Professor Mikhail Iossel, founding director of the Litvak Studies Institute (LSI), has given a major radio interview on salient Litvak issues to RCI — Radio Canada International. The sound track of the interview is available here. For more information, see coverage on the LSI site.
Kevin Hamilton, Canada's Chargé d'affaires in Vilnius
Kevin Hamilton, Canada’s chargé d’affaires at its embassy in Vilnius, published a bold letter today in the daily Respublika, in response to a typically homophobic article in the popular newspaper. The original article (published 25 March), in the spirit of contemporary East European far-right discourse, tried to intentionally confuse Equal Rights for sexual minorities with pedophilia, and to give the impression that Canada supports the latter too.
Moreover, the force of his letter compelled Respublika to issue a rare (if rather half-hearted) retraction, printed in the form of a reply underneath his letter. For a sampling of Respublika’s homophobia and antisemitism, see an image of their 2009 front page caricature of The Jew and The Gay holding up the world (here), and, the way in which the editor handled criticism of that effort (here).
Dr. Catherine Chatterley, founding director of the Canadian Institute for the Study of Antisemitism
In a bold op-ed published in the Winnipeg Free Press on 2 April, Dr. Catherine Chatterley has spoken out against attempts by some elements in Canada’s Ukrainian-heritage community to derail a planned Holocaust exhibit at the Canadian Museum for Human Rights (CMHR) on the grounds, broadly speaking, that such an exhibit would unduly emphasize Jewish suffering and cause to be underrepresented Ukrainian suffering in Stalin’s murderous state-caused famine in Ukraine in the early 1930s.
The campaign has been accompanied by the printing and wide distribution in Canada of offensively and antisemitically manipulated versions of an illustration that had appeared in a 1947 Ukrainian edition of George Orwell’s classic Animal Farm.
B O O K S / O P I N I O N
by Franziska Bruder
The 2010 anthology Strasti za Banderoju (Bandera Passion, alternate translations include Bandera Ecstasy or Bandera-mania), edited by Tarik Syril Amar, Ihor Balyns’kyi and Iaroslav Hrytsak, assembles key contributions to three debates conducted in the years 2009-2010 around the person of Stepan Bandera, leader of the main wing of the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists (OUN).
The first debate, staged on an Internet platform in L’viv in 2009, was occasioned by Bandera’s 100th birthday and the 50th anniversary of his assassination. It was followed in 2010 by another round triggered by then-Ukrainian president Viktor Iushchenko’s decision to convey upon Bandera the title Hero of Ukraine. The editors divided that second round into two parts: the debate conducted in Ukraine and the debate conducted in North America.
O P I N I O N
by Per Anders Rudling
Despised and ostracized, the Swedish community of Waffen-SS volunteers long gathered in secret on April 14, “The Day of the Fallen,” for obscure ritualistic annual gatherings at a cemetery in a Stockholm suburb.
Since the 1990s, the rituals have not needed to be clandestine: the few, now very elderly survivors now head to Sinimäe, Estonia, where they feel they are now getting the honor to which they are entitled. Here, Swedish, Norwegian, Austrian, German and other Waffen-SS veterans from Western Europe meet up with their Estonian comrades. The annual gatherings include those who volunteered for ideological reasons, and who are today actively passing on the experiences to a new generation of neo-Nazis.
Posted in Antisemitism & Bias, Canada, Celebrations of Fascism, Collaborators Glorified, Estonia, Germany, History, Latvia, News & Views, Opinion, Per Anders Rudling, Politics of Memory, Riga's Waffen SS Marches, Sweden
Tagged Per Anders Rudling
The following is the letter dated 5 October signed by a number of leading figures of Ukrainian nationalist groups in Canada and sent to the vice-chancellor of Lund University in Sweden complaining about the opinions voiced by postdoctoral fellow Per Anders Rudling, a prominent young historian. [Updates: Dr. Rudling’s DefendingHistory.com article on the subject is here; an open letter from scholars supporting him is here.]
O P I N I O N
by Per Anders Rudling
Last week, a Canada-wide lecture tour by Ruslan Zabily was announced. He is the former director of the Center for the Study of the Liberation Movement and the current director of the Lonsky Street Prison National Memorial Museum (for short: the Lonsky Museum) in Lviv, Ukraine.
