As Russian forces exit Kherson the hunting down and lawless persecution of “Russian Supporters” begins once again. Photos of men, women and children being bound to poles and beaten or worse abound, reports of 39 pro-Russian activists being shot and another 74 taken away to unknown destinations are presented by multiple outlets, this punctuated with the outright and continued lies presented by the Ukrainian government who provided a footage of a number of dead Russian soldiers that they claimed were killed by an artillery strike was shortly thereafter proven to have been staged, via video evidence it was shown that these POW’s were shot at point blank range in the head.
To those who know the history of Ukraine are not surprised that these types of action are carried out by the Banderite Nazis. These are actually quite tame compared to the atrocities committed by their ancestors against a number of different people including Poles, Russians, Jews and anyone else who they considered to be sub-human.
When Germany invaded Poland in the early 1940’s Ukrainians eagerly set forth to join the Nazi “mobile groups” created by Bandera and his followers, these men acted as lap dog boot lickers for their Nazi masters, running errands, acting as messengers and doing any other menial task the Germans wished not to do. Bandera and his OUN-B were desperate to join the Nazis on a combat level and expressed this complete allegiance with such statements as:
“We treat the coming German army as the army of allies. We tried, before their coming to put life in order, on our own as it should be. We inform them that the Ukrainian authority is already established, it is under the control of the OUN under the leadership of Stepan Bandera; all matters are regulated by the OUN and the local authorities are ready to establish friendly relations with the army, in order to fight together against Moscow.”
The Nazi’s were welcomed into Ukraine with parades and victory banners, truly a hero’s welcome, just as they are today by some in Kherson. Aleksey Bris was 18 at the time living in Ukraine and was part of this welcoming party, stating:
“Ukrainians could see a different way of life. They saw they could go to dances and have different clothes.”
Shortly after the invasion the Ukrainian Auxiliary Police, or Schutzmannschaft was formed by order of the German commander in Chief of the order of Police in Krakow. The group was made up of over 40,000 local Ukrainians to act as enforcers of Nazi rule. The Germans accepted the Ukrainians as Nazis yet chose not to allow any Ukrainians into high levels of command; with the only exception being ethnically German Ukrainians, Volksdeutsche, who were living abroad.
According to members of the Einsatzgruppen of the SS in the Nazi army who carried out many of the mass killings during the Holocaust:
“Ukrainians and local ethnic Germans could be relied upon to assist with the killing”
The banderites begged constantly to form their own battalions. Eventually their persistence paid off when the Ukrainian Legion of the Nazi army was created by the head of the Abwehr, Wilhelm Franz Cnaris.
To further their activities, they received 2.5 million Marks for activities that were to be directed against the USSR. Numerous subversive activities were successfully carried out by the unit and in spring of 1941 the legion was reorganized into three specific units, Nachtigall battalion, Roland Battalion and the third, then unnamed unit, was immediately sent to the Soviet front where it was to carry out sabotage and assassination missions from inside the Red Army’s lines.
The Roland unit received extensive training at the German Abwehr training center in Seibersdorf and Nachtigall was trained in Neuhammer. Roman Shukhevych became the commander who was to take direct orders from German official Theodor Oberlander and Albrecht Herzner. Nachtigall was given regular Wehrmacht uniforms but later chose to attach blue and yellow ribbons on their shoulders, representing the Ukrainian flag. Roland Battalion were clad in Czechoslovakian uniforms with a yellow armband that read “I’m Dienst der Deutschen Wehrmacht” or I’m in the service of the German Wehrmacht.
Nachtigall was moved to Lviv traveling from Seibersdorf with the Panzer-Jaeger Division along the Radymno-Lviv-Ternopil- Proskuriv-Vinnystia path. The unit was considered part of the Nazi army in 1st Brandenburg Battalion. Numerous documents and first-hand testimony have verified that Nachtigall took part in the Pogroms that took place in 1941 in Lviv. It was during these Pogroms that an estimated 9,000 people were killed in less than one month, most being Polish and Jews.
As the German forces advanced they began claiming that they had discovered the retreating NKVD of the Soviet Union had executed groups of political prisoners, just as they have done today with Bucha and each subsequent territory they reclaim. They used this as a propaganda tool to incite the first Pogrom in Lviv, stating that the Jews were responsible due to the Nazi theory of Judeo- Bolshevism. The Einsatzgruppen C along with Nachtigall organized the first Pogrom and set to the streets. People were drug from their homes and beaten or killed. During these attacks German propaganda filmmakers shot hours of footage, documenting the torturing and beating to be used in Nazi films, claiming those being harmed in the films were Soviet operatives, again today history repeats itself.
