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

Wednesday, 10 September 2014

Suitcase to the Station… Podkarpatskaya Rus: Is Zakarpatskaya Saying Goodbye to the Ukraine?

00 podkarpatskaya 01. 09.09.14

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Editor:

This piece proves the dank racism of the Galician Uniate fascists… they don’t even abide people of the same faith who disagree with their fanciful imaginings. If you support “the Ukraine”, that is what you support, and I’ll call you evil to your face. Note well that stipulation applies to many in the OCA/ROCOR First Families and to SVS… is applause and money so important to them?

BMD

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Who are the Sub-Carpathian Rusins? Why aren’t they pleased with the Ukraine? Why did they, unlike the Little Russians, understand the core essence of the current fascist junta in Kiev (they blocked their mountain passes during the so-called “Euro-Revolution”)?

With the beginning of the “Russian Spring”, announcement of the establishment of People’s Republics began to come not only from Novorossiya, but also to the surprise of many, from the Far Western Ukraine, namely, from the Carpathians. We found out that those who live in the land south of the “Ukrainian” Carpathians, the Rusins, threatened to block the mountain passes, where it’d be easy to destroy  Galician Right Sector thugs or Natsgadi irregulars, no matter how many of them tried to push in. With the loss of hope for Russian armed intervention to help the anti-fascist resistance in Novorossiya and the Ukraine, the Rusin Republic activists went underground, but they didn’t “lay down and give in”.

The Prime Minister of the Republic of Podkarpatskaya Rus formed its first National Union opolchenie battalion” in the LNR… the Rusin Battalion “Ivan Kundry (Archimandrite St Iov Ugolsky)”… named for an Orthodox missionary in the Carpathians and a veteran of the VOV. The unit included Rusin volunteers from Podkarpatskaya Rus (the original name of Zakarpatskaya Oblast), Pryashevshchina (Slovakia), Lemkovshchina (Poland), and from northeastern Hungary. Unlike the so-called understrength Natsgadi “battalions” (usually, only about 100 troops, at company strength), the Rusin battalion is more up to TO&E, with 380 men.

I’ve been in Podkarpatskaya many times (but this was the first time in 6 years), I talked with both Lemkos and Boykos from the more remote villages (where buses can’t reach in the winter), and with the leading elements, such as the chairman of the Sojm of Podkarpatskaya Rus. Therefore, I know the Rusin question not only from books, but from life, too.

Rusins (those who use that ethno-social self-identification) say that there are four ethnic groups in Holy Rus… Byelorussians, Great Russians, Little Russians, and Rusins, and don’t agree with the formulation of “Three Related Peoples”. For those who don’t accept the theory of fraternal peoples, who posit a single Russian people with more than three subgroups, Rusins are southwestern Russians (including Lemkos, Boykos, Hutsuls, etc.), which unlike the Galicians don’t consider themselves as Ukrainians. That’s not because the best sons of the Russian people in Galicia less bravely defended their nationality, it’s because not only did distant Vienna issue negative decrees against them, but also the local Polish authorities were hostile to those favourable to the idea of the “Russian question”. However, the local authorities in Podkarpatskaya Rus (mostly Magyars and Slovaks) were much more indifferent as the self-identity of the highlanders.

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00 podkarpatskaya 02. 09.09.14

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Repression tightened sharply at the beginning of the 20th century, when Rusins, through the efforts of ascetic priest Aleksei Kabalyuk (canonised in 2006 as St Aleksei of Podkarpatskaya Rus) began a mass return to Orthodoxy, rejecting the Unia. The Habsburg authorities labelled Orthodox converts as Russian spies. The apogee of persecution was the tragic Marmaroš-Sigetskie trials, where the Austrians imprisoned dozens of villagers from Iza, dooming their families to hunger and wandering. However, these persecutions were only the prelude to the physical destruction of Rusins in the first concentration camps in Europe, Terezín and Talerhof. In all, the Rusin genocide in 1914-17 by the Habsburgs liquidated or broke the health of more than 60,000 Russophile-minded Galicians, Bukovinians, and Rusins. More than 100,000 people passed through the concentration camps. Tens of thousands died during forced deportations deep into Austria-Hungary. When the Russian army retreated, up to half-a-million people fled from certain death at the hands of the Habsburgs, going to safety in Russia.

