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The dilemma is clearly reflected in Ukrainian historiography and current politics, though government museums and public memorials in Western Ukraine also bear witness to the vestiges of the Holocaust — or to the lack thereof.
These words are partly based on Western historical research about the Holocaust in Ukraine and how it has been treated, and partly — mainly — on research material gathered during two dedicated visits to Kiev and Lviv in 20.2 According to some estimates, over 900,000 Jews died in Soviet Ukraine between 19 as a result of the genocidal policies of Nazi Germany and its Ukrainian henchmen.
According to one textbook from 1994, although many people welcomed the Soviet occupation of eastern Galicia in 1939 as liberation from Poland, it also led to sovietization and deportations to the east, driving many people to welcome the subsequent German invasion.
When the Nazi Germany occupation became even worse than the Soviet, Ukrainian partisans began to resist.11 It is rarely noted that Ukrainians could be found on both sides of the front lines.
The Uniate (Greek Catholic) Metropolitan Sheptytsky was mentioned in particular.12 It is hardly made clear that Ukrainian nationalists helped with the extermination of the Jews.13 Viktor Yushchenko, who as Prime Minister participated at the Holocaust Conference in Stockholm in 2000, declared that the experience of millions of Ukrainians as victims of a Holocaust of their own meant that the Ukrainians well understand the ordeal of the Jews.14 When Yushchenko was elected president in 2004 after the so-called Orange Revolution, he was mainly supported by nationalist and Western-oriented groups in western and central Ukraine.
Johan Dietsch concludes that the official image of Ukrainians as both heroes and victims does not allow other people to have suffered more than the Ukrain-ians or that the Ukrainians were accomplices in the extermination of the Jews in Ukraine.
The question deserves attention, however, because it is still a serious moral and political dilemma in Ukraine, closely related to the country’s endeavor to build a national identity.
The truth about the Nazi mass murder of Jews in Ukraine is no longer suppressed, but is mainly associated with Babi Yar in 1941 (see below).
The Nazi racial ideology is not explained and the tragedy of the Jews is still overshadowed by the suffering of Ukrainians.
Rather, the remaining Jews were subjected to the Soviet campaigns against “Zionists” and “cosmopolitans” who were considered to be allies of Western imperialists, and historiography about the war primarily addressed the victory of the united Soviet people over German fascism, which served as a strong new basis to legitimize the socialist system.
In the process the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists (OUN) and its rebel army (UPA), which wanted an independent state, were attacked for helping the Nazi occupiers, and the anti-communist Ukrainian diaspora in North America, which defended the nationalists, was condemned.7 This diaspora sought to preserve its national identity by cherishing the Ukrainian Cossack tradition dating back to the seventeenth century, from Cossack leaders such as Bohdan Chmelnitsky, to leaders in the struggle for independence, such as Symon Petliura during World War I and the head of the UPA, Stepan Bandera, at the beginning of World War II.A breakthrough occurred with the publication of Yevgeny Yevtu- shenko’s famous poem of 1961, which began with the words “No monument stands over Babi Yar.” Shortly thereafter, Dmitri Shostakovich set the poem to music in his thirteenth symphony.