Letter to Jews in Ukraine fake but Antisemitism is not.


The letter distributed to the Jewish community in Donetsk.
The letter distributed to the Jewish community in Donetsk.

In Donetsk, Ukraine, masked men reportedly handed out a letter requiring Jews to register with the government and report all their property or they would lose their citizenship and be deported. Thankfully, by all accounts, the letter is a fake.

The letter was stamped and signed by Denis Pushilin, who was identified on it as the “People’s Governor.”

However, Pushilin denied he had anything to do with the letter, claiming it was a fake.

There are similar letters not only addressed to Jews, but also to businessmen, foreign students, people of certain other occupations,” he told RT. “This is actually a fake, and not a good one. There’s a sign “People’s Governor”. First of all, no one calls me by that title, no one elected me. Secondly, the stamp is the former mayor’s. Everything’s photoshopped.”

The fact that there is no official movement by the government to persecute the Jews in the Ukraine is a relief, however the anti-Semitism and urge to resort to the old familiar scapegoating does exist and is worrisome.

Who actually came up with this plan to harass the Jews of Donetsk?

“There were about 100 of us outside the synagogue after Passover eve prayers [on Wednesday] when we saw three masked men in the crowd who started to hand out letters,” Yosef Gurevitz said. “One of them tried to tape one on the synagogue door. Then they quickly left. When I read the letter I was in shock.”

There may be anti-Semitism on both the pro-EU and pro-Russian sides, and Ukrainian Jews are caught in the middle. Reuters’ Dan Williams writes, “there are Jews on both sides of this,” an Israeli official told Reuters on condition of anonymity. “It’s not a clear-cut situation, and we’re taking our lead from the Ukrainian Jewish community. For now, no one there is preparing for an exodus.”

Maybe not, but as I wrote back in February, the attacks on Jews had gotten so out-of-control, that a prominent Rabbi advised his congregation to get out of town.

Y.K. Cherson, formerly of the Ukraine, has also written of the dangers of the extremists, in particular, the Right Sector, part of the supposedly “peaceful protesters” the West quickly supported when all this started and continues to support as they are pro-EU.

Going back to the “protests,” Cherson explains:

“And it was those guys of the “Right Sector” who attacked policemen, who threw Molotov cocktails, who shot, plundered shops and drugstores, stormed government buildings – and who used peaceful protesters as human shields, approaching  anti-riot police files behind their backs- and then suddenly jumping forward and attacking the police with clubs, sticks, iron bars and stones.

“Who were these ‘Right Sector’ guys who demonstrated a surprisingly good organization, who were prepared and trained for such actions and whose battle cry was the famous Ukrainian nationalists’ slogan ‘Glory to Ukraine,’ on which the mandatory response must be ‘Glory to heroes’?

Babi Yar Memorial
Babi Yar Memorial

“They are the Ukrainian analogue of the famous ‘storm troopers’ of Ernst Röhm. For those who are not well-versed in the history of Nazi Germany: the Sturmabteilung (SA) was a paramilitary and fiercely nationalistic organisation primarily composed of disaffected, disenchanted, and angry German combat veterans founded by the government in January 1919, to deal with the threat of a Communist revolution when it appeared that there was a lack of loyal troops. It was they who fought in the streets for Hitler and against Communists, it was they who assassinated Hitler’s political opponents and  finally brought Hitler to power. And, like their Nazi forefathers, the ‘Right Sector’ has its own Ernst Röhm; his name is Dmitriy Yarosh (name in organization: ‘Yastreb’ [‘Hawk’].)

“This 43 year-old Ukrainian is now mentioned in the Ukrainian media very often. Twenty years ago he created a fiercely nationalistic movement called ‘Trizub’ (Trident, a symbol of the Ukrainian nationalists- followers of Stepan Bandera). Yarosh does not hide the fact that his movement is guided by Bandera’s ideas, so let’s take a look at them; besides, these ideas are quite simple and very clearly formulated:

  • ‘A general task consists of cleansing the territory of Ukraine from a maximum number of hostile “moskals” (a derogatory nickname for Russians and those Ukrainians who use the Russian language and see Russians as a brotherly Slavic people) in order to not distract significant forces on guarding and keeping prisoners of war or people interned in the course of the difficult struggle.’
  • ‘People of Ukraine know: those from Moscow, Poland, Hungary, and Jews are your enemies. Kill them!’”

Dmitry Yarosh, the leader of the “Right Sector,” regards people like Stepan Bandera, Roman Shukshevich and Dmitro Karpenko as national heroes. See the work of those “heroes” in a pictorial here. In order to understand the danger for Jews in the Ukraine now, it is important to know the history and see both sides. (And we already get enough of the EU side in the mainstream media.) I recommend taking a look at these photos, though they are graphic.

Again, while the letters requiring Ukrainian Jews to register may have been fake, the anti-Semitism is very real. Lori Lowenthal Marcus of The Jewish Press reminds us in “‘Jews Must Register’ Flyer in Ukraine an Echo of Babi Yar”: “On September 28, 1941, notices were posted informing all of the Jews of Kiev that they were to appear the following day, with all of their belongings, to a particular location. The next day, September 29, tens of thousands of Jews showed up at the designated location. They were marched to the forest, to the ravine known as Babi Yar. All of those Jews were stripped of their belongings and their clothing, and then shot. By the following day, more than 34,000 Jews were murdered.”

Never forget. A letter like this, fake or not, demonstrates the anti-Semitic sentiments in the atmosphere and should not be taken lightly.

Cherson and Molschky

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