Kisbineff (Nov. 20)
The tens of thousands of Ukrainians who are today living in Bessarabia and other territories belonging to Roumania, as a result of the world war, have not abandoned their nationalistic aspirations and are continuing their work for a rejuvenated, independent Ukrainion republic.
Recently these exiled Ukrainians held a conference in Bucharest at which forty-nine of their delegates from every part of Roumania were present. The conference adopted very energetic resolutions in regard to the general welfare and the nationalistic interests of the Ukrainians in Roumania.
But of particular interest to us is the attitude which the Ukrainians have toward national minorities and particularly the Jews in Ukrainia. It gives us an inkling of the manner in which Jews may expect to be treated by nationalities which, erstwhile oppressed, succeed in attaining their in dependence; and with the examples which we already have in Poland, Lithuania, etc, it should give us a picture that will be helpful in determining our own policies in reference to our minority nights in Eastern Europe.
The Ukrainian conference adopted a resolution protesting against the growth of anti-Semitism in Soviet Russia and expressing the conviction that the Bolshevist Government is to be blamed for this. The resolution also mentions the danger of a new pogrom wave and states that the pogrom movement “threatens to turn Ukrainia, too, into a bloody arena, which will lead to the annihilation of the innocent and unfortunate Ukrainia Jewry.”
If we find it difficult to accept this as an expression of sincerity and good will on the part of the Ukrainians it is only due to the fact that in their midst are scores of former pogrom experts.
As an indication of their political aspirations in an independent Ukrainia the delegates at the conference adopted a resolution which says that Ukrainia must be built up on the foundation of political equality and on the principles of national and religious tolerance. But almost in the same breath it is asserted that the national minorities in Ukrainia “in spite of the fact that the Ukrainias guaranteed to them rights which they do not enjoy in any other country, did not participate in the struggle for Ukrainian independence, but invariably, with few exceptions, opposed it.”
Basing their judgment on this the Ukrainians believe that in future their political policy must be guided by no illusions; in their struggle for freedom the Ukrainian people can rely solely on its own powers.
According to another resolution Ukrainia would guarantee to minorities resident in Ukrainia who are subjects of independent countries the same rights as are given by those countries to Ukrainias. So that the attitude of an independent Ukrainia to the national minorities within her territories would be determined not on the principle of justice but on the political consideration: I will give you no more than you give me. The Jews would be guaranteed, according to the same resolution, national-personal autonomy, but some-low this rings false when compared with the previous statements.
If we can judge by the attitude of the Ukrainia exiles in Roumania, the freedom-loving but sly and egoistic Ukrainians are following in the footsteps of the Poles, the Lithuanians and the Rommanians.