Euroasian Jewish News
Israel, Poland join in protest against Ukraine monument to Shukhevych
Israeli and Polish ambassadors have signed a joint letter to the mayor of the Ukrainian city of Ivano-Frankisvsk protesting the unveiling there of a monument honoring Roman Shukhevych, one of the leaders of the Ukrainian nationalists movement.
Poland and Israel rarely speak out on the rampant glorification of Nazi-era collaborators in Ukraine, a country seen by many in the West as a key buffer against Russian expansionism. Joint Israeli-Polish action on the issue is rarer still — especially since the eruption last year of diplomatic crises over disputed allegations of Polish complicity in the Holocaust.
Shukhevych, who is celebrated as an anti-Soviet patriot, was “personally responsible” for murdering tens of thousands “by bullets, fire, rape, torture and other beastly methods — only because they prayed to God in Polish or Hebrew,” Ambassadors Joel Lion and Bartosz Cichocki wrote.
Interpretation of the role of Roman Shukhevych during the war as 'a Nazi collaborator' is a kind of oversimplification. In 1941-1942 he was rather an ally of Nazi German, like Josef Stalin in 1939-1941 or like Carl Gustav Mannerheim in 1941-1944.
There are discussions among historians, if any unit under the Shukhevych commandment was involved in any Nazi action of extermination of the Jewish population, and what is the degree of his personal responsibility for violence against civilians during the Polish-Ukrainien violent clashes in Volyn region (during the most brutal phase of the Polish-Ukrainian ethnic cleanings Roman Shukhevych was not a commander of the Ukrainian Insurgent Army).