CANADA SECTION | EARLIER RECORD OF DEBATES | UKRAINE SECTION | DEBATES ON STEPAN BANDERA | G. ROSSOLIŃSKI-LIEBE SECTION | PER ANDERS RUDLING SECTION
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:
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.]
3 October 2012 16:03:03 CEST Dear Colleagues,
Vadym Kolesnychenko, a member of the parliamentary faction of the Party of Regions, recently published a volume (http://r-u.org.ua/kniga/kniga.pdf) of Russian language translations of articles written by Grzegorz Rossolinski-Liebe, Per Anders Rudling and Timothy Snyder.
The articles appeared originally in journals such as Kritika, New York Times Review of Books, Carl Beck Papers and KakanienRevisited. Mr. Kolesnychenko translated and published the volume without the approval or consent of the authors. We regard this conduct as unethical.
Our objections to the political instrumentalization of our work by the Party of Regions are the same as our reservations to analogous instrumentalization by pro-nationalist groups and organizations.
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.
The great strength of Professor Timothy Snyder’s Bloodlands (Basic Books, 2010) is that it contextualizes the violent 1930s and 1940s in Eastern Europe.