Voices from Russia

Saturday, 20 September 2014

Ethnic Cleansing of Russians… Habsburg-Style

00g Memorial to Talerhof. Hanging of the Martyrs

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Editor:

Don’t believe a word that you hear from “Ukrainian Orthodox” or “Ukrainian Catholics”. Do note that they say nothing of their roles as rat finks for the Habsburgs or as willing bully boys for the Nazis. They scream, “A knife for the Moskals!” and “Ukraine for Ukrainians only!” If you support them in any way, you support racism of the most rancid Nazi sort… Hitler WAS an Austrian, wasn’t he? Talerhof was an Austrian death camp… fancy that…

Никто не забыт и ничто не забыто. No one is forgotten, nothing is forgotten.

BMD

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September 2014 marks one hundred years since the foundation of the first European concentration camp, Talerhof. Indeed, in fact, it was the first death camp in history. For us, this date is of particular importance, as the Habsburgs created this camp for those who considered themselves Russians. Its main objective was genocide of the Russian people, to carry out the Ukrainiasation of Western Rus, owned at the time by the Austro-Hungarian Empire.

Ukrainianism is a peculiar ideology, it appears as a form of national patriotism, but in fact, it’s rather the opposite, having its basis in the rejection of a real native tradition. Primarily, this is due to the absence of a real ethnic identity on which it could draw upon for the basis of building nationhood. In other countries, nation-states arose on the foundation of already-existing historical traditions of ethnic and national identity, but Ukrainian nationalists had to “start from scratch”, they had to graft upon the local population a new, not previously existing, sense of self-identity and self-awareness. Historically, at the end of the 19th century almost nobody in Galicia and Bukovina considered themselves Ukrainians… only a small handful of people who participated in the so-called “Ukrainian” political movement thought of themselves as such. In general, their ideology stipulated that the Russian people of Southwestern Rus were entirely different from the Russian people in Northeastern Rus, as they needed to find a different name for themselves and create a distinct self-identity. From the 1890s, Vienna began to support these ideas actively and even helped to implant such notions officially, as it gave them an opening to try to overcome pro-Russian sentiments in the eastern Slavs of their empire, in an atmosphere of deteriorating relations with Russia amidst expectations of a major war.

Thus, as the Ukrainian movement lacked a real social base, its first steps in politics were concerned with changing the traditional ethnic identity of the population from its previous perspective. The only way to create a new Ukrainian people was through the ethnocide of the local Russian population. In reality, Ukrainians are inseparable from Rus… because that’s their very basis. Moreover, as even very harsh ethnocidal measures wouldn’t be enough to get millions of people to abandon their ancestral identity, there were times when those who approved of the so-called Ukrainian project needed to utilise direct genocide, that is, the physical destruction of particularly recalcitrant elements. Today, we see how governmental elements spread the Ukrainian ideology throughout the former Ukrainian SSR, and how they moved to outright extermination when the people in the Donbass resisted the violent Ukrainiasation of their region. The most important feature of this persecution, attesting to its genocidal character, is that this destruction isn’t just amongst active political and public figures; it applies to the whole population… children, women, and old people. Therefore, we shouldn’t be surprised at the numerous bombardments of residential areas… the killing and expulsion of civilians is the most important goal of the current hostilities.

The Talerhof anniversary reminds us that policies favouring the ethnocide of Russian people have been around for a long time. The first large-scale actions of this nature occurred a hundred years ago in Austria-Hungary, but the preparations for them took a few years. Waves of arrests began in 1909, the majority of Russian organisations had to suspend activities, they expelled Rusin MPs from Parliament, and everyone suspected of pro-Russian sympathies ended up on police lists. The Austrians treated Russian self-identity and the Orthodox religion as treason. We should note that commitment to traditional ethnic identities and religion didn’t always mean that one was a Russophile, as it came from loyalty to local traditions, not from a geopolitical orientation. However, the Viennese authorities considered any manifestation of Russian tradition as dangerous… so, they considered this traditional orientation criminal. Most often, they charged “Russophiles” with spying for Russia, although it’s clear that there couldn’t be thousands of spies. Another typical charge found in this campaign was “propaganda of Orthodoxy”, as we see in a series of high-profile political trials. From the very beginning of the 20th century, in all the Russian lands of the empire, there was a massive return of Uniates to Orthodoxy, so, Vienna decided to resist this with the harshest methods possible. The era of Western religious wars seemed long gone, but in the early 20th century, the Habsburg persecutions of those holding the “wrong faith” became the norm.

