Seumas on Stepan Bandera

He rally doesn’t like people who didn’t like Stalin, does he?

The party, now running the city of Lviv, led a 15,000-strong torchlit march earlier this month in memory of the Ukrainian fascist leader Stepan Bandera, whose forces fought with the Nazis in the second world war and took part in massacres of Jews.

Hmm.

During his political career, the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists (OUN) split into two factions: the OUN-M and the OUN-B. Stepan Bandera was responsible for the proclamation of an Independent Ukrainian State in Lviv on June 30, 1941, eight days after the start of Germany’s aggression.

The OUN intended to take advantage of the retreat of Soviet forces from Ukraine. Some members thought that they had found a new powerful ally in Nazi Germany to aid them in their struggle against the Soviet Union. However, just days after the proclamation and the Nazi invasion of Lviv, the leadership of the newly formed government was arrested and sent to concentration camps in Germany, and on July 6, 1941[1] for his refusal to rescind the declaration, Bandera was arrested and imprisoned by the Nazis and not released until September 1944. Also, within two years of the declaration, the Nazis had imprisoned or killed 80% of OUN-B leadership.[2][3][4] Soviet authorities authorised the KGB to assassinate as it happened in Munich, West Germany, on 15 October 1959.

Not that I’m saying Bandera was sweetness and light but……

26 thoughts on “Seumas on Stepan Bandera”

  1. Philip Scott Thomas

    Not that I’m saying Bandera was sweetness and light but…

    I dunno. I rather liked him in “Mask of Zorro”.

  2. “Not that I’m saying Bandera was sweetness and light” … after he was Imprisoned for two years and 8 months in a Nazi concentration camp: would you have been? But that wasn’t why he lacked sweetness and light.
    Estimates of the number of Ukrainians starved to death during Stalin’s Hodomor are up to 12 million – twice the number of Jews killed by Hitler’s “final solution” aka “Holocaust”.

  3. We really do give a bad press to those – notably the Finns and the Cossacks – who found themselves de facto fighting on the Axis side because they fought against Stalin. Although everything I’ve read about that period in history, and what happened to them, has led me to conclude that that’s exactly what I would have done.

    Seumas is a nasty little Stalinist though, and should be hailed as such every time he opens his Wykhamist mouth.

  4. It’s perhaps worth mentioning that Bandera took up terrorism to fight not the Soviet Union but Poland, which ruled Western Ukraine before the second World War.

    john77: It doesn’t diminish the horror, but if we’re going to quote numbers the Kyiv Court of Appeal suggests that 3.9 million people were killed by the holodomor.

  5. In a just world, Ho Chi Milne would have been purged in a basement by one of his erstwhile comrades with a bullet through the ear many years ago.

  6. The present govt of Ukraine is putinized and has no reason to tell the whole truth about socialist atrocity.

  7. @ PaulB
    OK but 3.9 million out of Ukraine’s population is still a much, much bigger %age than 6 million out of the population of the part of Europe occupied by the Third Reich.
    Also: “Poland, which ruled Western Ukraine before the second World War”: not much of it, according to my mother’s school atlas.
    This is just one more example out of millions where some guy who had never met Hitler or Himmler assumed that he could not be worse than Stalin. As a kid in the 50s I said I’ld fight for the Communists against the Nazis if that was the only choice, but in the 30s a lot of eastern Europeans had seen the communists but not the Nazis and decided to risk their lives to fight against Stalin.

  8. john77: I don’t like this numbers game: without question Ukrainian nationalists had good reason to hate the Soviet Union. But the holodomor killed about one seventh of the population of Soviet Ukraine, the holocaust killed about two thirds of the Jewish population of Europe.

    “Western Ukraine” is a flexible term, but in the interwar years it meant the western part of Ukraine which was incorporated into Poland (mostly), Czechoslovakia and Rumania. If one wants to judge Bandera, one should look at his terrorist campaign against Poland – he was sentenced to death for it in Warsaw – not at his choices during the Second World War.

  9. I wade in wonder through the normal, dirty miasma, through the sewage, through the entirely delusional nonsense on this blog, but thank heavens for PaulB.

    Hur Hur Stalin hur hur Hitler.

  10. So Much For Subtlety

    Arnald – “I wade in wonder through the normal, dirty miasma, through the sewage, through the entirely delusional nonsense on this blog, but thank heavens for PaulB.”

    And Seamus. Don’t forget Seamus.

  11. The problem of socialists and sewage Arnald is that it is impossible to differentiate because you are one and the same. As for Paul B –he is a leftist troll who is attempting to peddle bullshit revisionism to the tune that socialist scum only murdered 2.3 million people in the Ukraine and nasty (and also socialist/statist) Adolf killed 6 million (in fact his total murders =approx. 11 million) so socialism is still better. Well socialism has murdered 150 million plus people and PaulB, like you, is a cunt.

