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Falsifying World War II history in Ukraine

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May 8, 2011, 4:26 p.m. | Op-ed — by John-Paul Himka
In his defence of the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists (OUN) and the Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UPA), Marco Levytsky relied primarily on two documentary deceptions (Kyiv Post, “Open letter villifies freedom fighters, minimizes Holdomor, May 6). To deny OUN’s active participation in the Lviv pogrom of July 1, 1941, Levytsky refers to a document originally found by the NKVD and released by the Security Services of Ukraine (SBU) on Feb. 6, 2008. This is the so-called “For the Beginning of ‘The Book of Facts.’”

One page of it, the page Levytsky cites, is available on the SBU website, but more pages are available on the website of the Embassy of Ukraine. The SBU announced that the document was “essentially a chronicle of the activities of OUN during March-September 1941.”

But even the one page that the SBU placed on its site raises doubts. It says that representatives of the Gestapo came to Lviv 4-7 July 1941 and offered Ukrainian circles the opportunity to stage a three-day pogrom against the Jews. According to the document, OUN rejected this as a provocation. What’s odd is that the pogrom occurred days earlier, on 1 July. So is this indeed a chronicle?

If one checks the next page of the document, which is accessible off the SBU website, one finds the following passage: “The German Gestapo arrested in the first half of July the head of the Ukrainian State Administration, Yaroslav Stetsko, and some of his closest co-workers. They were later held, along with many thousands of other outstanding activists of the Ukrainian independence movement throughout the entire war in prisons and concentration camps.” I call attention to the phrase “throughout the entire war.”

This demonstrates unequivocally that the document is no chronicle from 1941 but rather a postwar product. All it can prove is that after the war, OUN did not want to be associated with the pogroms.

In fact, it makes the most sense to link the production of this document with a special directive issued by the OUN Leadership of the Western Ukrainian Lands in October 1943. It ordered the preparation of “a special collection of documents, which would maintain that the anti-Jewish pogroms and liquidations were conducted by the Germans themselves, without the help of the Ukrainian police.”

The second deception on which Levytsky relies is the autobiography of Stella Krenzbach, who supposedly fought in the ranks of UPA and then became prominent in Israel. This text was first published in the Ukrainian diaspora in 1954 and in Ukraine in 1993. It has been circulated on the Internet in recent years by Moisei Fishbein.

Very soon after the original publication, Bohdan Kordiuk, who was one of those Bandera nationalists incarcerated in a concentration camp (Auschwitz), repudiated the memoirs as fake in the newspaper Suchasna Ukraina (no. 15/194, 20 July 1958). He wrote: “...None of the UPA men known to the author of these lines knows the legendary Stella Krenzbach or have heard of her. The Jews do not know her either. It is unlikely that anyone of the tens of thousands of Ukrainian refugees after the war met Stella Krenzbach.” He concluded: “It seems to us that until there are proper proofs, the story of Dr. Stella Krenzbach has to be regarded as a mystification.”

Philip Friedman, who had been a specialist in Galician Jewish history before the war and one of the fathers of Holocaust studies after the war, also rejected the authenticity of the Krenzbach text. According to the promoters of the text in the 1950s, its alleged author went to Palestine after the war, where she was later employed as a secretary in the foreign ministry. Supposedly, she had first published her memoirs in the Washington Post, and then a few weeks later she was shot and killed under unknown circumstances.

Friedman checked the biography. He searched the Washington Post from that period and could not find the memoirs. He had inquiries made about Stella Krenzbach in the Israeli foreign ministry. They had never had an employee by that name, and they knew nothing about the supposed homicide. “Moreover,” wrote Friedman, “a careful analysis of the text of the ‘memoirs’ has led me to the conclusion that the entire story is a hoax.” (Roads to Extinction: Essays on the Holocaust, 203-04.)

Neither Kordiuk’s nor Friedman’s critique has ever been answered by those who uncritically rely on or disseminate the Krenzbach text.

That OUN and promoters of OUN and UPA like Marco Levytsky have to resort to falsifications to defend their innocence vis-à-vis the Holocaust indicates that they lack real evidence for their possession. No one grabs for fig leaves when they are wearing clothes.

