April 13, 2024
Book Reviews Ukrainian Genocide of Poles

Machiavelli: Why Jews Hate Poles More Than They Hate Germans, and Why Ukrainians Hate Poles More Than They Hate Russians

 

Ukrainian Nationalists and the Holocaust,

by John-Paul Himka. 2021

Reviewed by Jan Peczkis

 

MACHIAVELLI: OBSESSING OVER MINOR WRONGS RATHER                                                   THAN MAJOR ONES

 

This work, by a noted Canadian-Ukrainian historian, is a comprehensive study of the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists. The term “nationalist”, as used by Himka, does not apply to other movements dedicated to Ukrainian cultural or political independence. (p. 19).

This work does not include the Trawniki men, who served in German camps. These were, according to Himka, mostly captured Red Army soldiers, and only some of whom were Ukrainians, in any case outside the influence of the OUN. (p. 16).

MACHIAVELLI: OBSESSING OVER MINOR WRONGS RATHER THAN MAJOR ONES

The author repeats the canned Ukrainian complaints about interwar Poland, and then alludes to the vastly-worse Russian-made Holodomor. He writes, “As Machiavelli pointed out: ‘Men must either be caressed of else annihilated; they will revenge themselves for small injuries, but cannot do so for great ones; the injury therefore that we do to a man must be such that we need not fear his vengeance.’ If Poland did the Ukrainians small injuries, then great injuries were inflicted by the Soviet Union in the 1930s.” (pp. 126-127). This may explain why Ukrainians are angrier against Poles than they are against Russians.

Machiavelli’s statement also applies to Jewish-Polish relations. It helps us understand why Jews hate Poles more than Jews hate Germans, even though Poles at most did trivial wrongs to the Jews while the Germans are the ones that murdered 6,000,000 Jews.

ARCHIVAL INFORMATION IS NOT PRIVILEGED

Himka parts ways with those of his fellow historians that seem to think that archives trump all other venues of information. He sagely comments, “The German documents do not constitute, as earlier Holocaust scholars believed, the touchstone of truth; instead they are marred by deep biases. Soviet documents are formulated using an ideological vocabulary and, more important, sometimes tailored information to serve the needs of the state…Crucially, official documents of every provenance need to be triangulated with other evidence, primarily eyewitness testimony…Jewish testimony is often marked by trauma and Ukrainian testimony by evasion. All sources need to be treated with care. Some sources, moreover, have imbedded problems as products of criminal practices: German documents and photographs are components of the atrocities they report on, and Soviet interrogations have their origins in torture. Questions around sources are not simple…” (p. 115. Emphasis added).

The foregoing statements have broader implications. They are relevant to the low number of Polish deportees that is claimed in Soviet archives, as well as the credibility of Poles found guilty in the August Trials of Communist-ruled Poland.

YAROSLAV STETSKO’S “KILL-THE-JEWS” MESSAGE WAS GENUINE

No sooner had Nazi Germany invaded its erstwhile Soviet ally (June 1941) than the OUN vainly attempted to set up a Nazi-collaborationist government. Meanwhile, top Nationalist Yaroslav Stetsko made a proclamation which called for “German methods” to be used on the Jews. While some have tried to deny the authenticity of Stetsko’s proclamation, Himka, along with some other Ukrainian Nationalists, finds no credible evidence to doubt its authenticity. (p. 110).

The OUN, springing into action on the heels of the invading Wehrmacht, formed militias. These killed Jews, sometimes on their own and sometimes with the Germans. Shortly thereafter, in early August 1941, the militias came under direct German command (p. 307) and were incorporated into the German-formed Police. (p. 342-344).

UKRAINIANS VOLUNTARILY SERVED THE GERMANS AS POLICEMEN

In no sense were Ukrainians forced to collaborate with the Nazi Germans. Himka writes, “Police work attracted many men. There was, especially at first, no lack of volunteers for the Ukrainian Auxiliary Police. The Ukrainian Central Committee was inundated with requests to join, which it forwarded to the police command in Lviv.” (p. 311).

