 million Ukrainians killed in WWII, 2.3 slave labourers in Germany and 10 million left homeless). Today, when German law limits the prosecution of Germans for Nazi war crimes, it is gearing up for a politically motivated, justice impaired, show trial of the John Demjanjuk to teach young Germans that their ancestors were not entirely to blame for the Holocaust.

    Rather than coaching Russia in the tenants of democracy, the two countries, as in Hitler’s time, seem to only be able to find common ground in perfidity.

    Read more in e-POSHTA, internet weekly newsmagazine such as Nazi torturing trio of Wolf, Wirzing and Shultz vs Demjanjuk here: http://www.eposhta.com/newsmagazine/ePOSHTA_090617_CanadaUS.html

    • Tell me, which SS regiment set Khatyn afire, burning alive all but one of its inhabitants? Why are you so sympathetic to a Nazi buthcher? Doctor, heal yorself first.

    • Myroslava, I’m just wondering, when you say that 8 million Ukrainians were killed in WWII, do you count ethnic Ukrainians or all residents of Ukraine? If the latter, that includes about a million Jews who were exterminated while their Ukrainian neighbors cheered and happily looted their property. I have not heard about Ukraine coming clean about this, but maybe you will enlighten me.

      And don’t shed tears for Demjanjuk. Even if convicted and not released shortly afterwards on “humanitarian grounds” he will spend the rest of his life in a comfortable German prison with nutritious food, satellite TV, and excellent health care. Nothing even close to the hell he helped guard in Sobibor and Majdanek.

      • Dear Kaktuss,

        Did you graduate the Judge Dredd Acadamy?

        Or, did you bite dilldohead’s bait?

        Or, are you playing tag team with dilldohead?

        • Nah, just replying to Myroslava because her post is a Ukrainian version of the Russian attempts to whitewash the darker pages of the nation’s history – and that, if you remember, is the topic of the LR editorial.

          And if by Judge Dredd Academy you mean that I pronounce Demjanjuk guilty before trial – well, an American court has ruled that the evidence of his service as a death camp guard was “clear, unequivocal, and convincing.” I wonder if Myroslava (and you?) would have rushed to his defense if he were not a fellow Ukrainian.

          • Andriy Semotiuk says the case against Ukrainian native Demjanjuk, accused of being an accessory in killing 29,000 people during World War II, is shaky at best.

            Any American accused of being an accessory to murder, that is to say accused of being an accessory to one of the most heinous crimes known to mankind, should be tried in U.S. courts under U.S. criminal law. The alternative – if the crime occurred in another jurisdiction – is to be extradited, according to international criminal procedure, to that nation to be tried there.

            Until tried and convicted, according to our precepts of law, such a person must be presumed innocent. From the very outset of the case against John Demjanjuk, however, these fundamental precepts have not been followed.

            In fact, the Demjanjuk case has involved criminal allegations advanced against him through civil law procedures – a criminal case prosecuted as an immigration matter. There was a reason for this.

            Prosecuting Demjanjuk in this way enabled those who seek his demise to deport him from the United States by meeting a lower test applied in immigration cases of showing that, on a balance of probabilities, he misrepresented his background when he immigrated to the United States. Otherwise, they would have had to show his guilt in committing a crime beyond reasonable doubt. However, now that the deed is done, they alleged that he was found guilty of being a “Nazi war criminal” when, in fact, all that has been found is that he misrepresented his past when he entered the United States as an immigrant.

            Anyone who knows the history of Operation Keelhaul following World War II will understand why Demjanjuk’s misrepresentations were not necessarily so black and white and directly connected to Nazi atrocities as some would have us believe. Then, refugees from displaced persons camps were forcibly repatriated to the former Soviet Union where some were killed, others exiled and still others committed suicide.

            In short, use of this immigration procedure alone in Demjanjuk’s case should have set off alarm bells about what this may mean for rule of law and a fair and balanced judicial system in the United States. But to really grasp the significance of what happened, we need to touch on some other basics.

            Demjanjuk was never a Nazi. Nazis were Germans and they believed in the purity of the Aryan race. They had no time for mere Slavs like Demjanjuk or other races that were either to be liquidated or driven into submission and used as servants for the Third Reich. As a prisoner of war captured by the Germans from the Red Army and allegedly put to work in the death camps, it can hardly be said that John Demjanjuk “volunteered” to be such a guard.

            The more troubling aspect of this case is, however, that for over a decade, those who sought to bring Demjanjuk to “justice” maintained that he was in fact Ivan Grozny, also known as Ivan the Terrible, a grisly figure who was indeed involved in the persecution of inmates in the Treblinka Nazi concentration camp.

            These accusations led to Demjanjuk’s deportation to Israel where witness after witness identified Demjanjuk as Ivan the Terrible. They were certain and admitted no doubt. Following his conviction in the Israeli court, however, and during the process of Demjanjuk’s appeal, the defense team located witnesses who knew the real Ivan the Terrible and who signed sworn statements attesting to the fact that John Demjanjuk was not Ivan the Terrible. Included among these statements, according to those who worked on the defense team, was a statement by the real Ivan the Terrible’s girlfriend who definitively swore Demjanjuk was innocent of these charges.

            The power of this evidence, as well as the reopening of the Demjanjuk case in the United States by the U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals while the Israeli appeal was pending, forced the Israeli appellate court to conclude that a mistrial had taken place. The judges found that Demjanjuk was innocent of the charges and allowed him to return to the United States.

            Demjanjuk’s U.S. citizenship was restored after the U.S. federal court found the Office of Special Investigations had been guilty of prosecutorial misconduct for not revealing exculpatory evidence to the defense team that would have initially blocked the deportation of Demjanjuk to Israel.

            After more than a decade of maintaining that Demjanjuk was at one camp and was Ivan the Terrible, the prosecutorial team now maintains that Demjanjuk was not there, but in another Nazi death camp where he was an accomplice to the murder of not just a few, but of no less than 29,000 victims! Where was the evidence of the 29,000 victims when he was being tried in Israel on the first round? How was it possible for him to hide – for almost 65 years – from his role in helping to murder 29,000 camp inmates since the end of World War II. This possibility seems far-fetched, considering that – for the last 30 years – he was the target of a relentless campaign to convict him of any kind of Nazi atrocity.

            Ironically, a few years ago, Germany passed a law setting a time limitation on the prosecution of German war criminals. Thus Germans, who were primarily the ones responsible for the death camps, cannot be prosecuted, but individuals from other countries, like Demjanjuk, can!

            What troubles me the most about this case is the silence of individuals and organizations ostensibly dedicated to human rights and their failure to speak up in support of Demjanjuk. For example, I was a member of the American Civil Liberties Union, an organization dedicated to the protection of the civil liberties of Americans, including protecting the due process rights of individuals. I asked them specifically to speak up in the Demjanjuk case and was met with silence.

            I understand very well that defending someone accused of being a Nazi is a difficult challenge in our society, but isn’t it in precisely such circumstances that your true dedication to your beliefs is revealed?

