Echoes of Holocaust: Israeli President's speech is ‘spit on the soul' – Ukraine's Nationalists' Leader

12:09 Sep. 28, 2016

Israeli President's speech is ‘spit on the soul' – Ukraine's Nationalists' Leader

Bohdan Chervak (second left) shakes hands with a OUN battalion fighter (UNIAN Photo)

President Rivlin earlier claimed that many accomplices to the Holocaust had been Ukrainians, and 'especially, the OUN members'

Bohdan Chevak, the leader of the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists, has slammed Israeli President Reuven Rivlin's recent speech on the organization's involvement in the Holocaust.

‘What Israeli President did was spit on the souls of Ukrainians. To blame the OUN of a Holocaust, to do it during the Parliament's session dedicated to the 75th anniversary of the Babi Yar tragedy, it means to disdain the Ukrainian nation', Chervak posted on Facebook.

Read also: President of Israel halts visit to Ukraine over death of ex-leader Peres

He also presented a list of the OUN members, who he said 'had died for Ukraine' in 1941-1943 and were buried in the Babi Yar.

‘They are heroes to us. We live in our own country thanks to them. Nobody should vilify their memory', he said, calling on the Ukrainian Jews to ‘convince Rivlin' not to read and watch Russian media.

During his visit to Ukraine, Israeli President delivered a speech in the country's Parliament, making a controversial statement on Ukraine's role in the Holocaust.

Read also: Global Post: Why Ukraine's newest Holocaust memorial is so important

‘Nearly 1.5 mln. Jews were killed on the territory of modern Ukraine during the WWII in the Babi Yar and many other places. Many accomplices to the crime were Ukrainians, and, especially, the OUN combatants, who humiliated the Jews, murdered them and often handed them to the Germans', Rivlin said, adding that neither good nor bad history should be forgotten.

Renowned Ukrainian historian Volodymyr Viatrovych also criticized Rivlin's statement, saying he was repeating the Soviet myths.

‘The truth about the Holocaust is returning to Ukraine, more texts, movies and events are taking place in the country. The only thing that hinders this process – is mixing the truth with false and half-truth, including the claims that Jews weren't killed in the Babi Yar', he posted on Facebook. 

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