  12. The difference between PaulB and Milne is that PaulB is acting as an apologist for Stalinist tyranny. Milne has never been an apologist for Soviet terror. That would imply that he believes the purges and famines to have been regrettable but necessary. Milne is a celebrant. He believes the terror not only to have been necessary but desirable. As for Arsenald: he’s not coherent enough to be worth bothering with.

  13. So Much For Subtlety

    PaulB – “If one wants to judge Bandera, one should look at his terrorist campaign against Poland – he was sentenced to death for it in Warsaw – not at his choices during the Second World War.”

    Bandera was discriminated against by a Polish dictatorship that prevented him getting a real education – they wanted the Ukrainians to remain hewers of wood and drawers of water. He joined a political group that may or may not have tried to kill some Polish politicians. They weren’t very good at it and I don’t know they managed to kill any. That was bad. But it makes them better than those other heroes of the Left, the PIRA or the Baader-Meinhoff Gang or the rest.

    However he also fought the Soviets. That was right. That was justified. Even if it meant an alliance with Hitler. You cannot judge the man simply on the pre-war period. Again we see an amazing double standard. One of the people that Bandera fought against was Zygmunt Bauman who was then serving in the Polish Secret Police – arresting and torturing his fellow countrymen. Bauman remains honoured, respected in academia and highly influential on the Left.

  14. So Much For Subtlety

    Incidentally the French seem determined to prove Blair’s Law is eternally true and valid. They have been marching in Paris. On eve of Holocaust Memorial Day naturally.

    http://virtualjerusalem.com/news.php?Itemid=11979

    I believe that chant is Juif, casse-toi, La France n’est pas à toi!

    The question is simple – is this a Far Left march or a Far Right one? Most of them look to be Muslims or Anarchists to me. Their inspiration is Dieudonne who is, of course, Black.

    The Guardian reading class must be confused when the people they like to patronise like little lap dogs turn out to freely and clearly express what they really think. I doubt cognitive dissonance is lethal but we can hope.

    But it is ironic. Britain’s vibrant multicultural society has existed for about as long as the State of Israel and anyone calling for explusions from the latter have no grounds to complain about calls for explusions from the former.

  15. “He joined a political group that may or may not have tried to kill some Polish politicians. They weren’t very good at it and I don’t know they managed to kill any.”

    The statement “may or may not have tried to kill some Polish politicians” betrays a real lack of knowledge about Ukraine during the war. We know that the UPA (that’s the military wing of OUN-B) objective was to purge Ukraine of all Polish elements – in other words, kill them. There is no dispute now that that is what happened.The death toll is normally estimated at around 35,000 – 60,000, and this wasn’t just made up of politicians. Although if memory serves though Bandera was in German custody at the time so was not involved.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Massacres_of_Poles_in_Volhynia

    “However he also fought the Soviets. That was right. That was justified. Even if it meant an alliance with Hitler”

    You could turn it around and say that fighting Hitler, even if it meant an alliance with the Soviets, was right and justified.

    The fact is that nationalist groups like the UPA have a bad reputation isn’t only because they were helping Hitler conquer, starve and murder the population of Eastern Europe. They have a bad reputation mainly because they resorted to extreme brutality, bordering on genocide, in the pursuit of their own atrocious objectives. I don’t really care what Milne says. He is an idiot and not representative of either historians of this era or the general public.

    The Finns emerge from WW2 with their reputations largely intact because they didn’t resort to massacring civilians for no reasons other than the fact that they belonged to a hated ethnic group. Siding with Germany was a political mistake though, as it was unlikely that Germany would beat both the British Empire and the Soviet Union at the same time.

  16. So Much For Subtlety

    Andy – “The statement “may or may not have tried to kill some Polish politicians” betrays a real lack of knowledge about Ukraine during the war.”

    But we weren’t talking about the war but the pre-war period. When they weren’t murdering Poles.

    “You could turn it around and say that fighting Hitler, even if it meant an alliance with the Soviets, was right and justified.”

    I am not sure you could. As Stalin only really allied with people who were Stalinists. So anyone, or almost anyone, who allied with Stalin was intent on genocide.

    “The fact is that nationalist groups like the UPA have a bad reputation isn’t only because they were helping Hitler conquer, starve and murder the population of Eastern Europe.”

    Not sure that applies to the Ukrainians. How did that apply to Bandera when he was in a camp?

    “The Finns emerge from WW2 with their reputations largely intact because they didn’t resort to massacring civilians for no reasons other than the fact that they belonged to a hated ethnic group.”

    So you can ally with Hitler against Stalin and still be mildly acceptable.

  17. I’m not an apologist for Stalin, who was an evil man, but for the truth. It makes no meaningful difference to the intensity of Stalin’s evil if you add or subtract from the death toll, but the real numbers represent real people who died. Out of respect for humanity, we should not shout made-up numbers in polemical argument, but whisper the truth.

