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Jews urged to flee Ukraine by Holocaust survivor

Posted by on Apr. 20, 2014 at 12:18 AM
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Jews urged to flee Ukraine by Holocaust survivor

ALL Jewish people should leave Ukraine at once, a Holocaust survivor warned last night, after “grotesque” anti-Semitic leaflets were handed out in the country.

Extremism, Ukraine, Jewish, holocaust, pogrom, anti-semitismSam Pivnik, who was sent to a death camp aged just 14, has urged Jews in Ukraine to flee[MARK KEHOE]

The pamphlets and posters, distributed in the eastern Ukraine city of Donetsk, demanded that the Jewish population register, pay a new tax or leave.

They are a terrifying echo of the anti-Jewish atrocities carried out by Ukrainians under Nazi occupation during the Second World War.

The leaflets, apparently signed by pro-Russian group the People’s Republic of Donetsk, have enraged the world.

US Secretary of State John Kerry said last week: “After all of the miles travelled and all of the journey of history, this is not just intolerable, it is grotesque.”

Sam Pivnik, 86, was only 14 when his family were rounded up in Bedzin, western Poland, and sent to the death camp at Auschwitz.

After his parents, brothers and a sister were chosen “with the flick of a glove” for extermination by “Angel of Death” Dr Josef Mengele, the teenager, tattooed with a prisoner number, was left to survive alone. Mr Pivnik, who now lives in Golders Green, north London, said he was not surprised by the literature’s anti-Semitism.

 Jewish families in eastern Ukraine are allegedly seeking advice on repatriation to Israel [REUTERS]

Jews have no place in Ukraine, because nothing has changed

Sam Pivnik, Holocaust survivor

“Jews have no place in Ukraine, because nothing has changed,” he said last night, “and as long as Jews remain there, nothing will change. They had no business staying in that country after the atrocities of 1939-1945.

“There is no point in staying there waiting for trouble, in the hope that the world Jewry can save them. Even Germany is doing everything it can to tackle anti-Semitism and is better than Ukraine. Jews in the Ukraine should leave.”

During the war, the Nazis exterminated more than 900,000 Jewish people in Ukraine.

Anti-Semitism resurfaced after the nation’s independence in 1991, with attacks on Jewish mayors by Right-wing extremists.

The chaos in Ukraine during recent months has seen groups both pro- and anti- Russia levelling accusations of fascism.

During the fortnight before the Donetsk leaflets were distributed, anti-Jewish slogans and swastikas were daubed on houses and a Jewish cemetery in Odessa.

Last night it emerged that Jewish families in eastern Ukraine had become so concerned they were seeking advice about repatriation to Israel.

Alexander Ivanchenko, who runs Sohnut, an organisation helping people to move to Israel, said: “It is hard to talk about numbers now but there are more people who come for advice.”

As the climate of fear grows, however, the authenticity of the pamphlets is being called into question. Denis Pushilin, leader of the breakaway pro-Russian People’s Republic, vehemently denied his organisation was behind the leaflets. “Look at this document, I have never called myself the people’s governor, my job is different,” he told the Sunday Express.

“The stamp is bigger than it should be because it was Photoshopped from some real document.”

Mr Pushilin, who claims to run the industrial region of Donetsk, added: “I am personally strongly against any declarations of this sort made against Jewish or any other people. This is a dirty trick by our foes. It is a forgery.”

His militant supporters, who were yesterday still defying last week’s Geneva agreement to lay down arms and surrender control of government buildings, showed how Room 514 in the regional HQ, supposedly where Jewish people should register, was empty.

They called on Ukraine’s police and secret services to find the real culprits, claiming the authors “tried to provoke a conflict”, and pin blame on the separatists.

Dr Efraim Zuroff, of the respected Simon Wiesenthal Centre, agreed, suggesting the Donetsk flyers were “an attempt to paint the pro-Russian forces as anti-Semitic”.

by on Apr. 20, 2014 at 12:18 AM
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Replies (1-10):
Donna6503
by Silver Member on Apr. 20, 2014 at 1:41 AM
2 moms liked this
Sad; but, I think he's correct.
Ziva65
by Bronze Member on Apr. 21, 2014 at 11:08 AM
2 moms liked this

Very Sad, I also think he's right.

