Ukraine’s Jewish president ‘strongly condemns’ parade celebrating Nazis

“We strongly condemn any manifestation of propaganda of totalitarian regimes, in particular the National Socialist,” said President Zelensky.

By Josh Plank, World Israel News

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Friday condemned an April 28 demonstration in which hundreds of Ukrainians marched in the capital city of Kyiv to celebrate the creation of the Nazi Waffen-SS “Galicia” division in 1943.

“We strongly condemn any manifestation of propaganda of totalitarian regimes, in particular the National Socialist, and attempts to reconsider the truth about the Second World War,” Zelensky, a Jew whose great-grandparents were murdered by the Nazis, said in a statement.

“There was no and could not be any Ukrainian interest in the fact that the Nazis tried to use people in the occupied territories for their own purposes. The defeat of Nazism was a victory for our people,” the Ukrainian president said.

“Ukrainians, together with other peoples, have won the right to life,” he said.

Zelensky accused the event’s organizers of using “manipulation” during the application process, and said that propaganda of totalitarian regimes is unlawful in Ukraine.

“We expect the National Police and the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Ukraine to establish all the circumstances of what happened and bring to justice all those guilty of violating the law,” he said.

On Thursday, Lior Haiat, spokesperson for the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said in a statement that the ministry was “concerned” about Wednesday’s march.

“The SS Waffen units were involved in some of the worst crimes that took place during the Holocaust. Preserving the memory of the Holocaust and fighting against anti-Semitism are not only internal matters for each country, but are part of the collective responsibility of human societies wherever they may be,” said Haiat.

“We condemn the continued glorification of Nazi collaborators and expect the Ukrainian government to unequivocally condemn all such phenomena and prevent them from being repeated,” he said.

Last week’s demonstration marks the first time the anniversary march was held in Kyiv. Similar events have taken place in Lviv for several years.