However, truly massive repressions began only with the beginning of the war. In the early stages, the police carried them out using pre-prepared lists, drafted after receiving reports on “politically unreliable” subjects from Polish and Ukrainian political activists. During the first days of the war alone, the police arrested about 2,000 Russophiles in Lvov alone. Soon, the prisons held a significant part of the Russian intelligentsia. The Austrians arrested thousands, including peasants, although they mainly carried out massacres in villages on the spot. There wasn’t enough space in the normal prisons for such a large number of suspected “traitors”, so, the Austrian authorities decided to build concentration camps. The first camp appeared in Talerhof, near Graz in Styria. The Austrians adopted the idea of concentration camps from the British, who were the first to apply this innovation at the turn of the 20th century during the Anglo-Boer War. However, Talerhof was the first concentration camp in Europe. It’s noteworthy that neither the South African nor the Austrian camps were POW camps or prisons for convicted criminals; their sole purpose was to isolate and destroy populations suspected of showing sympathy for the enemy.

The first prisoner convoy arrived at Talerhof on 4 September 1914, the day after Russian troops occupied Lvov. Soon afterwards, another camp for Russophiles opened in Terezín in northern Bohemia. Here prisoners had relatively better conditions as it was a prewar fortress. Many prisoners went to Terezín first, then, to Talerhof, where there wasn’t even barracks until winter 1915… the prisoners slept on the ground under the open sky. Thousands of people from Galicia, Bukovina, Podkarpatskaya Rus, and Lemkovshchina suspected of pro-Russian sympathies landed in concentration camps. There were even mass roundups of entire villages. Amongst the prisoners, there were many women and children. Just at Talerhof, from 4 September 1914 to 10 May 1917, by the most conservative estimates, more than 20,000 people passed through the camp, a few thousand of them died. Prisoners were systematically beaten and tortured, executions occurred regularly. The camp invented a number of new types of execution (for example, a kind of hanging on poles), which were then often used in both World Wars. Due to terrible unsanitary conditions, people died in large numbers from disease. In the winter of 1914-1915, there was a typhus epidemic. Creating conditions for the death of prisoners from disease was typical for the German concentration camps in Poland and its POW camps for Red Army men, but the first use of such was at Talerhof.

At the end of May 1915, German troops retook eastern Galicia. After the Russian troops withdrew, the Austrians intensified their repressions. Many Galicians fled to Russia. This movement pleased Vienna, as it helped them in their main goal… cleansing Galicia of all pro-Russian elements. Since the line between “Ukrainians” and “Russophiles” often ran between brothers or generations in the same family, the repressions affected almost all the Eastern Slavic population of the region. In general, during the First World War, from 30 to 40,000 Russophiles ended up in camps, and the total number of repressed according to the Talerhof Almanac, was more than 120,000. However, in the countryside, the Austro-Hungarian army often destroyed entire villages, and these victims aren’t included in the calculation of the repressed. The Talerhof camp closed on 10 May 1917 under the new emperor, Karl I, who wrote in his decree that the camp didn’t imprison the guilty, but the authorities arrested them precisely so that they wouldn’t commit crimes. Because of this genocidal campaign, the proportion of Eastern Slavs who lived in Lvov shrank by one-half, and the Ukrainian movement, which incited hatred of all things Russian, grew from a marginal movement to the predominant force in the region.

During the interwar period, a Talerhof Committee existed in Lvov, comprised of former prisoners of the camp. Their purpose was to document war crimes and to reinforce the memory of the genocide. They managed to publish four issues of Talerhof Almanac, which published evidence and eyewitness accounts of the tragedy. In 1928, the Talerhof Museum opened in Lvov. On the anniversary of the opening of the camp, the Russian community in Lvov held Talerhof Memorial Days. Later, under the Soviets, such activities became impossible. In interwar Poland, the authorities favoured a split amongst eastern Slavs, so, people with Russian and Ukrainian identity in Galicia were approximately the same in number, as evidenced by the 1931 Polish census. However, communist Moscow dealt the “Old Russian movement” a final crushing blow. They closed all Russophile organisations; the majority of leading Russophiles landed in Soviet camps or they fled abroad. After moving the majority of Poles in Galicia to the Polish People’s Republic, in a couple of decades, the Communist Party and the Soviet authorities created an almost purely Ukrainian Galicia… a result that radical Ukrainian nationalists of previous decades didn’t even dare to dream of.

