Sunday, May 4, 2014

Khatyn Massacre Repeated in Odessa Olga SHEDROVA | 04.05.2014 | 11:09

Khatyn was a village in Belarus, the Minsk region. On March 22, 1943, the entire population of the village was massacred by Nazi. Hitting people with butts of rifles, they made old men, invalids, and even women with little babies and children get up from their beds. The inhabitants were driven from their houses and into a shed, which was then covered with straw and set on fire. It blazed immediately. Children were crying while dying of excessive smoke. Adults tried to save them. Dozens of human bodies pushed the front doors break open. With clothes of fire the victims stricken by awe tried to rush away but fascists raked them with fire in cold blood. 149 died, including 75 children younger than 16. The village was then looted and burned to the ground.
Volodya Yaskevych his sister Sonya and Sasha Zhelobkovich saved themselves escaping to the woods. Viktor Zhelobkovich, a seven-year-old boy, survived the fire in the shed under the corpse of his mother. Another boy, 12-year-old Anton Baranovsky, was left for dead due to a leg wound.
On May 2, 2014 the tragedy was repeated in the Ukrainian port city of Odessa. Around 15 hundred Pravy Sector militants and football hoodlums attacked the tent camp of anti-government protesters. Molotov cocktails were tossed. The tent camp was burnt to the ground. Many anti-Kiev protesters eventually hid inside the local House of Trade Unions. The first floor of the Trade Unions building was soon engulfed in flames. The people inside appeared to be trapped. Dozens eventually burnt alive or suffocated to death. To escape the fire and smoke, people were hanging out of windows and sitting on windowsills. In sheer desperation, some of them eventually jumped to the ground. Many of those who managed to escape the fire were then brutally beaten by Neo-Nazi. They used sticks against their victims. The actions were accompanied by the national hymn of Ukraine…
As soon as firefighters put down the fire, Nazi broke inside to loot the dead. According to various estimations, the death toll was around 50, including 38 burnt alive.
Western historians believe that Khatyn was burnt by German soldiers taking revenge for the death of an officer. The documents tell otherwise. It was Schutzmannschaft battalion 118, which consisted mostly of Ukrainian chasteners who were German collaborators. In September 1942 the unit was transferred to Belarus, where an over 45 thousand strong (almost a half of the whole partisan resistance movement on the territory of the Soviet Union) partisan force was fighting fascists. The Soviet partisans were members of a resistance movement which fought a guerilla war against the Axis occupation of the Soviet Union during WWII. The Battalion was manned by Ukrainian former Soviet Army deserters, the so-called Bukovina Kuren (Bukovinian Battalion, the biggest paramilitary unit), which took part in the massacre of Babi Yar, as well as the battalions Nachtigall and Roland.
Nachtigall Battalion, officially known as Special Group Nachtigall, was formed in March-April 1941 to be manned by OUN (Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists) members headed by Stepan Bandera, the hero of contemporary Ukrainian Neo Nazi. Theodor Oberländer, later to become Federal Minister for Displaced Persons and War Victims in the Federal Republic of Germany, was the top commanding officer on the German side. Oberleutnant Hans-Albrecht Herzner was placed in military command of the Battalion. On the Ukrainian side, the commander was Captain Roman Shukhevych, another idol of Ukrainian radicals. The Roland Battalion (Bataillon Ukrainische Gruppe Roland) was officially known as Special Group Roland. Organized and commanded by Richard Yary of the OUN, the unit was named after E. Konovaletz and S. Petliura. Approximately 350 Bandera's OUN followers were trained at the Abwehr training center at Seidersgorf under command of the former Poland Army major Yevhen Pobiguschiy. With the experience of punitive actions in Belarus and Ukraine, the personnel joined later the Ukrainian Insurgent Army responsible for the massacres of Poles in Volhynia and Eastern Galicia.
The ‘heroes” of those days have followers today. 71 years ago Ukrainian chasteners burnt live civilians in Khatyn. Nowadays the tragedy was repeated in Odessa, where Nazi regularly demonstrate holding torches and waving posters with Stepan Bandera and Roman Shukhevych. On May 2, they made people get inside one building to burn them alive. Belonging to different generations, fascists resort to the very same true-and-tried tactics.

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