            Demjanjuk may not have been a saint. However, we are not measuring him against the standard of perfection. Let us remember that there are very few participants who had nothing to hide about their conduct in World War II. Let us remember the Allied fire bombings of Dresden and Hamburg. Many consider those attacks to be war crimes. Let us remember the roles played by Italy and Japan as allies of Nazi Germany. Let us not forget that the Soviet Union signed the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact in 1939 to enable Hitler to invade Poland and carve it up with Stalin. Let us remember the collaboration of Vichy France. Let us consider the role of some 150,000 Jewish soldiers in the German army, including at least a dozen high-ranking officers of Jewish descent as well as the role played by Jewish Kapos, police and the Judenrat during the war. Let us remember that it was German officers and German soldiers that governed the death camps of Nazi Germany – not Ukrainians like Demjanjuk.

            While the world ignores such instances of Nazi collaboration, it watches in silence as prosecutors seek to pin the tail on the donkey in Demjanjuk’s case.

            Why?

            The reason is because this is not really about Demjanjuk as a camp guard at all. That is clear from the fact that he is accused of being an accessory to 29,000 deaths, but not of murdering anyone. Isn’t that odd? That is because there is no evidence of his killing anyone. This is an accusation of guilt by association. It is founded on the belief that anyone who was a guard at any Nazi camp was by that very fact guilty of a war crime. No allowance is made for the possibility that such guards were not there of their own volition but forced to be there by threats to their families or other circumstances. Mere presence was enough. In this sense the Demjanjuk case is little more than a Western show trial to reinvigorate the memory of the Holocaust and the collateral damage to people like Demjanjuk and others is negligible or even deserving as far as those who are running this campaign are concerned. It is a show trial along the lines of what we saw in the former Soviet Union and Nazi Germany previously. Those who seek to condemn the atrocities of those regimes and who hold the rule of law dear to their hearts owe it to Demjanjuk to rally to his defense.

            I have very little in common with American conservative Patrick Buchanan otherwise, but he is the only prominent political commentator who has spoken up about this witch hunt and I respect him for that. But where are all the others? It appears they are not concerned that the Demjanjuk case demonstrates that American courts can be politicized and made to bow to the pressures of expediency. It appears they are prepared to accept that America cannot always be relied on to be balanced, fair and to protect the rights of its citizens and the rule of law.

            Andriy J. Semotiuk is an attorney, with a practice in international law dealing with immigration. He is a member of the bars of California and New York in the United States and Ontario, Alberta and British Columbia in Canada. A former United Nations correspondent in New York, Mr. Semotiuk is a member of the Los Angeles Press Club and resides in Los Angeles.

      • Demjanjuk was actually already tried in Israel and then freed(!).

        http://www.nytimes.com/1993/07/30/world/acquittal-jerusalem-israel-court-sets-demjanjuk-free-but-he-now-without-country.html

        I think Germany’s prosecutors should be rather more interested in the German war crimes suspects, living in Germany.

        • Germany passed a law giving all German Nazis amnesty about forty (40) years ago.

          • That did not include those accused of crimes against humanity or war crimes.

            • “That did not include those accused of crimes against humanity or war crimes.”

              Oh, come on. I remember there was some pretty notorious guy and they sentenced him only for… a murder of a German communist while in the SA.

              When the last time a German was tried in Germany for their WWII crimes?

              I recall that recently an Italian court tried some (for their massacres of villagers while fighting Italian partisans), but in absentia because they live in Germany.

              • Former SS officers sentenced for massacre in Marzabotto, Italy

                By Elizabeth Zimmermann
                10 February 2007

                More than 60 years ago, German SS units carried out a brutal massacre in the northern Italian town of Marzabatto, in which hundreds were killed. An Italian military court in La Spezia has only now sentenced, in absentia, the ten SS officers involved to life imprisonment and ordered they pay compensation of €100 million to the survivors and relatives of the victims. A further seven accused were acquitted.

                Those condemned by the court were Paul Albers (88), Josef Baumann (82), Hubert Bichler (87), Max Roithmeier (85), Max Schneider (81), Heinz Fritz Traeger (84), Georg Wache (86), Helmut Wulf (84), Adolf Schneider (87) and Kurt Spieler (81).

                Commenting on the verdict, a member of the Association of the Relatives of the Marzabotto Victims said, “Justice has prevailed at last. We waited for decades for this verdict.”

                Ferruccio Laffi, who lost 14 relatives in the massacre, said after the verdict was announced, “Justice was carried out—at least a little bit.”

                The judgement had a predominantly symbolic significance as far as the punishment of the perpetrators is concerned, since they all live in Germany and will probably not be extradited to Italy. Based on past experiences with similar cases and the advanced age of the accused it is unlikely they will face a German court for the crimes they have committed.

                The massacre of the civilian population of Marzabotto, carried out between September 29 and October 1, 1944, by units of the 16th SS Armoured Infantry Division under the leadership of the notorious SS Sturmbannführer Walter Reder, was one of the worst and most brutal Nazi crimes of the Second World War. Some 800 people, mainly women, children and older men, were mown down and murdered in Marzabotto alone, with a further 1,000 killed in surrounding villages. The victims included some 200 children, some only a few days old.

                The SS soldiers broke into houses, schools and churches, shooting their victims with machine guns, throwing hand grenades into houses and setting fire to buildings and churches. They even continued to shoot into the growing mountain of corpses. The few who survived only escaped death because they were covered by the corpses of their relatives and neighbours, or were able to hide.

                A few weeks earlier, on August 12, 1944, the same SS unit, as well as Wehrmacht (regular army) soldiers, had taken part in the massacre of Sant’Anna di Stazzema, which claimed 560 victims within just a few hours.

                (…)

                After the war, only SS Sturmbannführer Walter Reder, who led the 16th Armoured Infantry Division, was held legally accountable for the massacres of Sant’Anna di Stazzema and Marzabotto.

                On October 31, 1951, an Italian military court in Bologna sentenced him to lifelong imprisonment. An appeal confirmed the judgement in 1954. Following massive pressure behind the scenes from the German government and Vatican representatives, a military court in Bari heard his case again in 1980, reducing his sentence. Five years later, on January 24, 1985, Waffen-SS officer Walter Reder was a free man who could return to his homeland Austria, where he was greeted by Defence Minster Friedhelm Frischenschlager, a member of Jörg Haider’s far-right Austrian Freedom Party.

                This unleashed a wave of indignation in Italy. Survivors and relatives of the victims had opposed this war criminal being granted a pardon. Heaping yet more scorn on his victims, one year after his release Reder rescinded the apology he had given the municipality of Marzabotto during his detention, as well as the expression of “regret” during his trial in Bari. Reder died in Vienna in 1991 at the age of 75 years.

                Unpunished Nazi crimes

                After the Second World War, only a few of the chief leaders of the Nazi regime faced an international tribunal in Nuremberg as war criminals. Shortly afterwards, interest in any further pursuit of those responsible for Nazi crimes noticeably cooled. The main reason was the beginning of the Cold War against the Soviet Union, in which the newly established Federal Republic of Germany played an important role as a NATO ally.

                Many of those—in the armed forces, in the administrative machinery, in business and in the judicial system—who had got their hands dirty participating in crimes were now needed. Above all, the working class had to be prevented from making a reckoning with the social breeding ground of the Nazi regime, the capitalist system. The German legal system, in particular, had no interest in probing the crimes of the Nazi period, since many of those responsible had continued their careers in the Federal Republic uninterrupted.