The Rusin victims proved to Europe that they had the right to their own state. In 1918, only newly independent Hungary proclaimed, “We create a Rusin territory to the south of the Carpathians, with broad autonomy, under the title Ruska Krajina”. By the end of the First World War, the Czechoslovak Republic annexed the area. The Treaty of Saint-Germain between the Allies and the Czechoslovak Republic in 1919 called for the formation of a Podkarpatskaya Rus “with full self-government compatible with the concept of the unity of Czechoslovakia”. This entailed their own Sojm (legislature) and autonomous government. However, Czechoslovakia not only wasn’t quick to carry out this provision, in many ways it violated it. Only in 1938, feeling the breath of war, the Czechoslovakian government made concessions to their people… in May 1938, they finally proclaimed the autonomy of Podkarpatskaya Rus. Moreover, it acquired the status of a federal subject, as did Slovakia (which is independent today).

In a referendum held in Podkarpatskaya Rus in the same year, 76 percent favoured making the Russian literary language the official language of instruction in schools… thus, throwing twenty years of violent Ukrainisation on the rubbish tip. Unfortunately, the Rusins didn’t have this happy state for long. Barely two weeks after announcing autonomy, on orders from Berlin, Prague installed a totalitarian puppet junta in Podkarpatskaya Rus headed by Uniate clergyman Avgustin Voloshin, backed by tanks of the Czechoslovak army. Ukrainisation returned in an even more brutal form. According to historian Aleksandr Karevin:

He closed down all opposition newspapers, dissolved all local governmental bodies, and forced the use of the Ukrainian language in all public venues, such as government agencies and teaching in schools. They hastily changed all street signs in the cities (they used to be in Rusin). ‘Nationally Conscious’ figures took all positions of responsibility… as there weren’t enough of these amongst Rusins, they were mostly OUN extremists ‘imported’ from Galicia.

The fanatics dealt with the disgruntled in a summary fashion, planning a wave of arrests. On 18 November 1938, Voloshin ordered the first concentration camp in Podkarpatskaya Rus at Gore Dumen (near Rakhova). Without court sentences, the junta imprisoned not only opposition politicians and journalists, it also placed peasants, intellectuals, and workers behind barbed wire for making unflattering comments about the newly-minted “leaders” and “father” of the nation. Voloshin spread Mein Kampf all over Podkarpatskaya by his personal order. As noted above, he banned the activities of all political parties, except his Ukrainian National Unity (UNO) (which had no support amongst normal Rusins). However, there was one exception… “All citizens of German nationality, regardless of their state allegiance, are allowed to organise themselves as the German Party on the on the basis of National-Socialist ideas, as well as wearing the proper insignia and bearing the swastika banner”. At the same time, Voloshin strictly prohibited any anti-Nazi propaganda. When Germany invaded the USSR, Voloshin wrote Hitler a letter offering himself as the President of the Ukraine occupied by the Germans. At the same time, he advised the Führer to liquidate the Orthodox Church in the Ukraine and replace it with Catholicism (the secret dream of many Ukrainian “patriots”). Nevertheless, as you know, Hitler had other plans.

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00 podkarpatskaya 04. 09.09.14

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In 1944, keeping in mind all the “charms” proclaimed by Voloshin in the so-called “Carpatho-Ukraine”, Orthodox priests in Podkarpatskaya Rus made an appeal to Stalin to ask entry in the USSR as a separate SSR without being part of the Ukrainian SSR, “in the form of the Podkarpatskaya Rus SSR”. Alas, Stalin acted in the tradition of Lenin’s national policy (which he had implemented, presenting the Donetsk-Krivoi Rog People’s Republic to the Ukrainian SSR). For almost half a century, the Ukrainians denied Rusins their status of a separate nationality, so the referendum held on 1 December 1991 was a shocking surprise to the rest of the Ukraine. 80 percent of those voting in Zakarpatskaya Oblast were in favour of reinstating the status of a self-governing territory. The Ukraine showed its inherently totalitarian nature by ignoring the results of the referendum. Then, the Zakarpatskaya Oblast Soviet addressed the Verkhovnaya Rada to recognise the Rusin nationality as called for in the Constitution and as expressed in the 1 December 1991 referendum. In reply, the Rada simply said, “The request hasn’t gone unnoticed… the issue is now under special consideration”.

