Symbols of the 1st Galician SS Division do not fall under the law banning Communist and Nazi propaganda, according to Vladimir Vyatrovich, the Director of the Ukrainian Institute of National Memory (UINM) on May 18. This statement was an official response to a request by Strana.ua, an independent Ukrainian online newspaper.
Journalists from Strana.ua asked Vladimir Vyatrovich to explain the legitimacy in using the symbols of the 1st Galician SS Division in the light of the Ukrainian law “On Condemning the Communist and National-Socialist (Nazi) Totalitarian Regimes on Ukraine and Forbidding the Propaganda of their Symbols”. The law was ratified in April 2015.
According to the official reply from Vladimir Vyatrovich, symbols of the 1st Galician SS Division are not included in the list of Nazi symbols. As a result, their use cannot be considered to be Nazi propaganda. Vyatrovich wrote, “In the specified list of symbols the 14th Waffen Grenadier Division of the Galician SS (the 1st Ukrainian division of the Ukrainian National Army (UNA) – Rossa Primavera News Agency) is absent. With this in mind, the symbols of the 14th Waffen Grenadier Division of the Galician SS (the 1st Ukrainian division of the UNA, organization banned in Russia – Rossa Primavera News Agency) according to the current legislation of Ukraine are not symbols of the national-socialist (Nazi) totalitarian regime, the distribution or public use of which is forbidden in Ukraine”.
The 1st Galician SS Division was a World War II German military unit, part of the Nazi Germany’s Waffen SS, made up predominantly of volunteers from Ukraine. Units and subunits of the 1st Galician SS Division took active part in hostilities against partisans in France, Poland, former Yugoslavia, and Western Ukraine. These units took part in Nazi punitive operations in southeastern Poland. Militants of the SS “Galicia” division committed war crimes and crimes against humanity. The 1st Galician SS Division was part of the Waffen-SS, an elite unit of the wartime German Armed Forces. According to the International Military Tribunal at Nuremberg, the Waffen-SS was ruled to be a criminal organization, and its members were convicted accordingly.
Source: Rossa Primavera News Agency