Jesu li Nijemci zauzeli Kijev ili Odesu u Prvom svjetskom ratu?

Jesu li Nijemci zauzeli Kijev ili Odesu u Prvom svjetskom ratu?

Mali dio povijesnog romana koji pišem tiče se sastanka njemačkog časnika Reichswehra i zaljubljivanja u Ukrajinku tijekom Prvog svjetskog rata. Samo moram znati nekoliko "svakodnevnih detalja" o prodiranju i umiješanosti njemačke vojske u Rusiju ... konkretno, jesu li okupirali Kijev i/ili Odesu u Ukrajini. Nadam se da će me netko uputiti na sažeti izvor informacija o toj temi. Kao što je spomenuto, ovo će zauzeti samo jedno poglavlje u mojoj knjizi i nadam se da ću izbjeći opsežno čitanje na tu temu.


Nijemci i Austrijanci su zaista okupirali Kijev, a to su učinili kao rezultat vojne akcije, iako s manje otpora nego što se inače očekivalo na tom frontu.

Kad je boljševičko izaslanstvo pokušalo zaustaviti pregovore o mirovnom sporazumu Brest-Litovsk, središnje su sile nastavile ofenzivnu agresiju na istoku protiv vrlo slabih snaga. Ovo je poznato kao "Jedanaestodnevni rat" ili na njemačkom jeziku kao Operacija Faustschlag:

Njemačke trupe u Kijevu, ožujak 1918 .:

Dana 18. veljače njemačke i austrougarske snage započele su veliku trostranu ofenzivu sa 53 divizije. Sjeverne su snage napredovale iz Pskova prema Narvi, središnje su se gurale prema Smolensku, a južne prema Kijevu.

Sjeverne snage, koje se sastojale od 16 divizija, zauzele su prvi dan ključni čvor Daugavpils. Uskoro je uslijedilo zauzimanje Pskova i osiguravanje Narve 28. veljače. Središnje snage 10. armije i korpusa XLI napredovale su prema Smolensku. 21. veljače Minsk je zarobljen zajedno sa sjedištem Zapadne armijske grupe. Južne su snage probile ostatke ruske jugozapadne armijske skupine zauzevši Žitomir 24. veljače. Kijev je osiguran 2. ožujka, dan nakon što su tamo stigle ukrajinske trupe Središnje Rade.

Vojske Središnjih sila napredovale su preko 240 kilometara u roku od tjedan dana, bez ozbiljnog otpora. Njemačke trupe sada su bile udaljene 160 kilometara od Petrograda, prisiljavajući Sovjete da svoj glavni grad prebace u Moskvu.3 Brzi napredak opisan je kao "željeznički rat" (der Eisenbahnfeldzug) s njemačkim vojnicima koji su koristili ruske željeznice za napredovanje prema istoku. General Hoffmann je u svom dnevniku 22. veljače zapisao:

To je najkomičniji rat koji sam ikada poznavao. Šačicu pješaka s mitraljezima i jednim pištoljem stavili smo u vlak i odjurili do sljedeće stanice; uzimaju, prave zarobljenike boljševika, pokupe još nekoliko vojnika itd. Ovaj postupak u svakom slučaju ima čar novosti.

Unos u Wikipediji sažet je koliko god može. Ako je za ovaj projekt potrebno još malo da se razradi neka zamršena interakcija između njemačkih ratnih ciljeva, politika i ukrajinske, ali i ruske strane, trebali biste se barem posavjetovati:

Fritz Fischer: "Njemački ciljevi u Prvom svjetskom ratu", WW Norton: New York, 1967. Najvažnija poglavlja su "13. Njemačka i nova Rusija: promicanje revolucije i pokušaji sklapanja separatnog mira" (osobito dio o "Postanku politike" autonomije "", str. 375), "17. Ciljevi ratnih ciljeva politike, II: Između aneksije i samoopredjeljenja", "20. Razrada Ostrauma: Ukrajina, Krim , Don Transcaucasia "

Tako ćete osjetiti ambiciozne ciljeve, ali i stavove mnogih časnika njemačke carske vojske ("Reichswehr" službeno nikada nije bio u Ukrajini, postojao je kao organizacija s ovim imenom samo od 1919.-1935.).

Orest Subtelny: "Ukrajina: povijest", University of Toronto Press, Toronto, 42009. Time ćete steći prvi dojam o unutarnjoj dinamici rada/sovjetske, ljevičarske i nacionalističke frakcije, kao i prvi uvid u to tko je što osnovao i tko je koga financirao. Novac, koalicije i druga podrška idu ponekad neočekivanim smjerovima.

Iako smatram da su memoari ili dnevnici likova poput Ludendorffa, Hoffmanna itd. Mnogo više otkrivajući za ovu vrstu potrage, ratni dnevnik Gottfrieda Rinkera koji je bio u Odesi djelomično je na internetu.


Ni Odesa ni Kijev nisu okupirani kao rezultat vojne akcije, vidi kartu.

Početkom 1918. Ukrajinu je uglavnom kontrolirala Središnja Rada i de-facto je bila neovisna, iako je građanski rat za njezinu kontrolu trajao između boljševika i onih koji su preferirali neovisnost. Rada je pozvala Središnje sile (koje su bile previše željne toga udovoljiti), a Kijev su okupirali Nijemci (1918.-03. 01.), a Odesu Austrijanci (1918.-03. 14.).

To su boljševici priznali kada su potpisali Brest-Litovski ugovor i odrekli se svih zahtjeva za Ukrajinu.

Centralne sile napustile su u studenom 1918. nakon primirja.


Kijev i Babi Jar

Danas glavni grad nezavisne nacije Ukrajine, Kijev je bio glavni grad sovjetske Ukrajine kada je njemačka vojska napala Sovjetski Savez u lipnju 1941. Prije njemačke invazije u Kijevu je živjelo oko 160.000 Židova, što čini oko 20 posto gradskog stanovništva .

Približno 100.000 Židova pobjeglo je iz Kijeva prije njemačkog napredovanja. Snage Osovine ubile su ili zarobile više od 600.000 sovjetskih vojnika u velikom okruženju tijekom bitke za Kijev. Većina zarobljenih sovjetskih ratnih zarobljenika nikada se nisu vratili živi. Njemačke snage ušle su u Kijev 19. rujna 1941. Zajedno s velikim dijelom Ukrajine koju su okupirale Osovine, grad je uključen u Reichskommissariat Ukraine na čelu s vođom nacističkog okruga Istočne Prusije Erichom Kochom.

Tijekom prvih dana njemačke okupacije, dvije velike eksplozije, koje su očito pokrenuli sovjetski vojni inženjeri, uništile su njemačko sjedište i dio centra grada. Nijemci su iskoristili sabotažu kao izgovor za ubojstvo preostalih kijevskih Židova. U to vrijeme u gradu je bilo oko 60.000 Židova. Većina onih koji su ostali bili su žene, djeca, bolesni i stariji koji nisu mogli pobjeći.

29. i 30. rujna 1941. SS i njemačke policijske jedinice i njihovi pomoćnici, pod vodstvom pripadnika Einsatzgruppe C, ubili su veliki dio židovskog stanovništva u Kijevu u Babi Yaru, provaliji sjeverozapadno od grada. Dok su se žrtve kretale u provaliju, odredi Einsatzgruppena iz Sonderkommanda 4a pod SS-Standartenführer Paul Blobel pucao ih je u malim skupinama. Prema izvješćima Einsatzgruppea u sjedištu, u ovom dvodnevnom razdoblju pokoljen je 33.771 Židov. Ovo je bilo jedno od najvećih masovnih ubojstava na pojedinačnoj lokaciji tijekom Drugog svjetskog rata. Nadmašio ga je samo masakr 50.000 Židova u Odesi od strane njemačkih i rumunjskih jedinica u listopadu 1941. i dvodnevna operacija strijeljanja Operacija Žetva početkom studenog 1943., u kojoj je poginulo 42.000-43.000 židovskih žrtava.

U mjesecima nakon masakra, njemačke vlasti stacionirane u Kijevu ubile su još tisuće Židova u Babi Yaru, kao i ne-Židove, uključujući Rome (Cigane), komunističke dužnosnike, sovjetske ratne zarobljenike i sovjetske civile. Procjenjuje se da je u Babi Yaru ubijeno oko 100.000 ljudi.

