Promoting Ukrainian Fascism

I woke the morning of February 21 to see that local blogger EV Grieve had posted this:

ucca-evg

Signs posted outside the Ukrainian National Home list three sponsors: Ukrainian Congress Committee of America; Organization for Defense of Four Freedoms for Ukraine; and Federation of Ukrainian Student Organizations.

A bit of history:

    During the rise of European fascism after World War I, some Ukrainian nationalist groups tied their hopes to fascism as an ideology, and then collaborated with Hitler and Nazism in World War II.

    One Ukrainian nationalist group was the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists (OUN) which split into two organizations: a less militant wing, led by Andrew Melnyk and known as OUN‑M, and the extremist group of Stepan Bandera, known as OUN‑B. The Nazis preferred the radical nationalist OUN‑B. During the German military occupation, the Ukraine witnessed terrible atrocities against Jews and other groups targeted by Nazi policies. The OUN‑B organized military units that participated in these atrocities. With the collapse of the Third Reich, many Ukrainian collaborationists fled their homeland.

    […]

    The Ukrainian Congress Committee of America (UCCA) [emphasis mine] is described as heavily influenced but not totally controlled by the OUN‑B. Supposedly an umbrella organization of Ukrainian-American groups, there are groups within UCCA that are complete OUN‑B fronts. (For example, the Organization for Defense of Four Freedoms for the Ukraine (ODFFU) [emphasis mine], according to confidential interviews with OUN members. Ukrainian Review is published in the U.S. by ODFFU and the editor is Slava Stetsko†.)

    The UCCA has also played a leading role in opposing federal investigations of suspected Nazi war criminals since those queries got underway in the late 1970s.1

In July 1952, the preliminary steps toward the formation of the Federation of Ukrainian Student Organizations (SUSTA) began with an initial organizing meeting held at the time of the UCCA convention in New York City.2 They promote the same aims, presumably without the baggage of their elders.

Yesterday morning, the fascists took control of Kiev. By the end of the day:

ukraine-haaretz3

    The Ukrainian nationalists see a Ukrainian state under their control as having “ethnographic borders,” as was originally proclaimed by a OUN‑B Manifesto in December 1940. Put more simply, the OUN‑B sees Ukrainians as a separate, classifiable race that have a right, when in power, to exclude others from the Ukraine’s borders. The realities of that formulation were made blood‑chillingly clear to the Poles and Jews in the region when the OUN‑B had temporary power six months after the Manifesto was issued.4

=-=-=-=-=

† Slava Stetsko: OUN-B member, married to Yaroslav Stetsko, who briefly established himself as a pro-Nazi premier of the Ukraine under German military occupation.5

1Russ Betlant, Old Nazis, the New Right, and the Republican Party (Boston: South End Press, 1991), 69-71.
2SUSTA The Federation of Ukrainian Student Organizations of America” last modified February 8, 2014.
3Ukrainian rabbi tells Kiev’s Jews to flee city
4Russ Betlant, Old Nazis, the New Right, and the Republican Party, 73.
5Russ Betlant, Old Nazis, the New Right, and the Republican Party, 67.

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