January 28, 2010
WIESENTHAL CENTER BLASTS UKRAINIAN HONOR FOR NAZI COLLABORATOR
“It is surely a travesty when such an honor is granted right at the period when the world pauses to remember the victims of the Holocaust on January 27,” says SWC official.
The Simon Wiesenthal Center today condemned Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko for posthumously awarding the “Hero of Ukraine,” one of the country’s highest honors, to Stepan Bandera, a Ukrainian nationalist leader whose followers killed thousands of Jews and others during World War II.
In a letter to Oleh Shamshur, Ukraine’s Ambassador to the United States, Mark Weitzman, the Wiesenthal Center’s Director of Government Affairs, expressed “deepest revulsion at the recent honor awarded to Stepan Bandera, who collaborated with the Nazis in the early stages of World War II, and whose followers were linked to the murders of thousands of Jews and others. It is surely a travesty when such an honor is granted right at the period when the world pauses to remember the victims of the Holocaust on January 27.”
Mr. Weitzman added that, “The motto of the late Simon Wiesenthal, the namesake of our institution and the famous “Conscience of the Holocaust,” who was born in the Ukraine was ‘Justice, not Vengeance.’ It is truly a shame that President Yushchenko chose to ignore that lesson and to instead embrace the legacy of Bandera and the perpetrators.”
The Simon Wiesenthal Center is one of the largest international Jewish human rights organizations with over 400,000 member families in the United States. It is an NGO at international agencies including the United Nations, UNESCO, the OSCE, the OAS, the Council of Europe and the Latin American Parliament (Parlatino).
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