Sovjetska vojska oslobodila je Kijev 6. studenoga 1943. U siječnju 1946. postupak u Kijevu sudio je 15 pripadnicima njemačke policije za zločine na Babi Yaru, a glumica Dina Pronicheva, jedna od 29 preživjelih iz rujanskog masakra, svjedočila je pred Sovjetskim Savezom sud.


Nijemci zauzimaju Lvov - i dolazi do klanja

29. lipnja 1941. Nijemci su, nakon što su već započeli invaziju na sovjetsko područje, napali i zauzeli Lvov, u istočnoj Galiciji, u Ukrajini, poklavši tisuće.

Rusi su slijedili politiku spaljene zemlje nakon što su Nijemci izvršili invaziju, odnosno uništili bi, zapalili, poplavili, demontirali i uklonili sve i sve na teritoriju koje su bili prisiljeni predati osvajaču nakon povlačenja, ostavljajući time Nijemcima malo na način usjeva, zaliha, industrijskog bilja ili opreme. (To je bila politika koja se pokazala vrlo uspješnom protiv Napoleona u prethodnom stoljeću.) Ovaj put, kada su Nijemci zauzeli Lvov, sovjetski NKVD, preteča tajne policije KGB -a, nastavio je ubojstvo 3000 ukrajinskih političkih zatvorenika.

Lvov je imao dugu povijest okupacije stranih sila: Švedske, Austrije, Rusije, Poljske, a od 1939. i Sovjetskog Saveza, što se pokazalo posebno represivnim. Na njemačke osvajače gledalo se kao na osloboditelje, ako ni zbog čega drugog, osim što su bili neprijatelji Poljske i Rusije, dva Lvova i Ukrajine, te neprijatelji Ukrajine. No oslobađanje od sovjetskih ruku značilo je samo podvrgavanje nacističkom teroru. U roku od nekoliko dana, administrativna kontrola Ukrajine podijeljena je između Poljske, Rumunjske i Njemačke. Otprilike 2,5 milijuna Ukrajinaca poslano je u Njemačku kao porobljeni radnici, a ukrajinski Židovi bili su podvrgnuti istoj opakoj rasnoj politici kao u Poljskoj: ubijeno je oko 600.000. (Ukrajinski nacionalisti također su imali krvi na rukama u tom pogledu, koji su podivljali nakon povlačenja ruskih trupa žrtvujući Židove za “ boljševizam, ” ubijajući ih na ulicama.)


Šokantne slike okupiranog Kijeva

Babi Yar je velika jaruga na sjevernom rubu Kijeva koja je postala poznata kao mjesto masovnih pogubljenja civila i ratnih zarobljenika koje su nosile njemačke okupatorske snage. Ove užasne fotografije snimio je njemački ratni fotograf Johannes Hahle 10 dana nakon okupacije Kijeva …

Ukrajinski policajci održavaju red u gomili žena u okupiranom Kijevu.

Njemački kontrolor prometa na kontrolnoj točki u okupiranom Kijevu.

Sovjetski ratni zarobljenici popravljaju tramvaje.

Ostaci barikada u okupiranom Kijevu.

Sovjetski ratni zarobljenici pokrivaju ubijene pijeskom pod nadzorom SS vojnika.

Vojnici SS -a čeprkaju po ubijenim.

Ubijeni sovjetski ratni zarobljenici na ulicama Kijeva.

Bulevar Tarasa Ševčenka.

68 misli o & ldquoŠokantnim slikama okupiranog Kijeva & rdquo

To se mijenja, postaje još gore.

Palac gore trebao bi značiti slagati se ili ne slagati se umjesto da mi se sviđa i ne sviđa. Slažem se s onim što ste rekli (i pritisnuli palac gore), ali mrzim rat, a mrzim ga postaje sve gori.

Pa, slažem se i sviđa mi se vaš komentar!

Zanimljive slike, ali uvijek se pitam zašto ova stranica voli prikazivati ​​njemačku okupaciju, ubijane sovjetske zarobljenike, ali nikad milijune ubijenih njemačkih, talijanskih ili poljskih zarobljenika u Rusiji. To je ista vrsta propagande na žlicu o “herojima ” Majke Rusije koju možete pronaći u američkim povijesnim udžbenicima.

Jedna stvar velesila Rusiji i SAD -u još uvijek je zajednička, jer obje vjeruju u svoju propagandu.

Ne uspoređujte “sovjetsku reakciju ” s njemačkom agresijom! ! ! ! ! Sovjeti su upravo odgovorili na “ isti odgovor ”. Nijemci i njihovi “ saveznici ” bili su zločinci i agresori, pa je sve što ih je spriječilo bilo ispravno i opravdano. RIP svim braniteljima Majke Rusije! ! ! ! ! ! ! !

Mislite, strijeljanje poljskih civila i vojnika nakon zajedničke nacističko-sovjetske okupacije bilo je ispravno i opravdano?

“mnogo votke ” i “John ”: Mislite, bacanje nuklearnih bombi na dva grada i ubijanje više od 100.000 civila u nekoliko sekundi bilo je ispravno ili opravdano? Rekli biste da nema usporedbe, ili drugih jadnih okretaja … Žrtve na ovim fotografijama treba poštovati. Mislim da to barem možeš učiniti.

Jesam li ikada rekao da je ovakvo bombardiranje gradova – bilo nuklearnim ili drugim bombama – opravdano? Je li jedan zločin opravdan za drugi? A jeste li čitali moj post u kojem se spominje da bi to odalo poštovanje žrtvama ako se spomene barem razlog zašto su ubijeni – jevreji –?

votka: Svaki bocy zna za užasan holokaust, ali kad odbijete prihvatiti da je u Babi Yaru ubijeno još 100.000 ljudi, a vi inzistirate na pričanju o nepovezanom zločinu, svi vaši argumenti zvuče poput antisovjetskih visokih priča. I to je samo vaš problem.

“mnogo votke ”, Svi znaju za židovsku grozotu na slici ovdje. Možda je ovaj autor posta smatrao Židove na slikama kao sovjetske ukrajinske stanovnike (što su oni zapravo i bili). Ili dio od 150.000 ljudi ubijenih i pokopanih u Babi Yaru. Bolje probajte neku tekilu i uživajte u vikendu.

Nakon što su ovi časnici napali Rusiju odmah nakon prvog svjetskog rata, bila je to lijepa osveta u Katynu, to je sve.

Sve da ih zaustavite, a ne da ih masovno ubijate ili silujete nakon što su poraženi.

Pa, možda bismo onda trebali pogledati dvije godine ranije kada su Sovjeti i Nijemci bili sretni saveznici, a slične su se slike mogle snimiti u šumama Katyna gdje je NKVD eliminirao poljske zarobljenike

Što je s Plandom koji je 1933. napao CZ?

Poljski su tada bili vrlo agresivni (s očitim sigurnosnim kišobranom sa Zapada). Ali ovaj Zapad je zaboravio na to kad se činilo da je Staljin bio bolji saveznik.

“pigden ”, pa, postoji dobar razlog. Hitler (i mnogo Nijemaca) htio je istrijebiti ili porobiti Slavene (osim židovskog “pitanja ”). Hitler nije bio usamljeni manijak. Milijuni su masovno ubijeni. Taj stupanj neljudskosti omalovažava bilo koji drugi, nema paralela u povijesti.

Da, ima paralela, nažalost: svaki planirani genocid je usporediv. Zašto bi stupanj nehumanosti holokausta patuljak umanjio stupanj nečovječnosti, na primjer, genocida u Ruandi?

Iznevjeriti. Holocoaust je bio prvo i nadam se posljednje rasno čišćenje na industrijski način dijela zapadnog društva.

Budući da su Nijemci industrijalizirali masovnu smrt. A rezultirajuća brojka smrti nema premca do danas. Zaista vam treba votka.

Odvratan komentar duboko neukog čovjeka/trola. Kladim se da ste neki traženi teroristički ološ koji živi u Londonu i#8230 ..