Today, the Graz-Talerhof airport obliterates the site of the concentration camp, and its runways are as smooth as is the Galician historical memory. Back in 1934, a modest monument to the Talerhof victims was set up in Lychakovsky Cemetery in Lvov, which you can see today. However, modern Lvov is unaware of it. Even graduates of the local history department and historians are surprised when they hear something about Talerhof… it’s removed from the memory of local residents. The total Ukrainisation carried out under the Soviets erased this memory, because this memory undermines the Ukrainian national project. However, we should nevertheless note that at the beginning of October, 2004, on the eve of the “Orange Revolution”, the Verkhovnaya Rada adopted a decree, “On the 90th anniversary of the Tragedy at the Talerhof Concentration Camp”, which quite honestly said, “The Austro-Hungarian authorities repressed those citizens of its Empire who considered themselves Rusins, who saw themselves as part of the undivided Russian people”. This document included efforts to perpetuate the memory of the victims of the Habsburg terror. Further developments opened a new page in the history of the modern Ukraine, then, it became quite problematic to mention the country’s real history. The 100th anniversary of the tragedy didn’t lead to any formal decisions or official statements in the Ukraine.

Unfortunately, in our own days in Russia, the memory of the first European camp that was designed to torture and kill those who confessed a Russian self-identity and the Orthodox faith, is relevant for a very small part of informed society. The efforts of a few activists to educate Russians about the history of this tragedy and honouring its anniversaries haven’t yet attained the proper results. In general, we think that this terror killed about 60,000 victims, although exact figures aren’t available. However, we have to admit that this genocide was very successful, as evidenced by its results. Russophilism, Orthodoxy, and traditional identity virtually disappeared in Galicia, and took a heavy blow in neighbouring areas. Sadly, the predominance of the so-called Ukrainian movement in modern history only testifies to the effectiveness of such measures. In our days, events in Novorossiya show us that the Ukrainian leadership approves of the destruction of the “very stubborn” to cleanse the region. On the 100th anniversary of Talerhof, we see similar ideas and methods of the Habsburg terror campaign carried out in other regions of the Ukraine, on its opposite end. If it’s successful, then, a few decades later, only a few will remember that people in the Donbass used to speak Russian.

14 September 2014

Oleg Nemensky

Russkaya Vesna

http://rusvesna.su/recent_opinions/1410684097

Tuesday, 28 August 2012

28 August 2012. A Photo Essay. Lest We Forget: A Mute Witness to Persecution… Memorials to Those Killed in the Habsburg Repressions

Rova Farms. Jackson NJ USA. It’s sad… Rova’s no longer what it was… all grown-over and abandoned…

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“To the eternal memory of the Carpatho-Russian martyrs who suffered and died at Talerhof in the First World War 1914-17″

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a closeup of the inscription on the Rova Farms memorial

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the English inscription on the memorial

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monument in  Peregrimka, Lemko region of Carpatho-Russia. POLAND

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monument in Svidnik (Carpatho-Russia. Eastern Slovakia) (Svidník OkresPrešov Kraj) SLOVAKIA

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The unrepentant Habsburg hangsmen and their victims… New Martyrs Fr Roman Berezovsky and peasants Lev Kobylyansky and Panteleimon Žabyak. This is a “short drop” hanging… considerably more barbarous and cruel than a proper “long drop”.

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The grave in the village of Ditkovtsi (Brody Raion. Lvov Oblast) UKRAINE of Fr Ignaty Gudima (1882-1944), Confessor of Talerhof. Imprisoned at Talerhof, he survived, but the pressure of it broke his sanity, though. The Nazis shot him as they were retreating from Galicia, as part of a general massacre of mental patients (an Eastern “Hadamar“, if you will).  

“Fr Ignaty Gudima: Fighter to reconcile Galicia to the Russian Orthodox Church. A prisoner at the Austrian concentration camp at Talerhof, murdered by the German Fascists in the 82nd year of his life in his birthplace of Ditkovtsi”. 

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“Eternal Glory to the Martyrs of Talerhof and Terezín and other concentration camps, fighters for the reunification of Transcarpathia with Great Russia

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By the rivers of Babylon, there we sat down, yea, we wept, when we remembered Zion. We hanged our harps upon the willows in the midst thereof. For there they that carried us away captive required of us a song; and they that wasted us required of us mirth, saying, Sing us one of the songs of Zion. How shall we sing the LORD’S song in a strange land? If I forget thee, O Jerusalem, let my right hand forget her cunning. If I do not remember thee, let my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth; if I prefer not Jerusalem above my chief joy. Remember, O LORD, the children of Edom in the day of Jerusalem; who said, Raze it, raze it, even to the foundation thereof. O daughter of Babylon, who art to be destroyed; happy shall he be, that rewardeth thee as thou hast served us. Happy shall he be, that taketh and dasheth thy little ones against the stones.

