Clarity: Ukraine, bloody Nazi past and the current innocent

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    We can not forget how Ukrainians actively helped in exterminating our people. Not just as collaborators with Nazi Germany but out of their own “free will” evil. Hundreds of thousands of Jewish victims. Ukraine is soaked in Jewish blood. In addition, Nazi Germans employed Ukranians in some camps knowing their immense cruelty.
    Even after the war, neo Nazis roamed there and have a real present there. Yet, the neo Nazis have lost much in the 2019 elections.

    Grand children of Nazi Ukrainians are innocent. And as Yiden, we ache for any human suffering. We are Rachmanim Bayshsnim & Gomlei Chassadim like the Talmud says. Seeing civilians men, women and children being attacked is horrific.
    רחמנין ביישנין וגומלי חסדים


    An excellent argument all Jews refusing to live in Europe or American, or frankly in any Christian country. The reality is that in almost all European countries, a considerable number of people went out of their way to help the Nazis, and that doesn’t include Germans who “were following orders”. While the government (or others) executed many collaborators after the war, for the good of peace most Europeans decided on deliberate amnesia.

    Many Ukrainians fought for the Allies, and some collaborated with the Germans. There is no hiddush here. And that is true almost everywhere in Europe.

    How far back should we be mad? Should we boycott anything to do with Spain (including Latin America) since we’re mad over 1492? Should we have support the majority in view in America in 1939 that the US should not get involved since we were mad at England for the expulsion of Jews? Should we refuse to have anything to do with the United States and Britain since their elected leaders, with full knowledge of the Holocaust (in close to real time, as we now know from the declassified Engima decryptions) did nothing to facilitate Jews escaping from Europe. Should we support the Iranians since they are the ones who facilitated the building of Bayis Sheini?

    It is one thing to say that those who forget history get to do it over again. It’s another thing to be so lost in the past that you cease to be able to function in the present.


    I understand what you’re saying but as far as ACTIVEKY participating in mass killing, Ukrainians are up there on top with German Nazis.


    “Many Ukrainians fought for the Allies, and some collaborated with the Germans. There is no hiddush here. And that is true almost everywhere in Europe.”

    But there were also Ukrainians who, during WWII, hid Jews from the Nazis, risking their own lives and the lives of their children. Among them were different people – from Orthodox priests to ordinary peasants. The names of some of them mentioned in Garden of the Righteous at Yad Vashem in Jerusalem. And the names of those who were not mentioned in the Garden of the Righteous remained in the memory of saved by them and in the memory of their children.


    Of course there were also Chasidei Umot haOlam (Righteous among the Nations) in Ukraine too. There were many levels among the Europeans. (As there are always differences in the הלכה בידוע…)

    There is also that inspiring tragic story where Nazis ordered Jews to bury Ukranians, they refused, they ordered Ukranians to bury the Jews and they refused, the diabolical Nazi shoved a bit of sand with his feet and tried to blame it on the Jews… and they were all murdered by the Nazis.

    Nazis Bury Alive Old Jews and Ukrainians for Refusing to Inter Each Other, JTA, November 27, 1942.

    But the bad Ukranians hunted Jews, unrelated to collaboration with Nazis, but on their own choice. And there was a viciius reason why Nazis also employed them in concentration camps, their cruelty, notorious.


    I’d call out the sophmoric bigotry of the OP, but instead I’ll point out that shallow generalizations are indicative of a life untroubled by experience or meaningful relationships.


    @ymribiat, What does your unrelated, off topic, weird embittered text have to do with ‘Current innocent Ukranians’?


    OP is right.
    I’m sure there were good guys there too. But facts are facts.

    ‘Ivan the terrible’ in Treblinka, anybody?

    Haaretz which is never accused of bashing enemies if the Jewish people..

    Ofer Aderet, Haaretz correspondent: “The Ukrainians did not help the Jews in the Holocaust, really, really, really not. They were the so-called ‘Nazis and their aides’. They helped locate, inform and lead the Jews to the killing pits. John Demjanjuk was Ukrainian. They were eager to commit murder of Jews even without an order, in order to express their hatred. ”
    Given all that, we should all help now all Ukrainians of course.