@John: Kad bez razloga upadnete u državu (i masakrirate njezine stanovnike), nemate previše suosjećanja kad napadnuta uzvrati udarac i slomi vas. Trebali biste biti zahvalni što Sovjeti nisu poklali ljude na isti način na koji su to učinili Nijemci.

Možda zato što je njegova stranica o Rusiji. Ne o Njemačkoj, Italiji ili Poljskoj. Ako nazovete slike na kojima nacistički Nijemci ubijaju civile “propaganda ”, morate biti da ste nacisti.

@Mi “Možda zato što njegova web stranica o Rusiji. Ne o Njemačkoj, Italiji ili Poljskoj. ”

Ova stranica ne smije biti o Rusiji, jer je Kijev u Ukrajini, nezavisna je država. Pa, barem dok Rusi ne pokušaju ponovno ući u nju.

Johne, to se neće dogoditi. Mnogo je vjerojatnije da bi SAD napale slabu zemlju bogatu naftom.

Veza “Oko ” pri vrhu stranice kaže ovo:
“Engleska Rusija je dnevni zabavni blog posvećen događajima u zemljama ruskog govornog područja, poput Rusije (Ruska Federacija), Ukrajine, Bjelorusije, Moldavije, Kazahstana itd. ”

Izvorni pogled na povijest, pokušajte pročitati knjigu o njoj, pomoći će.

Da, bilo je samo jedno vrijeme zime svake 4 godine u četrdesetima .. haha

Bolje nas podsjetite i nadajte se da se to više nikada neće ponoviti!

Zašto niste spomenuli da su ubijeni ljudi koji su pokopani svi Židovi? Ovo su slike snimljene na Babi Yaru gdje je pobijeno 34.000 Židova.

@vodka: Židovski narod je također bio Ukrajinac koji je tek prvi ubijen. Kasnije je tamo masovno ubijeno oko 100.000 drugih Ukrajinaca. Za svaki slučaj ako ste to zaboravili ili zanemarili.

Ne zaboravljam niti ignoriram ništa, baš kao što se ne smije zaboraviti ili zanemariti da su ti ljudi u Babi Yaru ubijeni jer su bili Židovi. Iznenađen sam reakcijama na moju opasku, kao da je ovo neka neugodna istina …

To su 34.000 žrtava koje se razlikuju od više od 100.000. Istinska ispravka oko koje se još uvijek svađate … Vjerojatno ste to vama neugodni (ili ste to jednostavno zanemarili). Tko zna?

“mnogo votke ”, Pogrešno. Bilo je i drugih motiva osim kriminalnog antisemitizma. Velika većina ljudi koji su masovno ubijeni i pokopani u Babi Yaru nisu Židovi. Provjerite svoje brojeve. Neugodno je što je za vas u ovoj tragediji važna samo “ vrsta ” žrtava. Vaše “iznenađenje ” otkriva neznanje ili nešto mračno u vama.

Zašto? Zar vam je to toliko važno? Ako da, stvarate rasizam. Ljudi su poklani, trebali bismo im dati sućut i nikada to ne zaboraviti. Baš me briga jesu li Židovi, Indijanci ili Arijevci.

To je važno jer je razlog zašto su ubijeni upravo to što su bili Židovi.

Reci mi o razlozima ostalih 100.000 žrtava.#To je također važno.

Šostakovič je napisao simfoniju posvećenu žrtvama masakra, ali se ne izvodi često. IIRC, čuo sam to samo jednom.

imam melodiju zvona na mobitelu Shostakovich ‘song of peace ’. a ja sam Amerikanac

Sovjeti su učinili isti masakr kada su napali Poljsku, jedina razlika je što su ubili više nego u Kijevu.

A … gdje su bili Britanci i Amerikanci kad se dogodila Katyn? Nigdje. Britanci i Francuzi morali su objaviti rat i protiv Staljinovog SSSR -a. Postojao je Pakt s Poljskom, znate …. Ali znali su da je njihova jedina šansa za borbu protiv Njemačke - i pobjedu - bila s Crvenom armijom. I s time pobijedio. Sir Winston je to znao, nije bio budala. Poljska (i Katyn) nisu bile bitne, također za Zapad.

Rus je ubio poljske časnike u Katyju koji je napao Rusiju u ruskom građanskom ratu. Tako da pretpostavljam da više nikada neće pokušati dobar posao!

Upravo ste opravdali genocid. Dokazali ste i neku vrstu razmišljanja ispranog mozga. Tipično za post-homo sovieticus.

Racionaliziranje genocida nad nedužnim ljudima nešto su napravili mesari iz Babi Yara. Židovi su ubijeni jer se za njih tvrdilo da su inferiorna ljudska bića.

Ali na isti ste način u svojoj izjavi racionalizirali genocid u Katynu. Poljski zarobljenici ubijeni su jer su izvršili invaziju na Rusiju 1920. (kakva hrpa sranja!).

Vidim. Ubijanje nevinih Židova u Babi Yaru je loše. Ubijanje nevinih poljskih zarobljenika dobro je. Kakvo licemjerje.

Uvijek sam mislio da civilizirani ljudi ne cijene masovna ubojstva kao nešto dobro ili korisno.

Zabrinjavajuće je to što čovjek još uvijek može zaklati drugog (i cijelu svoju obitelj) zbog novca, iz#domoljubnih ili vjerskih razloga. A neki i dalje misle da je jedna “ vrsta ” ubijene žrtve manje vrijedna od drugih.

Ubijanje civila iz rasnih razloga je loše, ubijanje časnika u ratu je samo rat. Nema rasnog podrijetla, ali mislim da vjerujete u rasu poljskih časnika? haha …

“Rasa ” vojnih časnika, važnija je od masakriranih ukrajinskih obitelji, prema nekim ovdje komentatorima Hladnog rata.

U doba Ukrajine socijalizam. Deodata a aparut lepra fascista si s-a terminat cu NORMALITATEA! oameni morti pe strada. Nici nu ma pot uita.
Si acum. Dupa atitea milioane sfisiate, romanii au stiut sa alege 2004., ca presedinte, pe cl mai nenorocit om pe care la produs existenta milenara a acestui popor.

ne samo Židovi, već i većina njih.

Za to morate pogledati njemačke, talijanske i poljske izvore. Pogrešno mjesto brate …

Pročitajte “Babi Yar ”, autor Anatoly Kusnetsov. Pročitajte to u srednjoj školi. Zapanjujući prikaz života u Kijevu pod nacističkom okupacijom.

Previše ruskih mrzitelja u posljednje vrijeme dolazi na ovu web stranicu. Predajte drugima kako su Rusi zli i šire antirusku propagandu.

Zločin u Katynu bio je okrutan podsjetnik i odmazda protiv Poljske vojske. Sovjeti su se zakleli da nikada neće zaboraviti ničim izazvanu poljsku invaziju na novorođeni SSSR 1920. Europljani su tada zaista imali želju za samouništenjem. Kruna su nacistički genocidi poput Babi Yara.

Godine 1920. Sovjetski Savez nije ni postojao … Rat između Crvene armije nije priča o ničim izazvanim napadima s jedne strane na drugu, to je bio rezultat borbi oko spornih područja između dijela Ruskog carstva pod kontrolom komunista i novonezavisna poljska država koja je htjela vratiti teritorije izgubljene Rusiji u prošlosti. Katinski pokolj nije bio neka vrsta opravdane osvete (ako bi bilo moguće opravdanje …), već namjeran pokušaj Staljina da ubije poljsku vojnu elitu koji bi bio prijetnja njegovim planovima uspostave komunističkog režima u Poljskoj.

“vodka ” ¿Poljski – Sovjetski rat 1919-1921 nije ’t postojao? Smiješno je kad neki ljudi tumače (ili prepisuju) povijest. Ništa ne može opravdati zločine (iz Poljske ili iz SSSR -a, Njemačke itd.). Moje viđenje tadašnje europske želje za samoubojstvom stoji.

Vidio sam slične slike iz SAD -a, a tijela nisu ni stranci: to su bile bijele kože nasuprot crnim, a u nekim slučajevima i bijele naspram drugih bijelaca. Prije nekoliko godina FBI je pobio cijelu crkvu u blizini Wacoa u Teksasu bez poznatog razloga. Šef FBI -a je nakon toga unaprijeđen.