Psalm 136

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May we NEVER forget… no one is forgotten… nothing is forgotten.

BMD

 

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Wednesday, 15 February 2012

15 February 2012. Kiev is the “Mother of All Russian Cities”… Always Has Been, Always Will Be

The Mother of All Russian Cities… Kiev is Free!

Pavel Sokolov-Skalia

1943

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Kiev is “the Mother of all Russian Cities”,  NOT the “Mother of all Ukrainian Cities”. Don’t forget, “Ukrainian nationalists” were by-and-large willing collaborators with the Nazis (this was especially true of Galician Uniates, “Ukrainian Catholics“) during the VOV. After ’91, they were willing lickspittles of the Americans… they ran some of the secret torture facilities for the Bushies.  Bear that in mind when you hear cries of “hate speech” from that crowd. They were willing running-dogs of the various occupying foreign powers in Little Russia… that was true under the First Polish Rzeczpospolita, the Habsburgs, the Second Polish Rzeczpospolita, the Nazi occupation, and the American Dark Age after ’91. On the contrary, Carpatho-Russians (the po-nashemu people) were patriots and fought for the idea of one Holy Rus. They still fight for it today… the blood of St Maksim Sandovich (the Protomartyr of the Lemkovshchyna) testifies to it… I wonder… do the Uniates venerate St Maksim? If not, they’re not “Orthodox in union with Rome!”

CRASH! go the chariots… that’s not to mention St Aleksei Kabalyuk or Blessed Gavriil Kostelnik (nasty little rascal, ain’t I?). The Uniates don’t venerate the three Righteous mentioned, ergo, when they talk of an invisible “Eastern Church” of both Orthodox and Uniates (isn’t that whole idea SO Protestant in its vague and unspecified vacuity?), they lie. They want us to accept papal supremacy as they do. That’s why Orthodox can’t have anything to do officially with such sorts. They want to tear out our heart and soul and replace it with a foreign and alien spirit. Look at them dispassionately… don’t hate them, but don’t encourage them either. Don’t EVER be nasty personally to ANY Uniate… then, the devil wins. Don’t encourage them either by agreeing with their blather in any way, shape, or form… the devil wins in that case, too.

Remember… the loudest voices aren’t always true… they might just have access to a microphone given by an interested party… think on that.

Barbara-Marie Drezhlo

Wednesday 15 February 2012

Albany NY 

Friday, 27 January 2012

The Truth on Talerhof… What the Catholics REALLY Did to Us

March held in Lvov by Orthodox to memorialise the Confessors and Martyrs of Talerhof… Sophia Kishkovsky, Victor Potapov, Anya Schmemann, the New York Times, and CNN didn’t tell you about it, did they? Oh, yes… Archbishop Avgustin Markevich of Lvov and all Galicia was one of the marchers…

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Editor’s Foreword:

In light of the smarmy declaration just issued by the OCA regarding “Pan-Orthodoxy” and its fawning subservience to papist institutions, it’s time that we spoke the truth about the relations of papist states with Orthodox minorities. The papists have NEVER apologised for the atrocities of Talerhof and Terezín. Ordinary RCs and Uniates aren’t responsible (cut them a break, kids)… but the papist hierarchy is, and we should cut them no slack whatsoever until they show signs of abandoning papal supremacy and infallibility (which they won’t… don’t hold your breath… it’s not only unhealthy, it’s undignified, and it’s funny as all hell to all about you).

What follows is a translation of the Russian Wikipedia article on Talerhof, with information interpolated from other sources. Expect to hear the usual sources slam Wikipedia. I’ll simply observe that SVS is aggressive in its “editing” of English-language Wikipedia articles on Orthodoxy, removing all references to unpleasant truths such as the internecine Church war of the 60s through the ‘90s, and whitewashing thoroughly-questionable figures such as Aleksandr Schmemann, Pierre l’Huillier and Dmitri Royster. Ergo, it’s NOT an unimportant and unreliable source, otherwise, interested parties like the First Families wouldn’t get involved… the ROCOR’s as deeply involved in projecting a false image on Wikipedia as the OCA is, informed sources tell me that Whiteford (a real expert, no?) even edited an article or two.

