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Marco Levytsky    Ukrainian News     March 1993    Staged for Nazi propaganda

These women were not raped, nor beaten, but "wallowed in the gutter" a practice which originated in medieval England to publicly humiliate prostitutes, says Dragan.  The action was staged by the Nazis for the purpose of shooting a newsreel, which is now available at the State Central Archives in Moscow and the U.S. National Archives in Washington.
The photograph being discussed in the Ukrainian News article below can be examined in any of three sizes by clicking on any of the three thumbnail images which appear on the WALLOWING page whose link can be seen at the very top and very bottom of the present page, or else by clicking on any of the following three links, which will take the user to images differing only in size: 300x428, 600x855, 949x1353.  Of course following inspection of the photograph, the user will be able to return to the present page by clicking BACK on his (probably NetScape or Internet Explorer) browser.
Part of the same disinformation campaign is the Fifty Confessions Hoax which is recounted in a letter to Canadian Prime Minister Paul Martin at Irwin Cotler collaboration with Steven Rambam.
EXCLUSIVE:
Selected photos of the sequence from which TIME chose its defamatory caption:
INSIDE

TIME smears Ukrainians with false caption
Ukrainian News learns that photo actually records event staged for Nazi propaganda

By Marco Levytsky

The photograph above a defamatory caption that insinuates Ukrainians have traditions of atrocity against Jews, published in the February 22 issue of TIME magazine, not only does not depict a rape as TIME declares but an event that was staged for a Nazi propaganda newsreel, Ukrainian News has learned.

The photo and caption, which were completely irrelevant to the story they accompanied, have aroused a storm of protest from Ukrainians on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean.

Adjoining an article entitled "Unspeakable" which focussed on the systematic rape of Slavic Muslim women in Bosnia by Serbian troops and outlined the use of rape as a terror tactic in wartime, TIME printed a black-and-white photograph of a young and apparently naked woman cowering in a street gutter.

Underneath the photograph was a caption which read: "Traditions of atrocity: A Jewish girl raped by Ukrainians in Lviv [sic], Poland [sic], in 1945."

But there was no mention of Ukrainians, nor Jews in the story, which did, however, allude to the rape of German women by Russian soldiers and of Vietnamese women by U.S. troops.

Since its publication, Ukrainian News has discovered that this photo belongs to a series of pictures that were shot for Nazi propaganda purposes in front of the Brygidki Prison in Lviv on July 1, 1941, just after the Nazis entered the city.

It has also confirmed that the woman in the picture had not been raped at all, that the actions were committed by a mob of street thugs, not soldiers and that she was most likely Ukrainian, or Polish, rather than Jewish (though that last fact is disputed by a Jewish source).

According to Miroslaw Dragan, vice president of the Polish Historical Society in Stamford, Conn., which obtained copies of the photographs from the archives of the Warsaw Ghetto, and Volodymyr Katelynsky, chairman of the Demjanjuk Defense Committee in Kyiv, the women in the pictures were mistresses and collaborators of the Soviet NKVD (forerunner of the KGB), which had fled the city on June 27, leaving behind the bodies of approximately 4,000 prisoners (mostly Ukrainians, but also Poles and Jews) at the Brygidki Prison in Lviv.

These women were not raped, nor beaten, but "wallowed in the gutter" a practice which originated in medieval England to publicly humiliate prostitutes, says Dragan.  The action was staged by the Nazis for the purpose of shooting a newsreel, which is now available at the State Central Archives in Moscow and the U.S. National Archives in Washington.  In addition, 25 photographs taken that day record the sequence of events.  It is one of the photographs in this sequence that TIME chose for its story.

Three photographs from this sequence including TIME's are printed on the next page.

Three selected photographs from the sequence recording the "wallowing" of suspected NKVD collaborators in Lviv, July 1, 1941.  This is the series from which TIME chose the photograph it used in the February 22 story in the use of rape as a weapon of war.  The photograph on the left shows a woman being forcibly undressed as the mob begins the process of public humiliation which was played out for the benefit of Nazi cameramen recording a propaganda newsreel.  In the centre another woman crouches in the gutter after having been thrown there.  This is the photograph TIME printed along with the caption: "Traditions of atrocity: A Jewish girl raped by Ukrainians in Lvov, Poland, in 1945."  The photograph on the right shows yet a third woman calmly dressing after the "wallowing" was over and the camera crew packed up their bags for the day.  Please note the wall of Lviv's Brygidki prison.   PHOTOS COURTESY THE POLISH HISTORICAL SOCIETY


As many of the fleeing NKVD officers were Jewish, the Nazis staged this event to "justify their codified anti-Semitism and enhance their war effort by publicizing 'Judeo-Bolshevik' atrocities and by portraying ethnic discord between the Soviet collaborators and/or Jews," explains Katelynsky in a letter faxed to TIME.  Katelynsky's letter states it is based on research from several authors and archivists from Lviv, Moscow, Warsaw, Jerusalem, Washington, New York and Toronto, along with Polish and Ukrainian eyewitnesses currently in Bytom, Lviv and Michigan and Jewish survivors in New York and Florida.

