KIEV, Ukraine (Oct. 20)
A group of Ukrainian students is busily engaged in neo-Nazi activities, according to a local newspaper.
Kievskie Vedemosti (Kiev News), the tabloid paper which carried the report, also wrote that another newspaper had recently published an excerpt from Adolph Hitler’s “Mein Kampf.”
The neo-Nazi group is based in the southern Ukrainian city of Zaporozhye, according to Sunday’s edition of Kievskie Vedemosti.
Under the banner headline, “The Fascists are Coming,” the paper’s front page showed several pictures of the group dressed in SS uniforms and displaying Nazi flags and other paraphernalia.
The story inside the paper, which is the largest-selling daily here, was accompanied by photographs of members of the group participating in paramilitary training.
According to the report, a group of students at Zaporozhye Government University met around April 20 — Hitler’s birthday — and decided to form the neo-Nazi group.
It is unknown how many people are members of the group, but it is believed to be very small.
In an interview with the paper, one member of the group, a 25-year-old resident of the city, was quoted as saying, “We like the era of the 1930s in Germany — the storm troopers, the firm, iron discipline. Hitler was a strong personality, a great man.”
According to the report, one member of the group is a fifth-year student at the university and also teaches history in a local school.
‘MEIN KAMPF’ ROUTINELY SOLD ON STREETS
The newspaper commented that the formation of the group was especially ironic, since the city of Zaporozhye is currently marking the 50th anniversary of its liberation from the Germans by the Red Army.
During World War II, Ukraine was occupied by the Nazis and was the scene of some of the harshest fighting anywhere in Europe. Several million citizens of the country, including an estimated 900,000 Jews, were killed.
In late September, the Jewish community of Kiev commemorated the 52nd anniversary of the mass slaughter at Babi Yar in September 1941, when the occupying German army shot more than 30,000 Kiev Jews during a period of two days.
Kiev News also reported that another paper, Holos Nacii (The Voice of the Nation), which is published in the western Ukrainian city of Lviv — as Lvov is now known — had published an excerpt of Hitler’s “Mein Kampf” in a recent issue.
According to the article, the editorial board of Holos Nacii — which is published by the Ukrainian National Army, a right-wing nationalist group — said it chose the excerpt “to acquaint” readers with the theoretical basis of fascism.
Holos Nacii ran a disclaimer stating that the theory of Slavophobia that was espoused by the Nazis is completely unacceptable to Ukrainians.
But the editorial board said the paper ran the excerpt because it was necessary to study the phenomenon of nationalism in Nazi Germany.
Copies of “Mein Kampf” and other Nazi books are routinely sold on the streets of major Ukrainian cities and as well as other countries of the former Soviet Union.