If you do nothing else, click on the link to the Pravosalvie.ru article listed below. If you don’t know Russian, run a “machine” translation. It’s better than nothing, and, after you’re done, you’ll see the lying duplicity of people like Paffhausen, Psaryov, Behr, and Larina… they suck up to the worst sort of papists (and to Uniates… who attack the Church!), trampling Christ and His Church into the mud. As for me… I’m dead set against ecumenism, but I’m all for friendly relations between Christians. All decent people know what I mean…

BMD

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Memorial Chapel in Feldkirchen bei Graz (Bezirk Graz-Umgebung. Bundesland Steiermark) AUSTRIA for the Martyrs and Confessors of Talerhof

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Talerhof was an Austro-Hungarian concentration camp in existence between 4 September 1914 and 10 May 1917, in the early days of World War I. It was in a sandy valley at the foot of the Alps, near Graz, the main city of Steiermark; it was one of the first concentration camps in the history of the 20th century. The Habsburg authorities deported real and suspected Carpatho-Russian Russophiles from Galicia and Bukovina to Talerhof, usually due to denunciations from Roman Catholic Poles and Uniate Catholic Ukrainophile nationalist separatists. [1]

History of the Camp

The first batch of Russophiles from Galicia and Bukovina arrived in Graz on 4 September 1914, convoyed by soldiers. In September 1914, the Austrian authorities arrested almost the entire Russophile-oriented Lemko intelligentsia. Among them were priests, lawyers, and cultural activists. The Habsburgs suspected them of possible collaboration with the advancing Tsarist Russian Army that invaded Galicia at the outset of World War I. In the winter months of early 1915, there were no barracks at Talerhof, so people slept on the ground under the open sky in the rain and cold. [2] According to US Congressman  Joseph McCormick, the Austrians beat and tortured prisoners. [3] In an official report on 9 November 1914, Schleer reported that Talerhof held 5,700 Russophiles. Of this total, around 1,915 people (according to other sources, up to 5,000) were Lemkos from 151 villages in the Lemkovshchyna[4] Of those Lemkos incarcerated, 168 died, and many others had their health destroyed. The Habsburgs imprisoned about 20,000 Galician and Bukovinian Russophiles at Talerhof during its time of operation; they killed nearly 3,000 prisoners only in the first half-year. [2] According to Galician public figure Dmitri Markov, the imperial authorities executed 3,800 people only in the first half of 1915. [5] In May 1917, a decree of the last Austro-Hungarian Emperor, Karl I, ordered the camp’s closure. The barracks at the campsite stood until 1936, when the Austrians demolished them. At the same time, the Austrians exhumed 1,767 corpses, which they reburied in a mass grave near the village of Feldkirchen. [4] Currently, Graz-Thalerhof airport stands on the site of the former concentration camp, obliterating all traces of the enormity committed here.

Famous Inmates

On 29 August 1996, the ROCOR Holy Synod glorified Maksim Sandovich, the Protomartyr of Lemkovshchyna, who suffered death at the hands of the Habsburg authorities for his faith.

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Here’s another excellent source (in Russian), it’s from Pravoslavie.ru, so, its semi-official, (also, Kirill Frolov’s the world-acknowledged expert on the genocide of the Carpatho-Russian Russophiles):

http://www.pravoslavie.ru/archiv/ruskarpaty.htm

NB:

Note well that the HOOMie poseur Cornelia Rees did NOT translate this article… that means that Dickie Wood didn’t send it to her (I wonder what role he and Vlad Berzansky Jr played in the covering-up of pro-Russian and pro-Russophile material on English versions of Russian websites? Do they still do so after Dickie’s disgrace?)

A more “popular” grass-roots American po-nashemu account is here:

http://www.carpatho-rusyn.org/kr/taler.htm

This is from Matushka Nina Stroyen… one of the first to publish “popular” material in English in Orthodox circles here in the diaspora. I’m honoured to know her… and humbled that she thinks well of me, by and large.

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Editor’s Afterword:

Fathausen and the konvertsy are squalling about notional lunacies such as “Pan-Orthodoxy”… and they’re going to do it at a papist venue. They can’t even do it on their own turf (click here for a saccharine post on oca.org… be warned… it’s offensively treacly). Let’s keep it focused. You can honour the martyrs of Talerhof and keep the Faith as they did, or, you can follow Fathausen and spit on the Lord Christ’s very image by sucking up to the heterodox… indeed, to the very group that murdered the Confessors and Martyrs of Talerhof. They’ve NEVER repented of it, and they never shall. Ergo, we should politely refuse all invitations to take part of their convocations… to go and observe, that’s fine; to take part in such, with the unrepentant murderers of our co-religionists… no, a thousand times, no! You can emulate the Martyrs of Talerhof and St Maksim Sandovich… or you can support Fathausen, Vassa Larina, John Behr, and Andrei Psaryov. The two positions are utterly incompatible… however, is that such a hard choice?

BMD

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