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Jewish Studies

Crimes against Humanity

McLellan-Letter 7: Feb 20/98 (Jewish war crimes)

John Sack, whose book An Eye For An Eye is relied on extensively below in the section on Jewish Crimes Following WW II has a web site at which can be consulted for additional information on this subject.

Part 2
Jewish War Crimes
and Crimes Against Humanity
Under German Occupation

Much is made — in the media, and perhaps also within your Department of Justice - of the fact that numbers of Ukrainians collaborated with the occupying Germans.  However, the Jews also had their kapos (Jewish Nazi police), their Judenrat (Council of Elders administering Nazi policies), their Jewish collaborators and informers.  The media make much of Ukrainian auxiliary police helping the Germans, but seem to be unaware that under threat of immediate death, collaboration was forthcoming from more than one direction:

The Jüdische Ordnungsdienst, as the Jewish police in the ghettos were called, furnished thousands of men for seizure operations.  In the Warsaw ghetto alone the Jewish police numbered approximately 2500; in Lodz they were about 1200 men strong; the Lvov ghetto had an Ordnungsdienst of 500 men; and so on.
(Raul Hilberg, The Destruction of the European Jews, Quadrangle Books, Chicago, 1961, p. 310)

Given such large numbers of Jewish police as those mentioned above - we are talking about thousands - then for every story of Ukrainian police auxiliary coming to arrest a Jew on behalf of the Nazis, would it be hard to find a story of Jewish police auxiliary coming to do exactly the same?  In the game of saving one's life by serving a ruthless master with the requisite enthusiasm, were there not a few Jews who also excelled?  And has your Department of Justice placed the list of Ukrainian collaborators side by side with the list of Jewish collaborators, and impartially determined that the Ukrainian list is the longer of the two, or the more reprehensible - or, rather, does your Department of Justice not even have a Jewish list?

But to point out that Jews also provided manpower for Nazi police actions may be to understate the case.  In fact, it is possible to entertain the notion that wherever feasible, anti-Jewish police actions fell within the exclusive jurisdiction of the Jewish kapos:

The Satanic plan of the Nazis assured that the personal fate of each Jew - whether for life or death - be exclusively left up to the decisions of the "councils of elders" [Judenrat].  The Nazis, from time to time, decided upon a general quota for the work of the camps and for extermination, but the individual selection was left up to the "council of elders", with the enforcement of kidnappings and arrests also placed in the hands of the Jewish police (kapos).  By this shrewd method, the Nazis were highly successful in accomplishing mass murder and poisoning the atmosphere of the ghetto through moral degeneration and corruption. 
(Reb Moshe Shonfeld, The Holocaust Victims Accuse: Documents and Testimony on Jewish War Criminals, Neturei Karta of U.S.A., Brooklyn, 1977, pp. 119-120, emphasis added)

In his moving letter to the editor below, Israel Shahak underlines that almost all the administrative tasks and policing required by the Nazis was placed in Jewish hands, that Jewish collaborators were ubiquitous, and that it was Jewish collaborators who rendered the Jewish Holocaust feasible and who stood as obstacles in the path of Jewish resistance.  Note, particularly, that the children of the Warsaw ghetto were taught to fear the Jewish collaborator more than the Ukrainian collaborator:

Falsification of the Holocaust

Letter to the editor by Prof. Israel Shahak,
published on 19 May 1989 in Kol Ha'ir, Jerusalem.
Available online at:

     I disagree with the opinion of Haim Baram that the Israeli education system has managed to instil a "Holocaust awareness" in its pupils (Kol Ha'Ir 12.5.89).  It's not an awareness of the Holocaust but rather the myth of the Holocaust or even a falsification of the Holocaust (in the sense that "a half-truth is worse than a lie") which has been instilled here.
    As one who himself lived through the Holocaust, first in Warsaw then in Bergen-Belsen, I will give an immediate example of the total ignorance of daily life during the Holocaust.  In the Warsaw ghetto, even during the period of the first massive extermination (June to October 1943), one saw almost no German soldiers.  Nearly all the work of administration, and later the work of transporting hundreds of thousands of Jews to their deaths, was carried out by Jewish collaborators.  Before the outbreak of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising (the planning of which only started after the extermination of the majority of Jews in Warsaw), the Jewish underground killed, with perfect justification, every Jewish collaborator they could find.  If they had not done so the Uprising could never have started.  The majority of the population of the Ghetto hated the collaborators far more than the German Nazis.  Every Jewish child was taught, and this saved the lives of some of them "if you enter a square from which there are three exits, one guarded by a German SS man, one by an Ukrainian and one by a Jewish policeman, then you should first try to pass the German, and then maybe the Ukrainian, but never the Jew".
    One of my own strongest memories is that, when the Jewish underground killed a despicable collaborator close to my home at the end of February 1943, I danced and sang around the still bleeding corpse together with the other children.  I still do not regret this, quite the contrary.
    It is clear that such events were not exclusive to the Jews, the entire Nazi success in easy and continued rule over millions of people stemmed from the subtle and diabolical use of collaborators, who did most of the dirty work for them.  But does anybody now know about this?  This, and not what is "instilled" was the reality.  Of the Yad Vashem (official state Holocaust museum in Jerusalem — Ed.) theatre, I do not wish to speak at all.  It, and its vile exploiting, such as honouring South Africa collaborators with the Nazis are truly beneath contempt.
    Therefore, if we knew a little of the truth about the Holocaust, we would at least understand (with or without agreeing) why the Palestinians are now eliminating their collaborators.  That is the only means they have if they wish to continue to struggle against our limb-breaking regime.

Kind regards,

[Israel Shahak]

Here is the story of one such Jewish collaborator:

    Moldetsky, a leader of the Zionist Workers Party (Poalei Zion), who was appointed head of the council of elders in Bedzin, and who, over the course of years, chose thousands of Jews for forced labor and extermination, succeeded in remaining alive.  For the mass deportations, Moldetsky published a decree which was completely fraudulent and deceiving, in which he said: "Jews, dress up in your holiday clothes and march joyfully to the gathering places mentioned above.  No one is to remain at home.  ..."  The Jews, in their innocence, obeyed him.  The result was that people with large families - as well as the elderly - a total of 8,000, were sent to Auschwitz.  The babies were pushed into sacks by the Nazis.
    After the war, Moldetsky - by merit of Zionist activities - was understandably one of the first to receive an immigration certificate to Palestine.  His collaboration in the murder of tens of thousands of Jews did not make him unfit in the eyes of the officials of the Jewish Agency, who were distributing the certificates.  He went to Eretz Yisroel where, it has been reported, the revengeful hand of the Jews of Bedzin killed him while he was taking a trip in the mountains.
(Reb Moshe Shonfeld, The Holocaust Victims Accuse: Documents and Testimony on Jewish War Criminals, Neturei Karta of U.S.A., Brooklyn, 1977, pp. 122-123)

The media make much of Ukrainians welcoming the invading Germans.  For example, on October 24, 1993, Morley Safer stated on the 60 Minutes story The Ugly Face of Freedom that "The same square [in Lviv, Ukraine] greeted Hitler's troops fifty years ago as liberators," making this seem like a symptom of a Ukrainian sympathy for Naziism.  What Mr. Safer did not specify is who were the people in that square who were welcoming Hitler's troops, and the truth was that all people - Ukrainians, Poles, and Jews - welcomed Hitler's troops.  Jews welcomed Hitler's troops?  Yes, so it would appear:

The prevailing conviction [was] that bad things came from Russia and good things from Germany.  The Jews were historically oriented away from Russia and toward Germany; not Russia but Germany had been their traditional place of refuge.  During October and November, 1939, that conviction, among other things, drove thousands of Jews from Russian-occupied Poland to German-occupied Poland.  The stream was not stopped until the Germans closed the border.  Similarly, one year later, at the time of Soviet mass deportations in the newly occupied territories, [there was] widespread unrest among Ukrainians, Poles, and Jews alike.  Almost everyone was waiting for the arrival of the German army.  When the army finally arrived, in the summer of 1941, old Jews in particular remembered that in the First World War the Germans had come as quasi-liberators.  These Jews did not expect that now the Germans would come as persecutors and killers.
(Raul Hilberg, The Destruction of the European Jews, Quadrangle Books, Chicago, 1961, p. 206)

Upon experiencing the impulse to blame Ukrainians for welcoming the Germans, the impartial observer might recognize that all groups had been traumatized by their exposure to Communism, that in Western Ukraine in the first days of the war none knew whether the Germans were bringing good or ill, and that all hoped that the change of administrations would bring relief.

The media make much of Ukrainian cruelty on behalf of the Nazis, sometimes passing along the facile comment that Ukrainians were in some sense "worse than the Nazis."  For example, Morley Safer, addressing himself to Simon Wiesenthal on the same 60 Minutes story disclosed that "I get the impression from people that the actions of the Ukrainians, if anything, were worse than the Germans."  What Mr. Safer seemed to be unaware of is that an impartial review of history reveals a similar cruelty among Jews, and warrants a similar condemnation:

Question survivors of the ghettoes and camps.  They all certify that the beatings they received at the hands of the Jewish "golden youth" were filled with scorn.  They fulfilled their tasks with a zeal and cruelty to a greater extent than that required by the German commanders. 
(Y. Efroiken, Sanctity and Valor of the Jews, in Reb Moshe Shonfeld, The Holocaust Victims Accuse: Documents and Testimony on Jewish War Criminals, Neturei Karta of U.S.A., Brooklyn, 1977, p. 21)

He [K. Tzetnik] depicts the figure of Eliezer Greenbaum, son of Yitzchak Greenbaum, who, thanks to his tactics of acting as informant and displaying cruelty - to an extent which amazed even the Germans - was elevated to the rank of the bloc commander. 
(Reb Moshe Shonfeld, The Holocaust Victims Accuse: Documents and Testimony on Jewish War Criminals, Neturei Karta of U.S.A., Brooklyn, 1977, p. 21)

Practically all of the kapo officers were academicians - persons with degrees - who behaved like wild beasts and at times were more cruel than the Nazis.
(Reb Moshe Shonfeld, The Holocaust Victims Accuse: Documents and Testimony on Jewish War Criminals, Neturei Karta of U.S.A., Brooklyn, 1977, p. 121)

Is it in the interests of Canadian justice to prosecute the Ukrainian collaborators while at the same time granting immunity to the Jewish collaborators?  Are the Jewish collaborators to be forgiven because they served their German masters under duress?  If so, then why should Ukrainians not be accorded the same understanding? — They served under a comparable duress.  The Ukrainian populace was treated by the Germans with the utmost severity and cruelty.  More importantly, the bulk of the Ukrainian camp guards were conscripted from Soviet prisoners of war who had no motivation to remain loyal to the Soviets by whom they had been brutalized, who knew nothing of any future Holocaust, and whose only option was to remain in the German POW camps and perish.  If collaboration with the Germans is exculpated by the defense of escape from a holocaust, then these Ukrainian POWs must receive full exculpation, as they were being exterminated in the German POW camps by the millions:

Confident of victory and anxious to eliminate "surplus" Slavs, Nazi authorities herded the prisoners into open-air camps encircled by barbed wire and allowed them to die of exposure, disease, and hunger.  Often they simply executed their captives.  Consequently, by the end of the war, of the 5.8 million Soviet prisoners who had fallen into German hands, about 3.3 million had perished.  About 1.3 million of these fatalities occurred in Ukraine.
(Orest Subtelny, Ukraine: A History, University of Toronto Press, Toronto Buffalo London, 1994, p. 468)

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