NATO’s move eastward is a fait accompli. The rush of the alliance to help Ukraine, Moldova and Georgia, just as he had "helped" the Baltic States before, means, judging by the bloodshed in south-eastern Ukraine, organized by the Kiev authorities, that everything in Europe is returning to its original state. The one in which she was in 40's. Not without amendments to the presence of the United States as the main arbiter, but this particular. It is worth remembering how it all happened then and how it ended for the local population. Without emotion, on the facts. Still, to date, this is the most successful experiment with European integration, which was conducted with respect to future partners and members of the North Atlantic Alliance.
Civilians in a war have always and everywhere badly. That is why in Russia at the moment there are almost a million immigrants from Ukraine - not only from Donbass, who save their children from repeating what has happened in the last hundred years not for the first time. The civil and Great Patriotic wars, pogroms and famine, repressions and the Holocaust completely changed the composition of the population of the former western provinces of the Russian Empire and the fragments of Austria-Hungary and Romania that were attached to them before the war.
“In Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Ukraine, thousands of Jews were killed by local residents before the Germans entered these areas”
A separate topic - what happened to the Poles, Germans and Czechs who lived on this land. Where did the original population of its cities go and where did those who live in Lviv and Kiev, Dnepropetrovsk and Odessa, Vilnius and Riga come from. Russians still live there. How millions of people lived before the war, which today in these places no one even remembers. Modern Ukrainian, Moldavian, Belarusian and Baltic cities have little resemblance to the pre-war ones. Including due to the almost complete change of the ethnic composition of their inhabitants.
Who remembers that 7,6 percent of Ukrainians lived in Lviv, and more than three-quarters of the population were Poles and Jews? What in the major cities of the former Jewish Pale of Settlement was 30 – 40 percent, and in small, former townships - 70 – 80 percent? Today, when its past has come to Ukraine - it is not the best foundation for building the future of any country on it, it makes sense to remind you how it was. A bit of history. Some statistics. At least in relation to what ended the arrival of civilized Europeans in these places (not only Germans served in the Wehrmacht and the SS) for Jews. Fortunately, unlike the Poles, who are embarrassed to recall the past common with the Ukrainians, in order not to stand in the way of European integration, the Jews have something to remember.
Before and after the disaster
In the USSR, according to the 1939 census, more than three million Jews lived in the pre-war borders, including about 2,1 million in territories later occupied by the Germans. In Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Western Ukraine, Western Belorussia, Bessarabia, and Northern Bukovina, which were annexed to the USSR in 1939 – 1940, along with refugees from the German regions of Poland seized by the Germans, there were 2,15 million Jews. The rapidity of the offensive, the lack of measures on the part of the authorities to evacuate Jews, and in the attached areas obstacles to evacuation by fences, the lack of information about the Nazi persecution of Jews led to the fact that the majority of the Jewish population did not have time to evacuate and about three million remained in the occupied territory. About 1939 thousands were evacuated from the regions that joined the USSR in 1940 – 320. Only from the regions of the RSFSR, captured by the Germans at the end of 1941 - the beginning of 1942, more than half of the Jewish population was evacuated, but those who got to the Kuban and the North Caucasus were destroyed there.
The Germans were actively involved in the administration of local residents. Of these, police were created order under the leadership of German officers. In Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Belarus, and Ukraine, 170 police battalions were organized, in which prisoners of war served along with local natives. In October, the 1942 Germans and 4428 55 local residents in the Ukraine and southern Russia in November 562 1942 10 local residents served in the order police established on part of the captured territory of the USSR Reichskommissariat "Ostland". In the SS Einsatzgruppen there were also local residents. Police order participated in anti-Jewish actions.
A huge role in the destruction of the Jews of Ukraine was played by the Ukrainian police units, in the majority consisting of residents of the western regions. In December, the 1941 of the year in the local police units of Ukraine and Belarus numbered 35 thousand people, in December 1942-th - about 300 thousand. 19 August 1941, the Ukrainian police in Belaya Tserkov shot Jewish children whose parents had already been destroyed so cruelly that the command of the 295 German division tried to stop the liquidation. September 6 1941-th after the shooting in Radomyshl more 1100 adult Ukrainian police were instructed to destroy the child 561. October 16 1941, the 500 Jews of Wonderful were shot by the Ukrainian police by order of the German commandant Berdichev. In Lviv, Ukrainian police participated in the deportation of Jews to the Yanovsky concentration camp and their destruction.
