Jordan   Letter 02   07-May-1996   Confusion concerning the Lviv Massacre
May 7, 1996

Michael H. Jordan
Chairman, Westinghouse Electric Corporation
11 Stanwix Street
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
USA         15222

Dear Mr. Jordan:

In your reply to my letter to you of March 6, 1996, I am particularly looking forward to hearing your comments on the discrepancies between the following three sets of quotations.


SAFER: He [Simon Wiesenthal] remembers that even before the Germans arrived, Ukrainian police went on a 3-day killing spree.

WIESENTHAL: And in this 3 days in Lvov alone between 5 and 6 thousand Jews was killed.


SAFER: But even before the Germans entered Lvov, the Ukrainian militia, the police, killed 3,000 people in 2 days here.  (60 Minutes, The Ugly Face of Freedom, October 23, 1994)


The Ukrainian police ... had played a disastrous role in Galicia following the entry of the German troops at the end of June and the beginning of July 1941. (Simon Wiesenthal, Justice Not Vengeance, 1989, p. 34, emphasis added)

Thousands of detainees were shot dead in their cells by the retreating Soviets. This gave rise to one of the craziest accusations of that period: among the strongly anti-Semitic population the rumour was spread by the Ukrainian nationalists that all Jews were Bolsheviks and all Bolsheviks were Jews.  Hence it was the Jews who were really to blame for the atrocities committed by the Soviets.

All the Germans needed to do was to exploit this climate of opinion.  It is said that after their arrival they gave the Ukrainians free rein, for three days, to 'deal' with the Jews.  (Simon Wiesenthal, Justice Not Vengeance, 1989, p. 36, emphasis added)


From the Ukraine Einsatzkommando 6 of Einsatzgruppe C reported as follows:
Almost nowhere can the population be persuaded to take active steps against the Jews.  This may be explained by the fear of many people that the Red Army may return.  Again and again this anxiety has been pointed out to us.  Older people have remarked that they had already experienced in 1918 the sudden retreat of the Germans.  In order to meet the fear psychosis, and in order to destroy the myth ... which, in the eyes of many Ukrainians, places the Jew in the position of the wielder of political power, Einsatzkommando 6 on several occasions marched Jews before their execution through the city.  Also, care was taken to have Ukrainian militiamen watch the shooting of Jews.
This "deflation" of the Jews in the public eye did not have the desired effect.  After a few weeks, Einsatzgruppe C complained once more that the inhabitants did not betray the movements of hidden Jews.  The Ukrainians were passive, benumbed by the "Bolshevist terror."  Only the ethnic Germans in the area were busily working for the Einsatzgruppe.  (Raul Hilberg, The Destruction of the European Jews, 1961, p. 202)

The Slavic population stood estranged and even aghast before the unfolding spectacle of the "final solution."  There was on the whole no impelling desire to cooperate in a process of such utter ruthlessness; and the fact that the Soviet regime, fighting off the Germans a few hundred miles to the east, was still threatening to return, undoubtedly acted as a powerful restraint upon many a potential collaborator.  (Raul Hilberg, The Destruction of the European Jews, 1961, p. 201)

First, truly spontaneous pogroms, free from Einsatzgruppen influence, did not take place; all outbreaks were either organized or inspired by the Einsatzgruppen.  Second, all pogroms were implemented within a short time after the arrival of the killing units; they were not self-perpetuating, nor could new ones be started after things had settled down.  (Raul Hilberg summarizing anti-Jewish activity in Ukraine, The Destruction of the European Jews, 1961, p. 204)

The Ukrainian violence as a whole did not come up to expectations.  (Raul Hilberg, The Destruction of the European Jews, 1961, p. 204)

Do you not find it disturbing, Mr. Jordan, that 60 Minutes' claim of a massive pre-German pogrom in Lviv is contradicted by Simon Wiesenthal's earlier statements that the pogrom was post-German?  And do you not find it even more disturbing that when we turn from media stars like Simon Wiesenthal and television announcers like Morley Safer to respected historians in fact, the most respected historian of the Jewish Holocaust, Raul Hilberg himself that there is a curious lack of awareness of this most egregious of all World War II pogroms, and in fact flat denials that anything of the sort ever happened?

Yours truly,

Lubomyr Prytulak

cc: Ed Bradley, Steve Kroft, Morley Safer, Lesley Stahl, Mike Wallace