    Dear @akuperma, זכור does not mean we should be vengeful. We should all be compassionate as I stated in the original post.
    But never forget.


    This sad OP is a sign of not teaching subjects like “goyishe history” and ignoring Jewish history also.
    If you would really interested in this topic, you would compare & contrast events that you mention with number of Jews and Ukrainians who ended their life killed by NKVD and Russian labor camps. Many frum Jews who survived those times remembered that, but Jewish establishment, being mostly “progressive”, ignored USSR crimes when the beast was alive, and it seems that this general attitude is now popular even among observant Jews whose grandparents did not pass their knowledge to them.


    The Ukrainians not only enabled and assisted the Nazis (unlike the Russians), but the Ukrainians/Cossack Jew hatred/mass murder is much older than that. Tach V’tat was from the Ukrainians.

    OP: Are you as forgiving of the Germans for Nazism as you are of the Ukrainians?


    We are compassionate towards all people.
    But, ‘Forgiving’??? Is another matter. That should be asked by the victims themselves – individually, each and everyone.

    As a Tzibur, who has the right to forgive on behalf of the Kdoshim victims?

    And this goes to ANY anti-Jewish crimes, anywhere past/present. Including by:
    Stalin in Russia or which AAQ mentioned;


    or 1492 Spain;

    ת”ח ות”ט Gzeirot;

    Kishinev 1903 pogrom;

    or 1929 Hebron;

    1934 Algeria;

    German Nazis and their collaborators [Vidkun Quisling, the Belgians had Leon Degrelle, the Dutch – the Waffen-SS unit, the largest outside Germany, the Ukrainians Stepan Bandera, the Russians – General Andrey Andreyevich Vlasov and that Azov Battalion] especially 1941-44;

    Mufti’s 1941 Farhud Baghdad for that matter.

    etc. etc. etc.
    (Just mentioned random events , did not mean to exclude others) .


    I agree with the OP’s sentiments. Previously i have posted that we as jews should not care. Doing some more research and introspection made me realize that rachamim is a important middah of a jew.


    Shalom: You view, treat, would deal with and would sympathize with any troubles experienced by today’s German people the same way you would, say, today’s Canadians?


    Dear @ujm.

    In general, I try, to express what in IMHO (lan”d) is correct. Not ‘personal’ things.

    Which is why I want to add, that even if someone is a victim for belonging to Am Yisroel, as a Jude, or as a Yahood (see ADL reveals 93% of Gaza/West Bank holding Anti-Semitic views. 2014 and 2020), he/she might have a right to forgive the personal part, but not the anti-Jewish motive, part.

    Reb Eliezer

    The year for the Nazis ym’s is 1938-45 or maybe 1933-45.


    True R.E. but as YadVasgem and historians state, the increased mass murder came about more, after Op. Barbarosa.


    From a geopolitical perspective, EY and the U.S. need to deal with what is in their strategic interests NOW and forego policy decisions rooted in historical/emotional links. Not always easy to do but when you are dealing with the risks of expanding conflicts with a nuclear power and existential issues, you don’t have the luxury of morality-based decisionmaking tied to prior events.



    …and about saving Jewish lives, foremost, hopefully.

    bina vodas

    we have to see this in perspective, yiden lived in Ukraine for centuries and if it would be only bad i believe they would have immigrated else where the fact that they lived there for so long says something, yes there is some terribly cruel history, but proportion to how many yiden lived there and compared to other eastern European countries i am not sure the differences is so great.


    Let’s start with a much simpler paradox.

    No one denies the state of Israel’s past, yaldei Tehran, perfidy etc… no one denies the present, and yet everyone makes an effort to express all sorts of support for the country and understands that we are obligated to have compassion.