To carry out the genocide of the Jews helped the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists (OUN). On the eve of the war, the OUN formulated a position on the Jewish question: “The indictment will be long. The sentence will be short. ” There was no difference in attitude towards Jews between the groups under the leadership of S. Bandera and A. Melnik. In July, the meeting of the leadership of the Bandera group took place in Lviv, the participants of which agreed with Professor S. Lenkavsky: “Regarding the Jews, we accept all the methods that lead to their destruction.” Melnikovtsy also believed that Jews carry collective guilt before the Ukrainian people and should be destroyed. Members of the OUN killed thousands of Jews during the massacre of 1941 on July 25 (on Petliura’s day) in Lviv, Ternopil, Stanislav and other localities.
When former President Yushchenko, whose administration canonized Petliura, Bandera and Shukhevych as fathers of Ukrainian independence, today argues that Ukrainian nationalists did not participate in the extermination of Jews, he may well refer to the fact that in 1942, the leaders of the OUN Bandera wing changed their position in the Jewish question. This was influenced by the dissolution by the Germans of the Ukrainian government’s self-proclaimed 30 in June 1941, led by Y. Stetsko, the arrest of him, Bandera and other OUN leaders, as well as the fact that most of the Jews living in Ukraine had already been destroyed. In April, 1942, the Second Conference of the OUN, stating "a negative attitude towards Jews, recognized it inappropriate at the moment of the international situation to take part in anti-Jewish actions in order not to become a blind instrument in the hands of others." In August, the 1943-th Third Extraordinary Congress of the OUN recognized the equality of all nationalities living in Ukraine, abandoning the principle of the ethnic superiority of Ukrainians. In the temporary instructions of the OUN, members of the organization called for “not to carry out any actions against the Jews,” because: “The Jewish cause has ceased to be a problem (they are few), but with a reservation, this does not apply to those who oppose us actively.” Detachments of armed organizations created by Ukrainian nationalists, including those that fought with the Germans, like the OUN and the Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UPA), killed Jews who fled into the forests, and members of the OUN who served in the Ukrainian police, as before, actively participated in the anti-Jewish promotions. According to A. Weiss, the OUN troops in Western Ukraine killed 28 thousands of Jews.
According to I. Altman, 442 ghettos were created on the territory of Ukraine and 1941 thousands of Jews were destroyed in 1943 – 150. In the Ukraine Reichskommissariat, almost 40 percent of the victims were destroyed before the Wannsee Conference. 514,8 killed thousands of Jews in its territory. The fate of the Jews in the territories included in the Romanian occupation zone was different from the fate of the Jews in the other occupied territories of the USSR. Although about 263 thousands of Jews died during the occupation in Transnistria, including at least 157 thousands of local and more 88 thousands of deportees, most of the surviving Jews of the USSR survived there. Only a third of Moldavian Jews remained alive at the time of liberation. From 22 June 1941 to the beginning of 1942, most of the Jews in Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, almost all in Eastern Belarus, Eastern Ukraine and the occupied regions of the RSFSR were destroyed. In Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Ukraine, thousands of Jews were killed by local residents before the Germans entered these areas.
According to the testimony of a German officer who witnessed the execution, the Ukrainian police, who shot the Jews in Uman in September 1941, "did it with such pleasure, as if they were engaged in the main and favorite work of their lives." In the town of the Vitebsk region of Belarus during the liquidation of the October 14 ghetto, the “policemen were worse than the Germans”. In Slutsk, the 1941 – 27 of October of the 28-th police battalion, two companies of which consisted of Germans, and two of Lithuanians, shot the local Jews so cruelly that it outraged even the gebitskommissar of the city. The Lithuanian doctor V. Kutorg wrote in his diary: “The Lithuanian fascists demanded that all Jews in all provincial cities be destroyed by the end of September”. The diary of the Lithuanian doctor E. Budvidaite-Kutorgenė testifies: "All Lithuanians, with few exceptions, are unanimous in their hatred of the Jews." By the end of January, 1941, in Lithuania, 1942 – 180 thousands of Jews perished (185 percent of the victims of the Holocaust in Lithuania).