In 1996, the instructions of the Cabinet of Ministers State Committee on Nationalities finalised a secret government “Action Plan to address the problems of Ukrainians-Rusins”. Here are just a few points from it:

  1. Clearly outline and declare the position of the Ukrainian state on the futility of the ideology of an autonomous Podkarpatskaya Rus on any cultural or ethnic basis. Distribute through the Ukrainian Embassies in Slovakia, Czechia, Hungary, and Poland a series of publications in the local media regarding the Ukrainian position on “Rusinism”.
  2. Implement a system of measures aimed at strengthening the position of Ukrainianism in Podkarpatskaya Rus through language, culture, and the recruitment of proper cadres.
  3. Prevent the holding of local referenda to express “self-identification” in Ukrainian Zakarpatskaya.
  4. To implement a system of measures for ideological, material, personnel, and cultural support of Ukrainian communities in Eastern Slovakia, Hungary, Romania, Yugoslavia, and Poland.
  5. Expand the supply of materials in the Podkarpatskaya media focusing on the fact that this region is an ancient Ukrainian land.
  6. Apply to members of unregistered regional “Company of Podkarpatskaya Rusins” and its “provisional government” the relevant rules of current administrative and criminal legislation.

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00 podkarpatskaya 03. 09.09.14

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In March 2008, Ukrainian Minister of Justice Nikolai Onishchuk responded to the request of ombudsman Nina Karpachova to President Yushchenko “to recognise the Rusin nationality in Ukraine in accordance with UN recommendations” by saying, “Rusins have always been an integral part of the Ukrainian nation”. He said that despite the fact in a half-dozen countries where Rusins live together with Ukrainians, they have recognition as a separate ethnic group. In the EU, instead of the deadly stalling found in the Ukraine, Rusin magazines, newspapers, and book publishing receive government support and there are Rusin schools, including in higher education. In Hungary, there are 13 self-governing Rusin areas. Even the US State Department in its annual reports on human rights criticised the Ukraine for refusing to recognise the Rusins as a national minority. In 2006, the UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination recommended that the Ukraine to recognise them as a national minority “in view of the significant differences between Rusins and Ukrainians”.

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00 fr dmitri sidor. 09.09.14

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Mitred Archpriest Dmitri Sidor, the head of the Sojm of Podkarpatskaya Rusins (international organisation), told me, “The official definition given by the Ukrainian Minister of Justice was the impetus for the convening the First Congress of Podkarpatskaya Rusins in June 2008”. A memorandum of the First Congress stated, “With this letter, official Kiev actually passed a ‘death sentence’ on Rusin identity in Zakarpatskaya-Podkarpatskaya Rus”. Fr Dmitri noted, “On 7 June 2008, the Congress declared to the world that the Rusin people live, that they aren’t assimilated, and that they remain a subject of international law. The Rusins are a people who’ve exercised their right to self-determination. Thus, we are only demanding our due rights in demanding recognition for our new Rusin state”.

However, the Ukraine, instead of coöperation, instead of discussing the issues peacefully, decided to terrorise the Rusins with the “club” of the SBU… threatening Fr Dmitri with an official warning about his “doubts about the Ukrainian identity of Zakarpatskaya”. When it became clear that the Ukraine wasn’t going to satisfy the legitimate demands of the Rusins, the Second Congress convened. Fr Dmitri noted, “We wanted to prevent any disruption of our peaceful assembly. The SBU flooded the Mukačevo Russian Drama Theatre, where we held the Congress, with its agents, and it brought in busloads of nationalist extremists from Lvov. Nevertheless, all 109 delegates and more than 200 guests of the Congress passed an act re-establishing the Rusin autonomy of 1938 (with the formation of a state executive power), which corresponds to the will of our people in the 1991 referendum for a special self-governing territory within the Ukraine”.