John-Paul Himka is a professor of history at the University of Alberta specializing in the history of Ukraine.
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Anonymous May 8, 2011, 4:53 p.m.    

WW2 history cannot become more falsified than it already is.

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Anonymous May 8, 2011, 5:01 p.m.    

The title should be “challenging the WW2 doctrine in Ukraine”.

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Anonymous May 9, 2011, 7:37 a.m.    

Don't you dare link or confuse THE HOLOCAUST with your so called holodomor in ANY way!

see his WARNING to Ukrainian President Yuschenko's delegation visiting Israel.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RYZfACBUiaw&amp;NR=1

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Anonymous May 9, 2011, 2:36 p.m.    

It is really sad and criminal that Jewish organizations continue to blame the OUN/UPA, as Moscow always did and does, for atrocities against Jews during WWII. This is done to cover their (Jews) complicity in the participation to exterminate Ukrainian Nationalism (Patriotism) from Ukraine during 1932-33 with the murder of millions of Ukrainian farmers and civic leaders. Shame on Jewish organizations that continue to cover up for the atrocities their people caused from the beginning of the Bolshevik movement to the fall of the Soviet Empire, and specifically for the millions they killed during the 1930's. Your day will come and it will come in your own backyard. I want to live long enough to see it.

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Anonymous May 9, 2011, 2:46 p.m.    

There is no confusing here at all! The HOLODOMOR was the work of Kaganovich (a JEW) and his henchmen (all Jews) who were committing crimes/atrocities all over Ukraine on behalf of Stalin as members of the NKVD. The holocaust was their creation to achieve statehood and legitimization for their zionist movement. It is all known and it is a matter of time before pay day comes around. It will be the Americans who will pay you back once they realize how they are being manipulated by jews and their organizations. Oh yes! that day will come. It will be nice to watch you then.

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Anonymous May 8, 2011, 5:35 p.m.    

john paul himka 's research is suspect at best -

based on handful of one sided witnesses while rejecting any witness opinions contrary to his own ....

himka cannot reconcile the fact that bandera and his followers as well as millions of ukrainians were systematically jailed or exterminated by the soviets and nazis

the ukrainian and jewish people were victims of these oppressive regimes

this myth that anyone who somehow values and fights for ukrainian independence is somehow antisemitic is smear campaign on john paul himka's part and the other dubious characters who signed the open racist letter against UCC, UCCLA, etc.

the authors of the hateful open letter against UCC have discredited themselves completely in the eyes of the academic world for pretending any objectivity and should be viewed as neo- Soviet propaganda

their research is suspect as they tow the same party line as stalin's communist party, putin's russian empire and yanukovych' little russian governement.

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Anonymous May 8, 2011, 6:37 p.m.    

Once again John-Paul Himka makes various comments antagonistic to OUN-UPA without citing his disclosures - a required policy at the University of Alberta where he is on Faculty. He has received funding from the American Holocaust Memorial Museum which therefore represents a serious conflict of interest and failure to disclose this constitutes professional misconduct.

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Anonymous May 9, 2011, 6:13 p.m.    

There should only be dubious pro-OUN/UPA views?

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Anonymous May 8, 2011, 7:20 p.m.    

World War II Fact - Soviet Russia and Nazi Germany collaborate to carve up Europe by signing Molotov-Ribbentrop agreement in 1938.

World war II Falsified History - Victory Day Celebrations

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Anonymous May 10, 2011, 6:34 a.m.    

WW II facts:

- the selling out of Czechoslovakia by the West (not the Soviet Union) happened before Molotov-Ribbentrop

- the OUN/UPA did had a fling with the Nazis

- the USSR played the lead role in defeating Nazism.

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Anonymous May 8, 2011, 8:30 p.m.    

