|13 March 2004|
"Of course Ukrainian anti-Semitism is real. There are many causes that we all know, having to do with the role the Jews played there in the economic structure, with the cynical role assigned to them by Stalin in the farm collectivization — all this is clear. But whether this ... Ukrainian is Ivan the Terrible is not at all clear, it can't be clear after forty years, and so, if you have any honesty as a nation, any respect left at all for the law, you let him go. If you must have your vengeance, you send him back to Ukraine and let the Russians deal with him — that should be satisfaction enough. But to try him here in the courtroom and over the radio and on the television and in the papers, this has only one purpose — the public-relations stunt à la the Holocaust-monger Begin and the gangster Shamir; public relations to justify Jewish might, to justify Jewish rule by perpetuating into the next one hundred millennia the image of the Jewish victim. But is public relations the purpose of a system of criminal justice? The criminal-justice system has a legal purpose, not a public-relations purpose. To educate the public? No, that's the purpose of an educational system. I repeat: Demjanjuk is here to maintain the mythology that is this country's lifeblood."
Philip Roth, Operation Shylock: A Confession, Simon & Schuster, New York, 1993, p. 134.
To combat a Holocaust-denial movement, Cotler urges prosecution of former Nazis to prove its lies. "If we don't bring criminals to justice,
Zundel and others will say it's proof there were no crimes committed."
Ellie Tesher, Nazi hunters press on in race against time, Toronto Star, 11-Nov-1985.
Even at this late stage, Israel should establish a unit to investigate war crimes, similar to the Office for Special Investigations set up in the U.S. Justice Department 10 years ago, says human rights campaigner Irwin Cotler. And denial of the Holocaust should be seen as a crime and a collective libel of the Jewish people. [...]|
The last myth, No. 6, concerns the argument that the Holocaust is a hoax.
Cotler said that the hoax issue links up with that of individual prosecution. The reasoning goes like this: If there was no Holocaust — there were no crimes. If there were no crimes — there are no criminals and no one can be prosecuted.
"My reply to that one," Cotler said, "is that unless we prosecute individuals, some people will say that since there are no criminals, there were no crimes, and therefore no Holocaust. Every time we bring a Nazi war criminal to justice we strike a blow against the Holocaust-deniers."
Ernie Meyer, Human Rights Activist: 'Set Up A Nazi War Crimes Unit', Jerusalem Post, 02-Jan-1989.
Holocaust denial is both an assault on Jewish memory and an "international criminal conspiracy" to cover up the most monstrous crime in
history, a leading Canadian human rights activist says. [...] "Those who are prepared to deny the Jewish people their past are the same people who would deny the Jewish people their future," Cotler said. That is why bringing war criminals to justice is a "moral imperative," because if there were no criminals, there were no crimes, he said. "Each time we bring a war criminal to justice we strike a blow against the Holocaust denial movement," Cotler said in a passionate speech.
Peter Small, Holocaust denial labelled 'criminal', Toronto Star, 21-Jan-1992.
Yes, I said — and this is the full statement — that "it is an example of the Orwellian character of our times that a country like Canada — a medina yafat nefesh — an innocent, well-meaning country — should emerge as one of the centers for Holocaust denial litigation." But as I added, and as my paper bears out, this is due to the fact that Canada has one of the most comprehensive sets of legal remedies to combat Holocaust denial; and that the Canadian case-law in the matter of freedom of expression and hate speech is the most comprehensive and authoritative there is — an exemplary model of judicial review for all democracies confronting the growing phenomenon of hate speech.
Irwin Cotler, Holocaust Denial in Canada, Jerusalem Post, 29-Dec-1992.
Two terrible things happened to the Jewish people during this century: [First, t]he Holocaust and the lessons drawn from it. [Second, t]he non-historical and easily refutable commentaries on the Holocaust made either deliberately or through simple ignorance and their use for propaganda purposes among non-Jews or Jews both in Israel and the diaspora constitute a cancer for Jews and for the State of Israel.
Boaz Evron, Holocaust, a Danger for the Jewish People, published in the Hebrew journal Yiton 77, May-June 1980
The Famine That Never Was
Manitoba Regional Committee Communist Party of Canada (Marxist-Leninist)
Vol. 4 No. 38 08-Dec-2003 Editor: Ken Kalturnyk
A lot of noise has been made in the past few weeks about the 70th anniversary of the so-called "Ukrainian famine" of 1933-34. The media has been full of stories about the millions of Ukrainians who supposedly died in this famine and the Asper family has agreed to include a section on the "Ukrainian famine" in the planned Museum of Human Rights to be built in Winnipeg.