Billiejeens
by Ruby Member on Apr. 21, 2014 at 5:42 PM
1 mom liked this

Yep

Gerbert007
by on Apr. 21, 2014 at 7:27 PM
3 moms liked this
the whole situation is so sad.praying for these people.
Posted on CafeMom Mobile
joyfree
by Kat on Apr. 21, 2014 at 9:16 PM

Scary, scary stuff. I think they should leave, too.

collectivecow
by Member on Apr. 22, 2014 at 12:11 AM

It's a hoax apparently.

collectivecow
by Member on Apr. 22, 2014 at 12:14 AM

Donetsk - Ukraine Rabbi: Anti-Semitic Leaflets A Hoax

Donetsk - A Ukrainian rabbi whose congregation was the target of an anti-Semitic leaflet that drew global media interest and condemnation from the U.S. government believes it was a hoax and wants to put the matter to rest.

But five days after the incident in the restive eastern city of Donetsk, Ukraine’s prime minister, anxious to maintain US support against Russia, issued a statement accusing Moscow and told a US TV channel he would find the “bastards” responsible.

Following earlier Russian allegations of anti-Semitism aimed at the new Ukrainian leadership, the rabbi’s call for an end to the furore seems unlikely to prevent mutual accusations over minority rights continuing to inflame the conflict.

On Monday evening, as Jews left a synagogue after a Passover service, masked men handed out fliers purported to be from pro-Russian separatists who seized the regional authority building in Donetsk and styled themselves as its government.

In an echo of the Holocaust which devastated Ukraine’s Jews, it ordered all Jews to register with them or face deportation.

Denis Pushilin, head of the separatist Donetsk People’s Republic, said it was a fake, presumably by supporters of the Ukrainian government, that was meant to discredit his movement.

Pinchas Vishedski, chief rabbi of the Donetsk area’s 15,000 Jews, told Reuters on Saturday that while it was initially shocking, he was now satisfied it was a political hoax - “a crude provocation” - though its authorship was still unclear.

“I’m asking those behind this not to make us tools in this game,” he said. Anti-Semitic incidents in the Russian-speaking east were “rare, unlike in Kiev and western Ukraine”, he said.

Quoted on the community’s website, Vishedski had said on Thursday: “Since it’s only a smear, we should react responsibly - draw a line under it and close the matter.”

CONDEMNATIONS

On the same day, however, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry told reporters after agreeing a peace plan with Russia that he condemned the “grotesque” incident in Donetsk.

Other U.S. officials also voiced outrage. A senior senator said Russian President Vladimir Putin had accused Ukrainian nationalists who seized power in Kiev of anti-Semitism, “but now it is pro-Russian forces that are engaged in these grotesque acts”.

On Saturday, Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseny Yatseniuk vowed to use “every legal means” to prevent the “import” of anti-Semitism and xenophobia and indirectly blamed Russia.

“The ideology and practice of pogroms, exported by a neighboring state, will not be allowed into Ukraine,” he said.

Anti-Semitism remains a feature of militant nationalism in both Ukraine and Russia. During unrest that saw the overthrow of Kiev’s Kremlin-backed president in February, several attacks on Jews and synagogues were blamed on Ukrainian far-right groups.

Yatseniuk also spoke of “reports of pro-Moscow terrorists” conducting “pogroms” against Roma near Donetsk - an allegation repeated by the interior minister, who, like the SBU state security service, also issued a press release promising action.

Asked about the “ghastly reports” by a U.S. television interviewer, Yatseniuk pointed to his statement and told NBC’s “Meet the Press” program he had urged troops and police “to find these bastards and to bring them to justice”.

Billiejeens
by Ruby Member on Apr. 22, 2014 at 2:10 PM

 Thanks for weighing in, CC

Quoting collectivecow:

Donetsk - Ukraine Rabbi: Anti-Semitic Leaflets A Hoax

Donetsk - A Ukrainian rabbi whose congregation was the target of an anti-Semitic leaflet that drew global media interest and condemnation from the U.S. government believes it was a hoax and wants to put the matter to rest.

But five days after the incident in the restive eastern city of Donetsk, Ukraine’s prime minister, anxious to maintain US support against Russia, issued a statement accusing Moscow and told a US TV channel he would find the “bastards” responsible.

Following earlier Russian allegations of anti-Semitism aimed at the new Ukrainian leadership, the rabbi’s call for an end to the furore seems unlikely to prevent mutual accusations over minority rights continuing to inflame the conflict.