AT THE LONSKY MUSEUM: JEWISH HOLOCAUST VICTIMS PHOTOSHOPPED OUT. A woman has just recognized a loved one among the victims of the NKVD killings in 1941. In the background of the original photo one also sees groups of Jewish victims of the massacre which followed within days of the NKVD murders (Jews were forced to carry and rebury these victims). Thousands of Jews were killed as Soviet crimes were blamed on them and used to incite antisemitic violence and murder. In this photoshopped version on display at the Lonsky Museum, the nationalists’ Jewish civilian victims are literally covered by the circular insertions of Soviet crime statistics, implicitly ethniziced as Ukrainian suffering.
The original image, before photoshopping at the Lonsky…
The lecture tour includes some of the most prestigious universities in Canada — the universities of Alberta, Toronto, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and Ottawa — as well as Harvard University’s Ukrainian Studies Institute in the United States. The lectures in Alberta and Toronto are facilitated by the Canadian Institute of Ukrainian Studies; the Peter Jacyk Program for the Study of Ukraine; the Centre for European, Russian and Eurasian Studies; the Harvard Institute of Ukrainian Studies and its Chair of Ukrainian Studies.
Posted in Antisemitism & Bias, Bandera, Canada, Collaborators Glorified, Events, Free Speech & Democracy, Museums, News & Views, Opinion, Per Anders Rudling, Politics of Memory, Ukraine
Tagged Askold Lozynskyj, Harvard University Ukrainian Studies Institute, Lonsky Museum in Lviv (Ukraine), Per Anders Rudling, Ruslan Zabily, Stepan Bandera, Ukrainian ultranationalism in Cnada
A major new paper on the history and nationalist mythology of the Ukrainian Waffen SS, by Dr. Per Anders Rudling of Lund University, Sweden, has appeared in the Journal of Slavic Military Studies. Its title is “‘They Defended Ukraine’: The 14. Waffen-Grenadier-Division der SS (Galizische Nr. 1) Revisited.”
The abstract reads as follows:
O P I N I O N
Recently, Dr. Per Anders Rudling of Lund University in Sweden has articulated his criticism of a highly problematic lecture tour in North America, which features Ruslan Zabily, the director of the Lontsky Street Prison Memorial Museum in Lviv, Ukraine. Mr. Zabily, whose academic credentials are slim, is given a forum as a speaker at several prestigious universities. His role in nationalist history activism in Ukraine and his links and contributions to organizations that diminish the violence, ethnic and political, of Ukrainian World War Two nationalism are not problematized.
This is not the place to reiterate Dr. Rudling’s precise and fair criticism in detail. Full documentation can be found at:
In the course of remarks criticizing the current Ukrainian government for its human rights abuses, made in Gatineau, Quebec, Canada’s prime minister Stephen Harper added words of praise for a visiting director of a Holocaust-distorting museum in Ukraine who was on a Canada lecture tour last week, and for the museum itself. The museum, in Lviv, Ukraine, glorifies and sanitizes some of the local Holocaust perpetrators and collaborators. An account of the prime minister’s remarks appeared in a 19 October 2012 report in the Toronto Sun.
There is no suggestion that the Canadian prime minister agrees with the Ukrainian Holocaust revisionists, or would wish to compliment those glorifying the local perpetrators. Instead, the episode is seen as yet another instance of a well-oiled lobby being able to confuse, combine and confound issues in dealings with Western personalities and institutions that stand far from these issues. Attempts to make heroes of the local Holocaust perpetrators and collaborators, in the spirit of antisemitic East European (ultra)nationalism, have also been documented this year in Estonia, Hungary, Latvia and Lithuania.
An important new paper by Dr. Per Anders Rudling of Lund University, Sweden, has appeared in the new volume, Analysing Fascist Discourse: European Fascism in Talk and Text. The collective volume brought out by Routledge (New York & London) is edited by Ruth Wodak and John E. Richardson.
Dr. Rudling’s paper, entitled “The Return of the Ukrainian Far Right: The Case of VO Svoboda” comprises the sections:
The following is the official 21 Nov. 2014 United Nations voting sheet for the resolution (A/C.3/69/L.56/Rev.1) “Combating glorification of Nazism, neo-nazism and other practices that contribute to fuelling contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance.” The original is posted on the UN website. This copy has three added arrows for rapid identification of the three states that voted “No.”
Media coverage includes: Margaret Besheer in Voice of America; Joseph Brean in Canada’s National Post; Ken Hanly in Digital Journal; Dovid Katz in The Times of Israel; Ryan Maloney in Huffington Post; Jim Miles in CounterPunch; Boruch Shubert in JP Updates; Sam Sokol in the Jerusalem Post.
Glorification of Nazi collaborators (and local perpetrators) by states and their elites is a serious issue in various countries, including Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, and Ukraine.