Ukrainian ambassador to Germany Andrey Melnyk defends Nazi collaborator and anti-Semite Stepan Bandera

This article was originally posted on Twitter.

In an interview last week on the podcast “Jung & Naiv,” Ukrainian Ambassador to Germany Andrey Melnyk once again defended the Ukrainian fascist, anti-Semite and Nazi collaborator Stepan Bandera. This comes as no surprise. Melnyk is a known Bandera admirer.

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This time, however, Melnyk went further than usual. He not only praised Bandera as a “freedom fighter,” but denied that OUN (Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists) units Bandera commanded carried out mass murder, saying, “There is no evidence that Bandera troops murdered hundreds of thousands of Jews.”

Melnyk’s statements are on the level of Holocaust deniers. The Banderites’ involvement in pogroms, mass shootings of Jews and the Nazi war of extermination against the Soviet Union is an incontrovertible historical fact.

When journalist Tilo Jung confronted Melnyk about the crimes committed by Bandera, the Ukrainian ambassador defended them, saying, “I will not tell you today that I dissociate myself from this. And that’s it.”

Jung earlier quoted a leaflet that the OUN distributed as the Nazi Wehrmacht entered Lviv: “People, you must know this: Muscovites, Poles, Hungarians and Jews, these are your enemies. Destroy them, you must know that. Your leadership, your leader, Stepan Bandera.”

Melnyk’s statements not only expose the Ukrainian government, which worships Bandera and the OUN despite their genocidal crimes, erects statues and renames streets and squares in his honor.

It also sheds light on the essentially fascistic character of the ruling class in Germany, which 81 years after the invasion of the Soviet Union is again massively rearming and taking a leading role in the NATO proxy war in Ukraine against Russia.

Melnyk is a central figure in this. He is a welcome guest on talk shows to drum up support for more German arms deliveries to Ukraine. When Chancellor Scholz announced the massive German rearmament in the Bundestag on February 27, Melnyk was a guest of honor.

The German government’s silence on Melnyk’s recent remarks is not simply a scandal. It is part of a deliberate campaign to rehabilitate fascism and ultimately Hitler himself.

In 2014, far-right Humboldt Professor Jörg Baberowski told Der Spiegel: “Hitler was no psychopath, and he wasn’t vicious. He didn’t want people to talk about the extermination of the Jews at his table.” Baberowski is also courted and defended by politicians and the media.

The SGP (Socialist Equality Party of Germany) and the IYSSE warned at the time that the relativization of the historical crimes of German imperialism serves the preparation of new wars and new crimes. This is now proving true.

It is high time to draw the necessary conclusions from the return of militarism, fascism and war and join the fight to build a powerful socialist anti-war movement of the international working class.