                In Italy, with the exception of a few military tribunals in the immediate postwar period, there was also little interest in prosecuting Nazi and fascist crimes.

                In April 2004, as the trial of those responsible for the massacre in Sant’Anna di Stazzema opened in La Spezia, the Frankfurter Rundschau wrote, “It is not only in Germany that the wheels of justice grind slowly, in Italy also the prosecution of countless massacres of the civilian population by German troops in the final phase of the Second World War has largely petered out. In the early 1950s, when memories were still fresh and many of the culprits—German soldiers and Italian fascists—could still be apprehended, many of the files were closed.”

                (…)

                The resumption of the trial of German war criminals for the massacres of Sant’Anna di Stazzema and Marzabotto by the military court in La Spezia in 2004 meant at least some of those responsible faced charges and were found guilty. In June 2005, 10 former German SS soldiers were sentenced to life imprisonment in absentia for the massacre in Sant’Anna di Stazzema.

                However, the German legal system did nothing to ensure that the war criminals living in Germany were called to account. The whereabouts of two of the former SS men found guilty in Italy were uncovered by investigative journalists and Nazi hunters and their role made public.

                In August 2006, Kontrast magazine reported on 82-year-old Karl Gropler, who was involved in the massacre in Sant’Anna di Stazzema and who had lived undisturbed for decades in Wollin, a village in Brandenburg.

                Since early 2005, Gerhard Sommer, also sentenced by the court in La Spezia for his participation in the Sant’Anna di Stazzema massacre, has lived in an old people’s home in Hamburg. The public prosecutor’s office refuses to level charges against the war criminal in this case as well.

                German justice, which for decades has failed to make any accounting with Nazi war crimes, and which has blocked compensation claims by survivors and their relatives, has also shown little interest in reinvestigating these crimes in light of the recent court case in Italy.

                The ever increasing participation of German troops and Special Forces in numerous international war missions, and German participation in the so-called “war against terrorism,” means that the government is eager to avoid any precedent whereby those responsible for actions that are illegal under international law are held responsible before the courts.

                http://www.wsws.org/articles/2007/feb2007/marz-f10.shtml

        • Thank you, Robert, for bringing up a piece of common knowledge. Demjanjuk was acquitted in Israel because of reasonable doubt (not certainty) that he was Ivan the Terrible, the notorious guard and Treblinka. Israel then declined to prosecute him further because of double jeopardy issues. In other words, he got off on a series of technicalities.

          I would certainly prefer that Ukraine rather than Germany try and convict him. But what is the chance of that?

          • Dear Kaktuss,

            You have to stop reading that soviet disinformation.

            He was initialy deported and convicted based on FORGED documents supplied by the KGB.

            The Supreme Court of Isreal found him innocent. Yet, you have the audacity to act as judge, jury, and executioner? If you think thaat you know more than Israeli Supreme Court Justices, then go to Isreal and tell one of them to step down and appoint you to the bench.

            • No, believe it or not I have never tried to execute Demjanjuk. It was certainly up to Israeli Supreme Court to decide to release him – as it was up to the US court to decide to extradite him. Why do you favor one over the other?

              I actually have nothing but pity for Demjanjuk – a little man caught in the wheels of history’s most brutal war and losing all sense of right and wrong (if he ever had it) in a quest for survival. My point is that when Ukrainians rush to defend a fellow Ukrainian accused of war crimes it strikingly resembles the behavior of the current Russian government, which is the initial subject of this discussion.

  14. Dittohead and Kaktuss,

    Your condemnation of man who has not even been charged yet by the German courts demonstrates your degree of interest in justice being served and reinforces the validity of my claim: “politically motivated, justice impaired, show trial”. (The Germans have an arrest warrant – no charges or indictment.)

    As was the case in Israel over 20 yrs ago, the German media has been biased against John Demjanjuk and sensationally assuming guilt. Israel once sought to teach young Israelis about the Holocaust through the wrongful prosecution of John Demjanjuk as a Nazi murderer. Germany now seeks to teach young Germans that their ancestors were not entirely to blame for the Holocaust and that they should instead be viewed as seeking justice to atone for their deeds. In 1985 the Israelis hyped a media event alleging John Demjanjuk was in Trawniki, Sobibor and the brutal murderer of nearly a million people in Treblinka. He was assumed guilty but was innocent and nearly executed. He was acquitted on all counts.

    Why not rise above the vengeful, uninformed horde and attend to the facts first.

    Kaktuss
    According to the findings of the Institute of History of the Ukrainian Academy of Sciences, published in 1984, 8 million Ukrainians (2.5 million soldiers and 5.5 million civilians) were killed in WW2. Furthermore, with the Nazi designation of Ukrainians as sub-human (as is well known and has already been pointed out in above postings), resulting in the above statistics, and Ukrainians themselves being sent to concentration camps, having their homes razed and starving because their food was being shipped out to feed Germans, condemns your statement about cheering Ukrainians to one of caricature.

    Perhaps when you have acquainted yourself with the extensive material on this subject, as well as that on the Jewish kapo collaborators in the Nazi concentration camps and in the high ranks of Hitler’s army, a balanced discussion could ensue.

    • Myroslava,

      Your response is so evasive and ignorant that I don’t know where to begin. Ukrainian collaboration in the Holocaust is thoroughly documented; have you ever read “Babi Yar” by Anatoly Kuznetsov? Have you ever heard about the SS division Galizien? And are you insane comparing what happened to Ukrainians to what happened to Jews – often with Ukrainian help or at least tacit approval? Ukrainians were only sent to concentration camps when they opposed Germans, not just for being Ukrainians (as was the case with Jews). When you deny all this, how are you better than Lilliputin with Dima Medvedev?

      As to Jewish collaborators, yes, they certainly existed (kapo, Judenraten, and the like), and they were unequivocally condemned by other Jews after the war (some of them, who survived the Holocaust, were shamed to such extent that they committed suicide after the war). But there were no high-ranking Jews in the Nazi military.

      And concerning Demjanjuk and his guilt, see above.

      • “Ukrainian collaboration in the Holocaust is thoroughly documented; (…) Have you ever heard about the SS division Galizien?”

        And whatever these two things have in common? Or maybe you think every recruit to the Waffen-SS had to kill a Jew as part of his initation or something?

        • Not necessarily. But SS was the main instrument of the Holocaust. Not to mention that it was ruled a criminal organization in Nuremberg.

          • “Not to mention that it was ruled a criminal organization in Nuremberg.”

            The same Nurnberg that had Soviet judges attempting to try the Germans for Katyn?

            • Do you mean that attempt makes Nuremberg rulings invalid? Are you trying to say that Goering, Ley, Hess, and others are innocent victims?

              In fact, it is a very common trajectory: from whitewashing Nazi collaborators to whitewashing Nazis.

              • Because of the Soviet involvement it was about as valid as if Third Reich prosecutors were to try Khrustchev, Molotov, Zhdanov and such.

                They were also tried for some crimes that didn’t even exist before (that is, before this trial).

                For me both of these things were pretty absurd.