Nije moguće na odgovarajući način objasniti čovjekovu nečovječnost bez pretpostavke postojanja đavla.


Služba prisilnog rada

Mađarska služba rada 1939. godine, mađarska vlada, zabranivši Židovima da služe u oružanim snagama, osnovala je službu prisilnog rada za mladiće u dobi od naoružanja. Do 1940. obveza obavljanja prisilnog rada proširena je na sve radno sposobne Židove. Nakon što je Mađarska ušla u rat, prisilni radnici, organizirani u radne bojne pod zapovjedništvom mađarskih vojnih časnika, raspoređeni su na građevinske radove povezane s ratom, često u brutalnim uvjetima. Izloženi velikoj hladnoći, bez odgovarajućeg skloništa, hrane ili medicinske njege, najmanje 27.000 prisilnih radnika mađarskih Židova umrlo je prije njemačke okupacije Mađarske u ožujku 1944. godine.


Njemačka okupacija Harkova u boji, 1941

Ove fotografije snimio Johannes Hähle prikazuju civilno stanovništvo Harkova pod okupacijom nacističke Njemačke (sve su fotografije snimljene u listopadu i studenom 1941.). Kao član Građevinske bojne 146, Hähle je sudjelovao u invaziji na Francusku. Kasnije je premješten u propagandnu tvrtku 637 na istočnom frontu kako bi radio kao fotograf, što je profesija koju je imao prije rata.

U rujnu 1941. snimio je nekoliko fotografija u boji u Kijevu u Ukrajini, od kojih se neke odnose na masakr u Babi Yaru, ali je te fotografije čuvao kao osobnu tajnu i nikada ih nije predao svojim nadređenima. Bio je ranjen u borbi u ljeto 1942. godine i nekoliko je tjedana proveo u bolnici.

U rujnu 1942. premješten je u Propaganda Company 698, s kojom je jedinicom služio u Sjevernoj Africi, Belgiji i Francuskoj. Ubijen je u La Bijudeu blizu Caena u Francuskoj tijekom invazije savezničkih Normandija pod nejasnim okolnostima.

Grad Kharkov (Kharkiv) bio je podvrgnut prvoj okupaciji tijekom rata (24. listopada 1941.), koji je trajao do 16. veljače 1943. Grad nikada nije postao dio Reichskommissariat Ukrajina zbog svoje blizine frontu. Osoblje Kopnene vojske LV djelovalo je kao okupaciona vlast, koristeći 57.ID kao okupacionu snagu.

Generalmajor Anton Dostler je bio Stadtkommandant do 13. prosinca, kada ga je naslijedio Generalleutnant Alfreda von Puttkamera, a Harkov je prebačen u Heeresgebiet šestog Armeeja i stavljen pod zajedničku vlast zapovjedništva Stadtkommandana i terenske komande 757.

Njemačke trupe koje su djelovale pod vlašću Reichenau-Befehla od 10. listopada (zapravo naredba da se ubiju svi povezani s komunizmom) terorizirale su stanovništvo preostalo nakon bitke. Mnogi sovjetski zapovjednici i#8217 leševa obješeni su s balkona kako bi uplašili preostalo stanovništvo. Mnogi ljudi počeli su bježati izazivajući kaos.

Katedrala Blagovijesti (pozadina).

U ranim jutarnjim satima 14. studenoga 1941., više zgrada u središtu grada minirano je vremenskim osiguračima koje je ostavila Crvena armija koja se povlačila. Među žrtvama je bio i zapovjednik (Generalleutnant Georg Braun) i osoblje 68. pješačke divizije. Nijemci su uhitili oko 200 civila (uglavnom Židova) i objesili ih s balkona velikih zgrada.

Još je 1.000 uzeto kao taoci i internirano u hotel International na trgu Dzeržinskog. Sve su te ratne zločine počinili zapovjednici Heer -a, a ne SS -ovci.

Njemačka je vojska zaplijenila velike količine hrane koju su mogle koristiti njezine trupe, stvarajući akutni nedostatak u Ukrajini. Do siječnja 1942. oko jedna trećina gradskih 300.000 preostalih stanovnika patilo je od gladi. Mnogi bi umrli u hladnim zimskim mjesecima. Kao rezultat borbi u Harkovu, grad je ostao u ruševinama.

Desetci arhitektonskih spomenika uništeni su, a brojno umjetničko blago je odneseno. Jedan od najpoznatijih autora Sovjetskih Saveza, Aleksej Nikolajevič Tolstoj, napisao je: “Video sam Harkov. Kao da je to Rim u 5. stoljeću. Ogromno groblje ”.

Antikomunistički i antisemitski plakati.

Dječak, Kharkov, Ukrajina, listopad-studeni 1941.

Britanski tenk Mark V izložen na Trgu ustava u Harkovu.

Zgrada Derzhproma, Harkov.

Sprovod njemačkog zrakoplovca.

Sprovod njemačkog zrakoplovca.

Sprovod njemačkog zrakoplovca.

Teško oštećen hotel Krasnaya.

Portret Adolfa Hitlera u izlogu.

Prijelaz preko rijeke, Kharkov, Ukrajina, listopad-studeni 1941. bilješka Katedrala Navještenja u pozadini.


Svjetskog rata i borbe za neovisnost

Izbijanje Prvog svjetskog rata i početak neprijateljstava između Rusije i Austro-Ugarske 1. kolovoza 1914. imali su neposredne posljedice za ukrajinske podanike obje zaraćene sile. U Ruskom Carstvu ukrajinska su izdanja i kulturne organizacije izravno potisnute, a istaknute ličnosti uhićene ili prognane. Kako su ruske snage napredovale u Galiciji u rujnu, povučeni Austrijanci pogubili su tisuće zbog sumnje u proruske simpatije. Nakon što su okupirale Galiciju, carske vlasti poduzele su korake ka njezinoj potpunoj inkorporaciji u Rusko Carstvo. Zabranili su ukrajinski jezik, zatvorili institucije i pripremili se za likvidaciju grkokatoličke crkve. Kampanja rusifikacije prekinuta je austrijskim ponovnim osvajanjem u proljeće 1915. godine. Zapadna Ukrajina, međutim, nastavila je biti kazalište vojnih operacija i trpjela je veliko poniženje.

Ruska revolucija iz veljače 1917. dovela je na vlast Privremenu vladu, koja je odmah uvela slobodu govora i okupljanja i ukinula carska ograničenja za manjine. Nacionalni život u Ukrajini ubrzao se oživljavanjem ukrajinskog tiska i stvaranjem brojnih kulturnih i stručnih udruga, kao i političkih stranaka. U ožujku, na inicijativu ovih novih organizacija, u Kijevu je osnovana Središnja Rada (“Vijeće”) kao ukrajinsko predstavničko tijelo. U travnju je šire sazvani Sveukrajinski nacionalni kongres proglasio Središnju Radu najvišom nacionalnom vlašću u Ukrajini i za njenog poglavara izabrao povjesničara Mykhayla Hruševskog. Navedeni cilj Središnje Rade bila je teritorijalna autonomija Ukrajine i transformacija Rusije u demokratsku, federativnu republiku. Iako je Privremena vlada priznala Ukrajini pravo na autonomiju i Središnju Radu kao legitimno predstavničko tijelo, bilo je neriješenih sporova oko njene teritorijalne nadležnosti i političkih prerogativa. Lokalno, osobito u rusificiranim gradovima istočne Ukrajine, Rada se također morala natjecati sa sve radikalnijim sovjetima zamjenika radnika i vojnika, čija je podrška u ukrajinskom stanovništvu, međutim, bila prilično ograničena.

