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globalpost.com | 02Apr2012 | Michael Goldfarb
party embraces Nazi ideology
Meet Svoboda, an up-and-coming
party in Ukraine. It's nationalist,
pro-Nazi, and poised for the parliament.
L'VIV, Ukraine -- In this great city of western Ukraine, the worst of
the European experience is creeping back into democratic politics.
[W.Z. As the
comments to the Kyiv Post posting of this article (appended below)
indicate, the mindset of Michael Goldfarb can be ascertained at:
if he is related to the Nazi collaborator Avraham Goldfarb, who
identified a 1951 picture of John Demjanjuk as being "Ivan the Terrible
of Treblinka" to Israeli investigator Miriam Radiwker on 09May1976,
when she presented him a suggestive series of photographs of
Ukrainians. The surname Goldfarb appears to be synonymous with
In L’viv, it comes under the guise of Svoboda, a party calling for a
Ukraine that is “one race, one nation, one Fatherland.” Originally
known as the Social-National Party, it is rooted in Nazi collaboration. [Note
the immediate demonization of a political party dedicated to the
independence of Ukraine and the wellbeing of Ukrainian citizens.]
This wasn't supposed to happen. In 2004, following a disputed national
election, the Orange Revolution, a peaceful campaign of protest, swept
a coalition of moderate nationalist politicians into power. They
quickly fell out among themselves. A blizzard of allegations of
corruption swirled around them. One of the original leaders of the
Orange Revolution, Yulia Tymoshenko, is in prison, convicted of "abuse
of office,” although rights groups say her incarceration is politically
From journalists, cab drivers and young entrepreneurs, to peasant women
who run market stalls to supplement their state pension by selling
homemade cheese and pickles, everyone says the same thing: the
politicians of all parties are only in it for themselves, grabbing
every penny they can. Meanwhile, Svoboda has grown in popularity. Young
people are drawn to the nationalist rhetoric, and older supporters are
more used to life under the kind of authoritarian views it holds. [People
are drawn to it, because they promote Ukraine's independence, decry
Russification and its policies promote the wellbeing of Ukrainian
Svoboda is now the largest party on L'viv city council and in the
regional council. It has taken power in other major urban centers of
western Ukraine, like Ternopil and Ivano-Frankivsk. Come this October,
when the country holds elections, Svoboda is expected to make the jump
to the next level and win seats in the Verkhovna Rada, the national
parliament, for the first time.
Besides disappointment with the main democratic parties and endemic
corruption around the country, Svoboda's rise underscores a swell of
anti-Semitism in a part of the world where the Holocaust was at its
fiercest and there are virtually no Jews left. [Except for Pinchuk, Poroshenko, Medvedchuk, Zviahilsky, Turchynov, etc., etc.] It is a symptom of an
ultra-nationalism all along the eastern borders of Europe. This extreme
form of racially based nationalism links Soviet Communism and
Jewishness together. [The majority of Jews in Ukraine supported the Bolsheviks following the 1917 Russian Revolution.] The patriotic fight against the former leads to
Nazi-glorification and an excusing of local fighters roles in helping
to murder Jews during the Holocaust. [Pure demagoguery!]
Svoboda’s success so far has been built on a skilled public-relations
campaign, complete with videos re-enacting Nazi propaganda tropes like
torchlight parades and speeches that echo Hitler. Svoboda also honors
Ukraine veterans who fought with the Nazis in a unit known as the
Waffen SS-Galicia against the Soviet Army and the threat of what they
refer to as “Jew Communism.” [Demonization of the Halychyna (Galicia) Division.]
They deal in gesture politics, changing the name of Peace Street, in an
outlying district of L'viv to Nachtigall Street, in honor of a
Ukrainian group that was implicated in a massacre of the city's Jews
after the Nazis arrived in June and July 1941. [Disinformation.] Svoboda's reason: "Peace
Street is a holdover from Soviet stereotypes." Their political
demonstrations frequently turn violent. Last September in Uman, Hasidic
Jews on annual pilgrimage were confronted by Svoboda activists. The two
groups were separated by police. The Svoboda contingent then attacked
the cops. Dozens were arrested.