          • The “main instrument of the Holocaust” were the camp guard service (SS-Tontenkopfverbande) and the various police formations.

            Galizien Division was a frontline unit in the Waffen-SS, not even a rear security formation. So tell me about this real connection.

            • The real connection is that they joined a genocidal organization and fought for a genocidal regime. And the fact that there were enough volunteers to form a division falsifies Myroslava’s claim that Ukrainians were nothing but innocent victims of the Germans.

              • Ah. But many of them were already (former) members of a similarily “genocidal organization” – the RKKA.

                “And the fact that there were enough volunteers to form a division”

                There were actually many more volunteers that were admitted.

                Now, in what exactly massacres they did took part? And why the US panel found them not guilty of any war crimes?

                Hint: for many Poles all Ukrainians in the German service (even in police formations) were “SS Galizien”, just like for many Allied veterans every German tank was “a Tiger”.

                • Ah. But many of them were already (former) members of a similarily “genocidal organization” – the RKKA.

                  No argument here.

                  There were actually many more volunteers that were admitted.

                  Sounds like you are proud of them.

                  Now, in what exactly massacres they did took part? And why the US panel found them not guilty of any war crimes?

                  What panel is that?

                  Hint: for many Poles all Ukrainians in the German service (even in police formations) were “SS Galizien”, just like for many Allied veterans every German tank was “a Tiger”.

                  I am not a Pole and have never been to Poland.

                  • Not US, Canadian (in the 1980s).

                    The division (originally called Galizische SS Freiwilligen Division) is usually mistaken in Poland with several police units under the name of Galizische SS Freiwilligen Regiment (Polizei) 1-8.

                    That’s for the Polish “Galizien war crimes” allegations.

      • Hi Kaktuss,

        You Stated; “Ukrainians were only sent to concentration camps when they opposed Germans, not just for being Ukrainians”

        Ostarbeiter Slave Labor

        Germany faced a crisis at the end of 1941 because after it had mobilized its massive armies, a shortage of workers developed in Germany to support the war industry. Hermann Goering at first thought “the best thing would be to kill all men in Ukraine over fifteen years of age” but then realized working them to death was more useful for the German Reich. He decided to bring in people from Ukraine, called Ostarbeiter (east workers), to work in German war industries. A recruiting campaign in Ukraine was carried out in January 1942 by Fritz Sauckel for workers to go to Germany. “On January 28th the first special train will leave for Germany with hot meals in Kiev, Zdolbunov and Peremyshl” offered an announcement. The first train was full on January 22.

        “Germany calls you! Go to Beautiful Germany! 100,000 Ukrainians are already working in free Germany What about you?” ran a Kiev newspaper ad on March 3, 1942. But in the end word got back of the slave conditions for Ukrainians in Germany and it failed to attract sufficient volunteers so forced recruitment and forced labor were needed. They were forced to wear a badge OST (East) on their clothes.

        Because the Germans considered the Ukrainians Untermensch (sub-humans) they were “inferior humans” who had to be kicked, beaten, terrorized and killed at their least transgression.

        Starvation rations and primitive accomodation were given to these unfortunate Ukrainian slaves in Germany.

        • That thousands of Ukrainians responded to German job advertising only proves that up to that point they were not treated too shabbily by the Germans. Of course, when Germans were done with Jews (with Ukrainian help), they turned on Ukrainians. Call it poetic justice, if you will. (No, I’m not gloating. Ukrainian suffering in Holodomor and the war was enormous. But that does not excuse the likes of Demjanjuk).

    • And BTW, Germans saw the Ukrainians of Galicia and Volhynia as close to Aryans.

    • God, this ignorance is driving me crazy! Forgot to mention that Germans do not have to make any special effort to prove that Germans are not the only one implicated in the Holocaust. Untold thousands of (in no specific order) Poles, Ukrainians, Hungarians, Rumanians, Bosniaks, Croats, Russians, Belorussians, Lithuanians, Latvians, Estonians, French, Italians, Dutch, and even Norwegians willingly participated, sometimes even without Germans asking them to, or stood idly by. Apart from Myroslava, it is common knowledge.

      • ” Rumanians, Bosniaks, Croats, Russians,”

        You forgot the Serbs.

        http://www.hic.hr/books/from-fairytale/index.htm

        • Agreed (although to much lesser degree than Croats or Bosniaks). I can even throw in Albanians.

          • Not really “to much lesser degree”.

            “But there were no high-ranking Jews in the Nazi military.”

            http://www.kansaspress.ku.edu/righit.html

            • From your link:

              As Rigg fully documents for the first time, a great many of these men did not even consider themselves Jewish and had embraced the military as a way of life and as devoted patriots eager to serve a revived German nation.

              These were people who considered themselves Germans and were considered German by everybody else – until Nazis came to power and discovered that they had a SINGLE Jewish ancestor THREE generations removed (the Nazi definition of “half-Jew”). And as the same book shows, almost all of them were purged even before the war began and ultimately killed.

              • No, not “even before the war began” (or maybe if by “war” you meant the “Great Patriotic” one).

                And among those with rumoured Jewish blood was (persistently) the supposedly “super-Aryan” Reinhardt Heydrich (not to mention even Hitler himself).

                • Concerning Hitler’s and Heydrich’s “Jewish blood”, it’s just a huge steaming pile of bull.

                  And if you don’t understand the difference between the Germans soldiers who had no Jewish identity and mostly did not even know about their Jewish ancestors and proud Ukrainians who flocked to Waffen-SS (by your own admission), then you must be a clinical idiot. Sorry to break this to you.

                  • Kaktuss,

                    The Ukrainian SS numbered between 12,000 and 22,000 soldiers between 1943 and 1945. I wouldn’t say that Ukrainians “flocked” to the SS.

                    And I highly doubt, having spent much time in Ukraine, that while Jews were being exterminated, their “Ukrainian neighbors cheered and happily looted their property”, as you earlier stated.

                    Lastly, maybe you can document the number of Ukrainians who assisted the Germans at Babyn Yar, but I doubt that it is a large number (at most hundreds).

                    Attempting to equate these actions/activities of Ukrainians to the murder and devastation that was brought upon them is impossible.

                    This is a simple trick of propaganda, whereby we should excuse your many and gross violations, because we committed a single (or few) violations ourselves (or some of us did).

                    Overall, I would say that Ukrainian participation in their own deaths, pales in comparison to the murder that was visited upon them by the Germans and the Soviets.

                    Especially, if we consider the 70 years of Soviet occupation as compared to 4 years of German occupation.

                    Although, I don’t really agree with Miroslava’s opinion and comments about John Demjanjuk, I even more dislike the way in which you have attempted to refute her argument.

                    Here is a link about the 14th SS Galicia (with manpower numbers):

                    http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic.php?f=78&t=125117

                    • shane,

                      You would probably agree that your personal experience with Ukrainians today is irrelevant in discussion of what happened during the war. When you visit Germany, especially the quaint medieval towns along the Middle Rhine, and meet the friendly, polite people who live in these serene surroundings it is hard to believe they could hatch and perpetrate a genocide. Yet they did!

