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Sol Littman   Letter 11   07-Oct-1999   Ghetto policeman Mitso Rosenbek
"We talked 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), 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." Andzhei Khtsiuk
The name given in the article below is Mitso Rosenbek, but the recollections of other former Drohobych residents come up with variations, such that a fuller slate of possibilities is as follows:

Mitso / Miciu / Mitsiu / Mitsju / Mitsiju  and  Rozen / Rosenbek / Rozenberg / Rosenberg

The given name appears to be a diminutive for nobody-can-guess what official given name.  One still sharp mind recollects that the individual in question played right defense for the Drohobych Jewish soccer team "Betar" in the years 1937-39.

  October 07, 1999

Sol Littman
Director, Simon Wiesenthal Center
8 King Street East, Suite 710
Toronto, ON
CANADA,  M5C 1B5

Tel: (416) 864-9735
Fax: (416) 864-1083


Sol Littman:

I bring to your attention the following statement which I have translated from the Ukrainian:

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 above description elicits the reflection that it is a perversion of Canadian justice to hold that the degree of culpability of a crime depends upon (1) its date, (2) its location, (3) the political affiliation or nationality or religion of its perpetrator, or (4) the political affiliation or nationality or religion of its victim.  That culpability should be determined by any such considerations as these is anathema to Canadian Justice.  We see that Canada's Minister of Justice, Anne McLellan, knows enough to uphold precisely such sentiments in her discourse, even if she is deficient in applying them in her prosecutions, and even if she is disingenuous in summarizing her war crime unit's impartiality:

Canada must not be a safe haven for war criminals or for persons who have engaged in reprehensible activity during time of conflict, regardless of time and place.  All fair-minded Canadians agree with this guiding principle.  [...]  The pursuit of suspected war criminals and others involved in reprehensible war time activity is not directed towards any particular ethnic group.  In fact, a review of the cases commenced thus far should convince any objective observer that the common thread is not national or ethnic origin, but rather evidence of reprehensible activity during war time.
Anne McLellan, Letter of 09Oct98, emphasis added.


And yet despite the widespread agreement as to the impartiality that Canadian justice demands, you more than anyone else somehow managed to corrupt Canadian justice with all of the above-listed perversions at once through the vehicle of the Deschênes Commission, and you more than anyone else have managed to lead Canada's prosecutors down the path of continuing to practice these perversions to this day.  It is because of you more than anyone else that a Ukrainian who wore a German uniform and is conjectured to have committed an immigration infraction a half century ago will be prosecuted today, but an Israel Roitman who boasts of having tortured and murdered a string of Ukrainians during WW II won't be, and a Mitso Rosenbek who is widely known to have served with the ghetto police during WW II won't be either, and an Israeli interrogator who broke the hands of Palestinian children last year but who this year lives in Canada won't be either.  And why not?

Israel Roitman enjoys the double immunity of being Jewish and of having served the Communist side.  And although Mitso Rosenbek served the Nazis, his being Jewish suffices.  And the Israeli interrogator well, he's safe on all counts because he broke the hands of a Palestinian child and not a Jewish one, and he did it last year and not in 1943, and he did it in Israel and not in Eastern Europe, and he was with Shin Bet and not with the Gestapo, and he's a Jew and not a Christian.  In engineering such perversions of Canadian justice as these, you bring discredit upon yourself and upon your people.  In supporting this degree of perversion of Canadian justice, Anne McLellan brings disgrace upon herself and upon her government.

But perhaps with respect to Mitso Rosenbek, I have guessed wrong perhaps you will be able to inform me that Mitso Rosenbek was among those denounced to the Deschênes Commission and investigated by it, in which case perhaps you can add why he wasn't subsequently prosecuted?  And perhaps you can also tell me how many Jews were denounced to the Deschênes Commission and investigated by it, and if any were, then why none have been prosecuted since?  And given that you are still active in hunting Nazi war criminals, perhaps you will be so good as to inform me whether you intend to bring Mitso Rosenbek to the attention of Canada's war crimes prosecutors, or whether your committment to punishing Nazis does not extend that far?



Lubomyr Prytulak

cc: Anne McLellan


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