More and more evidence emerges that the Remembrance Day and other “commemorations” of the centenary of the first world war are being used not to honour the war dead – with a commitment to opposing aggression and war as a means to resolving conflicts so that no more lives are lost – but to provide a rationale for the Anglo-American government’s continuing commitment to fascism and war in the service of monopolies and imperialism. In Britain, those involved in such “commemorations” now openly include the Ukrainian Nazis.
Veterans of Hitler’s SS and their supporters are marching this Sunday, 16 November 2014, to the cenotaph in London, in commemoration, they claim, of Ukraine’s fallen ‘in all wars’. The organisers – the ‘Association of Ukrainians in Great Britain’ and the ‘Congress of Ukrainian Youth’ – include associations of veterans of the Ukrainian Nazi volunteers ‘Waffen SS Galicia’, some 5,000 of whom settled in Britain (and Canada – editor) after the Third Reich’s defeat in World War II. By commemorating the fallen of ‘all wars’, they explicitly include those who fought with Hitler’s Wehrmacht and SS in Ukraine, as well as far-right and neo-Nazi paramilitaries fighting on the side of the Kiev government in the south east of Ukraine today.
Alex Gordon of the Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers’ Union, an affiliate to the campaign Solidarity with the Antifascist Resistance in Ukraine, said:
“The overwhelming majority of people in London and Britain as a whole will be appalled to hear that SS veterans and their admirers are allowed to march at the cenotaph. The Ukrainian division SS Galicia murdered Jews, Poles, Russians and anyone who got in the way of their sick plans for a racially pure Ukraine. It is a sign of how far we have travelled that these people are pushing their way back into the mainstream today. It is an insult to millions who died fighting Hitler and Nazism.”
Supporters of Solidarity with the Antifascist Resistance in Ukraine will hold a silent protest as the SS march on the cenotaph, to commemorate the victims of Ukrainian Nazism past and present.
London, November 14
Facebook event of the SARU silent protest.
NOTES TO EDITORS
1. UK Ukrainian organisations ‘the Association of Ukrainians in Great Britain’ and the ‘Congress of Ukrainian Youth’ are organising a march on the cenotaph on Sunday November 16 at 4pm
2. Details of the ‘commemoration’ event are available online.
3. The Association of Ukrainians in GB and the Congress of Ukrainian Youth were created in the late 1940s and a strong component of their membership was former combatants of the wartime SS Galicia Division who were brought to Britain after the defeat of the Third Reich.
4. Information on SS Galicia and their presence in post-war Britain can be found here http://www.ukrainiansintheuk.info/eng/03/augb-e.htm and http://www.ukrainiansintheuk.info/eng/01/former-e.htm and in this Morning Star story.
5. The Association of Former Combatants of the Division is a component part of this event. They celebrate the ‘Day of the Heroes’ of wartime Nazi collaborators including SS Galicia (see poster here http://cym.org/uk/remembrance-sunday-in-tarasivka/).
6. Their own account of their commemoration of wartime Ukrainian Nazi collaborator Stephan Bandera is here: http://www.augb.co.uk/news-page.php?id=136
7. There is a disturbing rise of influence of neo-Nazi militants in Ukraine today. Vadim Troyan, deputy commander of the neo-Nazi Azov Regiment and active member of the neo-Nazi paramilitary organisation Patriot of Ukraine (the paramilitary wing of the Social-Nationalist Assembly) has been appointed by Ukraine Minister of Interior Arsen Avakov as the head of the Kiev police. And one of the most notorious Ukrainian members of parliament for the far-right party ‘Svoboda,’ Yuri Michalchyshyn, has quit the party so that he can become head of the propaganda and analysis of the Ukraine Security Service, SBU. Michalchyshyn is an open Nazi apologist holding an honourary medal of the SS Division Galychna. In 2005, he organized a political think tank, originally called “the Joseph Goebbels Political Research Centre” but later re-named after the German conservative revolutionary Ernst Jünger.
8. Solidarity with the Antifascist Resistance in Ukraine was formed on 2 June 2014 with the aims of opposing the resurgence of far right forces in Ukraine today, exposing the involvement of present day far rightists in the new Ukrainian government, and challenging the UK government’s policy of supporting the new Ukrainian regime. It is supported by numerous antifascist and labour movement organisations, including the Rail, Maritime and Transport union (RMT).
9. Solidarity with the Antifascist Resistance in Ukraine website can be accessed at http://ukraineantifascistsolidarity.wordpress.com/