Category Archives: Memory

OUN-Bandera: An Open Debate With Whom?

My initial post “OUN-Bandera, the 1948 War in Israel, and the Utility of Open Debate” has inspired three replies that all raised the question of who should be included in such a debate. Borys Potapenko (UKL446, item 10) writes that the claims that the OUN instigated a pogrom in Lviv in Summer 1941 have been “authoritatively exposed as part of a Soviet disinformation campaign,” a tainted source feeding the debate. Stephen Velychenko (UKL446, item 11), quoting extensively from a recent article by Peter Beinart in the New York Review of Books, points out that Orthodox Jews, uninterested in a critical stance towards historical or contemporary Zionism, increasingly control the Israel-Palestine debate in the United States and can thereby hardly be counted upon as debate partners on Ukrainian-Jewish history. Evgenyi Finkel, in a comment reproduced at the bottom of this post, argues that the debate, first and foremost, concerns Ukrainians and must be conducted in Ukraine among Ukrainians, irrespective of narratives emerging from Israel, the Jewish diaspora or Russia.

The question is pertinent. If we believe in an open debate on controversial aspects of a national narrative, such as the role of the OUN and Bandera during World War II, then we have to have a clear idea about the players interested in these matters.

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Filed under Bandera, Holocaust, Israel, Memory, Narratives, Omission, OUN