Utilizing a vast film collection from the time, historian David Lee Preston has been able to establish the claims of the Nazis as false. As justification for the Pogroms in Lviv Germany had provided collections of photos they claimed to be of political prisoners killed by the NKVD, Preston was able to show that the photos provided by the Nazis were pictures of the victims of the pogroms themselves not that of the supposed victims of the retreating Russians.
After this initial program in Lviv Nachtigall, as well as regular OUN-B members in the area provided lists that contained over 3,000 people that were accused of “anti-Nazi reputation.” The accused were then rounded up in a municipal stadium next to the German Headquarters and held prisoner. Many of the prisoners were beaten and a number disappeared, the next day the captives were trucked to a remote execution camp, Janowska, where they were lined up, shot and kicked into a hole, many still alive as they tumbled into the mass of naked half dead and dead bodies. The terror continued on until dawn when those lucky enough to still remain at the stadium were released. A new set of lists provided by OUN-B operatives, this time consisting largely of students, university professors and other members of the intelligentsia. These men and women were arrested along with any of their family members and rounded up in one group. The number of people was so great that the entire group was split in half and held in separate areas. Many were then taken to be tortured and interrogated, after which, if they survived, were sent to the Wuleckie hills and executed. The executions were particularly gruesome with reports of death by beating, bayonet, gunshot wound and even numerous accounts of death by hammers. Many of these killings were accredited directly to the Nachtigall battalion.
A second Pogrom was initiated by the Nazi command and took place in July of 1941. The Pogrom was initiated by the OUN- B along with Nachtigall battalion who wished to honor the assassinated Ukrainian leader Symon Petlura, leading to the pogrom being labeled as “Petlura Days.” The killings were to be organized by the Ukrainians with direct guidance and approval from the Germans. Ukrainian militants and peasants with no political affiliations were brought in from countryside and instructed to bring farm tools and anything that could be used as a weapon to assist in the massacre. Again, the OUN provided lists of people to be rounded up and the process began. Jews, Poles and “Soviet Operatives” were taken from their homes and paraded in the streets where locals and OUN members beat them and drug them to a Jewish cemetery as well as the Lackiego Street prison where they were shot to death. In three days an estimated 2,000 were killed and many more seriously injured.
The Ukrainian collaboration didn’t end here, in September of 1941 perhaps one of the most brutal and well-known mass slaughtering’s occurred in Babi Yar Kiev. Nazi Germany had occupied the area for only a short time when it was struck by a series of bombings by the Soviet NKVD, one of which did major damage to the Nazi rear Headquarters Army group. Two days after this attack Maj. Gen. Kurt Eberhard, the military governor and SS-Obergruppenfuhrer Friedrich Jeckeln, SS-Standartenfurer Paul Blobel, SS-Brigadefugrer Dr. Otto Rasch who was the commander of the Einsatzgruppen C, who had worked alongside Nachtigall battalion in the Lviv Pogroms, and the SS and Police leaders of the area met and decided that the extermination of the Jews in Kiev was justified due to the bombings. The Nazis set out their plan and began organizing some of their troops and Ukrainian Police forces, made largely of OUN-B members, as well as many volunteers from the OUN-B who were considered part of the Hiwi squad of the German army that consisted of willing volunteers. On September 26 the following order was posted in Kiev in Ukrainian, Russian and German:
“All Yids of the city of Kiev and its vicinity must appear on Monday, September 29, by 8 o’clock in the morning at the corner of Mel’nikova and Dokterivskaya streets (near the Viis’kove cemetery). Bring documents, money and valuables, and also warm clothing, linen, etc. Any Yids who do not follow this order and are found elsewhere will be shot. Any civilians who enter the dwellings left by Yids and appropriate the things in them will be shot.”
