KIEV—As the Ukrainian Government continues its increasingly unrestrained state-sponsored Holocaust revisionism campaign led by Volodymyr Viatrovych’s Institute of National Memory (UINP), questions surrounding the Holocaust in Ukrainian education in post-Maidan Ukraine are increasingly coming up. Thanks to new research by the head of the Ukrainian Jewish Committee, Eduard Dolinsky, some clear answers are taking shape. And the signs are, in some critics’ views, a cause for concern.
According to a new book released by Viatrovych’s institute, it appears that the government is determined to present what can only charitably called an alternative view of “history”. Entitled A Compilation of Methodological Recommendations for Commemorative Observances in General Educational Etablishments, UINP’s 220 page book reduces the history of the Holocaust to a mere footnote.
Dolinsky has revealed to the West the contours of the “history” to be provided to millions of Ukraine’s young people in the coming years. Its salient points become evident from a number of sample features:
The OUN is mentioned 86 times. The UPA is mentioned 138 times. The Holodomor is discussed extensively and comes up 139 times.
And then Dolinsky emphasized to Defending History what’s practically ignored entirely:
(1) The Holocaust is mentioned five times, and then only in passing with reference to atypical rescues rather than these (very important) rescues following a presentation of the stark and simple facts of the genocide of Ukrainian Jewry by the Nazis and their powerful local nationalist collaborators and co-perpetrators. For example, in a section on Metropolitan Andrey Sheptytsk: “In the Nazi occupation during the Holocaust he saved some 200 Jews.”
Another example from the book: “The loss of independence due to the Bolshevik occupation after the Ukrainian revolution of 1917-1921 led to the fact that the criminal regimes — Communist and Nazi — have taken millions of lives of Ukraine’s inhabitants due to the Holodomor, Holocaust, state terror, deportations and wars.”
In sum, according to Dolinsky, there’s not even one page, article or chapter in the book dedicated to the Holocaust, which features in the World II history of Ukraine as a rarely cited detail. The young Ukrainian pupils to be educated would be hard pressed to surmise that 1.4 million Jews were murdered in Ukraine for being Jews, on the figures of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.
(2) Antisemitism is mentioned two times, and only in the context of how Symon Petliura,whose troops killed between 35,000 – 50,000 Jews during nationalist pogroms in 1918-1919, actually supposedly “fought against pogroms.”
(3) The Word “Jews” is mentioned only six times in the entire book, principally when the discussion is about Petliura, and how Ukrainians saved Jews.
(4) The involvement of OUN-UPA in the Holocaust goes completely unmentioned. In the Viatrovych view of the world OUN-UPA were fighters for Ukrainian independence who actually were a multi-ethnic paradise who rescued Jews. Is this how the country plans to come to grips with to fascist, racist organizations that helped organize and inspire the murder of hundreds of thousands of Jews and Poles on an ethnic bases (in other words, murdered by their own Ukrainian followers, not the German Nazis).
Given the Government of Ukraine’s wholesale rewriting of history we can now assume that Ukraine’s new generation will grow up with literally no knowledge of the Holocaust and how 1.4 million (in some estimates 1.5 million or more) Ukrainian Jews were massacred, many with the active and enthusiastic assistance of the Nazis’ Ukrainian nationalist collaborators.
In the eyes of numerous of Ukraine’s Western supporters, this represents an affront to all basic Western standards of human decency and is truly a tragedy for an ostensibly democratic Ukraine committed to future membership in the European Union.
But will Western governments, Holocaust study institutes and major foreign Jewish organizations take note this time?