Thursday, July 23, 2020

Ukraine's "Bandera Youth"

Ukraine Nazi youth Bandera anti-semitism

In late December 2018, in anticipation of the 110th birthday of the Ukrainian fascist Stepan Bandera (1909-1959), the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists-Bandera (OUN-B), which collaborated with Nazi Germany, published a propaganda video that stated, “there is no reason to identify [Bandera’s] name with various forms of hatred.” Sometimes it seems as if “respectable” contemporary Banderites really believe their brazen lies, that not only did their hero oppose the Nazis, but “Bandera’s revolutionary struggle was aimed at creating a democratic Ukraine.” They likewise often insist that the OUN-B’s Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UPA) didn’t massacre Jews, but saved them.

So how does one reconcile such a deliberately whitewashed version of history with the anti-Semitic “Rebel Vertep,” or UPA-themed Christmas play, annually performed by the Youth Nationalist Congress (MNK)—the OUN-B’s militant youth group in Ukraine—in which Jews are referred to as “kikes” and implicitly identified as enemies of the nation who got what they had coming to them in World War 2?

To be sure, the play is not entirely original; it is a Banderite appropriation of an anti-Semitic Ukrainian tradition re-enacting the birth of Jesus that is hundreds of years old. Thus, King Herod becomes Stalin, the devil represents the NKVD, the shepherds are replaced by armed Ukrainian Nationalists, and the “cunning Jew” is a Jewish-Bolshevik agent donning fake payot.  (more...)


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