Last month, German historian Grzegorz Rossolinski-Liebe [a protoge of John-Paul Himka and the nest of Ukrainophobic vipers at the Univeresity of Alberta], was forced to
cancel lectures around Ukraine after receiving calls from people
threatening to harm him, as well as being followed by hundreds of
Svoboda supporters wherever he went. His crime: lecturing on Stepan
Bandera, leader of an ultra-nationalist group during World War II, a
fascist responsible for many atrocities against non-ethnic Ukrainians.
For Svoboda, Bandera is a hero.
disinformation. Stepan Bandera was elected leader of the OUN(b) faction
of the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists in late April 1941. Much
to the displeasure of Adolf Hitler, he announced Ukraine's independence
on 30Jun1941, shortly after which he was arrested and incarcerated in
German concentration camps for the duration of the war. Two of his
brothers died in Auschwitz. Some Nazi collaborator!]
The person organizing the demonstrations and making the firebrand
speeches is Yuri Michalchyshyn. At 29, he is barely old enough to
remember the bad old days when Ukraine was under Soviet rule. He speaks
a romantic nationalist [patriotic] language rarely spoken by mainstream western
politicians. "A nation is an organic thing, historically defined. A
wave of passionate energy which unites past, present and future
generations," Michalchyshn said, seated in the office of Iryna Sekh,
his party's leader at the regional council. "The Ukrainian nation is
the current territory of the Ukraine reinforced by language and recent
history of social and national struggle."
Svoboda's racial theorizing is built on sand, since most people who
live in the region have mixed blood. "Ethnically, Ukraine doesn't
exist," according to Ukrainian historian Andriy Kozitzky. The western
part of the country nestled up against Poland and Hungary is a mix of
many groups: Russian, Ukrainians, Armenians. That’s irrelevant to
Svoboda followers. Mychalchyshyn said: "We are against diversity.” In
his writings, he says, "We consider tolerance a crime."
The young ideologue promises a parliament composed of Ukrainians voted
for by Ukrainians. Minorities will be given seats based on their
proportion of the population. But they won't be able to vote. His
supporters also like his promise to get Ukraine's nuclear weapons back.
When the Soviet Union collapsed the nuclear weapons based in Ukraine
were returned to Russia or were decommissioned. "It's a mentality,"
said Mridula Ghosh, a sociologist who works for the East European
Development Institute in Kiev. "Svoboda is anti-immigrant, xenophobic,
and anti-Semitic." [Demonization demagoguery!]
It would be comforting to write Svoboda off as a morbid symptom of a
country moving away from 70 years of the bloodiest conflicts in
European history and Yuri Michalchyshyn as a young loudmouth. That is
difficult to do. The party speaks directly to its constituents' fears
about Russia and its anger about corruption in the national government.
Svoboda has also tapped into fervent anti-Russian sentiment in Ukraine,
which persists even among those who don’t agree with Nazi ideology.
During World War II, Ukraine was overrun by the Soviets as they pushed
into Europe. Amid that turmoil, Bandera emerged as a controversial
figure to lead a violent Ukrainian independence fight against the
Soviets. [Bandera was incarcerated in German concentration camps.]
In 1943, the Nazis established a Ukrainian division of their feared SS,
known as the Waffen SS-Galicia, as the western part of the country was
known as the time. Bandera’s men first collaborated with the Nazis
against the Soviets, and then later waged a sporadic guerilla war
against the USSR. But his group also launched a campaign of ethnic
cleansing in western Ukraine against Polish villagers, beginning in
1943. Priests were beheaded and crucified, men were disemboweled, women
gang-raped. Families were locked into wooden barns and the buildings
set on fire.
The terror worked. The area was ethnically cleansed as Poles fled the
region. Cementing his hero status for Svoboda adherents, Bandera was
later assassinated by the KGB. In 2010, former Ukrainian President
Viktor Yushchenko named Bandera a hero of the Ukraine. A year later,
his successor Viktor Yanukovych, who is perceived to have close ties to
the Kremlin, revoked the honor, underscoring the concern many
have about Russian interference in their government.
Even for nationalists who don’t agree with Nazi ideology, Bandera
remains an inspiration.
Historians of World War II say the lines between the Waffen SS-Galicia
and the various partisan groups associated with Bandera are blurred,
and that all groups can be implicated in the massacres. [Pure demagoguery. Goldfarb's excuse for making blanket accusations.]
