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Nazi collaborator involved in killing of 8,000 Jews honoured with statue in Ukraine

UKRAINE’s rehabilitation of fascist war criminals continued this week after authorities unveiled a monument honouring an Organisation of Ukrainian Nationalists (OUN) officer involved in the murder of 8,000 Jews in Poltava in 1941.

 

 

The bust of Zenoviy Tershavetsky was unveiled yesterday in Sambir, a town near the Polish border which was also the scene for the killing of thousands of Jews between its occupation by nazis in June 30 1941 and its liberation by the Red Army in 1943.

At least 5,800 were shot dead in the town and nearby forest of Ralivka in several successive mass shootings and around 1,500 were sent to the Belzec extermination camp.

Stepan Bandera’s OUN collaborated with the nazi invaders and took part in the murder of tens of thousands of Jews and Poles during the occupation. Tershavetsky took part in the Poltava massacres as an officer with the collaborationist Ukrainian Auxiliary Police.

A photo of a monument to him topped by a bust, flanked by two Ukrainian soldiers and being blessed by a priest, was posted online by Twitter user Eduard Dolinksy.

Bandera and the OUN have been rehabilitated by Ukrainian authorities since the far-right Euromaidan coup of 2014. The racist army has since been presented as a freedom-fighting force seeking Ukraine’s independence from the Soviet Union.

Last month Israel’s envoy to Ukraine Joel Lion wrote to Poltava acting mayor Oleksandr Shamota to protest against the town’s plan to build flats over the site of the murder of its Jewish population. 

Last year a monument to the Jewish victims of the OUN in the city was defaced with a swastika, the words “Heil Hitler” and “death to the kikes.”

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