The Simon Wiesenthal Center on April 12 released a statement condemning the pro-Nazi bills passed by the Rada on Apr. 9, which equate nazism and communism and extend social benefits to the Banderistas of the OUN-UPA.
“Ukraine’s parliament has extended official recognition to a nationalist militia that collaborated with the Germans during the Second World War,” reads the statement of the Nazi-hunting group, naming the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists, which “engaged in warfare against both the Soviet Union and the Nazis [and] collaborated with Germany and took part in actions against local Jews.”
“The passage of a ban on Nazism and Communism equates the most genocidal regime in human history with the regime which liberated Auschwitz and helped end the reign of terror of the Third Reich,” said Wiesenthal Center director for Eastern European Affairs Dr. Efraim Zuroff.
Zuroff added that “the decision to honor local Nazi collaborators and grant them special benefits turns Hitler’s henchmen into heroes despite their active and zealous participation in the mass murder of innocent Jews. These attempts to rewrite history, which are prevalent throughout post-Communist Eastern Europe, can never erase the crimes committed by Nazi collaborators in these countries, and only proves that they clearly lack the Western values which they claim to have embraced upon their transition to democracy.”
In a different communique dated April 14, the Simon Wiesenthal Center also denounced the “campaign led by the Baltic countries to distort the history of the Holocaust and obtain official recognition that the crimes of the Communists are equal to those of the Nazis.”