    Ukrainians and Cossacks have been especially cruel and murderous to Jews throughout many centuries.


    bina > yiden lived in Ukraine for centuries

    history of Yidden in Ukraine is somewhat complicated:, Yidden moved on their own volition to Poland where they lived more free than in other European countries, and moved their to Ukraine often as contractors for Polish aristocrats to run their remote estates. Then, Poland was divided in 18th century between Russia, Austro=Hungary and Germany and Ukraine belonged to the first two. Within Russia, they were not allowed to move to Russia proper, so they stayed in Ukraine/Belorus/Poland/Lita area until Russians got rid of the Czar.
    After several violent years (and a brief Ukrainian state), Jews were able to move to the rest of USSR – but it was not much better there. Sometimes USSR moved them to Siberia without their will.


    again, this is some perversion of discussing sins of Cossacks while Russians are bombing Ukraine.
    Maybe discussing sins of Russians would be more appropriate (and numerous). for one, most of Cossack horrors are not from the time they were roaming steppes and attacking wandering Jews, but from the time when they were employed by Czars as a separate police force to keep Jews and everyone else in check, similarly to how now Russians have Chechen units that they are sending to pacify other ethnicities. It does not mean that all Chechen are pro-Russian, as most were fighting against.

    Shimon Nodel


    I’m so confused. Why do you assume they are innocent just because they were born afterwards? Did they do teshuva?? How did they attempt to make ammends? Did they at the very least ask forgiveness?
    All people are responsible for the sins and crimes of their ancestors so long as they have not taken any steps towards teshuva. That is also why we are responsible for the chet ha’egel, and that is why Mashiach did come in the days of Ezra, because they did not do a complete teshuva for avodah zara even though they were already the next generation. When we say viduy, we always acknowledge our fathers sins. Why? Is it just ceremonial, symbolic, or superfluous? It is an integral part of teshuva. It is absolutely fundamental to the process of atonement.
    So yes, they are indeed guilty. And I suspect that are also proud of what their fathers and mothers did. If they have never even begged forgiveness, why would anyone think otherwise?

    Don’t answer if you agree


    The Ukrainian anti-Russian factions have always, and still do today, honor their ant-semitic ancestors who murdered masses of Jews in cold blood, with street namings and national holiday and statues in city centers.



    “All people are responsible for the sins and crimes of their ancestors so long as they have not taken any steps towards teshuva.”

    Can you provide a source for this claim?


    > All people are responsible for the sins and crimes of their ancestors so long as they have not taken any steps towards teshuva.

    what is the source of that? I learned that when people continue aveiros of their parents, then they are punished. It is, of course, often a case when a nation continues on the same path as usual, taking previous attitudes for granted. Still, post-Soviet countries went through a lot of changes and they might not have kept same attitudes. I think when we talk about a fully autonomous aggressive nations, like Germany, Russia, then they can’t be treated normally unless they did a formal teshuva, reparations, etc even if this cannot return the lives lost (something Germany did and Russia did a little in the 90s), but it is a different thing when you talk about countries that were subjugated themselves, like Ukraine. If they changed their attitudes, then this should be enough. I am not saying they did, I don’t know enough, although electing a Jewish president with 80% and fighting Russians like they do show something.


    From Today:

    [Kann News’] Gili Cohen @gilicohen10 Tweeted, Mar 20, 2022:

    Senior government ministers attack the words of Ukrainian President Zalansky and say: He made contempt for the Holocaust, this comparison is outrageous – not to distort history. We all know Ukraine’s role in the Holocaust.


    ‘Zelenskyy attacked in the zoom speech …’

    Moran Azulai, Haim Goldich, Sivan Hilai, Ynet, Mar 20, 2022:

    In his previous speeches to other parliaments – including the US Congress, the British Parliament, the Canadian Parliament and the European Parliament – Zelenskyy also compared Russia’s actions in his country, including attacks on civilian targets, to Nazi acts during the Holocaust. Senior political figures in Israel said in response that they were surprised by the criticism in the speech, which he defined as forced good: “His comparison to the Holocaust is outrageous. The Ukrainians slaughtered Jews. They were also Righteous Among the Nations but the majority slaughtered Jews.”

    Knesset Speaker Miki Levy said before the speech: “I would like to thank you for honoring us in your presence and taking the time these difficult days to speak with the MKs of Israel. The Ukrainian victims and victims of the war. The Russian attack is a blatant attack on international order. Everything must be done to bring about a ceasefire “…

    The six members of the [Arab] joint list did not watch the zoom speech…

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