Ms. Rogatchi in trying to defend her position (TBT 693, The European Rebuke) introduces the recent passage by the European Parliament of a general resolution on Ukraine’s relationship with the EU. The resolution contains twenty “having regard” clauses, seventeen “whereas” clauses and twenty-two conclusions. There is no reference in any of the “having regard” or “whereas” clauses to Bandera and the OUN. Entirely out of the blue the EP offers conclusion #20, in which it criticizes Ukraine for honoring “Stepan Bandera, a leader of the Organisation (sic) of Ukrainian Nationalists (OUN) which collaborated with Nazi Germany.”
To set the record straight, I wrote to the president of the European Parliament in this regard. His name is Jerzy Buzek and he happens to be the former prime minister of Poland. The European Parliament was hardly an appropriate forum for manifestations of Polish extreme nationalism. Stepan Bandera spent a good portion of his life fighting against the Polish occupation of Western Ukraine with the ultimate goal being Ukraine’s independence. His honoring was entirely an internal matter for Ukraine and the Ukrainian people. His dishonoring by the European Parliament at the behest of the Polish delegation was not unlike a hypothetical Ukrainian delegation to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe introducing a resolution requesting that Poland remove all statues to Marshal Jozef Pilsudski because he was undemocratic, in fact a fascist dictator of Poland in the 1920-30s, responsible for a chauvinistic “pacification” program against Ukrainians in Western Ukraine.
In 1934, Marshal Pilsudski signed a Polish-German Non-Aggression Pact with Josef Goebbels enabling the Nazis to rearm.
Aside from Mr. Buzek’s facilitation, the anti-Ukrainian verbiage was introduced last minute with no supporting documentation or evidence by the Polish delegation. Stepan Bandera and the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists (OUN) were enemies of the Polish empire. However, in an objective historical analysis of atrocities and excesses, the Polish side would not do well. However, the resolution includes no mention of any evidence regarding Bandera’s or OUN’s complicity with the Nazis. There simply is no such evidence. In fact, the Soviets and now the Russians, have tried unsuccessfully for years to defame both.
However, Soviet Chief Prosecutor Roman Rudenko, at the Nuremberg trials did not even mention Bandera or OUN despite, you can be sure, a definite agenda drafted in the Kremlin itself. The preeminent Jewish historian on the Holocaust, Raul Hilberg, in his seminal work “The Destruction of the European Jews,” also fails to even mention Bandera or the OUN. It’s true that Yad Vashen was not pleased with Raul Hilberg, but not because he was not accurate, but because he failed to embellish upon Jewish heroism.
I concluded my letter to Mr. Buzek quite simply. I asked him to tell his colleagues at the European Parliament the truth. I should like to conclude my discourse with Inna Rogatchi by simply asking her to accept the truth.
Askold S. Lozynskyj
March 4, 2010