Ukrajinsko-ruski odnosi brzo su se pogoršali nakon boljševičkog udara u Petrogradu (danas Sankt Peterburg) 7. studenoga 1917. Središnja Rada odbila je prihvatiti vlast novog režima nad Ukrajinom i 20. studenog proglasila stvaranje Ukrajinske nacionalne republike još uvijek u federaciji s novom demokratskom Rusijom za koju se očekivalo da će izaći iz nadolazeće Ustavotvorne skupštine. Boljševici su pak na prvom Sveukrajinskom kongresu sovjeta, održanom u Harkovu u prosincu, proglasili Ukrajinu sovjetskom republikom i formirali suparničku vladu. U siječnju 1918. boljševici su započeli ofenzivu na Lijevoj obali i napredovali prema Kijevu. Središnja Rada, koja je već bila u mirovnim pregovorima sa Središnjim silama, od kojih se nadala vojnoj pomoći, proglasila je potpunu neovisnost Ukrajine 22. siječnja istog dana, donijela je zakon kojim se uspostavlja nacionalna autonomija ukrajinskih židovskih, ruskih i Poljske manjine. Međutim, gotovo odmah, vlada se morala evakuirati na Desnu obalu, jer su sovjetske trupe okupirale Kijev. 9. veljače Ukrajina i središnje sile potpisale su mirovni ugovor iz Brest-Litovska (vidjeti Brest-Litovsk ugovori). Njemačko-austrijska ofenziva istisnula je boljševike iz Kijeva početkom ožujka, a vlada Rada vratila se u glavni grad. U travnju se Crvena armija povukla iz Ukrajine.

Socijalistička politika ukrajinske vlade, osobito nacionalizacija zemljišta, bila je u suprotnosti s interesom njemačkog vrhovnog zapovjedništva da poveća proizvodnju hrane za vlastite ratne napore. Dana 29. travnja 1918., vlada Rada srušila je general Pavlo Skoropadsky pučem koji su podržali Nijemci. Kolateralni potomak kozačkog hetmana iz 18. stoljeća, Skoropadsky je preuzeo titulu "hetmana Ukrajine" (koju je namjeravao postati nasljednom), ukinuo je sve zakone koje je donijela Rada i uspostavio konzervativni režim koji se oslanjao na podršku zemljoposjednika i većinski ruska urbana srednja klasa. Nova vlada izazvala je snažno protivljenje ukrajinskih nacionalista, socijalista i seljaštva. Radi koordinacije političke opozicije, ukrajinsku nacionalnu zajednicu formirale su glavne stranke i građanske organizacije, dok su seljaci svoje neprijateljstvo iskazivali pobunama i partizanskim ratovanjem. Kapitulacija Njemačke i Austrije u studenom uklonila je glavni oslonac režima Skoropadskog, a Ukrajinska nacionalna zajednica formirala je Imenik Ukrajinske nacionalne republike kako bi se pripremila za njegovo rušenje. U pokušaju da podrži savezničke sile, Skoropadsky je najavio svoju namjeru da se pridruži federaciji s budućom neboljševičkom Rusijom, što je izazvalo ustanak. 14. prosinca hetman je abdicirao, a Direktorij je preuzeo kontrolu nad vladom u Kijevu.

Čak i prije sloma Austro-Ugarske, skupština zapadno-ukrajinskih političkih čelnika u listopadu 1918. proglasila je formiranje države, nedugo nakon toga nazvane Zapadno-ukrajinska nacionalna republika, obuhvaćajući Galiciju, sjevernu Bukovinu i Transcarpathiju. Ukrajinske snage zauzele su 1. studenog Lavov. Ovaj čin dotaknuo je rat s Poljacima, koji su i sami bili odlučni uključiti Galiciju u rekonstituiranu poljsku državu. Poljaci su 21. studenog zauzeli Lavov, ali je većina Galicije ostala pod ukrajinskom kontrolom, a vlada na čelu s Jevhenom Petruševičem prenijela je svoje sjedište u Stanyslaviv (danas Ivano-Frankivsk). 22. siječnja 1919. u Kijevu je proglašen čin ujedinjenja dviju ukrajinskih država, no stvarna politička integracija spriječena je neprijateljstvima koja su u tijeku. These ultimately took an unfavourable turn for the Ukrainians, and by late July the Poles were in full control of Galicia. Petrushevych and his government evacuated to Right Bank Ukraine and in the autumn went into exile in Vienna, where they continued diplomatic efforts against recognition of the Polish occupation.

In Kyiv the Directory that had taken power in December 1918—initially headed by Volodymyr Vynnychenko and from February 1919 by Symon Petlyura, who was also the commander in chief—officially restored the Ukrainian National Republic and revived the legislation of the Central Rada. Its attempts to establish an effective administration and to cope with the mounting economic and social problems were stymied, however, by the increasingly chaotic domestic situation and a hostile foreign environment. As the peasants became restless and the army demoralized, partisan movements led by unruly chieftains (commonly known as otamany) escalated in scope and violence. In addition, a substantial irregular force emerged under the command of the charismatic anarchist leader Nestor Makhno. In many places the government’s authority was nominal or nonexistent. Savezničke sile, uključujući Francusku, čije su ekspedicijske snage držale Odesu, podržale su ruske bijelce, čija se vojska okupljala oko generala Antona Denikina na jugu Rusije.

As authority broke down in Ukraine, random violence increased. In particular, a ferocious wave of pogroms against the Jewish population left tens of thousands dead. The majority of the pogroms occurred in 1919, perpetrated by virtually all regular and irregular forces fighting in Ukraine—including Directory troops, the otamany, the White forces, and the Red Army—as well as civilians from both the peasant and landowning classes.

The Bolsheviks had already launched a new offensive in eastern Ukraine in December 1918. In February 1919 they again seized Kyiv. The Directory moved to the Right Bank and continued the struggle. In May Denikin launched his campaign against the Bolsheviks in the Left Bank his progress westward through Ukraine was marked by terror, restoration of gentry landownership, and the destruction of all manifestations of Ukrainian national life. As the Bolsheviks retreated yet again, Petlyura’s Ukrainian forces and Denikin’s White regiments both entered Kyiv on August 31, though the Ukrainians soon withdrew to avoid overt hostilities. From September to December the Ukrainian army fought with Denikin but, losing ground, began a retreat northwestward into Volhynia. There, confronted by the Poles in the west, the returning Red Army in the north, and the Whites in the south, the Ukrainian forces ceased regular military operations and turned to guerrilla warfare. In December Petlyura went to Warsaw to seek outside support. At the same time, the Bolsheviks were beating back Denikin’s forces, and on December 16 they recaptured Kyiv. By February 1920 the Whites had been expelled from Ukrainian territory.

Petlyura’s negotiations with the Polish government of Józef Piłsudski culminated in the Treaty of Warsaw, signed in April 1920 by the terms of the agreement, in return for Polish military aid, Petlyura surrendered Ukraine’s claim to Galicia and western Volhynia. A Polish-Ukrainian campaign opened two days later, and on May 6 the joint forces occupied Kyiv. A counteroffensive mounted by the Bolsheviks brought them to the outskirts of Warsaw in August. The tides of war turned again as the Polish and Ukrainian armies drove back the Soviets and reentered the Right Bank. In October, however, Poland made a truce with the Soviets, and in March 1921 the Polish and Soviet sides signed the Treaty of Riga. Poland extended recognition to Soviet Ukraine and retained the annexed western Ukrainian lands. (Vidi također Russian Civil War Russo-Polish War.)


Germans must remember the truth about Ukraine – for their own sake

Don’t fall for the official Russian line on WWII, historian Timothy Snyder warns German MPs in a speech at the Bundestag. In the debate over Germany’s historical responsibility for its wartime actions in Ukraine, ‘Germany cannot afford to get major issues of its history wrong.’

The following is a transcript of a speech delivered by historian Timothy Snyder of Yale University at a conference on Germany’s Historical Responsibility towards Ukraine held in the German Bundestag, on 20 June 2017. The event was organized by the parliamentary faction of the German Green party.

When we ask ‘Why historical responsibility, why German historical responsibility?’, I want to begin from the universal point of view.

I’m not coming to you as an American saying ‘we’ve understood our past and therefore everything is going well in our country.’ On the contrary, I think it’s very important for all of us, whether things are going well or things are going badly, whether we’re Americans or Germans or Russians, to be humble about our various weaknesses in dealing with our past, and above all to be realistic, to be sensitive, to be concerned about how our failures to deal with our own national past can have surprisingly great and immediate and painful consequences for the present and for the future.