UKRAINIANS WERE VOLUNTARILY COMPLICIT IN THE HOLOCAUST

The author calls out those Ukrainians that try to falsify history, “Yet in spite of efforts to dissemble and to doctor history, OUN produced written documents that testify to antisemitism, the pursuit of ethnic cleansing, and the murder of Jews.” (p. 86). He cites many of these documents.

While on the subject of falsifying history, Himka adds that, “The notion that the Ukrainian police were reluctant to engage in anti-Jewish actions and did so only under duress is not supported by anything I have found in police records themselves–quite the contrary.” (p. 331).

UKRAINIAN COLLABORATORS AND THE WARSAW UPRISING

This fact is often denied. However, Himka affirms the fact that Volodymyr Panasiuk, for one, served in the Nazi Schutzmannschaft, and later served under the command of the SD and SS: “In an SS Sonderkommando he fought against Polish partisans in the Warsaw uprising. He wore a tryzub on his uniform.” (p. 223).

THE OUN-UPA, ON ITS OWN, ENGAGES IN THE MASS MURDER OF THE REMAINING JEWS

Historian John-Paul Himka discusses how many of the Ukrainian police, serving the Germans, eventually deserted their posts, and formed the so-called Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UIA or UPA). (e. g., p. 14). He then provides pages upon pages of testimonies about how the UPA bands murdered Jews in hiding. (pp. 378-on).

In summary, he says, “Numerous testimonies from Jewish and Polish survivors of OUN-UPA violence, from Soviet investigation, and from reports generated by UPA and SB OUN themselves confirm that OUN-UPA was killing Jews in the period between the liquidation of the ghettos, primarily in 1942 and early 1943, and the reconquest of Ukraine by the Soviets in the summer and fall of 1944.” (p. 378).

Not only the Jews were objects of annihilation. In fact, there are preserved UPA documents that, within the same document, advocate the destruction of the remaining Jews and the Poles (p. 371-on). There were even Ukrainian songs, cited by Himka, which juxtaposed Poles and Jews as objects of desired extermination. (p. 394).

THE UKRAINIAN “FINAL SOLUTION” TO THE POLISH QUESTION

The OUN-UPA genocide of Poles did not come out of nowhere. OUN ideation, long before the war, had called for an ethnically pure Ukrainian state. Himka cites many documents on this. (pp. 154-156).

Machiavelli was extended in a way that he probably never imagined. Himka uses a common euphemism as he describes the OUN-UPA genocide of Poles as follows, “The primary target of ethnic cleansing in both Volhynia and Galicia was the Polish population…The murders of Polish civilians in Volhynia set off a vast conflagration of violence, as Poles retaliated and collaborated with their other enemies, the Germans and the Soviets, in order to acquire weapons and military backing.” (p. 392).

Notice that Himka gets the order of events right: The UPA began genocidal attacks on defenseless Polish peasants, and then the Poles turned to the Germans and the Soviets for protection.

Massive Ukrainian Holocaust Complicity. Ukrainian UPA Genocide of Poles. Ukrainians Helped Germans Suppress Warsaw Uprising. Machiavelli: Why Jews Hate Poles More Than Jews Hate Germans. Archives Not Privileged. Himka

 

 

Related posts

August Decree Manipulations: The Soviet-Imposed Communist Authorities Smear Polish Freedom Fighters as Nazi Collaborators and Jew Killers

Polonia

Holocaust Supremacism as Racist as Nazism

Polonia

How False, Anti-Polish Memories Can Be Implanted in the Holocaust Survivor’s Mind

Polonia

Might Makes Right. Germany Dutifully Pays the Jews and Screws Poland. And This Is All Right!

Polonia

Salomon Morel: An Unpunished, Israeli-Sheltered Communist Criminal

Polonia

German Gendarmes–the Real Jew Killers of Fugitive Jews

Polonia

Leave a Comment

* By using this form you agree with the storage and handling of your data by this website.