On Monday evening, as Jews left a synagogue after a Passover service, masked men handed out fliers purported to be from pro-Russian separatists who seized the regional authority building in Donetsk and styled themselves as its government.

In an echo of the Holocaust which devastated Ukraine’s Jews, it ordered all Jews to register with them or face deportation.

Denis Pushilin, head of the separatist Donetsk People’s Republic, said it was a fake, presumably by supporters of the Ukrainian government, that was meant to discredit his movement.

Pinchas Vishedski, chief rabbi of the Donetsk area’s 15,000 Jews, told Reuters on Saturday that while it was initially shocking, he was now satisfied it was a political hoax - “a crude provocation” - though its authorship was still unclear.

“I’m asking those behind this not to make us tools in this game,” he said. Anti-Semitic incidents in the Russian-speaking east were “rare, unlike in Kiev and western Ukraine”, he said.

Quoted on the community’s website, Vishedski had said on Thursday: “Since it’s only a smear, we should react responsibly - draw a line under it and close the matter.”

CONDEMNATIONS

On the same day, however, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry told reporters after agreeing a peace plan with Russia that he condemned the “grotesque” incident in Donetsk.

Other U.S. officials also voiced outrage. A senior senator said Russian President Vladimir Putin had accused Ukrainian nationalists who seized power in Kiev of anti-Semitism, “but now it is pro-Russian forces that are engaged in these grotesque acts”.

On Saturday, Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseny Yatseniuk vowed to use “every legal means” to prevent the “import” of anti-Semitism and xenophobia and indirectly blamed Russia.

“The ideology and practice of pogroms, exported by a neighboring state, will not be allowed into Ukraine,” he said.

Anti-Semitism remains a feature of militant nationalism in both Ukraine and Russia. During unrest that saw the overthrow of Kiev’s Kremlin-backed president in February, several attacks on Jews and synagogues were blamed on Ukrainian far-right groups.

Yatseniuk also spoke of “reports of pro-Moscow terrorists” conducting “pogroms” against Roma near Donetsk - an allegation repeated by the interior minister, who, like the SBU state security service, also issued a press release promising action.

Asked about the “ghastly reports” by a U.S. television interviewer, Yatseniuk pointed to his statement and told NBC’s “Meet the Press” program he had urged troops and police “to find these bastards and to bring them to justice”.

 

Oliviasmom72
by Member on Apr. 22, 2014 at 4:55 PM

This was likely a small extremist group and not a widespread government operation.

Ednarooni160
by Eds on Apr. 22, 2014 at 5:29 PM
1 mom liked this

Martin Niemöller: "First they came for the Socialists..."

Martin Niemöller (1892-1984) was a prominent Protestant pastor who emerged as an outspoken public foe of Adolf Hitler and spent the last seven years of Nazi rule in concentration camps.

Niemöller is perhaps best remembered for the quotation:

First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out--
Because I was not a Socialist.

Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out--
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.

Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out--
Because I was not a Jew.

Then they came for me--and there was no one left to speak for me.

The quotation stems from Niemöller's lectures during the early postwar period. Different versions of the quotation exist. These can be attributed to the fact that Niemöller spoke extemporaneously and in a number of settings. Much controversy surrounds the content of the poem as it has been printed in varying forms, referring to diverse groups such as Catholics, Jehovah's Witnesses, Jews, Trade Unionists, or Communists depending upon the version. Nonetheless his point was that Germans--in particular, he believed, the leaders of the Protestant churches--had been complicit through their silence in the Nazi imprisonment, persecution, and murder of millions of people.

Only in 1963, in a West German television interview, did Niemöller acknowledge and make a statement of regret about his own antisemitism (see Gerlach, 2000, p. 47). Nonetheless, Martin Niemöller was one of the earliest Germans to talk publicly about broader complicity in the Holocaust and guilt for what had happened to the Jews. In his book Über die deutsche Schuld, Not und Hoffnung (published in English as Of Guilt and Hope)--which appeared in January 1946--Niemöller wrote: "Thus, whenever I chance to meet a Jew known to me before, then, as a Christian, I cannot but tell him: 'Dear Friend, I stand in front of you, but we can not get together, for there is guilt between us. I have sinned and my people has sinned against thy people and against thyself.'"

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