In Latvia, the same thing happened. On July 4, members of the Perkonkrusts organization burned down the Gogol-Shul synagogue, where there were about 500 Jews. In Riga, about 20 synagogues were burned - 2000 people. In the early days of the occupation, a Latvian auxiliary unit of the German security police and SD was created under the command of a former officer of the Latvian army, V. Arajs. The Arajs team destroyed the Jewish population in the summer and autumn of 1941 without the Germans participating in Abrene, Kudiga, Krustpils, Valka, Jelgava, Balvi, Bauska, Tukums, Talsi, Jekabpils, Vilani, Rezekne. In other settlements, Jews were shot by local residents, members of the Aizsarg organization and self-defense detachments. In 1941, during two actions carried out by the SS and the Latvian police, about 27 thousands of Jews were killed in a forest near the Rumbula railway station.
A significant number of Jews from European countries were exterminated on the territory of the USSR. In October-November, 1941 in Riga shot hundreds of Jews from neutral countries: from Iran, South and North America, including the United States. From December 1941, 25 thousands of European Jews were deported to Riga. Many of them were destroyed in the Bikerniek Forest, part of them was sent to the Salaspils concentration camp, the rest were placed in the ghetto.
In Estonia, actions to destroy the Jewish population were carried out by the Sonderkommandu 1A with the participation of the Omakaitse formations of the Estonian nationalists. In December 1941, they destroyed 936 people - all Jews who remained in Estonia. On German maps, Estonia was marked as “Judenrhein”. Estonians, volunteers or called-ups, formed the 20-th SS division. By the autumn of 1942, in Estonia, around 20 concentration camps were established, where Jews were brought from Terezin, Vienna, Kaunas and the concentration camp Kaiserwald (Latvia).
Lithuanian battalion of the SD, Latvian and Ukrainian battalions and Belarusian nationalists took an active part in the extermination of the Belarusian Jews. In the first weeks after the German attack on the USSR, at least 50 thousands of Jews were exterminated in Western Belarus. During the war years in Belarus, the 111 ghetto was created, where tens of thousands of Jews from Germany, Poland, Czechoslovakia, Austria, Hungary, the Netherlands were brought. The 45 ghetto in Eastern Belarus lasted only a few months. In the second half of 1942, the Nazis destroyed almost all the ghettos in Western Belarus. The last 17 of December 1943 of the year were ghetto prisoners in Baranavichy.
At the beginning of the war, power in the occupied territories belonged to the military command, which often demanded that the SS commanders speed up the liquidation of the Jews. In Simferopol, Dzhankoy and other places of the Crimea, the military command sent army units to escort Jews to the places of annihilation. The order of the commander of 6-th army V. von Reichenau said: "... The soldier must be deeply aware of the need for severe but fair punishment of the Jews." In an order from November 20 1941, the commander of 11-th army F. Manstein: "A soldier must understand the need to punish Jewry - the carrier of the very spirit of Bolshevik terror". In the Crimea, with the active assistance of the local population, about five thousand Krymchak Jews and about 18 thousands of other communities were killed. Only the Crimean Karaites saved themselves, who managed to prove that they are not Jews. The leader of the surviving Krymchaks Lev Kaya recalled how the Karaites refused to save their children, although they could do it. Some were saved by the Crimean Tatars.
During the first period of the occupation, the Germans and their accomplices destroyed more than 80 percent of the 300 thousands of Jews in Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia. At the same time, in Western Belarus and Western Ukraine, about 15 – 20 percent died. In these areas, the mass extermination of Jews began in the spring of 1942. In the occupied areas of the RSFSR, including Smolensk, Sebezh, Rostov, Kislovodsk, the total extermination of Jews took place in the summer of 1942 with the participation of police from local residents.