After that, the head of the SBU opened a criminal case against Fr Dmitri. On 19 March 2012, the Court of Appeal in Zakarpatskaya Oblast, as the court of first instance, found him guilty of endangering the territorial integrity of the Ukraine (although autonomy doesn’t imply a change of state borders) and sentenced him to three years’ imprisonment and a suspended sentence of two years and denied him the right to legal appeal. As we can see, it happened under Yanukovich. What can the 740,000 Rusins (70 percent of Zakarpatskaya Oblast) expect from the current junta in Kiev, well, it’s best not to guess. Anatoly Sava, a member of the World Council of Rusins, said, “The Ukraine’s refusal to honour the outcome of the 1991 referendum means that Podkarpatskaya Rus can automatically secede from the Ukraine without any further ado”.  On top of that, a representative of the Magyar minority said that Magyars won’t die in the Donbass to secure the riches of the Ukrainian oligarchs. I don’t think that Slovaks, Poles, Romanians, Roma, and other minorities in Podkarpatskaya want to die in the Donbass for that either.

1 September 2014

Dmitri Skvortsov

Ukraina.ru

http://www.ukraina.ru/analytics/20140901/1010351495.html

Thursday, 31 July 2014

The 100th Anniversary of Talerhof’s Foundation… The OCA, ROCOR, ACROD, and MP/USA ALL are Silent… None Dare Call It Treason

piskarevsky cemetery

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00d Memorial to Talerhof. Rova Farms

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00b Memorial to Talerhof. Rova Farms

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00g Memorial to Talerhof. Hanging of the Martyrs

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The next two weekends are the 100th Anniversary of the foundation of the infamous Habsburg death camp at Talerhof; for obvious reasons, Podkarpatskaya Rus can’t mark it and commemorate its righteous martyrs and confessors… it’d make the UGKTs and the Uniate junta look very bad indeed. This genocide was much more than just the two death camps of Talerhof and Terezín. A planned mass operation swept Carpatho-Russia proper, the Lemkovshchina, and Bukovina. Thousands of Rusin people died at hands of the Austro-Germans, their Polish henchmen, and their Ukrainian Nationalist hangsmen.

All the same… the blood of the martyrs is the seed of future Church vigour… Holy Orthodoxy burst through the dark and resurrected in full bloom in post-World War I Carpatho-Russia. In North America, this stirring ferment helped to form what’s today’s OCA, MP/USA, and ACROD. Furthermore, much of the ROCOR wouldn’t exist without Holy Trinity Monastery and Seminary in Jordanville NY. Jordanville wouldn’t have existed without the resurrection of Orthodoxy in Carpatho-Russia and the then-dominant émigré Carpatho-Russian population in North America… they sacrificed so very much for it, didn’t they? We owe our forebears everything. To forget their travail and confession of Faith, to sidle up to their Uniate oppressors, to forget the testimony of our forebears’ blood to please Uniate apostates, is blasphemy… spitting in the face of Almighty God. Yet, there are soulless clergy and “important people” who do so. DON’T FOLLOW THEIR EVIL EXAMPLE. Follow the example set by our forebears, who preferred the Golgotha of Talerhof to bowing before the Unia and all of its scurvy works.

These next two weekends mark the anniversary of these events. Yet, there isn’t one official or formal commemoration of these events scheduled in the OCA, ROCOR, ACROD, or at Jordanville. The MP/USA IS holding a few small local commemorations.

HOW… VERY… SAD.