So when we ask, as the ambassador did, quite rightly: why should we be discussing historical responsibility just now why, when Russia has invaded and occupied a part of Ukraine why, when Brexit negotiations have begun why, when a whole series of elections between populists and others is being carried out across Europe why, when the constitutional system of the USA is under threat from within why, in this moment, should we talk about historical responsibility, my answer is that it is precisely for those reasons that one must talk about historical responsibility. There are many causes of the problems within the European Union and there are many causes of the crisis of democracy and the rule of law in the United States. But one of them is precisely the inability to deal with certain aspects of history.

So, as I say, I am not coming to you from the position that Americans have figured this out. On the contrary, let me begin talking about Germany by talking about the United States.

Why do we have the government that we have now?

In some significant measure, it is because we Americans have failed to take historical responsibility for certain important parts of our own history.

How can we have a president of the United States in 2017 who is irresponsible on racial issues? How can we have an attorney general in 2017 who is a white supremacist?

Because we have failed to deal with important questions of our own past. Not just the history of the Second World War. It might not come clear from this distance how radically the current presidential administration is revising the American attitude towards the Second World War. But when our foreign policy is labelled “America first,” we are referring to an isolationist and very often a white supremacist movement which was meant to keep America from entering the war against fascism.

When we commemorate the Holocaust without mentioning that the Holocaust involved Jews, when the presidential spokesman says that Hitler only killed his own people, we’re in a very different mental and moral world than we were just a few months ago.

But it’s not just that. We also have a presidential administration where the president wonders aloud why we fought the civil war, why it was after all that there had to be a conflict in America about slavery.

I’m not just mentioning this because I take every opportunity now to involve myself in the domestic politics of my own country, but rather because this question of slavery, precisely this question of what a colony is like, of what an empire is like, leads us directly to what I take to be the blind spot in German historical memory.

As you will all know, the American frontier empire was built largely by slave labour. As we don’t always remember, it was precisely that model of frontier colonialism, of a frontier empire built by slave labour, that was admired by Adolf Hitler. When Adolf Hitler spoke about the United States, it was generally – before the war at least – with admiration. And it was a question for Hitler: who will the racial inferiors be? Who will the slaves be in the German Eastern empire? And the answer that he gave, both in Mein Kampf, and in the second book, and in practice in the invasion of 1941, the answer was: the Ukrainians.

The Ukrainians were to be at the centre of a project of colonization and enslavement. The Ukrainians were to be treated as Afrikaner, or as Neger the word was very often used, as those of you who read German documents from the war will know – by analogy with the United States. The idea was to create a slavery-driven, exterminatory, colonial regime in Eastern Europe where the centre was going to be Ukraine.

1942, Kiev, Ukraine. Source: Bundesarchiv. Bild 183-R70660

Now, you have been told many times what results from this, so let me just briefly summarize.

The purpose of the Second World War, from Hitler’s point of view, was the conquest of Ukraine. It is therefore senseless to commemorate any part of the Second World War without beginning from Ukraine. Any commemoration of the Second World War which involves the Nazi purposes – the ideological, economic, and political purposes of the Nazi regime – must begin precisely from Ukraine.

This is not only a matter of theory, this is a matter of practice. German policies, the policies that we remember, all of them focus precisely on Ukraine: The Hunger Plan, with its notion that tens of millions of people were going to starve in the winter of 1941 Generalplan Ost, with its idea that millions more people would be forcibly transported or killed in the 5, 10, or 15 years to follow, but also the final solution, Hitler’s idea of the elimination of Jews all of these policies hung together in theory and in practice, with the idea of an invasion of the Soviet Union, the major goal of which would be the conquest of Ukraine.

The result of the ideology of this war was that some 3.5 million inhabitants of Soviet Ukraine – civilians – were victims of German killing policies between 1941 and 1945. In addition to that 3.5 million, about 3 million Ukrainians, inhabitants of Soviet Ukraine, died as soldiers in the Red Army, or died indirectly as a consequence of the war.

These numbers are numbers for inhabitants of Soviet Ukraine alone. Of course, the numbers are greater when one includes the entire Soviet Union. But it’s worth being specific here about the difference between Ukraine and the rest of the Soviet Union, for two reasons.

The first is that Ukraine was the major war aim. Ukraine was the centre of Hitler’s ideological colonialism.

But beyond that, in practice, all of Soviet Ukraine was occupied for most of the war, which is why for Ukrainians today, war is something that happens here, as opposed to elsewhere.

Hitler never planned to conquer any more than 10% of Soviet Russia, and in practice German armies never occupied more than 5% of Soviet Russia, and that for a relatively brief period of time.

Russians suffered in the Second World War in a way that is unthinkable to West Europeans, in a way that is unthinkable even for Germans. But nevertheless, when we think about the Soviet Union, the place of Soviet Ukraine is very special, even by comparison to Soviet Russia.

In absolute numbers, more inhabitants of Soviet Ukraine die in the Second World War than the inhabitants of Soviet Russia. And these are the calculations of Russian historians. Which means in relative terms, Ukraine was far, far more at risk than Soviet Russia during the war. In other words, it is very important to think of the German Vernichtungskrieg [war of extermination] against the Soviet Union, but at the centre of that is Soviet Ukraine.

So if we want to talk about German responsibility for Russia, very good – but that discussion must begin with Ukraine. Ukraine is on the way to Russia, and the greatest malicious intention and the greatest destructive practice of the German war was precisely in Ukraine.

If one is going to be serious about German historical responsibility for the East, the word ‘Ukraine’ must be in the first sentence.

This also goes for the longest and the most earnest, and I think the most important discussion having to do with German responsibility in the East, and that is German responsibility for the mass murder of the Jews of Europe. That is another discussion that makes no sense without mention of Ukraine.

As I was walking to this Parliament building, I passed on the street the famous picture of Willy Brandt kneeling, famously, before the monument to the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising.

This is an important turning point in the history of German self-recognition, of German responsibility. But I ask you to think back not to Willy Brandt in Warsaw in 1970, but think of Jürgen Stroop in Warsaw in 1943. Jürgen Stroop, the German police commander who put down the Warsaw ghetto uprising, who issued the orders for his men to go with flamethrowers from basement to basement to murder the Jews of Warsaw who were still alive.

When Jürgen Stroop was asked: why did you do this? why did you kill the Jews who were still alive in the Warsaw ghetto?, his answer was Die ukrainische Kornkammer. Milch und Honig von der Ukraine [the Ukrainian breadbasket milk and honey from Ukraine]. Even in 1943, Jürgen Stroop, as he is killing Jews in Warsaw, of Ukraine. He is thinking of the German colonial war in Ukraine.

The Holocaust is integrally and organically connected to the Vernichtungskrieg, to the war in 1941, and is organically and integrally connected to the attempt to conquer Ukraine. This is true in three ways:

Ukraine is the cause of the war. Had Hitler not had the colonial idea to fight a war in Eastern Europe to control Ukraine, had there not been that plan, there could not have been a Holocaust. Because it is that plan that brings German power into Eastern Europe where the Jews lived.

Secondly, the actual war in Ukraine brings the Wehrmacht, brings the SS and the German police to the places where Jews could be killed.

Which brings us to the third point: the methods. It became clear to Germans in 1941 that something like a Holocaust could be perpetrated because of massacres in places like Kamianets-Podilsky, or, more notoriously, Babyn Yar on the edge of Kyiv. It was there that for the first time – not only in the history of the war, but for the first time in the history of humanity – tens of thousands of people were killed by bullets in a continuous large-scale massacre. It was events like this, on the territory of Ukraine precisely, that made it clear that something like a Holocaust could happen.

Što to znači? It means that every German who takes seriously the idea of responsibility for the Holocaust must also take seriously the history of the German occupation of Ukraine.

Or to put it a different way, taking seriously the history of the German occupation of Ukraine is one way to take seriously the history of the Holocaust.

How do we evaluate the question of German responsibility? What about the Ukrainians themselves? Shouldn’t Ukrainians themselves be carrying out discussions about what happened in occupied Ukraine during World War II? Isn’t Ukrainian nationalism also a theme that should be discussed?