Jews were told that they were to register with the Nazi’s after which they would be moved from the city into relocation camps, but that was far from the truth. When Jews arrived at the areas of registration they were forced to give up all their possessions and stripped of nearly all their clothing. The Nazis took baubles, trinkets, family heirlooms and went as far as pulling gold teeth directly from the mouths of Jews. By the end of the collection they had loaded more than 130 trucks with the belongings of the victims. A driver of one of these trucks, Fritz Hoefer gave this testimony at the Einsatzgruppen war crimes trial:
One day I was ordered to drive my truck out of town. I had a Ukrainian with me. It was about 10 a.m. On our way, we passed Jews marching in columns in the same direction, we were going. They were carrying their belongings. There were whole families. The farther we drove away from the town, the more people we saw in the columns. There were piles of clothes in a wide-open field. My job was to fetch them.
I stopped the engine nearby, and the Ukrainians standing around started loading the car with this stuff. From where I was, I saw other Ukrainians meeting the Jews who arrived, men, women and children, and directing them to the place where, one after another, they were supposed to remove their belongings, coats, shoes, outer garments and even their underwear.
They were supposed to put all their belongings together in a pile. Everything happened very quickly, the Ukrainians hurried those who hesitated by kicking and pushing them. I think it took less than a minute from the moment a person took off his coat before he was standing completely naked.
No distinction was made between men, women and children. The Jews who were arriving could have turned back when they saw those who had come earlier taking off their clothes. Even today I cannot understand why they didn’t run.
Naked Jews were led to a ravine about 150 metres long, 30 metres wide and 15 metres deep. The Jews went down into the ravine through two or three narrow paths. When they got closer to the edge of the ravine, members of the Schutzpolizei (Germans) grabbed them and made them lie down over the corpses of the Jews who had already been shot.
It took no time. The corpses were carefully laid down in rows. As soon as a Jew lay down, a Schutzpolizist came along with a sub-machine gun and shot him in the back of the head. The Jews who descended into the ravine were so frightened by this terrible scene that they completely lost their will. You could even see some of them lying down in the row on their own and waiting for the shot to come.
Only two members of the Schutzpolizei did the shooting. One of them was working at one of the ravine, the other started at the other end. I saw them standing on the bodies and shooting one person after another.
Walking over the corpses toward a new victim who had already laid down, the machine gunner shot him on the spot. It was an extermination machine that made no distinction between men, women and children. Children were kept with their mothers and shot with them. I did not watch for long. When I approached the edge, I was so frightened of what I that I could not look at it for a long time.
I saw dead bodies at the bottom laid across in three rows, each of which was approximately 60 metres long. I could not see how many layers were there. It was beyond my comprehension to see bodies twitching in convulsions and covered with blood, so I could not make sense of the details. Apart from the two machine gunners, there were two other members of the Schutzpolizei standing near each passage into the ravine.
They made each victim lie down on the corpses, so that the machine gunner could shoot while he walked by. When victims descended into the ravine and saw this terrible scene at the last moment, they let out a cry of terror. But they were grabbed by the waiting Schutzpolizei right away and hurled down onto the others.
Those who followed them could not see the terrible scene because it was obstructed by the edge of the ravine. While some people were getting undressed and most of the others were waiting their turn, there was a lot of noise. The Ukrainians paid no attention to the noise and just kept forcing people through the passages into the ravine.
You could not see the ravine from the site where people were taking off their clothes, because it was situated about 150 metres away from the first pile of clothes. Besides, a strong wind was blowing and it was very cold. You couldn’t hear the shooting in the ravine. Jews at Babi Yar waiting to be murdered
So I concluded that the Jews had no idea what was actually happening. Even today I wonder why the Jews did nothing to challenge what was going on. Masses of people were coming from town and they did not seem to suspect anything.
They thought they were just being relocated.
At the end of the day the Germans covered over the bodies burying the dead, dying and wounded all together in one massive grave. A survivor, Dina Pronicheva, gave her account of the Babi Yar massacre at war crime hearings as well, she recounted her story to Anatoli Kuznetsov, a Soviet writer, who published her story, the following is a brief excerpt:
All around and beneath her she could hear strange submerged sounds, groaning, choking and sobbing: many of the people were not dead yet. The whole mass of bodies kept moving slightly as they settled down and were pressed tighter by the movements of the ones who were still living.
Some soldiers came out on to the ledge and flashed their torches down on the bodies, firing bullets from their revolvers into any which appeared to be still living. But someone not far from Dina went on groaning as loud as before.
Then she heard people walking near her, actually on the bodies. They were Germans who had climbed down and were bending over and taking things from the dead and occasionally firing those which showed signs of life. Among them was the policeman who had examined her papers and taken her bag, she recognized him by his voice.