DO NOT BELIEVE ONE WORD OF ANYTHING PAUL HIMKA SAYS. THE MAN IS FUNDED BY THE JEWISH CONGRESS IN CANADA AND THE U.S. TO BLACKEN UKRAINE. HE IS ALSO THE MAN WHO SAYS ONLY 3.5 MILLION UKRAINIANS DIED IN THE HOLODOMOR AND WHO KNOWS HE WILL PROBABLY DROP LOWER NEXT ARTICLE. THE MAN IS NOT AN ACADEMIC AND ANYONE PUTTING MONEY INTO THE UNIVERSITY OF EDMONTON SHOULD MAKE IT A POINT TO REFUSE THIS MAN ANY FUNDING FOR HIMDSLEF OR HIS STUDENTS. HE IS A TRAITOR TO UKRAINE AND A JEWISH - FUNDED SO -CALLED ACADEMIC EXCEPT THAT HE IS A DISGRACE TO ACADEMIA.

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Anonymous May 8, 2011, 9:14 p.m.    

Himka doesn't provide definitive or persuasive evidence...so in the end its just one opinion vs. another. Academic posturing and games and its apparent that he is on one side of the spectrum.

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Anonymous May 9, 2011, 1:01 a.m.    

Subject: German entry to Lviv 1941 with massacre footage

1941 L'vov and the GPU 3:54 minutes

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U1euswMI3SM&amp;feature=related

Subject: German entry to Lviv 1941 with massacre footage

SKOBLIN 3:34 minutes

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U1euswMI3SM&amp;NR=1

.................................................................................................................

&quot;Deutsche Wochenschau No.566&quot; for 19...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5np0nncFUWQ&amp;feature=related

........................................................................................................

Jews forced by Germans to clean bodies of dead Ukrainians:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9dDONW2EU3Y&amp;feature=related

......................................................................................................

Strubcina 3:05 minutes

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U1euswMI3SM&amp;feature=related

uncaptioned mixed bag misleading photos :Ukrainian dead bodies shown in

confusing way to mislead the viewer that these are dead Jews; live Jews are

shown being abused; and there are some lynched bodies (probably of Jews)

revenged?

:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f1Bf5moE5pI&amp;feature=related

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Anonymous May 9, 2011, 2:51 a.m.    

I see the Halychyna children of the SS Nazi Murderers and Apologists are already at work constantly trying to change or deny the facts about their parents and grandparents.

Get real folks, your parents and grandparents were willing and happy members of Nazi death squads and nothing but cold blooded murderers. There is nothing you can do to change that. Worse yet, your parents and grandparents lost the war and lost what they thought was their country.

Get a life.

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Anonymous May 9, 2011, 6:12 p.m.    

Hence the saying of drowning the Muscovites in the blood of the Jews.

Crackpots like yourself have brought reasoned Jews, Russians, Poles, Ukrainians and others together in opposing such bigoted babble.

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Anonymous May 9, 2011, 7:14 a.m.    

Nationalists have NOTHING to apologize for.........what did YOUR parents do during the Holodomor, the Great Terror, Polish Pacification,GULAG, great &quot;patriotic Stalin's &quot;war, Famine of 1947,Repressions of the 50's, 60's,70's,80's...earn cheap metals from Stalin for turning in their neighbors???

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Anonymous May 10, 2011, 6:31 a.m.    

&quot;How dare you&quot; belittle Russian suffering with your snide &quot;Moscow version&quot; reference.

FYI, many Ukrainians don't accept your dubious views.

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Anonymous May 10, 2011, 9:51 p.m.    

Where else is your version of history coming from? Russian history has always been nothing but a big propaganda campaign---complete disinformation at its best! I personally belittle no one; but let's face it, there is no room for Ukraine (or any other nation) in Russia's mind or its' history or its' future. The empire, the chauvinism, the lack of respect for others exists and continues...

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Anonymous May 9, 2011, 7:09 a.m.    

Himka's relatives were likely Russian Jews from Ukraine who called themselves Russian, referred to Ukraine as Russia and participated in murdering up to 15 million Ukrainians during the Holodomor. They need fake UPA/OUN scandals to take the emphasis off of themselves. Mr. Himka is despicable.

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Anonymous May 9, 2011, 7:47 a.m.    

