Ukrainian ambassador to Israel blasted the Israeli Interior Ministry last week, condemning its decision to deny Ukrainian refugees from Poland and Hungary.
Ambassador Yevhen Korniichuk said at a press conference on Tuesday that he was disappointed by Israel’s policy decision. He then compared Ukrainian refugees from the current conflict to Jews who sought shelter from the Holocaust.
“Dozens of Ukrainian citizens were returned from Ben Gurion Airport to the countries they came from over the past few days,” said Korniichuk. “Thousands of Righteous Gentiles in Ukraine saved Jews during the Holocaust.”
Portraying Ukraine as some haven for Jews during the war seemed somewhat confusing to those familiar with Ukraine’s role in the Holocaust.
Ukrainian-Israeli activist Zvi Livshits told Israel365 News in an exclusive interview that although there were “a few people in Ukraine that did save people but I wouldn’t go so far to say that it was this wonderful thing.” Livshits added that the “Ukrainian Poleitzei were running ahead of the Nazis to obliterate us” saying that it was the Nazis who had to halt their actions.
It is well documented that during World War 2, the Ukrainian people were more than happy to “assist” the Germans murder Jews.
In 1941, Operation Barbarossa decimated the Jewish population of Ukraine, reducing it from 870,000 to 17,000.
The German massacres couldn’t have been carried out without the help of local Ukrainians, as the Germans lacked the workforce to reach all of the destroyed communities, especially in the rural villages.
The nationalist OUN-Bandera faction of the Ukrainian Insurgent Army “openly advocated violence against Jews.” In August 1941, at its Second Congress in Kraków, OUN-B embraced anti-Semitism. “Twenty so-called ‘foreign’ nationalities were listed as enemies of Ukraine: Jews were first.” The resolution stated: “OUN combats the Jews as the prop of the Muscovite-Bolshevik regime.” On September 1, 1941, Ukrainian language newspaper Volhyn wrote: “The element that settled our cities (Jews)… must disappear completely from our cities. The Jewish problem is already in the process of being solved.”
The Lviv pogroms were two massacres of Jews from June 30 to July 2 and from July 25-29, 1941. The word “pogrom” is a Ukrainian word.
According to Israel’s Yad Vashem Holocaust Museum, six thousand Jews were killed mainly from rioting Ukrainian nationalists and a newly formed Ukrainian militia.
Ukrainian nationalists helped German Security Police and the Einsatzgruppen. They compiled lists of targets for the branch offices of the KdS. They assisted with the roundups (as in Stanisławów, Włodzimierz Wołyński, Łuck), as well as in Zhytomyr, Rivne, and Kyiv among other locations.
In Korosten, the Ukrainian people executed the killings themselves, even without the Germans present.
So although there may have been some righteous gentiles in the mix, to use them as some justification for Israel “owing” Ukraine is insulting.
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