                      The total number of those involved in shootings in Babi Yar was probably no more than 100-200. It does not take a lot of manpower to machine-gun women and children. And most of them were Germans. But Ukrainians were prominently represented, too.

                      And I do not deny the enormity of the Ukrainian suffering at the hands of both Soviets and Nazis. But that does not excuse what they did to Jews (and Poles too, by the way).

  15. The True Haters

    by Patrick J. Buchanan

    04/14/2009

    On Good Friday, 2009, John Demjanjuk, 89 and gravely ill, was ordered deported to Germany to stand trial as an accessory to the murder of 29,000 Jews — at Sobibor camp in Poland.
    Sound familiar? It should. It is a re-enactment of the 1986 extradition of John Demjanjuk to Israel to be tried for the murder of 870,000 Jews — at Treblinka camp in Poland.
    How many men in the history of this country have been so relentlessly pursued and remorselessly persecuted? The ordeal of this American Dreyfus began 30 years ago.
    In 1979, the Office of Special Investigations (OSI) at Justice, goaded and guided by Yuri Andropov’s KGB, was persuaded that Demjanjuk was “Ivan the Terrible,” a huge, brutal, sadistic guard at Treblinka, who bashed in babies’ heads and slashed off women’s breasts, as he drove hundreds of thousands of Jews into the gas chambers. Demjanjuk’s defense was simple: “I was never at Treblinka”.
    Yet, a dozen survivors, shown a photo spread, identified him as the beast of Treblinka. In 1986, OSI had him extradited to Israel. In 1988, he was convicted and sentenced to death. The greatest Holocaust monster since Mengele was to be hanged.
    His family, friends and lawyers did not give up. They scoured Europe and, in the last days of the Soviet Union, struck pay dirt. In Moscow’s files on Treblinka they discovered a photo of the real “Ivan,” a far bigger, more mature man than the 23-year-old Demjanjuk in 1943.
    Ivan Marchenko was positively identified as Ivan the Terrible.
    To its eternal credit, Israel’s Supreme Court threw aside the verdict and stopped Demjanjuk from being the first man hanged in Jerusalem since Adolf Eichmann in 1961.
    A humiliated OSI, through its Israeli friends, now asked the court to authorize a new trial, charging Demjanjuk with having been a guard at Sobibor — during the same time they previously charged he had been at Treblinka.
    What OSI was admitting was that its case against Demjanjuk, to see him hang from the gallows as “Ivan the Terrible,” had been based on flimsy or falsified evidence and worthless or perjured testimony. Replied the court, we don’t do double jeopardy here in Israel.
    Demjanjuk was released. And the grin of the jailer who opened his cell testified that many in Israel never accepted the charge that this simple man was some unrivaled devil of the Holocaust.
    So, after 13 years, the last four on death row reflecting on his hanging for horrors he never committed, Demjanjuk came home to Cleveland, a free man. His citizenship was restored.
    Though disgraced, OSI was not ready to throw in its hand. For it had been dealt a new card by its old comrades in the KGB.
    The new evidence was a signed statement by one “Danilchenko,” who claimed to have been a guard at Sobibor and had worked with Demjanjuk. As this document would have blown up the Treblinka case in Jerusalem, OSI had withheld it from the defense.
    Another document turned up suggesting that Demjanjuk had indeed, after training at Trawniki camp, been assigned to Sobibor. When the defense asked to interrogate “Danilchenko,” to verify he had made and signed the statement and to question him on details, they were told this was not possible. Seems Danilchenko had died after signing.
    So, after the first 13 years of his ordeal took him right up to a gallows in Jerusalem, Demjanjuk has now been pursued for another 17 years by an OSI that will not rest until he has been convicted, somewhere, of genocide. And so we come to today.
    Demjanjuk is to be taken to Germany and prosecuted as an accessory to the murder of 29,000 Jews at Sobibor — though not one living person can place him at that camp and not even the German prosecutor will say that he ever hurt anyone. One witness in Israel, who was at Sobibor and says he knew all the camp guards, says he never saw Demjanjuk there.
    If Friday’s ruling is upheld, John Demjanjuk, who has been charged with no crime on German soil, is to be taken to Germany, home of the Third Reich, to be tried by Germans for his alleged role in a genocide planned and perpetrated by Germans. He is to serve as the sacrificial lamb whose blood washes away the stain of Germany’s sins. But if Germans wish to prosecute participants in the Holocaust, why not round up some old big-time Nazis, instead of a Ukrainian POW.
    Answer: They cannot. Because the Germans voted an amnesty for themselves in 1969. So now they must find a Slav soldier they captured — and Heinrich Himmler’s SS conscripted and made a camp guard, if he ever was a camp guard — to punish in expiation for Germany’s sins.
    The spirit behind this un-American persecution has never been that of justice tempered by mercy. It is the same satanic brew of hate and revenge that drove another innocent Man up Calvary that first Good Friday 2,000 years ago.

    • Demjanjuk another Jesus? Gimme a break!

      Buchanan is well known here in the US as a Nazi sympathizer. He recently published a book that argued that Britain should have played along with Hitler instead of fighting him. His ties to neo-Nazi parties in Europe are no secret, too. That he jumps to Demjanjuk’s defense tells volumes about who the latter is.

      • Why Demjanjuk is being persecuted (not prosecuted) by Germany:

        1. Germany will NOT try the Germans, or allow Germans living in Germany to stand trial and/or serve sentences in other countries, for the Hitler-era crimes. See the examples of recent Italian convictions I posted. The reason given is they’re all “too old” for this (but yet Demjanjuk at his young age 89 is apparently perfectly able).

        2. The same Germany wants to try a non-German who is not living in Germany and who was already tried (in Israel, of all places).

        It’s like if the Russians would suddenly decide to try people for the Stalin-era crimes, but only if they’re not Russians and not living in Russia (and no matter if they were already tried for these crimes). Absurd much?

        And if the Americans are so sure of his guilt, why won’t they try him as a (former) American citizien living in their country?

      • Kaktuss,

        You seem quite intent on pushing Ukraine’s limited (in scale and period of service) representation in the SS.

        Galician Ukrainians were promised a free state for participation were they not? Something they had been fighting for for centuries.

        Your line of argument is very narrow and one-dimensional.

        Care to reference the UPA at all?

        • No, I’m not pushing the SS thing; Robert does. Ukrainians did a lot more, pointing out the Jews who tried to hide, rounding them up (the police units), appropriating their property, guarding death camps (in Treblinka, there were about 100 Ukrainian guards and only 30 Germans; same in Sobibor).

        • And if you want me to reference the UPA – yes, it did fight both the Nazis and the Soviets. However, that does not annul the above.

          • Can you give me a prooflink to data about just a single fight between the UPA and the Nazis?

            LA RUSSOPHOBE RESPONDS:

            Listen you idiot: The next time you post as many as three, much less seven, comments in a row on this blog, you’ll be permanently banned from ever commenting on it again. Just who in the WORLD do you think you are? Psychopath! Do try to exercise at least a little civilized restraint. You make Russia look like a nation of apes.

            • Hi eugene,

              I guess your soviet encyclopedia omits this info?

