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Celebrating Victory Day
The Third Reich was defeated, but Nazism lives on
On May 8, 1945, Nazi Germany surrendered to the USSR and their western allies. Due to time zone differences, Russia and other former Soviet countries celebrate Victory Day on May 9. It is not an official holiday in the western countries.
It is generally agreed that defeating the Nazis was a good thing, but today the United States is supporting Nazis in Ukraine. Since the illegal Maidan Coup in 2014, Ukraine has been shifting toward fascism and revising their own history of World War II. In February 2023, Ukrainian parliament proposed Draft Law No. 9009 proposing the abolition of Victory Day in Ukraine. May 8 would still be observed as the Day of Remembrance and Reconciliation but May 9 would no longer be celebrated. This bill also includes ending the celebration of International Women’s Day (March 8) and International Worker’s Day (May 1). Celebrating women, labor, and defeating Nazis is not popular among some elements of the Ukrainian parliament. It remains to be seen if this bill will be passed.
On May 8, 2023, Ukrainian President Zelensky tweeted:
It is on May 8 that most nations of the world remember the greatness of the victory over the Nazis. The world admires all those who were protecting and protected life. Who threw down the Nazi flags on the liberated territory and who opened the gates of the concentration camps. Who restored freedom to the nations, who destroyed and condemned Nazi evil. It is on May 8 that the world honors the memory of all those, whose lives were taken by that war. It is pure history, without ideological admixtures. And it is the history of our people, our allies, the entire free world. Today, we are returning it to our state. Today, I submitted a bill to the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine proposing that May 8 be the Day of Remembrance and Victory over Nazism in the Second World War of 1939-1945. Eternal memory to all those who died in the Second World War! Glory to each and every one who fought against Nazism and won! Glory to all our heroes of different times, to whom we equally owe our lives!
This is rather odd considering that Ukraine now honors many of those who fought and collaborated with Nazis as heroes. When the Nazi entered Ukraine in 1941 they were often met with posters and banners pairing “Heil Hitler” with “Slava Ukraini (Glory to Ukraine).”
Just recently in April 2023, Ukraine decided to rename a street in Kyiv after Volodymyr Kubiyovych, one of the founders of the Waffen-SS Galizien division. This came after the Ukrainian Supreme Court decision that the symbol of the Waffen-SS Galizien division is not a Nazi symbol. According to Yale historian Timothy Snyder (who fully supports the US proxy war in Ukraine today), “The SS-Galizien began its career with the destruction of several Polish communities in winter and spring 1944. Best known is the burning of Huta Pieniacka in February 1944 and the murder of about five hundred of its inhabitants.” The Polish Institute of National Remembrance found:
The Institute established that on February 28, 1944, early in the morning, the town of Huta Pieniacka (inhabited entirely by people of Polish nationality) was surrounded by an army unit probably numbering at least 100 people. The soldiers were dressed in white camouflage suits and spoke Ukrainian, while the commanders spoke German . Witnesses' testimonies and scientific publications show that these formations were accompanied by Ukrainian nationalists, including both members of the Ukrainian Insurgent Army and residents of nearby villages, whose participation was described as "actions to seize property from pacified houses".
The Institute of National Remembrance emphasizes that at that time, many residents of neighboring villages and hamlets came to Huta Pieniacka, who took refuge there for fear of attacks by Ukrainian nationalists. After some time, the inhabitants who were captured and gathered in the church were led out in groups: the elderly, women and children, and men. They were led to wooden barns, and the buildings were set on fire one by one using a previously prepared flammable substance. The imprisoned people were burned alive. Those who resisted, tried to escape from the convoy or the barn - they were killed.
Based on eyewitness accounts, it was established that one of the perpetrators killed a newborn baby who was born while the victims were being held in the church. In addition, it was revealed that one of the escorted elderly women had been stabbed in the stomach with a bayonet. Many people were shot from behind, under the shoulder blade.
These were war crimes carried out by Ukrainians under the leadership of Nazi Germany. On April 28 each year since 2010, Ukrainian Nazis hold a march in honor of the founding of the unit.
On October 14, 2022, Zelensky bestowed the title of Hero of Ukraine on Myroslav Vasyliovych Simchich. He was a member of the Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UPA) and Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists (OUN) and fought against the Soviet army in World War II. He is just one of Ukraine’s “heroes” that fought against the Red Army which defeated the Nazis. It must be remembered that the UPA and OUN took a prominent role in the holocaust in Volhynia and Eastern Galicia. As Grzegorz Rossoliński-Liebe describes:
The UPA was formed by the OUN-B in late 1942. It opposed the Soviet partisans and from early 1943 massacred Polish civilians en masse, killing in 1943 and 1944 from seventy to hundred thousand Poles and several hundred or even thousand Jews.
Those who condemned the Nazis and liberated the concentration camps were the Red Army and not the UPA and OUN who have been glorified by modern day Ukraine. I have detailed some of their history in a post last fall:
If Ukraine truly wanted to celebrate the victory over Nazism, they should be cleaning out their Nazis at home rather than honoring them. However Nazism is so prevalent in Ukraine that even their Jewish president Zelensky can’t avoid accidentally posting Nazi symbols on his Facebook.
The Totenkopf or “Death’s Head” insignia was used frequently in Nazi Germany. As the Anti Defamation League describes:
“Totenkopf” is German for "death's head" or skull and typically refers to a skull-and-crossbones image. During the Nazi era, Hitler's Schutzstaffel (SS) adopted one particular Totenkopf image as a symbol. Among other uses, it became the symbol of the SS-Totenkopfverbande (one of the original three branches of the SS, along with the Algemeine SS and the Waffen SS), whose purpose was to guard the concentration camps. Many original members of this organization were later transferred into and became the core of a Waffen SS division, the 3rd SS "Totenkopf" Panzer Division, which engaged in a number of war crimes during World War II.
The variation used by the bodyguard in Zelensky’s photo is sold by the R3ICH company which is an obvious reference to Nazi Germany. It is branded as the “Operator Skull” and can be found at numerous Ukrainian outlets. This is not the first time that this has happened, as former Ukrainian president Petro Poroshenko posted an image on his Facebook in 2018 of him posing with a soldier with a Totenkopf patch.
On June 8, 2022, Reuters posted a Swastika tattooed resident in Kharkiv in a photo gallery.
Nazi imagery pops up everywhere in Ukraine. Zelensky can tweet about defeating Nazism, but it is clear that Nazism did not end with the defeat of the Third Reich by the Red Army in 1945. With the full support of the United States, Nazi symbolism and ideology is alive and well today in Ukraine. As we celebrate Victory Day, we must continue to oppose Nazism in all its forms. This means opposing the war in Ukraine and the billions of dollars of funding the US is sending there. Arming Nazis is the opposite of defeating them.