Holocaust 1: Half-Truth or Open Lie

Last Summer in Lviv, by chance, I ran into Marco Carynnyk, a Canadian citizen of Ukrainian descent. Marco and I, we quickly discovered, share a common interest: the holocaust in Eastern Europe. A while ago he send me his very interesting article “Foes of our rebirth: Ukrainian nationalist discussions about Jews, 1929-1947” (read abstract). I was surprised. Actually, Marco Carynnyk is one of the few nationals or emigrants from Eastern Europe I have met or read, who study the recent history of their forefathers without embellishments or excuses.
In his article, Carynnyk convincingly demonstrates how anti-Semitism was an integral part of the ideology of the Ukrainian nationalist movement, how it remained a core tenet during World War II and how the nationalist leaders, at the end of the war decided to cover up the traces thereof. From the outset, Jews, Russians and Poles were singled out by the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists (OUN/1929) “as aliens and enemies”. They were “the foes of our rebirth”, Ievhen Konovalets, the first OUN leader wrote in 1934. Celebrated hero’s of Ukrainian independence like Stepan Bandera (see picture: “1909 Symbol of the Nation 2009”), Andrii Melnyk and Roman Shukhevych did not look at things differently.
Following the 50th anniversary of the death of Stepan Bandera in 2009, the internet journal lb.ua conducted an interview with Marco Carynnyk: Історична напівправда гірша за одверту брехню (A Historical Half-Truth is Worse than an Open Lie – the article unfortunately is nog langer available).(FH)

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  • M. Carynnyk, “Foes of our rebirth: Ukrainian nationalist discussions about Jews, 1929-1947”, in Nationalities Papers 39 (2011) 3, p. 315-352;
  • D. Rybakov, “Марко Царинник: Історична напівправда гірша за одверту брехню”, http://lb.ua, 5 November 2009.