              A.S. Borysenko

              ON THE PATH OF THE ARMED STRUGGLE. THE UKRAINIAN INSURGENT ARMY (UPA)

              The author gives a generalized history of the origins, growth and the activities of the UPA forces in the Volyn region. The necessity to defend the local population against the Nazi atrocities on the one hand, and the hostile behavior of the Soviet partisans on the other hand, is given as the main reason for the origins of the armed struggle. The crisis came in the winter of 1942-1943 when large detachments of Soviet partisans arrives in the region of Polissya and began to sabotage the German supply lines.

              The Germans responded by burning and massacring the Ukrainian villages of Kortylis, Tsuman and several others. The Ukrainian militia units, which the Germans wanted to use in the punitive expeditions, refused to obey the Nazis. Germans, in turn, intensified the arrests, and executions of the recalcitrant militiamen. This led in March and April of 1943 to mass desertion of militiamen into the forests.

              At the same time the Nazis began a large scale campaign of terror and executions of the Ukrainian intelligentsia and workers who, in order to survive, left the cities in large numbers.

              The first self-defense units, according to the author, were organized by the Ukrainian peasants for the protection of their villages against the Nazi expeditionary forces and the Soviet saboteurs. The city refugees, militiamen, workers and intelligentsia swelled the ranks of these units and gave them the name the Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UPA).

              In March 1943 the UPA began offensive operations and succeeded in clearing large areas of Volyn, Polissya regions both of Germans and Soviet partisans.

              • > In March 1943 the UPA began offensive operations and succeeded in clearing large areas of Volyn, Polissya regions both of Germans and Soviet partisans.

                How very strange that the Wehrmacht was completely ignorant of those great battles. :^)

      • I don’t think Pat Buchanan is known as a Nazi sympathizer, but we have certainly heard lots and lots of his anti-Semitic outbursts over the last 40 years, certainly since the time that he was a speechwriter for President Nixon. While the fact that Buchanan is the only prominent figure defending Demjaniuk is telling, the story is very simple, really.

        Prosecution of Demjaniuk in Israel ended the way it did because they could not prove his identity as so called “Ivan the Terrible” of the Treblinka “fame.” However, the Israeli court had no doubt he was an SS auxiliary who had served as a camp guard.

        Later, back home in Ohio, an American prosecutor proved that Demjaniuk lied on his citizenship application and he was denaturalized by a court order on that basis.

        So, he has no right to stay in our country as he holds neither citizenship nor a valid visa. Therefore, he can be legally deported. He will be tried in Germany, if found physically able to stand trial and the Germans will provide all the imaginable procedural protections. And let the chips fall where they may: if they could n ot prove he was an SS camp guard, or had nothing to do with the atrocities, he should be set free

      • Hi Kaktuss,

        Truly a brilliant response; just shoot the messenger.

  16. The direction of the discussion to this very thought-provoking editorial makes it all too obvious why wars have been so common in human history.

    It also makes it obvious how otherwise decent people can be enticed – relatively easily – to do terribly indecent things to each other.

    Granted, it’s “the generals” who start the wars, but it’s “ordinary” folk who generally do the killing. And sadly, there never seems to be a shortage of people willing to do it.

    It’s a sad reflection on humanity that all too many have welcomed (and still do) the opportunity to harm (in varying degrees) others whose ideas, customs, opinions, and etc. they do not like or agree with.

    The author of this editorial did a stellar job of calling our current leaders to account and demanding they start dealing with the past honestly, and finally stop repeating the mistakes, and the wars, of the past.

    Would that more of us did the same.

    But it’s obviously easier to try and fix blame for past atrocities on someone (anyone) on the “other” side than to band together and demand today’s leaders (and themselves) do what is necessary to prevent future wars.

    So if anyone is looking to determine who is ultimately responsible for wartime atrocities, here’s a hint:

    Look in the mirror.

    • With all due respect Paulette, we Americans have no reason to look in the mirror. We did not start that terrible war, we got involved in it only extremely reluctantly, and we did not commit any atrocities (Hirosima and Nagasaki were not atrocities)

      • May be true for Nagasaki with its naval base, but if Hiroshima is not an atrocity, I cannot imagine what else may be an atrocity.

        • Bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki cost perhaps 200,000 lives or so but forced Japan to surrender very quickly. Thus the invasion of the main islands was avoided. The invasion, had it been undertaken, would have cost at least 2,000,000 lives, of which at least 1.5 million would have been Japanese civilians.

          That’s why many people came to a conclusion that these bombings were truly necessary and not atrocities.

          I realize there are people having a different opinion, and it has some validity so I respect it. But I just expressed mine

          • It proves again the well-known fact that it’s we civilians make easy decisions. The highest-ranked military commanders such as Eisenhower, MacArthur and Nimitz, were pretty aware of real military need for a-bombings (rather, a lack thereof), and didn’t support the move.

            • I cannot imagine that Eisenhower, MacArthur, etc. didn’t understand how bloody the landing would be. Particularly Eisenhower who was in the overall command of the D-Day invasion. I would like you to provide proof that Eisenhower, MacArthur and Nimitz were aware of a lack of military need for the bombings. If you can’t, I consider this anti-American outburst as a typical piece of Kremlin propaganda.

              Regardless, the proof is in the pudding. President Truman had made that decision, and as a commander in chief he outranked all those other men you mentioned. He didn’t need support from them — he gave orders. He was right — the war was over in a matter of days.

              • Eisenhower:
                “In 1945 Secretary of War Stimson, visiting my headquarters in Germany, informed me that our government was preparing to drop an atomic bomb on Japan. I was one of those who felt that there were a number of cogent reasons to question the wisdom of such an act. During his recitation of the relevant facts, I had been conscious of a feeling of depression and so I voiced to him my grave misgivings, first on the basis of my belief that Japan was already defeated and that dropping the bomb was completely unnecessary, and secondly because I thought that our country should avoid shocking world opinion by the use of a weapon whose employment was, I thought, no longer mandatory as a measure to save American lives.” (The White House Years; Mandate For Change: 1953-1956. Doubleday & Company. pp. pp. 312√313.)
                Nimitz:
                “The Japanese had, in fact, already sued for peace before the atomic age was announced to the world with the destruction of Hiroshima and before the Russian entry into the war. . . .The atomic bomb played no decisive part, from a purely military standpoint, in the defeat of Japan.” (The NYT, October 6, 1945)
                Halsey:
                “The first atomic bomb was an unnecessary experiment. . . . It was a mistake to ever drop it. . . . [the scientists] had this toy and they wanted to try it out, so they dropped it. . . . It killed a lot of Japs, but the Japs had put out a lot of peace feelers through Russia long before.” (Gar Alperovitz, The Decision to Use the Atomic Bomb, p. 331)
                MacArthur:
                “General MacArthur definitely is appalled and depressed by this Frankenstein monster [the bomb]. I had a long talk with him today, necessitated by the impending trip to Okinawa.” (memoirs of his pilot, Weldon E. Rhoades)
                I won’t overflood the thread, but the list may be continued further.

                • All these men expressed their views after the fact, and all they say, really, that the victory over Japan could have been achieved even without the use of the A-bomb. True enough, but again, none of them opines regarding how many lives it would have cost if the conventional means had been used instead. Remember, the goal was not just a piece treaty with Japan, but unconditional surrender.