  18. we weren’t talking about the war but the pre-war period. When they weren’t murdering Poles.

    That’s exactly what Bandera and his faction were doing, as a matter of stated policy. One of their early victims was Tadeusz Hołówko, a Polish advocate of peaceful co-operation between Poland and Ukraine.

    One of the people that Bandera fought against was Zygmunt Bauman who was then serving in the Polish Secret Police…

    Whatever your fantasies about Bauman, he was certainly not involved in Bandera’s campaign against the Poles, which ended with the German invasion of Poland in 1939 when Bauman was 13.

  19. “I am not sure you could. As Stalin only really allied with people who were Stalinists. So anyone, or almost anyone, who allied with Stalin was intent on genocide.”

    Hm, well Stalin didn’t really commit a ‘genocide’ during WW2 or afterwards, although he certainly killed a hundreds of thousands of people. But this is by the by. You could not ally with Stalin without recognising Soviet hegemony over Eastern Europe, that is true.

    The same thing of course was true for Hitler. However the short term objectives of German hegemony of Europe was to starve to death around 20 -30 million inhabitants of the Soviet Union. The long term objective was to exterminate every Jewish inhabitant of the region, expel around 31 million slavic people to Siberia and leave the rest as slave labourers for the German settlers if they could not be Germanised.

    So if you want to judge those who allied with Stalin on the grounds of complicity with Soviet war crimes, then by the same standard those that allied with Hitler come off worse.

    http://www.amazon.co.uk/The-Wages-Destruction-Breaking-Economy/dp/0141003480

    http://www.amazon.de/Kalkulierte-deutsche-Wirtschafts-Vernichtungspolitik-Wei%C3%9Fru%C3%9Fland/dp/3930908638

    “Not sure that applies to the Ukrainians.”

    Of course it does,

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Massacres_of_Poles_in_Volhynia_and_Eastern_Galicia

    “How did that apply to Bandera when he was in a camp?”

    Your generalisation was that fighting Stalin was not only sensible, or understandable, but “justified”. Even if it had been, OUN-B had disgraced themselves through a campaign of genocide against people unconnected to Stalin.

    “So you can ally with Hitler against Stalin and still be mildly acceptable.”

    By the standards of OUN-B of course the Finns were “mildly acceptable”, however that wasn’t the point I was making.

  20. Also, I agree with PaulB. The case against Stalin is damning enough and does not require exaggeration. Right wingers who do that are no better than left wingers who continually moan about real or imagined crimes committed by western powers.

  21. Uncle Joe intended to move Russia’s Jews to Siberia and work them to death. He didn’t get the chance and we will never know what else the fucker had planned if he’d had a better liver and necked less vodka.
    The death total calculated by Rummel for your socialist heroes back in the USSR is sixty million odd for the life of the shithole. That matches any national Socialist plans. Don’t be letting yourself and your pals off the hook. And the whole rotten, poisonous idea is to blame not just Uncle Joe.

  22. Mr Ecks is a good example of the kind of unbalanced/uninformed person I talked about.

    “Don’t be letting yourself and your pals off the hook. And the whole rotten, poisonous idea is to blame not just Uncle Joe.”

    I am not a socialist or a communist. I consider myself a classical liberal, but I suppose I am happy to accept the Neoliberal slur thrown around by idiots.

    “The death total calculated by Rummel for your socialist heroes back in the USSR is sixty million odd for the life of the shithole.”

    Yeah, I don’t think any expert on the subject takes Rummel’s estimates seriously, which consist of taking Robert Conquests guesstimates and apply some more guess on top of them and then adding a few figures here and there. Timothy Snyder in Bloodlands puts the total killed by Hitler and Stalin combined at 14 million.

    I don’t understand the hostility to revising the numbers downwards, that I or PaulB have received here. Revising numbers downwards happens quite frequently when the numbers have been inflated because of incomplete data and/or political bias.

  23. Far as I’m concerned Synder is suspect regardless of how many awards his book got. The experts say he’s an expert-(apart from those who don’t agree)-so what. Argument from authority. His conclusions –that Adolf killed as many as we thought he did but the soviets didn’t–what a surprise. Course he pays lip service to what a nasty man Joe was (but not socialism itself) and his all new archive sources contain suspiciously accurate figures eg:

    “In Stalin’s Gulag some 516,543 people died between 1941 and 1943, sentenced by the Soviets to labor, but deprived of food by the German invasion.

    Were these people victims of Stalin or of Hitler? Or both?”

    They were victims of socialism either way and also Stalin’s because they shouldn’t have been in the fucking camp in the first place. And 516543 ?–counted ’em down to the last 3 did they?.