We forget the blood of the martyrs to please the enemies of the Church. God do spare us… Our Lord Christ said, Forgive them, for they know not what they do. I wish that I could say that of the pro-Uniate blasphemers, but the cold and chilling reality is that they DO know what they do. Jillions and Larina did it for money and a job… Potapov did it to please his political bosses… Paffso did it to feel important and to show how much of a “wheel” he was on K Street. Remember the blood shed… Никто не забыт и ничто не забыто. No one is forgotten, nothing is forgotten. If we don’t remember that, we aren’t worth a damn and God has every right to spew us out of his mouth. Ask your priest to serve Pannikhida for the Righteous Dead and Confessors of Talerhof and of the Habsburg Uniate Yoke… carry the icon of St Maksim Sandovich in procession… light a candle in memory of those killed by the Habsburgs, the White Poles, the OUN, the UPA, and the present fascist Uniate junta. DO NOT FORGET!

We’re Christians… that IS what we do…

BMD

Thursday, 19 December 2013

Concentration Camp for the “Wrong” Galicians

00 Barbara-Marie Drezhlo. Talerhof. They all had faces... 2012

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Editor’s Note:

In light of the lies being passed by the Uniates, the Western news media, and by elements in Orthodoxy that’ve sold out to Western interests as part of the so-called “Euromaidan” effort, here’s something about the truth of the West’s “benign” intentions towards the Ukraine. Note well that the Galician Uniates were the Habsburgs’ willing hangmen. Their hands are RED with Orthodox blood. Do mark it down that they pump up the so-called “Golodomor”, which the Council of Europe and the UN rejected as a fable (it wasn’t a genocide, it affected all of Russia… it was a byproduct of collectivisation throughout the country), but they’re mute on their role in repressing Ukrainian Russophiles under the Habsburg (indeed, they deny their very willing collaboration in it). It’s related to their denial of their role as the Nazis’ willing henchmen (sounds like the Balts, doesn’t it?). Do NOT take it out on rank n’ file Uniates… they’re only repeating the lies fed to them by their hierarchy and clergy. Remember, you can honour St Maksim Sandovich or you can follow the American “line” on the Ukraine. Choose well…

BMD

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Ninety years ago, the Austrian authorities severely persecuted Western Ukrainian Russophiles. Today, the first associations that one makes upon hearing the word “Galicia” are the SS division, Stepan Bandera, and the anecdote about Vuiko and Smerek. However, this wasn’t always the case! Galicia… where Prince Roman tore up the papal bull, where the Lvov brotherhood published the primer of the pioneering Ivan Fyodorov, and where one saw the polemicist Ivan Vyshensky in the 16th century, up to the time that Yaroslav Galan trashed the vices of the Roman Curia in his letters.

Today, few people remember that Lvov wasn’t only the original lair of Greco-Roman Catholicism… it was also the last line of defence of the Orthodox Church. Ivan Franko wrote, “After the Brest Sobor of 1596, only two southern Russian dioceses, Lvov and Przemysl, remained true to Orthodoxy. Only after the Orthodox Archdiocese in Kiev refounded itself did other Orthodox dioceses rise up again, to begin to regain those torn from the Church by the Unia. However, the Roman hierarchy keenly watched every step that the Orthodox made, to halt their successes. Using all sorts of methods, the papists were systematic and vigilant, they used clandestine methods to undermine Orthodoxy; besides which, they tried to indoctrinate the youth, Jesuits tried to whip up crowds with fanatical sermons, they used printed and handwritten satirical pamphlets to spread libels, and they utilised protection from the powerful aristocracy and government decrees to cover up their action, everything that they did went to serve their aims”.

In 1891, when this great writer wrote these lines in perfect Russian in his article “Iosif Shumlyansky… the Last Orthodox Bishop of Lvov”, such cynical politics still existed, everything remained as before. It’s true that Austrian occupation replaced Polish rule. However, the same methods remained in use. Indeed, they intensified them! All that happened was that such methods became more advanced and used more-modern modern techniques. Describing for the magazine Киевская старина (Kievskaya starina: Kievan Antiquity) the vicissitudes of the national and religious struggle in the 17th century, Ivan Yakovlevich didn’t even suspect that, during his lifetime, we’d witness the most brutal act of this drama… the systematic destruction of the “Russophiles” (Galicians who sympathised with Russia) by the Austrians during 1914-17. The names of the concentration camps at Talerhof and Terezín, where the Austrians carried out their crimes, belong in the Ukrainian mass consciousness, as Majdanek is for the Jews. Nevertheless, in the modern Ukraine you won’t find their names anywhere, you won’t find them in encyclopaedias or textbooks. They don’t fit into our unprincipled government’s propaganda myth of “civilised Europe” {apparently, this dates from the time of the pro-Western running dog Yushchenko: editor}. We ask, “Is the West different now?” However, it still goes on, as you can see!