                  The generals’ views are purely military which is completely normal. You quote from Nimitz above shows that (“from a purely military standpoint”). The generals care about defeating the enemy, not much about how many human lives it would take. That’s what wars are all about.

                  President Truman simply had to take into account the human toll (both ours and Japanese, by the way) of the option of not using the A-bomb. In my view he had arrived to a correct solution.

                  I also think that had Stalin stolen our nuclear secrets sooner and had the bomb, say, in January 1945, when Hitler was completely defeated already, Stalin would have used the bomb, too. And you would approve that now, would you not?

                  • And you would approve that now, would you not?

                    Frankly? I don’t know, and nobody knows for sure. History doesn’t work in a conjunctive mood, so why speculate?

              • Don’t be surprised with all this, the overall damage caused by aerial raids such as that of 03/10, and the effective blockade (Operation Starvation) already did the thing.

          • …it’s we civilians who make…

          • RV,

            Besides, if we did not attack Japan, then the rooshans would have had to attack in a few days.

            • No question about it; I’ve heard this crap about these bombings for years, and yet the Russians forget how many of their lives were saved. I guess, they don’t care that hundreds of thousands of their own men survived as a result

              • Why would they care?
                Standard Red Army practice was to shoot their own men when not advancing fast enough.

  17. Hmm, the Russians were not involved in D-Day (thank goodness, can you imagine the hash they would have made of it).

    Why should they be mentioned in a battle that they had nothing to do with.

    Paulette, although I agree with many of your comments, please note that Generals seldom start wars, it is politicians that do the starting.

  18. RV, with all due respect, we *all* need to look in the mirror. It is the kind of vitriol that is being exchanged on this post that facilitates civilian collaboration with mass murderers… by justifying it.

    I said in my original comment that this editorial does a good job of calling for more honesty in dealing with the past.

    How about some of the armchair political pundits here stop trying to clobber each other on the head with their accepted version of what-really-happened-and who-was-to-blame … and ask some pertinent (as opposed to rhetorical) questions instead?

    Of course, being open to the answers to real questions creates the risk of a few holes being poked (or blown) through those precious accepted versions. But for anyone genuinely seeking peace, and truth, that risk is irrelevant.

    Yes, Andrew, you’re right of course; politicians start wars. Generals just follow their orders.

    I was speaking metaphorically, to illustrate the point that regardless who officially starts the wars, it is ordinary folk who end up fighting them… in neighbourhoods as well as on battlefields. And on physical fronts as well as in mental and cyber ones.

    That’s why I suggested looking in the mirror … to avoid the danger of eventually becoming cannon fodder for the generals, politicians, or whoever is responsible for starting wars.

    • Yes Paulette, you are right, there is too much unnecessary acrimony here. I guess people are too passionate about these issues

    • Paulette,

      Could you please formulate two or three questions that you would consider pertinent rather than rhetorical?

  19. Kaktuss, do your own work, ok? I’m sure you’re smart enough to figure it out on your own. If not, then it’s pointless to engage in further discussion.

    RV, thanks for understanding my point. “Unnecessary acrimony” is exactly the right term.

  20. Paulette, with all due respect – without some specific examples your post looks rather sanctimonious.

    I didn’t participate in this passionate discussion above. I am not sure how the conversation got from ignoring Russia at D-Day celebration to what is the burden of proof required for Demjaniuk’s extradition. For the record, if I were to join, I would side with Kaktuss.

    But I am also very curious what is your definition of pertinent vs. rhetorical. Obviously, everybody figures it out on his/her own – and it has little to do with being enough or not enough smart. But, of course, if you believe that you possess the ability to judge whose questions are pertinent, and whose aren’t – then it’s pointless to engage in further discussion.

    • My thoughts. exactly. Starry-eyed (usually leftist) pacifists are always long on meaningless generalizations and very, VERY short on specifics.

      • Monday, April 25, 2005 Page A7

        JUSTICE REPORTER

        MONTREAL — Joseph Riwash’s partisan outfit wasted little time on Ukrainian villagers who were reluctant to join them in battle against Nazi occupying forces during the Second World War.

        Resisters were “shot then and there,” the Montreal man wrote in 1991 in a privately published memoir. “Such was the justice practised among the partisans in those days.”

        Elsewhere in Ukraine, another Montreal man — Nahun Kohn — was fighting for much of the war with a partisan group who routinely killed anti-Soviet Ukrainians or those thought to have harmed Jewish civilians.

        In one such attack, “bullets were flying hot and thick, and one of our bullets set the hut on fire,” Mr. Kohn wrote in a memoir. “We watched it burn, and we made sure that nobody escaped from the flames.”

        Mr. Kohn also described an incident in which the group captured a factory owner alleged to have worked many Jews to death. They buried him alive in a bunker, and then camped outside for 11 or 12 days to ensure he died a slow death.

        It was war, and partisans like Mr. Riwash and Mr. Kohn made no bones about it. They did what was necessary to help their Soviet Red Army commanders or secret-police advisers defeat the Nazis.

        But now, well into their 80s and suffering poor health, the two Jewish men have been caught up in a war of another kind, one that pits two of Canada’s biggest ethnic communities against each other.

        The Ukrainian Civil Liberties Association is demanding an investigation into whether Mr. Riwash, Mr. Kohn and other Soviet collaborators lied about their wartime conduct to get into Canada.

        The group wants Canadian authorities to treat them the same way they’ve dealt with a long line of alleged Nazi collaborators — by asking the courts to strip them of their citizenship and deport them. Last fall, it sent a letter to the RCMP urging that Mr. Kohn, Mr. Riwash and two others be investigated for war crimes.

        But this has put the Ukrainian association on a collision course with the Canadian Jewish Congress, which views its campaign as tantamount to anti-Semitism.

        A guerrilla war between the Ukrainian and Jewish communities heated up in the mid-1980s, when each made strong representations to a war-crimes commission headed by Mr. Justice Jules Deschênes. Instead of deportation actions, the million-strong Ukrainian-Canadian community lobbied for full war-crimes prosecutions to take place in Canada under strict rules of evidence.

        Jewish groups — representing about 600,000 Canadians — were generally in favour of domestic prosecutions, but willing to support a process that would see suspects stripped of their citizenship and deported.

        The denaturalization and deportation program began in 1994, after the Supreme Court of Canada ruled that evidence of Second World War crimes was too weak to support criminal prosecutions in Canada.

        • The names don’t sound Ukrainian. Neither do I see any crimes committed in what is written.

          Soldiers follow the orders of their commanders, therefore there is nothing criminal in firing on a burning hut.

          It does seem logical, though, that the accused should face justice in the jurisdiction in which the alleged crime was committed.

        • Riwash and Kohn are most likely Jews. If they did commit the crimes described, they should be punished, just like Demjanjuk. And like him, they probably won’t be, given their age, lack of witnesses, and so on.

  21. Precisely, Felix. (From one sanctimonious soul to another.)

  22. Dear Kaktuss,

    I wanted to direct this comment to eugene, but…………………………………………………………………..

