Andrij Vesslovsky    Ukrainian Weekly     07-Mar-1993   A colossal amount of damage

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COMMUNITY REACTION: Time and "traditions of atrocity"

Following are the texts of letters to the editor of Time magazine written in reaction to a photo accompanying the article "Unspeakable" published in the February 22 issue.

Insult to Ukrainians
The Embassy of Ukraine in Canada is extremely perturbed by your use of a misleading photograph in an otherwise excellent article on the use of rape as a weapon of war ("Unspeakable," February 22, 1993).  The photograph's caption reads: "Traditions of atrocity: a Jewish girl raped by Ukrainians in Lvov, Poland, in 1945."  These words, unfortunately, have no relation to the story, as there was absolutely no mention of Ukrainians in any part of the article.  Whereas a picture is said to say a thousand words, these few words inserted by your world-renowned magazine have done a colossal amount of damage.

It is a historical fact that the Western Ukrainian city of Lviv (not Lvov, which is in Russian) had been overrun by Soviet troops as early as 1944, and consequently, the only military presence in Lviv in 1945 would have been the Soviet Red Army.  Furthermore, the meticulousness and savagery of the Nazi extermination machine in western Ukraine had destroyed or deported most of the Jewish population in the city, and it is unlikely that there was much of a Jewish community left in Lviv in 1945.

The Embassy of Ukraine in Canada considers the Time magazine caption an insult to Ukrainians, especially to those Ukrainians who 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.

Andrij Vesslovsky
Embassy of Ukraine