Saturday, March 20, 2021

Buffalo, Where the Banderites Roam


Buffalo New York Ukraine Germany OUN-B Nazi fascism collaborators Bandera

Buffalo is the second largest city in New York State and sits on the Canadian border, roughly a two hours drive from Toronto, which years ago eclipsed the much more distant New York City as an international coordinating center for the OUN-B. Buffalo’s first Ukrainian community center, the Narodnij Dim (People’s House), was built in the early 20th century, well before the founding of the fascistic Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists in 1929. Today it’s called the Ukrainian American Civic Center (UACC).

The UACC was eventually eclipsed by Ukrainian Home Dnipro, established in 1955 following the arrival of nationalist emigres to Buffalo from western Ukraine, many of whom undoubtedly supported or sympathized with the Nazis, if only until it became impossible to entertain fantasies about Hitler liberating Ukraine. Dmytro Bandriwsky (1912-1998) was a founding member of the Dnipro Ukrainian Center and possibly the OUN. In any case, he swore allegiance to the OUN-B and was just two years older than the building itself.

The “Orioles Hall,” built in 1914, reportedly on the behest of “prominent German business leaders” in Buffalo, originally served as the national headquarters of the Fraternal Order of Orioles, which was apparently a German American organization. The building functioned as a German social hall until, according to Dmytro Bandriwsky’s son Emil, “It was seized by the U.S. government during WWII, changed hands and we bought it from the City of Buffalo foreclosure auction in 1955.” He didn’t offer an explanation why the building was seized.

The German American Bund, like its predecessor the Friends of New Germany, is most well known for the Nazi rally it held in New York City’s Madison Square Garden in the 1930s. The Bund was founded in March 1936 at a secretive two-day conclave held somewhere in Buffalo. It’s evidently an open secret that “Orioles Hall,” located at 526 Genesee Street, was the site of pro-Nazi rallies in the lead-up to World War II. In 1977, a newsletter by the Buffalo Workers’ Movement referenced the “mass rallies in support of Hitler and Fascism” staged by the “German American Bund on Genesee Street.” In 2011, when a Buffalo-based company held at least its third ghost-hunting event in the Dnipro Ukrainian Center, it advertised the building’s history of “Nazi Germany rallies” on the flyer.  (more...)

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