Edmonton Journal | Mar. 24, 2004 | Lee James Olesen
Letter to Editor

Nonsense to deny role in Holocaust

Re: "To deport? Or not?" Edmonton Journal, March 20, 2004.

I have major concerns with Marco Levytsky's article regarding deportation of an alleged Ukrainian war criminal. Levytsky's article seems to deny acceptance by Ukrainians for participation in the destruction process. Levytsky's article implies that few, if any, Ukrainians played a role in the destruction process and that the "Trawnicki men" were oppressed and forced into the job of killing innocent Jews.

Raul Hilberg, in his seminal book on the Holocaust, The Destruction of the European Jews, states that "The Ukrainians were involved in the fate of the Polish Jewry as perpetrators. The SS and police employed Ukrainian forces in ghetto-clearing operations ... . The Ukrainians had never been considered pro-Jewish."

Christopher Browning in The Path to Genocide points out that the "dirty work" such as "driving Jews out of their dwellings with whips, clubs and guns; shooting on the spot the frail, sick, elderly, and infants ... was usually left to the Hiwis from Trawnicki."

There are too many references, pictures, documents and admissions about the roles played by the so-called Hiwis. Given such evidence, denial seems absurd. Ukrainians, and other eastern Europeans, played an extensive role in the final solution.

Eastern European nations, and Ukrainians, seem to struggle with coming to terms with the role many of their citizens played in the final solution. Denial of the participation in atrocities, no matter how long ago, is at best self-serving and at worst, evil.

Lee James Olesen,
St. Albert

� The Edmonton Journal 2004