What was going on in Ukraine and other parts of the Soviet Union in 1933 and 1934 was a virtual civil war between the rich peasants — the Kulaks — and the Soviet system over the issue of the collectivization of agriculture. The kulaks, armed and financed by Nazi Germany and various Nazi sympathizers in the West, including William Randolph Hearst and Henry Ford, had organized a systematic campaign of assassination of local Soviet government officials. The kulaks also gave a call for an agricultural strike in the spring of 1933, urging supporters not to plant crops and to destroy existing stocks of food. Their hope was to create food shortages in the cities and undermine support for the Soviet government. In areas where large numbers of peasants took up this call, localized food shortages did result. However, the vast majority of the Soviet peasantry, including the Ukrainian peasants, supported collectivization and produced bumper crops in those years, so widespread hunger was avoided. The kulak revolt never did enjoy much support from the peasantry and ended in 1934.
On the basis of massive amounts of evidence that no famine existed, during the 1930s claims of famine in Ukraine were dismissed as right-wing propaganda by all but the most rabid anti-communists and fascists. However, with the unleashing of the Cold War in the late 1940s, all of the Nazi propaganda of the 1930s was dredged up once again with the objective of discrediting communism. In North America, fertile ground for this propaganda was found among the million or so Ukrainian refugees and war criminals who had collaborated with the Nazis during the Second World War and who were given safe haven in the United States and Canada. The thousands of Nazi war criminals who were recruited by the American and British intelligence services following the war also played a key role in the Cold War propaganda machine.
During the early 1950s, several books were churned out in Britain and the United States claiming to "prove" the existence of a Ukrainian famine in 1933-34. All of them shared a number of characteristics. First, they all claimed that more Ukrainians died in Joseph Stalin's "engineered famine" than the number of Jews who were murdered by the Nazis, with the numbers ranging from seven million to over 20 million. This was done in order to claim that communism was even worse than Nazism, as well as to attempt to minimize the Holocaust. The fact is that the entire Ukrainian population within the Soviet Union at the time amounted to some 25 million people. If these claims about the number of deaths were accurate, it would mean that from 25 to 80 percent of all Soviet Ukrainians died in a matter of less than two years. However, the first post-war census in the Soviet Union, taken during the late 1940s, shows the population of Ukrainians at about 40 million. In the interim, Ukraine suffered extremely high casualties during the Nazi occupation and also lost at least another million people to post-war emigration. So, these figures of Ukrainian deaths are clearly fictitious, as no population could recover so rapidly from such a major loss.
Another characteristic of all of these books is that they openly admit that there is a total absence of credible eye-witness testimony about the Ukrainian famine. This would be inconceivable if the number of victims were even a fraction of the alleged seven to 20 million. Given the fact that approximately one million anti-communist Ukrainian refugees poured into North America in the late 1940s, the inability of numerous famine researchers to find a single credible eye-witness is simply too much to believe if the famine had actually occurred.
More recently and closer to home, in 1983 on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of this so-called famine, the Ukrainian National Foundation, an organization founded by right-wing Ukrainian nationalists and Nazi collaborators, funded a thesis project by a University of Manitoba graduate student to document the "Ukrainian famine". The project received a tremendous amount of publicity when it was launched. This graduate student spent several years interviewing Ukrainians in both Canada and Ukraine about their experiences in 1933-34 in Ukraine. However, despite the enormous resources placed at his disposal and the co-operation of the Soviet government, he was forced to abandon his thesis because, by his own admission, he had failed to find a single credible eye-witness to what was supposedly the greatest genocide of the 20th century. Needless to say, the news of the abandonment of the thesis received little fanfare.
Following the collapse of the Soviet Union, the Russian government fully opened its archives to access by Western scholars. During the mid-1990s an American research team spent almost two years combing through those archives, searching for evidence of various alleged "crimes of Stalin". These researchers admitted that they had found no evidence to support the claims that Stalin had committed crimes against the Soviet people. Despite this total absence of evidence, the news media and various anti-communist scribblers not only continue to repeat these lies as fact, but even claim that the "Ukrainian famine" and other "crimes of Stalin" have been confirmed by documents found in the Soviet archives.
The myth of the Ukrainian famine was created by the most reactionary sections of American society, beginning with open supporters of Nazism, such as William Randolph Hearst and Henry Ford. The myth was resurrected by the anti-communist Cold Warriors of the 1950s in conjunction with a cabal of former Nazis, Nazi collaborators and Holocaust deniers. It was also subscribed to by some sections of the "Left" to justify their own anti-communism. To this mix has now been added the main apologists for the Israeli genocide against the Palestinian people. It is interesting that an individual who has been dead for 50 years can strike such fear in the hearts of all of these reactionaries that they find it necessary to continuously dredge up 70 year old lies to discredit his memory.
Ken Kalturnyk, Communist Party of Canada (Manitoba Regional Committee), at www.modern-communism.ca/mc43803.htm