One SS-man caught his foot against Dina and her appearance aroused his suspicions. He shone his torch on her, picked her up and struck her with his fist. But she hung limp and gave no sign of life. He kicked her in the breast with his heavy boot and trod on her right hand so that the bones cracked, but he didn’t use his gun and went off, picking his way across the corpses.
A few minutes later she heard a voice calling from above: “Demidenko! Come on start shovelling.” There was a clatter of spades and then heavy thuds as the earth and sand landed on the bodies, coming closer and closer until it started falling on Dina herself.
Her whole body was buried under the sand but she did not move until it began to cover her mouth. She was lying face upwards, breathed in some sand and started to choke, and then, scarcely realizing what she was doing, she started to struggle in a state of uncontrollable panic, quite prepared now to be shot rather than be buried alive.
With her left hand, the good one, she started scraping the sand off herself, scarcely daring to breathe lest she should start coughing: she used what strength she had left to hold the cough back. She began to feel a little easier. Finally, she got herself out from under the earth.
The Ukrainian policemen up above were apparently tired after a hard day’s work, too lazy to shovel the earth in properly, and once they had scattered a little in they dropped their shovels and went away. Dina’s eyes were full of sand, it was pitch dark and there was the heavy smell of flesh from the mass of fresh corpses.
Dina could just make out the nearest side of the sandpit and started slowly and carefully making her way across to it: then she stood up and started making little foot-holds in it with her left hand. In that way, pressed close to the side of the pit, she made steps and so raised herself an inch at a time, likely at any moment to fall back into the pit.
There was a little bush at the top which she managed to get hold of. With a last desperate effort she pulled herself up and as she scrambled over the ledge, she heard a whisper which nearly made her jump back. “Don’t be scared, lady! I’m alive too.”
It was a small boy in vest and pants who had crawled out as she had done. He was trembling and shivering all over. “Quiet!” she hissed at him. “Crawl along behind me.” And they crawled away silently, without a sound. Dina Pronicheva survived the horrors of Babi Yar, the young boy who had escaped from the ravine with her, called out to her, as they sought to leave the area, he warned her that danger was near. Motyn, the young boy’s name, called out to her, “Don’t move, lady, there’s Germans here!” The Germans killed him on the spot, but not understanding what he said, she made good her escape.
On the first day executions were performed from dusk until 6pm leaving at least 20,000 people shot and lying in a mass grave wounded, dead or dying. On the second day another 11,000 people were shot. Not even the Germans expected such a large number of people to arrive the first day and in a report the commander of the Einsatzkommando stated:
“The difficulties resulting from such a large scale action—in particular concerning the seizure—were overcome in Kiev by requesting the Jewish population through wall posters to move. Although only a participation of approximately 5,000 to 6,000 Jews had been expected at first, more than 30,000 Jews arrived who, until the very moment of their execution, still believed in their resettlement, thanks to an extremely clever organization.”
This was just the begging of the genocidal collaboration between the OUN-B, the OUN-M, Ukrainian Police, UPA, SB, Ukrainian Citizens and the Nazis. 74% of the top ranks of the UPA were allied with the Nazis or axis powers and 58% of their middle ranks. 64% of the SB’s top ranks were involved and 23% of their middle ranks and 63% of the OUN-B top ranks with 49% of their middle rank were openly aligned with the Axis powers. This didn’t include all groups which the author did not include because some contained questionable alliances to the UPA, OUN or SB and were omitted as not to inflate the numbers.
The nachtigall and roland battalions were not the only Ukrainian groups enlisted into the german army. In 1943 German Governor of district Galicia, Dr. Otto Von Wachtler, suggested the creation of a Waffen-SS division composed completely of local Galician volunteers, which could be utilized on the eastern front. At first the proposal was denied, but after getting the backing of Heinrich Himmler in April of 1943 the creation of the 14th Voluntary Division SS Galizien was announced. Recruitment posters, newspaper articles, radio broadcasts and speeches were given to begin recruiting Ukrainians to the SS Galizien. The division was given special treatment by the Nazis, given the task of specifically fighting against only the Soviets and also allowed the Ukrainian Catholic church to have chaplains assigned to the unit, this not usually being permitted by the Germans.