On the eve of World War I, Austria had from the end of the 18th century to “enlighten” what is now the Western Ukraine, they brought the principle of “divide and rule” to perfection. They whipped up Poles against Ukrainians… they egged on Ukrainians against Poles… and the Magyars didn’t like anybody. Moreover, the rulers of the Habsburg Empire considered it very sensible and in step with their higher public interest to foment discord between the different Ukrainian factions. On the one hand, they gave government subsidies to encourage the Shevchenko Scientific Society headed by Professor Grushevsky… for his works had a strong anti-Russian character. On the other hand, they kept police records of all those they suspected of showing even the slightest pro-Russian sympathies. Long before the World War I, the Austrian gendarmerie compiled detailed lists of the “politically unreliable”. However, they did it in the inimitable style of bureaucratic idiocy brilliantly lampooned in The Good Soldier Švejk. Special tables listed the names of the suspects, their marital status, and occupation; “Box 8” gave “more details of disloyalty or suspicion”. Such “crimes” included, “travels to Russia”, “supported Markov’s (Russophile party leader) candidacy for parliament”, or, simply, “Russophile”.

The documents recommended what to do with each person, even if Austria merely mobilised, not even if it was at war. For example, “Closely watch, and, if need be, arrest”, or, “deport to the interior of the country”. It’s easy to see that the Austrians didn’t even use verifiable actions as a motivation for punishment; they used opinions and sympathies, which are things that are difficult to give unambiguous interpretation. The Austrians believed that putting suspects into custody was the most reliable method. One saw the human cost of this on 1 August 1914, when the Austrians immediately arrested 2,000 Ukrainian Russophiles at the outbreak of World War I. There were so many prisoners that they packed three prisons to the gills! They gummed up the city gaol, the holding cells of the local criminal court, and the so-called “police detention house”. Concerned about this “overpopulation”, the members of the presidium of the Imperial and Royal Gendarmerie in Lvov even petitioned the governor of Galicia to deport “dangerous elements” quickly into the interior of the country because of a “lack of space” and “disturbances amongst the prisoners, who voice loud threats and complaints”.

According to the latest census of 1900 in Lvov, there were 84,000 Poles, 45,000 Jews, and only about 34,000 Ukrainians. Ukrainians were one of the smallest ethnic groups in the city, except for the Austro-Germans. Now, imagine the shock when the Austrians arrested six percent of the city’s Ukrainians in one fell swoop! Whatever horrors intimidated the geniuses of Austrian counterintelligence, well, not that many people could be Russian spies! Firstly, the General Staff in St Petersburg just didn’t have enough money to bribe them. Secondly, they didn’t need so many secret agents! It was enough to recruit several railway workers to watch stations to track the routes of troop trains, and two or three officers of the Lvov garrison… preferably, with impeccable German ancestry. Then, what was it? Was it genocide? Yes! It was genocide! Other definitions just don’t fit what happened. The Polish census figures of 1931 tend to support this thesis. According to it, from the beginning of the century, the number of Poles in Lvov more than doubled to 198,000, and Jews rose 66 percent from 45,000 to 75,000. Only the Ukrainians remained about the same as they were in 1900, at 35,000. In short, there was a “demographic implosion” that shows the consequences of the Austrian police sweep! Today Yuri Andrukhovich, a Western Ukrainian writer who lives in Berlin, likes to expatiate on “Good Grandma Austria”, who supposedly loved her Ukrainian “grandchildren”. Well, Granny! You’re just a bloody maniac!