    Viktor Korol, a historian, reveals truths about Ukraine in WWII

    Viktor Korol, Ph.D. in history, was born in 1944. Upon graduation from Kyiv Shevchenko University in 1971, he continued his studies at post-graduate courses and earned an M.A. in 1977 and a Ph.D. in 1990. He has authored more than 500 scholarly works and four History of Ukraine manuals. One of his subjects that he has done a particularly deep research in is the history of the Second World War.

    Mr Korol was interviewed by Mariya VLAD.

    The issue of Ukrainian forces involved in fighting both against the Germans and the soviets remains a controversial one in Ukrainian society. Would you care to comment on this controversy?

    Yes, you are right; it is still a controversial issue. The Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UIA) and its role in the war are an emotive and contentious subject.

    In the soviet times, the Ukrainian Insurgent Army and its fighters were described only in a highly negative way — they were branded as “cruel murderers” and “accomplices and stooges of the Nazis.”

    After Ukraine regained her independence in 1991, the UIA veterans and nationalistically minded citizens of western Ukraine began to demand that truth about the UIA be told at last, and that the UIA veterans be recognized as legitimate WWII participants in struggle against the Nazi invaders and soviet occupiers.

    The Red Army veterans and communists were dead against the recognition of UIA’s role in the struggle against Nazi Germany, but neither the Verkhovna Rada nor the president were able to settle the conflict.

    The very fact that in contrast to practically all the other resistance movements in the countries occupied in WWII by Germany, the Ukrainian resistance movement was not getting any outside help, and the fact that it could go on fighting first against the Germans and later against the soviets showed that the UIA had a very substantial support of the local Ukrainian population.

    The Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists (OUN) and the Ukrainian Insurgent Army began their struggle against the invading Germans as early as in September, following the German refusal to allow creation of an independent Ukrainian state.

    The OUN and the UIA not only engaged in skirmishes with the Germans, they also committed acts of sabotage and of disruption of the German rear communication systems; they did what they could to prevent young Ukrainians from being sent for forced labour to Germany.

    The OUN and UIA fighting units increased in size and in 1943 they took on German military units in fierce fighting. The Germans began to lose control over large areas in the lands of Volyn, Podillya and Zhytomyrshchyna.

    In order to deal with OUN and UIA units in their rear, the German forces had to move some of their combat units from the front and send them against the Ukrainian fighters. In June 1943 alone, over a thousand troops of military police, 10 motorized battalions reinforced with artillery, 50 tanks and armoured vehicles, and 27 military planes were deployed against the OUN and UIA fighters. According to prof. V. Kosyk, in July and August, there were hundreds of attacks conducted by OUN and UIA fighters on German strongholds and industrial facilities, and hundreds of acts of sabotage on the railroads. In the land of Volyn, in July, August and September of 1943, the German forces lost over 3,000 persons killed in action, whereas the UIA’s casualties were 1,237 fighters killed and wounded.

    In October and September of the same year, the German losses were 1,500 killed in action and the UIA lost 434 of its fighters. These and many other similar facts clearly demonstrate neither the OUN nor the UIA could be classified as “accomplices and stooges of the Nazis.” The Ukrainian fighters for the independence of their native land did their best the way they could.

    In conclusion, could you say a few words about the losses Ukraine suffered in the Second World War?

    According to some historians, the Soviet Union is estimated to have lost 46 million in WWII, 22 million of whom were the military, and the rest were civilians. And it is probably a conservative estimate. Germany is estimated to have lost 6 million people, three million of whom were soldiers and officers. On the Eastern Front, the German loses are estimated to have been about 1.5 million people. Most of the Germans killed in action were buried in a proper way, whereas most of the soviets killed in action were buried in common graves or covered, at best, with some earth at the places where they fell. The ratio is one German dead in WWII against fourteen soviet deaths. Alexander Yakovlev, a knowledgeable historian, war veteran and former member of the Soviet Communist Party Politbyuro, in his interview given in 2005, put the losses of the soviet military in the Second World War at 30 million people.

    Ukraine’s military losses are estimated at over 6 million people. It was an enormously high price paid for the victory. The enemy was drowned by Stalin and his regime in the blood of millions of soldiers and civilians. And I am not sure we have revealed all the terrible truths about WWII and the Soviet Union and Ukraine in it.

    Sincerely,
    LES

    PS Please reread this before you respond. Thank you.

    PPS I will respond to the other comments that you made, also.

    PPPS There was no other nationally that suffered as much as the Ukrainian PEOPLE [human beings] during WWII.

  23. Ironically, at that time, the Office of Special Investigations (OSI) allowed Jacob Tannenbaum, a 77-year-old admitted brutal Jewish kapo, to live out his life at home in the United States due to age and health reasons.

    Despite the Israeli result, and two independent U.S. court findings of fraud, the OSI has never apologized to anyone, let alone Demjanjuk and his family, nor offered compensation. Nor were the perpetrators of the fraud punished or even reprimanded. Today, with a blind eye to the case history, Professor Reicher hails these perpetrators of fraud as heroes.

    Turning to the German prosecution, one irony is that, in the earlier prosecution, one fraudulent act of the U.S. government consisted of inducing a German citizen who had worked in the death camps to give false testimony implicating Demjanjuk. In the meantime, the allegations now being made against Demjanjuk have been reviewed in Poland, the site of the death camps, and that government has pronounced the evidence insufficient and closed the investigation. Demjanjuk, now 89 years old, has always and continues to maintain his innocence.

    Professor Reicher cites a civil judgment against Demjanjuk as somehow showing that he is guilty in Germany (he refers to Demjanjuk as “the perpetrator”). That judgment does not establish the elements of a criminal violation of German law, did not require proof beyond a reasonable doubt and did not respect the presumption of innocence. It is understandable that journalists might misunderstand basic legal principles. It is not excusable for law professors to do so.

    The German prosecution is being pressed by political and journalistic elements in Germany who want to shift the blame for the Holocaust from the Nazi government to Ukrainians, Poles and Czechs. In the case of Ukrainians, this was a people who less than a decade before had suffered Stalin’s forced famine genocide of more than 10 million innocent lives. This was Demjanjuk’s childhood trauma just eight years before he was conscripted into the Red Army and sent to battle, where he was hit by German artillery fire and nearly killed.

    So these elements have decided to claim that prisoners of war from these countries who were compelled to serve as guards on pain of death bore major, if not principal, responsibility for exterminations. These political elements have been churning out this sort of propaganda for decades, as the revelations about how Germany failed to take meaningful steps against Nazi criminals became public knowledge.

    This stateless old man, suffering from severe medical ailments that were worsened by his unjust imprisonment, is more a victim of the Nazis once again and another expedient pawn in the game.

    Michael E. Tigar
    Durham, N.C.

    John H. Broadley
    Washington

    John Demjanjuk Jr.
    Cleveland

    Michael E. Tigar, Professor of the Practice of Law at Duke Law School and professor emeritus at American University Washington College of Law, and John H. Broadley, a partner at Broadley and Associates, represented John Demjanjuk in the deportation case brought against him by the U.S. government. John Demjanjuk Jr. is his son.

    http://www.law.com/jsp/nlj/PubArticleNLJ.jsp?id=1202431769282&The_Demjanjuk_deportation&slreturn=1

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