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.
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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:
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