The SS Galizien was commanded by German, Austrian and Ukrainian officers and obtained training from the SS Ausbildungs- Battalion commanded by SS Sturmbannfugrer Bernard Bartlet and overseen by General Walter Schimana. A total of 81,999 men enlisted to the division, out of which 42,000 were called up for the first recruitment phase, from which 27,000 were selected as fit for military service and a total of 13,000 were enlisted. The unit was then sent to the Brody Area to partake in anti-partisan actions against the Polish and Soviets. The unit immediately faced intense combat but maintained its composure and followed orders closely, which garnered the praise of German Field Marshal Walter Model who rarely voiced his pleasure to the rank and file. They encountered huge loses which led to the necessity of rebuilding the division before it could be deployed again. It took two months to recruit and train new members but immediately after the ranks were filled they were sent to Slovakia to assist in quelling the Slovak National uprising. According to well respected historians it was here that SS Galizien was assisting in anti- partisan, repressive and terrorist actions on a large scale and the first documentation of murder and partaking in the genocide of Jews by the SS Galizien.
Perhaps one of the most well-known massacres involving the Ukrainian nationalists took place in Huta Pieniacka. At the time the village had over 1,000 inhabitants all living in close proximity. The village was being used as a shelter for refugees and was an active base of the Polish Communist party. The SS Galizien, many of whom were loyal to the OUN, had been repelled by the local peasants when they attempted to attack the town and the massacre that followed was one that rivaled all other atrocities committed during World War II. The OUN-B and its UPA set out to attack and the Germans while their OUN-M staffed SS Galizien marched beside them. The German Nazi army surrounded the town that reportedly held 600-800 polish soldiers. The village was shelled by artillery until noon when German and Ukrainian SS forces moved in and began herding the villagers into barns, which were then lit on fire, some argue they had a more humane death than many others, survivors reported the excessive abuse given to women and children during this massacre. The commander of the Polish defense Unit was beaten drenched in gasoline and burnt alive in the main square, by the end of the day the town was in ruins and its inhabitants nearly wiped out. Photos and reports surfaced of babies being killed by smashing their bodies against walls, cutting pregnant women’s stomachs open and raping countless young women before killing them. The attackers then burned the village down and began to drink the liquor they had looted, singing songs and dancing in the light of the fire of the burning bodies. Solely the Ukrainian Galizien SS under the supervision of the Germans and their former comrades of the OUN-B and UPA performed these genocidal acts and is corroborated by numerous survivors.
Reports from UPA officers to OUN commanders now give us detailed information on the actions that they performed. The commandant, codename Lysyi, wrote:
“On September 29, 1943, I carried out the action in the villages of Wola Ostrowiecka, and Ostrivky. I have liquidated all Poles, starting from the youngest ones. Afterwards, all buildings were burned and all goods were confiscated”
After the war the Galizien SS were not tried in the Nuremburg trials because they were found, by the US Government, to be valuable in keeping the Soviet Union in check. Many members were protected and moved to Canada, Britain and the US, many of these being those directly linked to the massacres and were allowed to live out the rest of their lives, happy, content and protected by the US, UK and Canadian Governments.
By the end of 1944 the Ukrainian acts of terror, both from the OUN/UPA and the SS Galizien Unit were occurring on a regular basis and forced the remaining Poles to flee and settle on the Western bank of the San River. It was this that brought about the slogan “Poles behind the San.” Conservative estimates put the number of Poles alone in Galicia killed at over 25,000 while many estimates nearly double that. Even the retaking of the area by the Red Army didn’t stop these atrocities from continuing. The SS Galizien retreated along with the Germans; those left behind mounted a desperate attempt at stopping the Soviets but were outright eliminated. Their leader Andriy Melnyk had been imprisoned in 1944 and escaped to West Germany and eventually Canada where he lived out the rest of his well taken care of until the age of 73.
History has proven to be a cycle, the same atrocities, lies and protection from the west continue today, if we don’t learn from history we are doomed to repeat it. The Ukrainian fascist extremists have proven time and time again that they seek the genocide of so many groups, most of all the death of all Russians regardless of age, sex or creed. To those in the West, you are either opposed to this and do everything within your power to shed light on the lies of your society or you are part of this machine of death and destruction. To those in Russia who oppose the intervention of their motherland in the killing of their own people, those who are fooled into thinking that everyone in the west drives a flashy car, has the newest iPhone and live in luxurious mansions, you are worse than the Ukrainians that seek your death, you have denied your birthright and spit on the achievements your ancestors attained victory over the genocidal invaders.
By Jareth Copus.
Source: Rodion Press