A few days ago Evgeny Davydov, and Nikita Kovashenkov were released by their captors, members of the Ukrainian National Guard. They had been beaten brutally and had been forced to write an apology to the Ukrainian people. Quite why Russian journalists have to be writing apologies to the Ukrainian people, would be hard to know. One would suggest that the various hopeless corrupt governments of that hapless land should be donning sackcloth and covering themselves with ashes in atonement for their sins, but I do not think that the present President of the Ukraine, Petro Poroshenko, the ferociously Russian hating Yulia Tymoshenko, and the supposedly corrupt but validly elected Viktor Yanukovych would be doing anything quite so sensible, neither for that matter could we imagine President Obama doing the same. Perhaps Vladimir Putin would, in much the same way that Henry II was scourged for his unwitting part in the murder of St. Thomas Becket.
More seriously though, when the captors texted Davydov’s wife from the interrogation room in Dnepropetrovsk saying that that they would cut off her husband’s head and legs and send them home one piece at a time, one can understand why Donetsk and Lugansk and other areas of Eastern Ukraine want to be independent of the bloody regime in Kiev, especially in view of the cold blooded killing of the Russian reporters Anton Voloshin and Igor Kornelyuk on June 17th, which was a much worse repeat of the killing of Andrey Mirono, a Russian veteran journalist and Andrea Rocelli a young Italian journalist some weeks ago.
These atrocities coupled with the rise of anti-Semitism in the Ukraine, should come as no surprise. The Ukrainians who suffered so terribly at the hands of Stalin’s man made famine in their country in the 1930’s, whose Greek Catholic Rite was forced to renounce Rome and join the Russian Orthodox Church after the Second World War, is bound to fear and loath Russia. However we have to forgive our enemies, otherwise our hatred and inability to forgive gives the Devil great scope in his causing millions of souls to fall into Hell for their refusal to forgive. If the never ending cycle of incredible violence which was the hall mark of the 20th century is to cease in the 21st, the forgiveness of the Crucified Christ must be taken on by and each and everyone of us, and most Ukrainians will be Christians.
The hatred of the Right Sector for the Russians and Eastern Ukrainians should come as no surprise, as their predecessors happily collaborated with the Nazis and the German Army in the Second World War. And so as the situation goes from bad to worse in the Ukraine, and as ISIS, another group consumed with hatred, surrounds Baghdad ( Its members are fortunately for them, somewhat excused by the fact that they are not Christians), I leave you with a description of Ukranian nantionalists collaborating with the Nazis and the German Army in July 1941 in the city of Lvov, known then as Lemberg. Unless we all learn to be truly Christian and truly vessels of God’s mercy we will relive such terrible scenes again in our own day.
The great historian of the Third Reich Richard Evans describes what Felix Landau an Austrian soldier and a member of Task Force C saw as it invaded Lemberg in July 1941 when Germany invaded the Soviet Union with unbelievable ferocity:
“Soon after arriving in the town, Landau’s unit was informed that local Ukrainians and German soldiers had taken 800 Jews to the former citadel of the Soviet secret police and started attacking them, holding them responsible for the prison massacres. As he made his way towards the citadel, Landau saw -
“hundreds of Jews walking along the street with blood pouring down their faces, holes in their heads, their hands broken and their eyes hanging out of their sockets. They were covered in blood. Some were carrying others who had collapsed. We went to the citadel; there we saw things that few people have ever seen. At the entrance of the citadel there were soldiers standing guard. They were holding clubs as thick as a man’s wrist and were lashing out and hitting anyone who crossed their path. The Jews were pouring out of the entrance. There were rows of Jews lying one on top of the other like pigs, whimpering horribly. The Jews kept streaming out of the citadel completely covered in blood. We stopped and tried to see who was in charge of the unit. Someone had let the Jews go. They were being hit out of rage and hatred.
Landau found such violence ‘perfectly understandable’ in view of what had gone before. The hatred of some Ukrainians for the Jews was fuelled by religious prejudice and nationalist resentments, derived from the fact that many Jews had worked for Polish landlords. It found expression in support for anti-Semitic and extreme nationalist militias that marched into eastern Galicia alongside the advancing German troops. Above all, however, the Jews were blamed by both Ukrainian militiamen and German troops for the massacres of prisoners carried out by the retreating Soviet secret police. Ukrainians took what they believed to be their revenge by beating the Jews to death, in one place, using clubs studded with nails. In Boryslaw, the commanding German general, seeing the corpses of young men killed in the prison by the Soviet secret police laid out on the town square, gave an enraged crowd twenty-four hours to do what they wanted with the local Jews. The Jews were rounded up, made to wash the corpses, forced to dance, then beaten to death with lead pipes, axes, hammers and anything that came to hand. Altogether, 7,000 Jews were murdered in Lemberg alone in the early weeks of the invasion. The participation of Ukrainian nationalists was widely noted, and Ukrainians indeed murdered a further 2,000 Jews in the city at the end of the month. Even so, these operations were generally unsystematic. Only a relatively small minority of Ukrainians were out-and-out nationalists keen to take revenge against the Soviet Communists for years of oppression and the mass starvation of the early 1930’s. Task Force C was obliged to conclude ‘The attempts which were undertaken cautiously to incite pogroms against Jews have not met with the success we hoped for....A decided anti-Semitism on a racial or spiritual basis is, however, alien to the population.” (Richard J. Evans, The Third Reich at War, pp. 222-4)
We find ourselves again today transported to July 1941 where hatred for the Jews and hatred for the Russians is again coming to the fore. Those who have sowed the wind like Barack Obama, George Soros, and others must expect to reap the whirlwind if not in this life, in the next. George Soros, as an Hungarian Jew, and ardent admirer of Karl Popper should know better, and remember that:
Vengeance is mine, and recompense,
for the time when their foot shall slip;
for the day of their calamity is at hand,
and their doom comes swiftly.
(Deuteronomy ch.32; v. 35)