Of course it is. I made my entire career writing about Ukrainian nationalism. That’s why I can be introduced as a professor at Yale University – because I wrote about Ukrainian nationalism, about Ukrainian nationalists and the ethnic cleansing of Poles in 1943. Because I published the first article in a Western language about the role of the Ukrainian police in the Holocaust and how that led to the ethnic cleansing of Poles in 1943.

Ukrainian nationalism is a real historical tendency and it ought to be studied judiciously, as some members of the audience here have done better and more recently than I. But if we are speaking not in Kyiv, but in Berlin, if we are speaking of German historical responsibility, we have to recognize that Ukrainian nationalism is one consequence of the German war in Eastern Europe.

Ukrainian nationalism was relatively a minor force in interwar Poland. It was paid by the German Abwehr. Ukrainian nationalists in Polish prison were released precisely because Germany invaded Poland in 1939. When Germany and the Soviet Union jointly invaded Poland in 1939, destroying the Polish state, this also destroyed all the legal political parties, including the legal Ukrainian parties, which up until that point were much more important than Ukrainian nationalists.

So, as I say, if we are in Kyiv, then we must discuss the role of Ukrainian nationalists in the Holocaust and in collaboration. When I was in Kyiv in September to commemorate the 75th anniversary of Babyn Yar, that is precisely the point that I made.

But if we are in Germany, it is very important that Ukrainian nationalism be seen as part of German responsibility. It’s not something that can block German responsibility it’s not an excuse to avoid German responsibility. Ukrainian nationalism was part of German occupation policy, and when you occupy a country, you have to take responsibility for the tactics and policies of occupation that you choose. And so Ukrainian nationalism must not be a reason for Germans to not think of their responsibility. It is in fact one more reason to think of German responsibility.

However, I’ve probably spoken long enough on that theme. It’s very important that when we speak about Ukraine, we’re not only speaking about nationalists. Nationalists are relatively a small part of Ukrainian history, they’re a relatively small part of the Ukrainian present.

When we think about the German occupation of Ukraine, we have to remember some very simple banal points that often escape our attention. Like for example, there was no particular correlation between nationality and collaboration. Russians collaborated, Crimean Tatars collaborated, Belarusians collaborated. Everyone collaborated there is no, as far as we can tell, correlation between ethnicity and collaboration, with the partial exception of the Volkesdeutsche, of course. But in general, there is no correlation between ethnicity and collaboration.

Something else to remember: the majority, probably the vast majority, of people who collaborated with the German occupation were not politically motivated. They were collaborating with an occupation that was there, and an occupation which is a German historical responsibility. Something that is never said, because it’s inconvenient for precisely everyone, is that more Ukrainian communists collaborated with the Germans than did Ukrainian nationalists. This doesn’t seem to make sense to us, and so no one ever says it, but it is precisely the case. Vastly more members of the Communist Party collaborated with the German occupation than did Ukrainian nationalists.

And for that matter, very many of the people who collaborated with the German occupation had collaborated with the Soviet policies in the 1930s. These points, although they’re very basic, and they’re completely obvious, if you think about them, are typical of Ukrainian history. They’re typical of the fact that Ukraine was ruled first as part of the Soviet Union and then under an incredibly bloody and devastating German occupation. When we think about the way that occupation ended, we often overlook certain basic points, like this:

Incomparably more Ukrainians died fighting against the Wehrmacht than fighting on the side of the Wehrmacht, which is not something that one can say about every country that’s considered an ally.

It’s not something that someone can say about, for example, France, which is why there’s no official French history of the Second World War and why there won’t be one even under Macron. There are some things that Macron cannot do, and one of them will be this: he will not write the official history of the Second World War in France, because more French soldiers fought on the Axis side than the Allied side.

Now, more Ukrainians fought and died on the Allied side than French, British or Americans. More Ukrainians fought and died on the Allied side than French, British and Americans put together. Why do we not see this? Because we forget that Ukrainians were fighting in the Red Army. We confuse the Red Army with the Russian Army, which it most definitely was not.

The Red Army was the army of the Soviet Union, in which Ukrainians, because of the geography of the war were substantially over-represented.

So when we think about how the occupation ended, we also have to remember where Ukrainians were most of the time – that Ukrainians suffered in the German occupation, where roughly 3.5 million Ukrainian civilians, mostly women and children, were killed, and again, roughly 3 million Ukrainians died in the Red Army fighting against the Wehrmacht.

Where does this leave Germany, and why is this more complicated than it otherwise may seem to be? As a historian, I know the history of Ukraine is unfamiliar, and it can seem complicated, but this is not the only problem.

Part of the problem, as I suggested when I mentioned my own country in the beginning, has to do to habits of mind: related to colonization to wars of aggression to the attempt to enslave another people.

The attempt to enslave another people cannot be innocent, even for the generations to come. The attempt to enslave another people, a neighbouring people, will leave its mark, if not directly confronted. And to make matters worse, we are not in the environment in Europe today where these discussions can always take place dispassionately. We’re at a very precise moment where German attempts to discuss German responsibility are always simultaneously parts of a discussion carried out from elsewhere about responsibility.

So when we ask: why are all these basic points not remembered? Why is it not always remembered that Ukraine was the centre of Hitler’s ideology, of German war planning, that Ukrainians were the intended slaves of Germany? Why is it not always remembered that Ukrainians were understood racially, by Nazi ideology? That if we want to understand the Holocaust, we have to start with Ukraine? Why is it not always remembered that about 6.5 million inhabitants of Soviet Ukraine die as a result of German occupation? – there are lots of reasons, but among them are the mental temptations left over by colonization, the tendency to overlook a people which was not regarded as a people.

All of the language about Ukraine as a failed state, or Ukrainians not as a real nation, or Ukrainians divided by culture – in the German language – that is not innocent. That is an inheritance of an attempt to colonize a people not regarded as a people.

Judgements about Ukraine where Ukraine is held to other standards – not that it’s a beautiful, wonderful place in every respect: it’s not – but the application of terms like there not being a Ukrainian nation, or there not being a Ukrainian state, if those things are said in German without a direct confrontation with the German attempt to enslave Ukrainians, those words are not innocent, those words have to be reflected historically in Germany.

And there’s a particular problem with all of this, which I’m going to mention last. The temptation for Germans to avoid responsibility, which is always a great temptation, is encouraged by precisely ruski foreign policy. It is Russian foreign policy to divide the history of the Soviet Union into two parts. There’s the good part, which is the Russian part, and there is the bad part, which is the Ukrainian part.

I can sum this up for you faster than the official memo of the Russian foreign policy does it: liberation – Russian collaboration – Ukrainian.

That is the line that they follow very consistently – and, in this country, to great effect.

Because Russian foreign policy regards the German sense of responsibility as a resource to be manipulated, and the great temptation here is that Germany, which has done so much and which in many ways is so exemplary in its treatment of the past, will fail in this centrally important area of Ukraine in part because of the temptation that Russia offers.

It is so easy to confuse Soviet Union with Russland. It happens all the time. But it is not innocent. Russian diplomats do it, but no German should do it. No German should confuse Soviet Union with Russland, that simply should not ever happen.

But the way that Russia handles its memory policy is to export irresponsibility. It’s to tempt other countries into the same attitude towards Ukraine that it has itself. And this is particularly evident in its concept of Ukrainian nationalists – which again is a real historical phenomenon, but is vastly, vastly inflated in the discourse between Russians and Germans.

Ukrainian nationalism was one of the reasons given [by Stalin] or the great famine of 1932 and 1933. Ukrainian nationalism was one of the reasons given for the Terror in 1937 and 1938. Ukrainian nationalism was one of the reasons given by Stalin for the mass deportations of inhabitants of Soviet Ukraine after the Second World War, and Ukrainian nationalism was the reason given for the Russian invasion of Ukraine in 2014.

There is a common genealogy here, and a temptation precisely for Germans, because if the war was all about nationalism, then why would Germans oppose it?

If the Ukrainian government was nationalist, then why should Germany do anything to stop Russia?