    Rummel did not just copy Conquest–there are 72 pages of references to “Death by Government” and Conquest has only seven listings out of hundreds. Nor is Rummel that prone to exaggeration–he originally only lists 35 million Chinese as victims of Mao. That is half of the likely total. (He later changed his opinion). You can criticise Rummel but don’t pretend he has been discredited by “experts”–he hasn’t.

    It is to be expected that leftists like PaulB would do what they can to minimise the crimes of their co-religionists. You claim to be a classical liberal–and maybe you are–or maybe you’re an astroturfer.

  24. “Far as I’m concerned Synder is suspect regardless of how many awards his book got. The experts say he’s an expert-(apart from those who don’t agree)-so what. Argument from authority.”

    Are you familiar with the terms ‘projection’ and ‘irony’? I just want to make sure I follow your logic here. You claim that Snyder is suspect despite the praise his book got from (I presume) notorious leftwingers like Anne Applebaum and the criticism it received from (probable) right wing extremist Richard Evans. On the other hand, Rummel is fine… because he’s no expert?

    “His conclusions –that Adolf killed as many as we thought he did but the soviets didn’t–what a surprise. “

    Think about this for a second. The German archives were opened in 1945. Therefore it was easy for historians to estimate with a fair degree of accuracy what exactly the Nazis had gotten up to early on. Unless you were born before 1945, the estimates of the victims of German war crimes would have been settled probably by the time you were born. The archives in Russia remained closed to western historians until the collapse of the ussr. This is why the reason why figures became more accurate during the 1990’s. It wasn’t some conspiracy to make socialism more appealing.

    And in any case, what kind of fool would think demonstrating that Stalin killed ~6 million rather than ~20 million in the interwar period would make Stalinism look more attractive?

    By the same token, those historians who did not accept the soviet claim that the Nazis killed 4 million people at Auschwitz must have been Neo-Nazis! And those that dispute David Irving’s insane estimates of the number killed during the bombing of Dresden must want wars to involve saturation bombing as a matter of routine. And those that reject the claims that European colonization of the Americas killed 100 million Native Americans must support manifest destiny. Those that dispute Caroline Elkins’s claim that 300,000 Kikuyu died during the Mau Mau Uprising must be counting down the days until British rule is re-established in Kenya.

    “Course he pays lip service to what a nasty man Joe was (but not socialism itself) and his all new archive sources contain suspiciously accurate figures eg:”

    I think you might need to reread the book. It doesn’t pay ‘lip service’ to the idea that Joe was a nasty man. The central thesis of the book is to compare the ways Nazism and Stalinism were similar, and recasts the history of Europe around its central tragedy – the murder of 14 million people in Eastern Europe – that’s the ‘bloodlands’ of the title – by totalitarian regimes.

    “They were victims of socialism either way and also Stalin’s because they shouldn’t have been in the fucking camp in the first place. And 516543 ?–counted ‘em down to the last 3 did they?”

    Which is fine – Snyder is pointing out in his book those killed by socialism in its German National and soviet varieties. You are free to reject some of his views as to who is to blame for those deaths. The soviets generally did try to keep accurate records, but you’d have to be a fool to take them as correct to single digits (and I don’t believe Snyder does in his book, his 14 million is a rough estimate).

    “Rummel did not just copy Conquest–there are 72 pages of references to “Death by Government” and Conquest has only seven listings out of hundreds”

    And I didn’t say he copied Conquest. I said he started with Conquest and applied some more guesswork and assumptions, which in turn makes his figures suspect.

    “Nor is Rummel that prone to exaggeration–he originally only lists 35 million Chinese as victims of Mao. That is half of the likely total. (He later changed his opinion).”

    He changed his opinion upwards though, and it was only because he decided to include the Great Leap Forward Famine victims in his democide death toll. Not the best way of showing that he doesn’t generally go for the high estimates.

    “You can criticise Rummel but don’t pretend he has been discredited by “experts”–he hasn’t.”

    There hasn’t been a direct refutation, but, like I said, his estimates are not taken seriously by those who have investigated the archives, such as Michael Ellman and Davies and Wheatcroft. For a good overview of soviet repression, check out W.D. Rubinstein’s book “Genocide”. Rubinstein, btw, seems to be a right winger, who has no truck for those who exaggerate colonial crimes (e.g. the imaginary genocide in Tasmania). He is an honest enough scholar to accept that the estimates made in the 1980s of the number killed by Stalin were incorrect.

    “It is to be expected that leftists like PaulB would do what they can to minimise the crimes of their co-religionists. You claim to be a classical liberal–and maybe you are–or maybe you’re
    an astroturfer.”

    Uh huh. I didn’t realise arguing that the Holodomor killed 3.5 million rather than 12 million amounted to a ‘minimisation’ of soviet crimes. I also didn’t know that sticking to outdated stats was a central tenant of liberalism. I thought the central tenant was individual liberty. Ho hum.

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