Himka's ethnicity is irrelevant...what matters here is the question of biased scholarship or propaganda...it seems his selection and rejection of certain documentation and evidence expose a bias tendency as opposed to a propagandist bent...its better &quot;to light a candle than to curse the darkness&quot;...and so it is better to press him to reveal his &quot;evidence&quot; regarding Galicia Division &quot;massacres&quot; or UPA/OUN pogroms or participation in Babi Yar,Warsaw Uprising,etc rather than just react by calling him names or throwing curses at him.

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Anonymous May 9, 2011, 7:29 a.m.    

Aren't you one of those who signed an Open Letter ordering the UCC to CENSOR itself from the CMHR debate so that the Holocaust lobby can have a free hand in how to use taxpayer money to give its prominent and permanent exclusive display? How can one seriously understand the Holocaust without understanding or recognizing the Holodomor? Especially now that the Holocaust story is shifting gears away from harder and harder to prove GAS CHAMBERS to BULLETS! Farther away from Germany and into the heart of Ukraine the search for 6 million bodies by Bullet Holocaust. Well if now the Holocaust is to be centered in Ukraine then it would make sense to study Holodomor and Gulag and inter ethnic relations and dynamics of THAT period so motivations and reactions can be predicted 10 years later! Instead we have Jewish power brokers like Abe Foxman telling the Ukrainian government NOT to LINK the Holodomor with the Holocaust in ANY way! You have the President of Israel telling Ukrainians to forget about their history. You have Israeli groups having conferences on how to prevent &quot;dilution&quot; of the Holocaust. And finally you have Jewish scholars &amp; some of their Ukrainian &quot;scholars&quot; warning Ukrainian groups NOT to upset financial and political apple carts. You're a real winner and courageous scholar aren't you?

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Anonymous May 9, 2011, 7:47 a.m.    

Wow this Himka is a pile of &quot;hymno&quot;. He is blatently falseifying history. Is he one of those Russian mole spys? To Himka's dislike Ukraine will someday be the master of her own destiny and history dispite efforts to divide and conquer by repulsive individuals such as Himka.

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Anonymous May 9, 2011, 7:53 a.m.    

Himka's appearance and physical shortcomings and his ethnicity is irrelevant...what matters here is the question of biased scholarship or propaganda...it seems his selection and rejection of certain documentation and evidence expose a bias tendency as opposed to a propagandist bent...its better &quot;to light a candle than to curse the darkness&quot;...and so it is better to press him to reveal his &quot;evidence&quot; regarding Galicia Division &quot;massacres&quot; or UPA/OUN pogroms or participation in Babi Yar,Warsaw Uprising,etc rather than just react by calling him names or throwing curses at him or abusing his name

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Anonymous May 9, 2011, 10:55 p.m.    

&quot;it seems his selection and rejection of certain documentation and evidence...&quot;

That's what scholars are supposed to do! In social science, you're trained for years and years on how judge evidence - that's actually your job. If he was &quot;biased&quot; he wouldn't get published in peer-reviewed venues and/or other scholars have the opportunity to prove your research incorrect. The difference between Prof. Himka and everyone else on this message board is he's spent 30 years and thousands of hours in archives all over the world reading this material; he knows the histriography of the field inside and out; and lastly, he's trained interprete the data. Probably a good reason the responses here are basically racist and ad hominem attacks. If you want to play historian on your little message boards, at least figure out how to criticize any argument - not cry about how the Jews ruined your poor country.

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Anonymous May 10, 2011, 4:24 a.m.    

Thankyou Mrs. Himka. But your little boy is a paid propagandist none the less.

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Anonymous May 10, 2011, 6:29 a.m.    

Without meaning to do so, you further validated the point &quot;Mrs. Himka&quot; made.

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Anonymous May 10, 2011, 7 a.m.    

Thank you, Mr. Himka.

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Anonymous May 10, 2011, 10:46 a.m.    

No problem, Bandera's illegitimate relation.

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Anonymous May 10, 2011, 1:51 a.m.    

Some of these comments are so ignorant and blatantly bigoted that they probably were posted by Russians trying to make the Ukrainians look like scum.

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Anonymous May 10, 2011, 6:26 a.m.    

Your comment suggests bigotry.