According to both Katelynsky and Dragan, several women suspected for collaborating with the NKVD were rounded up by street gangs organized by the Nazis, stripped naked, then thrown into the gutters in front of the prison.  The event lasted for a few hours.

"While the public humiliation of any female is deplorable, the other photos in the series show that these women left the scene intact.  Therefore TIME's published photo does not fit the atrocity and rape label pinned to it by TIME," says Katelynsky.

Moreover, he adds, this staged outburst of revenge was mild compared with the "bloody reprisals of the liberated French."

"In 1944 and 1945, countless women were publicly humiliated and over 15,000 of their compatriots were tortured, hanged, or shot for Nazi collaboration in France.  Yet the photographs of these bloody events are, for reasons of sensitivity, not published by the Western press and the events are rarely mentioned by historians," Katelynsky writes.

Both Dragan and Katelynsky contend these women were most likely not Jews, but Ukrainians, or Poles abandoned by the NKVD troops.  "Jewish women (intimate with the NKVD) were the first to be evacuated," says Dragan.


Caption "totally incorrect," U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum archivist says

Genya Markon, chief of the Photo Archives for the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, which received copies of the photographs from the Polish Historical Society as well as an earlier set from the Bildarchive Preussischer Kulturbezitz in Berlin, disputes the contention that the women were collaborators of the NKVD or prostitutes.

"According to our information that is not correct," she told Ukrainian News.

Markon says that the earlier information stated the photographs depicted a "pogrom in the city of Lvov, 1941."

She admits that it is impossible to conclusively identify the nationality of the women in question, but "we definitely think that they are Jews."

Markon, however, agrees that TIME's caption was "totally incorrect."

"I don't think that this girl is being raped.  Nobody is being raped.  They're being beaten," she says.

Dragan says that there is no doubt that the victims were shoved when they were being undressed, but there is no evidence that they were beaten.

"Photos after the humiliation show them to be defiant, agile and not seriously injured," he says.

Among all the photographs Ukrainian News received there is no picture that shows anyone actually being beaten.  Two pictures of women sprawled on the ground may suggest beatings, however, though not conclusively.  In one, a man is seen holding a ruler or thin stick.  In the other an object that looks like some kind of a pole is seen in front of the woman, though that part of the photograph is out of focus which makes it difficult to ascertain precisely what is happening.

The caption sparked countless letters to TIME, including one from the Ukrainian Embassy in Canada.

Andrij Vesslovksy, Minister-Counsellor for the Embassy cited the fact that the only military presence in Lviv in 1945 was that of the Red Army and that by that time the Nazis had destroyed or deported most of the Jewish population of the city.

"The Embassy of Ukraine in Canada considers the 'TIME Magazine' caption as an insult to Ukrainians, especially to those Ukrainians that gave their lives to rid the world of Nazi aggression and Soviet totalitarianism.  We trust that 'TIME Magazine' will issue an apology on this matter," he wrote.

Oleh Romaniw, president of the Ukrainian Canadian Congress, National Council, wrote that the inclusion of the photograph served only "to exploit and continue discord and mistrust between Jews and Ukrainians."

"The photo only serves the interests of those who wish to perpetuate the myth that all Ukrainians are anti-Semitic," he continued.  "Much of what did, or is believed to have occurred in the past, was spawned in ignorance and the Ukrainian and Jewish communities in Canada are working at healing those wounds."

Romaniw also suggested that TIME inform its readers about the plight of ethnic Ukrainian refugees in Bosnia (see Ukrainian News, February, 1993 issue).

In its March 15 edition, TIME printed only one letter that of Prof. Danylo H. Struk, editor-in-chief of the Encyclopedia of Ukraine, which was extremely mild compared to some of the others the magazine had received and sandwiched it in between two others that dealt with the story itself.  TIME offered no other comment on this issue.


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