|April 28, 2000|
by Israel Roitman
Once, on the occasion of a talk with students, I was asked: "Did you also kill people?"
What could I answer? It remained only to smile sadly, and my memory recalled the first cruelty. Afterward, there were many more, but the first is unforgettable.
It happened, if memory serves, in the Zolochiv region which lies along the Ternopil-Lviv highway (Western Ukraine). The military SMERSH ("Death to Spies", as military counter-intelligence was named during the war) instructed us intelligence officers to investigate the cause of death of one of our sabotage units. On the second or third day, we came upon the tracks of the perpetrators who were responsible for the death of our comrades, and caught them relaxing in broad daylight in a large house on a forest farmstead. There were three men sitting around a table with moonshine and snacks: a thin, tall German, a heavily-armed policeman, and a fat-faced, unshaven Banderite [Ukrainian fighting for Ukrainian independence] wearing a service cap with a yellow-light blue [colors of the Ukrainian flag] cockade and some kind of stripes sewn on his sleeve. It goes without saying: a merry band.
We had to shoot the policeman right there in the house, his abundance of weapons not helping him a bit. We took the German and the Banderite out into the yard. The Banderite, a huge man with long hands large as shovels, just stood there with a crooked smile. On his unshaven face, his eyes darted nervously about like gimlets. Evidently, the worsening situation was completely unexpected by him and he didn't know what to do, and couldn't hit upon any course of action. Of course, under different circumstances, he could have tossed us boys around like puppies, but this time the inveterate beast could not do so: we were the ones with the weapons.
Oh, yes! By that time, we had seen a lot of these nationalists, as they were contemptuously called, the "Samostiynyks" ["Independents"] (the motto of the Ukrainian Nationalists was "For an Independent Ukraine"). These were veritable beasts, worse than some Fritzes [Germans].
Volodka Seliverstov hit him first, in the solar plexus. The Banderite groaned, gripped his stomach with his hands, and doubled over like a folding knife. Then followed a knee upper-cut to the face. A sobbing was heard and the Banderite started falling backwards. But we didn't let him fall. There were five of us. We stood in a small circle and knocked him from one to another. We struck silently with backhand blows, putting into them all our accumulated rage and hatred. We struck viciously, probably like hunters striking huge and especially dangerous maddened beasts. By the time the Banderite's face was turned into a bloody-hairy pulp, we were exhausted. The Banderite slumped to his knees, then fell flat on his face. We shot him. The German, we delivered safely across the front line and turned him over to the SMERSH people. (We followed the same practice afterwards. When police, Banderites, Vlasovites, or Germans fell into our hands, we usually delivered the latter untouched, but the traitors we executed ourselves on the spot.)
Many recollections about old Drohobych can also be found in the book "Visit to Israel." In Israel, Andzhei Khtsiuk visited his old friends and acquaintances — former residents of Drohobych of Jewish nationality — and together with them reminisced about their unforgettable home city and its inhabitants. "We talked," he writes, "about good Poles and about bad Poles, about good Ukrainians and about bad Ukrainians, about good Jews and about bad Jews — such as Mitso Rosenbek of "Betar" (such was the name of the Jewish soccer club in Drohobych. — A.H.), who today lives in Canada and fears to travel to Israel, and about others who served in the Ghetto Police, and plundered and destroyed their own people." One might wonder why those who search for "war criminals" among Ukrainians are silent about Mitso Rosenbek and others like him, and why the Deschênes Commission in Canada took no interest in him?
Adolphe Hladylovych, Polish Writer On Ukrainians Who Saved Jews, Svoboda, 24Aug92, in Mykhailo Shalata (ed.), Drohobych County — The Land of Ivan Franko, Shevchenko Scientific Society, Drohobych, 1997, Vol. 4, p. 380.
The Jüdische Ordnungsdienst, as the Jewish police in the ghettos were called, furnished thousands of men for seizure operations. In the Warsaw ghetto alone the Jewish police numbered approximately 2500; in Lodz they were about 1200 men strong; the Lvov ghetto had an Ordnungsdienst of 500 men; and so on.
Raul Hilberg, The Destruction of the European Jews, 1961, p. 310.
The Satanic plan of the Nazis assured that the personal fate of each Jew — whether for life or
death — be exclusively left up to the decisions of the "councils of elders" [Judenrat]. The Nazis, from time to time, decided upon a general quota for the work of the camps and for extermination, but the individual selection was left up to the "council of elders", with the enforcement of kidnappings and arrests also placed in the hands of the Jewish police (kapos). By this shrewd method, the Nazis were highly successful in accomplishing mass murder and poisoning the atmosphere of the ghetto through moral degeneration and corruption.
Reb Moshe Shonfeld, The Holocaust Victims Accuse: Documents and Testimony on Jewish War Criminals, 1977, pp. 119-120, emphasis added.
|Falsification of the Holocaust|
Letter to the editor by Prof. Israel Shahak, published on 19 May 1989 in Kol Ha'ir, Jerusalem.
Available online at:
I disagree with the opinion of Haim Baram that the Israeli education system has managed to instil a 'Holocaust awareness' in its pupils (Kol Ha'Ir 12.5.89). It's not an awareness of the Holocaust but rather the myth of the Holocaust or even a falsification of the Holocaust (in the sense that 'a half-truth is worse than a lie') which has been instilled here.
As one who himself lived through the Holocaust, first in Warsaw then in Bergen-Belsen, I will give an immediate example of the total ignorance of daily life during the Holocaust. In the Warsaw ghetto, even during the period of the first massive extermination (June to October 1943), one saw almost no German soldiers. Nearly all the work of administration, and later the work of transporting hundreds of thousands of Jews to their deaths, was carried out by Jewish collaborators. Before the outbreak of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising (the planning of which only started after the extermination of the majority of Jews in Warsaw), the Jewish underground killed, with perfect justification, every Jewish collaborator they could find. If they had not done so the Uprising could never have started. The majority of the population of the Ghetto hated the collaborators far more than the German Nazis. Every Jewish child was taught, and this saved the lives of some them "if you enter a square from which there are three exits, one guarded by a German SS man, one by an Ukrainian and one by a Jewish policeman, then you should first try to pass the German, and then maybe the Ukrainian, but never the Jew".
One of my own strongest memories is that, when the Jewish underground killed a despicable collaborator close to my home at the end of February 1943, I danced and sang around the still bleeding corpse together with the other children. I still do not regret this, quite the contrary.
It is clear that such events were not exclusive to the Jews, the entire Nazi success in easy and continued rule over millions of people stemmed from the subtle and diabolical use of collaborators, who did most of the dirty work for them. But does anybody now know about this? This, and not what is 'instilled' was the reality. Of the Yad Vashem (official state Holocaust museum in Jerusalem - Ed.) theatre, I do not wish to speak at all. It, and its vile exploiting, such as honouring South Africa collaborators with the Nazis are truly beneath contempt.
Therefore, if we knew a little of the truth about the Holocaust, we would at least understand (with or without agreeing) why the Palestinians are now eliminating their collaborators. That is the only means they have if they wish to continue to struggle against our limb-breaking regime.