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Anonymous May 10, 2011, 5:25 a.m.    

himka 's research has been shown by objective scholars who have spent thousands of hours to be academic propaganda crap as proven at any conference himka has been at -

regrettably these other scholars opinions are not as often pushed into the mass media as himka's, given his anti-ukrainian agenda and media connections which are often more than happy to promote anything inflammatory himka regurgitates...

himka's research training specialties are actually ukrainian church art, and not WW2 history where he promotes himself as some kind of fake &quot;expert&quot;

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Anonymous May 10, 2011, 10:42 a.m.    

That's it?

We should take you at your word?

What info, have you substantively given?

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Anonymous May 10, 2011, 2:58 p.m.    

Himka is oblidated to disclose if he is paid consultant for any and all lobby groups.

His academic training should be on record.

If as you claim to be unaware and he omitted to disclose to everyone any funding sources that may be perceived as possibly anti-ukrainian that constitutes academic professional misconduct on Himka's part.

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Anonymous May 10, 2011, 4 p.m.    

I heard that he is funded by Jews.

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Anonymous May 11, 2011, 3:11 p.m.    

So is Mount Sinai.

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Anonymous May 10, 2011, 6:27 a.m.    

Polish, Jewish and Soviet sources are all wrong on the OUN/UPA?

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Anonymous May 10, 2011, 7:50 a.m.    

Polish, Jewish and Soviet sources claim that Poles, Jews and Soviets were ALL innocent angels before , during and after the War that they won by being &quot;good and saintly&quot; and only Ukrainians and Germans were the BAD guys who did ALL the killing and yet managed to loose the war! Imagine that and those sources! LOL

Is THAT what YOU are trying to sell us?

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Anonymous May 10, 2011, 10:45 a.m.    

Nice try on your part at simplicity.

In wars of that type, wrong can be found on all sides. The differences are in degrees.

The OUN/UPA are/were ultra-nationalist thugs, whose most ardent supporters at this thread befit that image.

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Anonymous May 10, 2011, 9:09 a.m.    

To all those who claim prof Himka is part of a large conspiracy: Comments and allegations of conspiracies and anti-Ukrainian campaigns simply reflect the basic stance and world view of those that write them here. The entourage around UCC usually excel in such conspiratorial thinking, which only proves their collective paranoid delusions. Whenever you hear someone tirelessly advocating conspiracy theories, ponder the vested interest they have. Are their interests best served by doing real research and reporting truth, or by pandering to mythmongers?

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Anonymous May 10, 2011, 9:12 p.m.    

To say Himka does unbiased research is like saying Yanukovych does democracy well.

DA, good, real good... we will get all the nazi xoxol diaspora one way or another , won't we John Paul ?

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Anonymous May 10, 2011, 11:19 a.m.    

A Ukrainian postage stamp (2007) honouring the Ukrainian Commander of the Nachtigall Battalion - Roman Shukhevych on the 100th anniversary of his birth.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Shukhevych_stamp_2007.jpg

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Anonymous May 11, 2011, 4:57 p.m.    

Isn't this the same West German system of justice that found it couldn't find sufficient evidence to prosecute German officers and concentration camp personnel; and which you routinely pillory in articles concerning John Demjanjuk?

Here, evidently, (where it serves your narrative), it is apolitical, level-headed, and even-handed.

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Anonymous May 11, 2011, 7:24 p.m.    

JP should know very well that the innocent wear neither clothing nor fig leaves. They are naked.

Anyone else who covers himself with anything (literally or figuratively) feels his shame keenly.

The complete and often sordid history of Ukraine and the many peoples who have called it home at one time or another has yet to be written. When it is, I rather doubt that any community will be left smelling like a rose or basking in the self-righteous sun.

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Anonymous May 16, 2011, 5:16 a.m.    

Who cares now? Victims are dead, murderers are dead. It's all dirty political games.

People need jobs, food, education, health care, etc. Who cares about all those events which took place even before my parents were born? I am 40+ y.o., by the way. Who cares?

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Anonymous July 11, 2011, 6:49 p.m.    

John-Paul Himka is well-known falsifier of history, and major points of his &quot;historical&quot; writings are based rather on rumors than on documentary evidences:

http://www.scribd.com/doc/59152604/John-Paul-Himka

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