According to the decision taken by the leadership of Germany, in the autumn of 1941, Jews from Romania, Austria, the protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia (the Czech Republic) were deported to Kaunas, Minsk and Riga, where they were killed along with the locals. From November 1941 to October 1942, more than 35 thousands of Jews from Germany, Austria and Czechoslovakia were deported to Minsk. From the end of December 1941 to the spring of 1942, about 25 thousands of Jews from the same countries were brought to Riga from the end of December. The Jews from Germany, brought to Kaunas by several trains, were shot on arrival in the Ninth Fort. In the summer of 1942, four thousand Jews from the Warsaw ghetto were brought to the Forest camp near Bobruisk, where they were destroyed in 1943.
In the prisoner of war camps, about 80 of thousands of Jewish soldiers were killed. During the Holocaust, about 70 were killed by thousands of Latvian Jews, and of the thousands of Latvian Jews who survived the abolition of concentration camps, most refused to return to Latvia, where only 150 Jews remained after the war. 215 – 220 thousands of Lithuanian Jews (95 – 96 percent of the pre-war Jewish population) died in the Holocaust. According to rough estimates, more than 500 thousands of Jews were killed in the ghetto of Belarus, including about 50 thousands from other countries. Ukraine has lost 60 percent of its pre-war Jewish population. The number of murdered Jews living in its territory exceeds 1 400 000 people (more than half of the Soviet Jews who died during the Holocaust), including in Eastern Galicia, about 490 thousands.
Lies about “special role”
The official version of why the extermination of the Jews in the territories annexed to the USSR in 1939 – 1940 was so ruthless with the mass participation of the local population, is that the Jews played a special role in establishing Soviet power there and subsequent repression. This version does not hold water. L. Trusk in the work “Jews and Lithuanians on the Eve of the Holocaust” testifies that Jews did not participate in the land reform of 1940: there is not a single Jew not only among the eight members of the state commission, but also among 201 700 families of applicants for land dispossessed, 2900 members survey brigades, 1500 county and parish commission members. Of the 78 deputies of the people's Sejm, which proclaimed Lithuania a Soviet republic with a request to accept it in the USSR, there were four Jews. The authorities in Lithuania in 1941 had three Jews from the 56 secretaries of the KPL committees, five from the 119 volunteer party organizers, one of the 44 heads of county and city departments of the NKVD and none of the 54 heads of county and city executive committees. At the same time, Jews owned 986 (560 percent) from 57 nationalized industrial enterprises, 1600 (1320 percent) from 83 trading houses, and most from 14 000 houses. At the same time 2600 Jews were repressed (8,9 percent), including in June 1941 of the year - 13,5 percent of all those arrested, with the total number of Jews in Lithuania being about seven percent of the population.
During their deportation to remote areas of the USSR from Latvia, carried out by 14 on June 1941 by the authorities, 1771 was evicted from a Jew. This is the 12,4 percentage deported, with five percent of the population. From Estonia, where the Jewish community was sparse, 500 was expelled (about five percent of the deportees).
In Ukraine, after the annexation of the western regions, Jews constituted only two percent of the delegates of the legislative body to 10 percent of the population. When the 24 of March 1940 was held in the USSR Supreme Soviet elections from Western Ukraine and Western Belarus, there was not a single Jew among the elected deputies of 55. But among the deported residents of Western Ukraine, Jews accounted for about 30 percent. The situation in Belarus and Moldova did not differ from the situation in the Baltic States and Ukraine.
About 25 – 30, thousands of Jews fought in partisan detachments, and many survived. As for the rescue by local residents, there were more cases of these in the territories annexed to the USSR in 1939 than in other areas. The abbess of the Benedictine monastery near Vilnius sheltered the Jews. The head of the Greek Catholic (Uniate) Church, Metropolitan Andrey Sheptytsky, condemned the massacres, provided refuge to the Jews in his residence, and several hundred of them were saved by his order in the Greek Catholic churches. The burgomaster of the city of Kremenchug Sinitsa, who issued false “Aryan” documents to the Jews, was shot for it. The leadership of the Ukrainian Orthodox Autocephalous Church was anti-Semitic, its head Polycarp, Bishop of Lutsk, July 19, 1941, welcomed the German army. But many Orthodox priests saved the Jews.
The ranks of the righteous are awarded 2213 Ukrainians. The number of righteous is 723 in Lithuania, 587 in Belarus, 124 in Russia, 111 in Latvia, 73 in Moldova. Statistics...