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This Day in History: Nazis, Ukrainian Nationalists Launch Massive Pogrom in Lvov

© AP Photo / Efrem LukatskyActivists of various nationalist parties carry torches and a portrait of Stepan Bandera during a rally in Kiev, Ukraine, Saturday, Jan. 1, 2022 marking his birth anniversary. (AP Photo/Efrem Lukatsky)
Activists of various nationalist parties carry torches and a portrait of Stepan Bandera during a rally in Kiev, Ukraine, Saturday, Jan. 1, 2022 marking his birth anniversary. (AP Photo/Efrem Lukatsky) - Sputnik International, 1920, 01.07.2024
Stepan Bandera’s Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists teamed up with Nazi Einsatzgruppen squadrons for an orgy of antisemitic violence.
A dark chapter in Ukraine’s history was written 83 years ago today when Stepan Bandera’s Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists (OUN)* launched a violent campaign against the Jewish population of the city of Lvov.
The pogrom took place in the context of World War II’s Operation Barbarossa, the German invasion of the USSR that saw over 27 million Soviet citizens killed by the Nazi Wehrmacht.
On June 30, 1941, the OUN seized control of Lvov, covering the city with antisemitic propaganda advocating violence against Jews and other ethnic minorities. Anti-Jewish violence reached an crescendo as nationalist authorities attempted to ingratiate themselves to the Nazi occupiers, with OUN militias arresting and executing thousands of Jews.
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Crowds of local Poles and Ukrainians joined in the violence as Nazi SS death squads initiated their own antisemitic campaign, subjecting victims to rape, beatings, and robbery.
Altogether some 6,000 Jews were murdered during several days of persecution, many of whom had fled the Nazis from other parts of Eastern Europe. After the pogrom OUN militias would work directly under Nazi Einsatzgruppen leaders. The incident was typical of the racist violence of Bandera’s nationalist Ukrainian Insurgent Army, which sought to establish a totalitarian, ethnically homogeneous fascist dictatorship in Ukraine.
Although he has been lionized as a national hero in the years since the Maidan regime’s seizure of power a decade ago, the historical record is clear: Bandera was a brutal Nazi collaborator who enabled the death of millions as Hitler’s army swept through Eastern Europe.
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That history has not prevented Ukraine’s government from celebrating Bandera with marches, statues, and official commemorations. In 2017 Lvov marked the anniversary of 1941’s pogrom with a festival honoring Roman Shukhevych, a key leader of the violence.
President Vladimir Putin has clarified that denazification is a non-negotiable demand of any peace agreement with Ukraine, with Moscow insisting that extremist nationalists must be removed from power at all levels of government. The Kiev regime has killed thousands of ethnic Russians in violence targeted against civilians in eastern Ukraine since 2014’s Maidan coup ushered in a Russophobic US puppet regime.
Ukrainian fighters are frequently seen sporting tattoos and using symbols tied to Nazi Germany. In May US Secretary of State Antony Blinken was hosted by Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmitry Kuleba at a Kiev pizza parlor notorious for displaying Third Reich iconography. In November 2014 the notorious neo-Nazi Azov Battalion was granted legitimacy by Kiev when it was officially integrated into Ukraine’s armed forces.
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*A terrorist group banned in Russia
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