SWC Urges Council Of Europe To Condemn Ukrainian For Rabid Antisemitic Outburst That Defamed Simon Wiesenthal And Victims Of The Shoah

SIMON WIESENTHAL CENTRE - EUROPE
66 rue Laugier - 75017 Paris
Tel. +33147237637 - Fax: +33147208401
e-mail: csweurope@gmail.com

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

SWC URGES COUNCIL OF EUROPE TO CONDEMN UKRAINIAN FOR RABID ANTISEMITIC OUTRBURST THAT DEFAMED SIMON WIESENTHAL AND VICTIMS OF THE SHOAH

Paris, 27 December 2007

Dr Shimon Samuels,the Simon Wiesenthal Centre's Director for International Relations, has protested to Council of Europe Secretary General, Terry Davis over "the bestowal of the laureate of 'The Hero of Ukraine' 2007 prize, the country's highest award, conferred by President Viktor Yuschenko, to extreme-right activist, Yuri Shukhevych. Yuschenko declared in the Kiev weekly '2000' that 'the ghetto was invented not by Hitler but by kikes themselves,' also repeating the notorious Soviet canard that 'Simon Wiesenthal was an agent of the Gestapo.'"

"The State Prize had honoured both Yuri Shukhevych and the memory of his late father. As an ally of Nazi Germany, General Roman Shukhevych had led the 'Nachtigall Battalion' which, in 1941, massacred thousands of Jews and anti-Nazis."

Samuels contended that "this State award ceremony had, in effect, endorsed hatemongers of both past and present, and is therefore in violation of Ukraine's obligations, as a member of the Council of Europe, to combat racism and Holocaust denial. It is also a sad betrayal of the platform of the President's Orange Revolution."

The Centre called on the Council of Europe "to urge President Yuschenko to strip the Shukhevych laureates of the 'Hero of Ukraine' prize and to apologize for the defamation of our mentor, Simon Wiesenthal."

"Had the Prize not become so tainted, it might have been more appropriately bestowed upon Wiesenthal himself for bringing to justice perpetrators of war crimes on Ukrainian soil - though unfortunately eluding Roman Shukhevych," concluded Samuels.


For further information, please contact Shimon Samuels at +33.609.77.01.58