The danger here is that you enter into a kind of Molotov-Ribbentrop pact of the mind, where Germans agree with Russians that the evils that came from Berlin and from Moscow to Ukraine are going to be blamed on Ukrainians. It’s so easy, it’s so comfortable, it’s so tempting to say: ‘Haven’t we Germans apologized enough? Aren’t we the model for everyone else?’

It’s such a tempting trap to fall into, but I can say this from experience as an American: if you get the history of colonization and slavery wrong, it can come back. And your history with Ukraine is precisely the history of colonization and slavery. If the remnants of German nationalism, which are still with you, on the left and on the right, meet up with the dominance of official Russian nationalism, if you find common ground there – the common ground being ‘it’s all the fault of Ukraine why should we apologize, why should you remember?’ – this is a danger for Germany as a democracy precisely.

Now, it’s up to Ukrainians to try to take responsibility for Ukrainian collaboration, or Ukrainian participation in German occupation. It’s also up to Ukrainians to figure out the Ukrainian role in Stalin’s policies of terror, rather than claiming that those were simply Russian policies, because they weren’t: they were Soviet policies in which Ukrainians also played a role. That is historical work for Ukrainians to do.

When I was in Ukraine in September, talking about Babyn Yar, when I was standing in front of millions of Ukrainian television viewers trying to talk about these things in Ukrainian, the point that I tried to make was: you don’t remember Babyn Yar for the Jews. You remember Babyn Yar for yourselves. You remember the Holocaust in Ukraine because of its part of building up a responsible civil society and, hopefully, in the future, of a functioning democracy in Ukraine. That holds for them, but it also holds for me, and for you, for all of us.

The point of remembering German responsibility for the 6.5 million deaths caused by the German war against the Soviet Union in Ukraine is not to help Ukraine. Ukrainians are aware of these crimes. Ukrainians live, the children and grandchildren and great-grandchildren of that generation, they live with the legacy of these crimes already.

The point is not to help Ukraine, the point is to help Germany.

Germany as a democracy, particularly in this historical moment, as we face Brexit, as we face election after election with populists, as we face a declining and decreasingly democratic USA, precisely at this moment, Germany cannot afford to get major issues of its history wrong.

Precisely at this moment, the German sense of responsibility has to be completed.

Perhaps up until now, Germany getting its history right was just a matter for Germans. Perhaps at the time of the Historikerstreit [‘historian’s quarrel’, the intellectual and political debate in West Germany] in the 1980s, the history of the Holocaust was a only matter for Germans.

It has to be done for Germans, but the consequences are international.

Getting the history of Ukraine wrong in 2013 and 2014 had European consequences. Getting the history of Ukraine wrong now, when Germany is the leading democracy in the West, will have international consequences.

A transcript of this speech first appeared on the Euromaidan Press website, where a video recording of the speech and subsequent discussion can also be found.

Published 7 July 2017
Original in English
First published by Euromaidan Press


The Eastern Front, October 1943–April 1944

By the end of the first week of October 1943, the Red Army had established several bridgeheads on the right bank of the Dnieper River. Then, while General N.F. Vatutin’s drive against Kiev was engaging the Germans’ attention, General Ivan Stepanovich Konev suddenly pushed so far forward from the Kremenchug bridgehead (more than halfway downstream between Kiev and Dnepropetrovsk) that the German forces within the great bend of the Dnieper to the south would have been isolated if Manstein had not stemmed the Soviet advance just in time to extricate them. By early November the Red Army had reached the mouth of the Dnieper also, and the Germans in Crimea were isolated. Kiev, too, fell to Vatutin on November 6, and Zhitomir, 80 miles to the west, and Korosten, north of Zhitomir, fell in the next 12 days. Farther north, however, the Germans, who had already fallen back from Smolensk to a line covering the upper Dnieper, repelled with little difficulty five rather predictable Soviet thrusts toward Minsk in the last quarter of 1943.

Vatutin’s forces from the Zhitomir–Korosten sector advanced westward across the prewar Polish frontier on January 4, 1944, and, though another German flank attack, by troops drawn from adjacent fronts, slowed them down, they had reached Lutsk, 100 miles farther west, a month later. Vatutin’s left wing, meanwhile, wheeled southward to converge with Konev’s right, so that 10 German divisions were encircled near Korsun, on the Dnieper line south of Kiev. Vainly trying to save those 10 divisions, the Germans had to abandon Nikopol, in the Dnieper bend far to the south, with its valuable manganese mines.

March 1944 saw a triple thrust by the Red Army: Zhukov, succeeding to Vatutin’s command, drove southwest toward Tarnopol, to outflank the Germans on the upper stretches of the southern Bug River. General Rodion Yakovlevich Malinovsky, in the south, advanced across the mouth of the latter river from that of the Dnieper and between them Konev, striking over the central stretch of the Bug, reached the Dniester, 70 miles ahead, and succeeded in crossing it. When Zhukov had crossed the upper Prut River and Konev was threatening Iaşi on the Moldavian stretch of the river, the Carpathian Mountains were the only natural barrier remaining between the Red Army and the Hungarian Plain. German troops occupied Hungary on March 20, since Hitler suspected that the Hungarian regent, Admiral Miklós Horthy, might not resist the Red Army to the utmost.

A German counterstroke from the Lwów area of southern Poland against Zhukov’s extended flank early in April not only put an end to the latter’s overhasty pressure on the Tatar (Yablonitsky) Pass through the Carpathians but also made possible the withdrawal of some of the German forces endangered by the Red Army’s March operation. Konev, too, was halted in front of Iaşi but his left swung southward down the Dniester to converge with Malinovsky’s drive on Odessa. That great port fell to the Red Army on April 10. On May 9 the Germans in Crimea abandoned Sevastopol, caught as they were between Soviet pincers from the mainland north of the isthmus and from the east across the Strait of Kerch.


Unmarked graves

There are around 1,000 sites where Jews were shot en masse in world war two in Ukraine, estimated Mikhail Tyaglyy of the Ukrainian Centre for Holocaust Studies, of which approximately only half are marked with any kind of memorial.

“Over 25 years of independence, our state has never come up with a proper policy on the Holocaust, either because they were simply not interested or because it did not fit in with their particular ideological bent,” said Tyaglyy. “The young generation of Ukrainians, partly thanks to Maidan [protests] and the new interest in Ukrainian nationalism, have no idea that the history of Ukrainian nationalist movement is difficult and complicated and not just about heroism.”

On the same day as the opening in Rava Ruska, another monument was opened in the village of Bakhiv, at a spot where around 8,000 Jews were shot. During the ceremony, two locals, including one local official, shouted out in protest at the inscription, which blamed the Nazis and their “subservient local forces” for the killings.

The inscription was chosen after months of haggling over the exact wording with various groups. Some Ukrainian nationalist politicians were against any monuments being built at all, said Irina Vereshchuk, the former mayor of Rava Ruska, who supported the project. They thought it was “inappropriate” to have a monument particularly dedicated to Jews, she said.

In these killings, the local Ukrainian police force was usually not tasked with the actual shooting, but were frequently involved in the process of rounding up Jews and aiding the German occupiers in other ways. However, the role of locals in the crimes of the Nazis, as well as the massacres of Polish civilians by Ukrainian nationalists, remains a controversial topic in Ukraine.

Yuri Shukhevych, the son of one of the main Ukrainian nationalist leaders, spent three decades in Soviet camps due to his family’s political affiliations. Now, aged 82, he is an MP and the author of the new history laws. Asked whether he was comfortable with the Holocaust monument erected in Rava Ruska which blamed locals as well as Germans, Shukhevych deflected the question.

“Of course it was a cruel battle and there were a lot of bad things that happened on all sides. Let’s objectively investigate them. But people like to say that our nationalists did things but the Polish didn’t. And what about the Jewish police, the Judenrat, which selected and sorted the Jews? I saw it with my own eyes. But the Jews don’t like to talk about that.”

However, there is a hope among the Jews of Ukraine that the narrow narrative of a heroic struggle for independence by Ukrainian nationalists will be broadened to allow proper study of the crimes committed against them. In Rava Ruska, local teachers have organised a special educational programme to teach children about the former Jewish heritage of the town and the crimes of the Holocaust. In time, there is a hope that the “atrocity competition” can be replaced with common mourning and commemoration.


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