Moreover, archival evidence tells us how this doting grandma acted. Major General Riml, commandant of Lvov in 1915, wrote in a report to the High Command, “I believe that this sort of party and person (“moderate Russophile”) belongs to the domain of fairy tales, my understanding is that all “Russophiles” are radical and that we should mercilessly destroy them”. However, the problem was that it was very difficult to distinguish Russophiles from the usual sort of apolitical Ukrainian. Especially, this was so in the case of ordinary Austrian soldiers. The Austrian Army had German, Hungarian, Czech, Polish, and Croatian elements. Its soldiers poorly understood each other, let alone the surrounding population. Perhaps, Franz Kafka with his “Trial” and “Castle” could only have been born in this country. However, 1914 wasn’t a scene from a Kafkaesque story; it was real-life.

In the town of Novye Streliski, soldiers bayoneted Grigori Vovka, because he stood in his garden staring at the Austrian troops passing by. The murderers threw his corpse into his hut, which they immediately burnt down. The Bortniki village gendarmes arrested and imprisoned four ten-year-old boys for looking at a passing train… probably, they seemed too curious, these nosy kids had to be “Russian spies!” Priest Grigori Kachala recalled how they interrogated him in prison in Lvov… “The investigator punched at me with his fists, threatening death, trying to scare me to get me to admit that I engaged in propagandising Orthodoxy, but after I gave him the same answer for the tenth time that I didn’t engage in propaganda at all, but only read one message in the church from Metropolitan Sheptitsky about Orthodoxy, without comment, he ordered to go back to my cell”. The Austrians arrested another suspect, 74-year-old Mikhail Zverka, after a fellow villager denounced him for reading the newspaper Русское слово (Russkoe slovo: Russian Word). He said, “It took from Monday to Friday to go from Lvov to Talerhof. In goods-wagons designed to hold six horses or forty men, there were 80 or more people. There was endless terrible heat and stale air in the windowless wagons; it seemed that we’d die before we got out at the hell at Talerhof. The Austrian authorities subjected us to malevolent physical torture at the beginning of our confinement. To sharpen our suffering, they didn’t allow us to leave the wagons, they locked us in tightly; we even had to take care of natural necessities in the wagon”.

Final destination for most prisoners was the concentration camp in the Austrian town of Talerhof. Before the war, this area, surrounded by the Alps, was an unknown backwater. Nevertheless, since autumn 1914, it became notorious. The first trainload of prisoners arrived here on 4 September. The Austrians placed them in barracks, where there was nothing, not even pallet beds. There wasn’t enough space for everyone. Immediately after arrival, the guards drove the prisoners to the bath. In the yard, they had to undress and give up their clothes for disinfection. After bathing, the deportees waited in the cold for hours. However, the disinfection wasn’t of the best quality… rather, it was a form of well-thought-out bullying. The authorities only changed the straw in the sleeping pallets rarely… so, insects infested the entire area. The guards were mainly Bosnians. Those assigned to work details by the camp administration had to pick up horse manure with their bare hands. Everybody had to do this… peasant, intellectual, and priest… no exceptions. On top of that, the administration strictly banned smoking and reading.

In December, there was an outbreak of typhus amongst the prisoners. The immediate cause was that the guards decided to drive 500 prisoners to the baths on one of the coldest days of the year. Half of the prisoners immediately caught colds. However, despite illness, the guards continued to drive the prisoners to work. By evening, all returned wet and tired, and, in the morning, many couldn’t stand up. Every day saw thirty or forty victims. The epidemic raged until March 1915, with 1,350 dead out of 7,000 detainees. Talerhof rations were a fifth of the army allotment for the day. At the morning meal, prisoners got bean soup; at noon, they got beet soup and bread. Sometimes, they had salted turnip and a piece of herring. The camp didn’t allow prisoners to use ordinary dishes, it was every man for himself. They had to make a recess in a piece of bread and poured liquid inside, or, they broke off the necks of bottles and used them in the place of bowls. Most prisoners received no lunch at all, which meant that they lost physical strength and fell sick with scurvy. Many tried to stave off starvation by begging… during lunch, before going back to the barracks block, intellectuals would share with the peasants a part of their food parcels, as the more affluent families sent their relatives packages. However, on the way from Galicia to Talerhof, the long transportation meant that, sometimes, the food spoiled, or, it even disappeared altogether. Only those who could work could hope to survive, the ill seemed doomed to certain death.

