This is truly chilling stuff. The Second World War had some pretty terrible moments (a huge understatement), but the lead up to the Jewish Holocaust and how it was organised and delivered, especially with knowledge of the consequences as we now have, was spectacularly scary to the point where you think something like that would have no chance of ever happening again. Perhaps we too easily forget our history. With some bizarre irony (given the fascist history of the paper), the Daily Mail reports:
Jews have reportedly been told to register with pro-Russian forces in the east Ukrainian city of Donetsk or face deportation.
A pamphlet handed out in Donetsk orders ‘citizens of Jewish nationality’ over the age of 16 to pay $50 to register and be issued special passports ‘marking the confession of faith’.
The leaflets, a chilling echo of Nazi persecution, were handed out to Jews leaving a local synagogue by three men in ski masks holding the flag of the Russian Federation, Israeli media reports.
Jews living in the area of the self-declared ‘Donetsk People’s Republic’ were ordered to register at a government building operated by pro-Russian forces or face the threat of deportation.
The letter/pamphlet which is mentioned reads as follows:
‘Independent Donetsk Republic, General Staff
‘Dear citizens of Jewish nationality:
‘Taking into consideration the fact that the leaders of Jewish community of Ukraine has supported banderovtsy’s Junta in Kiev, and have been hostile to Orthodox Donetsk Republic and its citizens, the General Staff of Donetsk People’s Republic has decreed the following:
‘All citizens of Jewish nationality who are older than 16 years-old that have been living within the territory of Sovereign Donetsk Republic should attend acting Commissioner for nationalities affairs in Donetsk Regional Government Department, office 514 for registration before 03 May 2014. The registration fees are 50 USD.
‘You should bring the amount of 50 USD for registration fees, passports for marking the confession of faith, documents showing family members, entitling documents for title to real property and transport facilities.
‘In case of attempts to avoid the registration, the subject persons’ citizenship will be revoked with their subsequent enforced deportation outside Donetsk Republic including the forfeiture of their property. ‘
Your People’s Governor – Denis Pushilin
The international community must step in to challenge in as robust a way possible what is going on in Ukraine. There seems to be this bizarre situation whereby Russia is swinging from being an atheistic socialist totalitarian regime to a neo-fascist totalitarian regime in bed with the Russian orthodox church, a marriage of bigotry, anti-semitism and homophobia. From one shitstorm to another.
The Mail continues:
Speaking in Geneva after top diplomats from the U.S., European Union, Russia and Ukraine reached agreement on steps to de-escalate the situation, Secretary of State John Kerry denounced the leaflets.
‘In the year 2014, after all of the miles traveled and all of the journey of history, this is not just intolerable; it’s grotesque,’ Kerry told reporters.
‘It is beyond unacceptable. And any of the people who engage in these kinds of activities, from whatever party or whatever ideology or whatever place they crawl out of, there is no place for that. ‘
And then later, detailing what the Jewish community of Ukraine thinks about Putin’s Russia:
In March, leaders of Ukraine’s Jewish communities published an open letter denouncing Russian anit-semitism and criticising Putin.
The Kiev-based Vaad of Ukraine is an umbrella group that says it supports ‘265 Jewish organizations from 94 cities of Ukraine’.
The letter, written in Russian and co-signed by 21 Jewish leaders — including the Vaad leadership, supports Ukrainian sovereignty ‘in the name of national minorities and Ukraine’s Jewish community.’
Putin has justified his military action by claiming that he is acting to protect Ukraine’s Russian-speaking population and claims that Ukraine’s new government is composed of ‘fascists and neo-Nazis’.
But the letter, claiming to represent Russian-speaking Jews, said: ‘Your certainty about the growth of anti-Semitism in Ukraine, which you expressed at your press conference, also does not correspond to the actual facts,’
‘Perhaps you got Ukraine confused with Russia, where Jewish organizations have noticed growth in anti-Semitic tendencies last year.’
You can’t help but feel that something ugly has brewed, and its potency is only going to get more threatening.