Not everyone in L'viv buys the Svoboda line. Last May, at Victory Day
celebrations marking the defeat of the Nazis, a near riot broke out
when Sekh, the Svoboda regional leader, and a group of supporters
turned up. Police had to separate Sekh and her young acolytes from
those who had turned up to simply mark the defeat of the Nazis. "We
were afraid there would be Red flags. We were protecting our history
and culture." There was much pushing, shoving and fist-fighting with
the police in the middle. With a touch of the melodramatic, Sekh says
she spent the next few months carrying her pajamas and toothrush with
her everywhere because she expected to be arrested for instigating a
riot. Charges were never filed against her.
Nationalism still appeals to Ukrainians such as Myroslav Marynovych, a
63-year-old vice-rector at the Greek Catholic University. After World
War II, Marynovych spent years in a Soviet gulag for demanding the
right to discuss Ukrainian national history. There, he met several men
who had fought with Bandera’s group and the Waffen-SS Galicia. He said
that he doesn’t agree with nationalist extremism, but that in the
circumstances of World War II he can't condemn it completely.
“I defend their patriotism, but not their methods," he said. Meanwhile,
he tries to influence debate via his position at the university, taking
part in acts of reconciliation with the tiny Jewish community that
remains in L'viv and, as in his dissident days, writing letters to the
editor of Svoboda-supporting newspapers. Most recently, he challenged
an article they published written by a Holocaust denier.
Note that Michael Goldfarb never even mentions Oleh Tyahnybok as
the leader of the Svoboda party. He does not mention Roman
Shukhevych, the leader of UPA (Ukrainian Insurgent Army), which was
specifically created to fight the German occupation and later fought
against the Russian occupation until the mid-1950's. He does not
mention the Holodomor.]
At the L'viv headquarters of Viktor Yanukovych's ruling "Party of
Regions," they acknowledge their policies are a hard sell to the voters.
The local deputy leader Laura Arzumanivna Arzumanyan, of Armenian
heritage, is philosophical. It's all part of the scientific processes
of history. "The fact that Svoboda appeared is something that had to
happen," Arzumanyan said.
"Let me ask you, how old is America?" she answers her own question,
"200 years old. You are a very old country. We are only 20 years old.
You had Ku Klux Klan. You passed through that time. This is something
we must go through.”
COMMENTS: (from Kyiv Post)
Eckard von Goeden | 02Apr2012 at 21:00
A very very good article on a sad aspect of Eastern Europe.
Thank you Mr Goldfarb.
figures ....haters like to | 02Apr2012 at 21:22
encourage each other....notice how they deny Russification and Holodomor
Z | 02Apr2012 at 20:02
Readers should check out the Ukrainophobic Michael Goldfarb on his websites
To Mr. Goldfarb any patriotic Ukrainian action seeking to establish and
maintain an independent Ukraine is an “embrace of Nazi ideology”. He is
parroting the anti-Ukrainian positions of the KGB and Zionists. A
dangerous individual indeed.
XY | 02Apr2012 at 20:46
That is all you have to say ?
A little bit poor...
THAT says it ALL | 02Apr2012 at 21:25
how much time & effort are hate mongers like Goldfart, von Goeden,Himka,heh,heh,heh:Dupa worth???
carl | 02Apr2012 at 19:37
A nonsense story there are no pro nazi parties in Ukraine. Regions is
best choice for Ukraine but Svoboda should be allowed to exist.The
question is who is bested suited to address economic and social
problems facing Ukraine answer -- Regions. So in October cast your vote
who writes this biased garbage? | 02Apr2012 at 19:36
Why its GOLDFART!...best friend of Ukraine's billionaire Oligarchs!!!
He sees NOTHING wrong with Ukraine being ruled by NON UKRAINIAN
criminals exploiting every last drop of sweat from the exploited nation
while committing anti-Ukrainian Russification genocide! No he has never
seen THAT as an issue to be exposed. Fair and balanced "propaganda"
journalism???? You decide!
Every country even Israel is a BELL SHAPED CURVE with political extremists at each end ...so why should Ukraine be different???
David | 02Apr2012 at 17:33
The Dictator Viktor has set the scene for a Fascist Ukraine! Viktor and
his corrupt children will go the same way as all tyrants do! Time will
tell if he will be the first not to meet his demise for his crimes
against his own people!