Apart from the general prison, the camp had solitary confinement. They confined all Galicians who called themselves Russian or spoke Russian as a mother tongue in solitary. To start with, the Bosnian guards would beat them. A guard bayoneted a doctor’s leg in two places. No prisoners could look into the windows of the solitary cells or the guards would immediately stab at his face with a bayonet. The authorities gave so little to those in solitary that it was a miracle that any survived. For fun, the camp administration came up with yet another torture… suspension from ropes. They set up poles in the courtyard, where they tied up prisoners, suspended them by the hands, and left them there. Each victim hung for about two hours. Chizh, an engineer, recalled, “About 48 people hung on poles in rotation over these two days”. The torture stopped only after many requests from relatives of prisoners.

Ilya Goshovsky, a railwayman from Stanislav (now Ivano-Frankovsk), was in the camp with his wife and two daughters. He recalled his early days here, “The soldiers really harassed our women. They deliberately accompanied them in the latrines, surrounded them on all sides, engaging in all sorts of unspeakable pranks, bringing our women to tears and outbursts. There was no one to complain to, because the guard commander, a German captain, was worse than his subordinates was. On the same day, three soldiers killed three peasants who didn’t know German, for not obeying orders, and buried them in a common pit”. All these things happened, but no one faced any charges for them! No one seems to know who did these things.

Yet, there’s a still more terrible thing… the loss of historical memory! If you ask contemporary Galicians about the Stalinist purges, they’ll nod their heads, but no one seems to remember Talerhof. It’s as if it never existed. Meanwhile, thumbing through the lists of victims of the Austrian terror of 1914-17, I’ve come across names that belong to my contemporaries, and some are well-known, people who moved from Galicia. For instance, take “Channel 5” news presenter Yevgeni Glebovitsky, who came to Kiev from Lvov. Talerhof was full of people named Glebovitsky. There was Grigori… a judge… and Nikolai… a member of the Austrian Parliament… and Pavel… a priest. Or, Alyona Pritula, who edits the online publication Украинская правда (Ukrainskaya Pravda: Ukrainian Truth). A list of the “politically unreliable” compiled by the Austrian gendarme Zholkva shows a Kirill Pritula, a father of four children, “radical Russophile and agitator”, who went to Russia… and another Pritula, a postman hanged by the Austrians in the village of Zaluchchya in Sniatyn County.

Take the well-known Lvov writer Yuri Vinnichuk.  Amongst those repressed in 1914, we find the name of the publisher and reserve officer Vinnichuk accused of “high treason against Austria-Hungary and Russophilia”. First, he was in prison in Lvov, and then spent two years in prisons in Mukachevo, Kolosvar, and Budapest, until his release in May 1916 after the investigation ended. Incidentally, the reason for his arrest was that a “Committee of Ukrainian Officers” headed by Pan Mygaylyuk (a gymnasium instructor in Chernovtsy) denounced him to the authorities. There were so many Zvarichs there! Evstrafy, a schoolboy from Sulimova, sat in Talerhof… Kirill… they sent him there on absurd charges of “striving to poison the water for Magyar soldiers stationed in Zhuravno“… and Matfei… a farmer from Dúbravka, for saying, “Russian troops can reach Zhidachevsky District”. After someone denounced him, he immediately found himself in gaol for an accurate prediction. Oh, merry and gay Austria, with your waltzes and operettas, how you loved your Ukrainian citizens! Interestingly, do the relatives and namesakes of the victims remember this “love?” If you remember, why are you silent?

(no date)

Aleksei Buzina

Aleksei Buzina: Author’s Site

http://www.buzina.org/secret-story/–lr-.html

 

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