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четверг, 26 ноября 2020 г.

Dissident of the 21st century

Zorii Fain

Dissident of the 21st century
or the Story of my dismissal from university because of a monument to Simon Petlyura

How beautiful and fresh will be the roses thrown to my coffin by my Motherland. Igor Severyanin

The original here, September 27, 2020.

English translation by Lyubov Lavrova.

Published on November 26, 2020.

Foreword

This article was written at the end of 2017 – the start of 2018. It tells  about events that occurred to me and my homeland - Ukraine. Because of threats from ultra-right nationalists it is published for the first time just now, in 2020: I had to wait till my elder children leave the country. Among other things, meanwhile, the Jewish school that my son attended was vandalized, I was pointed out to me that my daughter “would not graduate” from the medical university in 2018. I personally have been living abroad for two years. No, I did not emigrate; my family left on a contract. No doubt, the below-mentioned events were the last straw in taking this decision. One day I may feel like applying my resources and creativity for Ukraine’s benefit again. The title of the article is flashy, it was suggested by the head of Vinnytsia Jewish community. I do not mention any names – it is not necessary for my new book.

Prologue

I will start with the fact that in November 2017, I stopped teaching at university. Nearly three years before that, the head of the department pleaded with me to take up teaching, followed me everywhere, wrote letters to me. For half a year. I conceded: I enjoyed teaching, I have a lot of experience and a long track record (when I was 16.5 years old, I started to work as a tutor at the House of teacher).


University students left grateful evaluations – they are available on my YouTube. A long time ago, my parents graduated from the university. I wanted to do something special in commemoration of their Alma Mater. I worked as a department assistant for two years and, by the way, earned an equivalent of nearly 1.2 euro per lecture. (At the same time my private lesson was 45 euros. People came to study with me from various countries for years. Now it is via Skype).

On September 19, 2017, the rector signed a decree appointing me to the position of docent at the department of journalism, advertising and public relations of the Vinnytsia state pedagogical university named after M.Kotsyubinsky. According to a legislative norm, the title of Honored Art Worker of Ukraine  equals to the docent position (and this is how it should have been from the first day of teaching at university, not just in the third academic year).

However, it was not long that I remained a docent: barely half a month. The order of resignation was signed on November 3. (the absence of support or gratitude  of any kind, even just privately, just, for instance, “thank you for having been with us” from the Head of the department was most disappointing. On the eve of the decisive conversation he actively and delicately invited me “to a personal talk”. While, in September, two months before because of intrigues in the rector’s office I told him “I never asked for this position – what is the aim of all this humiliation? I am leaving”. But then he persuaded me to stay.)

As a docent, my salary was “significantly raised” and amounted to approximately 1.9 euro per lecture. In fact, my teaching was an act of my own charity towards the state.

Not to launch a “witch-hunt” I will only say that the conversation about the dismissal was in the “highest” university office. Summing it up, I will underline: never in my whole life had I experienced such humiliation. Never. Luckily, without anyone’s rights violation, not for publication, personally for myself and my descendants, the talk was recorded. We were listening the recording with my wife  again and again, and more than once she asked me in surprise: “How only  you allowed to talk to yourself in that manner?

— What on earth is my fault? – I asked in bewilderment in the office after being totally disgraced  – That I wrote a literary letter and two poems  to my deceased father? I acknowledge they were written in a talented way. But is it enough to dismiss me and let the ultra-right tear me to pieces?

— We do not want to drag the university in this business. And you are being associated with the university. Do you want to see a tent camp next to the university tomorrow? It is the wrong time to express your opinion during the war in the State, - and a document with a dozen of signatures was  demonstrated to me - a collective appeal from citizens. I asked if these were the signatures of tutors and students. She said "No". 

(I recalled Dovlatov: We endlessly criticize Comrade Stalin, and, of course, for the cause. And yet I want to ask - who wrote the four million denunciations?")

— Firstly, - I continued, - the war has not been officially proclaimed. Secondly, I do not see how the events of 1919-1927 can be related to me and to the present day. Thirdly, you know, I could not keep quiet and, even more, I have no right to be silent! My ancestors, which were slaughtered by Petlyura’s bandits  are not able to stand for themselves. And one more thing: years later, the university will be proud that it had such an honest and principled tutor and citizen of the country. And today, you exchanged a dubious bronze monument for a live person, a real one, and a valuable specialist in addition to that. I’ll remind you that you hadn’t been able to find a tutor for my subject who would agree to work for this ridiculous salary for years …

To cut a long story short, they did not let me out of the office until I wrote a resignation letter, after one and a half hours after the conversation was started.  

I was not even allowed to teach my students until their exam in December - just a month – the youths of the new course (the 4th year of the department of journalism) whom I taught photojournalism. Moreover, those who teach by the hour write an application annually for the academic year, that is, till the summer of 2018. So the official version suggested by the rector to a journalist of the newspaper “33d channel” (#46 (1358) as of 08.11.2017, *the overall translation of this newspaper article is at the end of the entire article) is not valid: 

“No one dismissed anybody! Zorii just completed all his hours for the students that had been agreed upon in advance, - explained the university rector. – I am sorry, I have people waiting in my office… I can tell you more later”.

But no conversation took place later…

Ironically, the freedom of speech that should be cultivated and educated to students precisely at the journalism department proved to be fictitious at the very first proof…


Before starting a story about why the conflict began, I’d like to publish these three photos dated 2014, a long time before the mentioned events. In the first two, the central synagogue of Vinnytsia in Sobornaya street, 62 is depicted. Its entrance is smeared with black paint, and next to it, a modeled inscription says: “Ukrainian, you are the master here”.

The third photo: I am standing next to the entrance to my studio: at night, someone painted large stars of David on the wall next to it in order to, like in long-ago times, mark a Jewish person at this place. Please pay attention: municipal service painted the star over so that it is still clear what the matter is.

Events told chronologically

So what happened in October 2017? While this is neither an interview, nor a summary, but a letter to descendants, and this material is designated for an autobiographical book, the main (but not all) events will be cited in the publication chronologically, according to the sequence they appeared in social media and the press, which caused a big scandal and public reaction in society.

On October 12, 2017, I learned that in Vinnytsia, in the old Jewish quarter called “Ierusalimka”, in the court of the mansion of the former industrialist Borukh Lvovich, where there used to be a home synagogue and a religious school for Jewish girls, it was planned to open a monument to the Cossack chieftain Simon Petlyura. (Later, in response to a letter from the Association of Jewish Organizations and Communities of Ukraine (VAAD) the municipal authorities wrote that they failed to find a documentary confirmation to the fact that the building was really used as a synagogue, however, the photo on the left, from the state archive of Vinnytsia region, testifies to the contrary). Below, the regional archive director's position will be quoted, which will clarify why it ostensibly “was lost”.

So, who is Petlyuara, and what is the Jewish view of him? In brief.

Nadya Lipes, a well-known historian and genealogist, quotes an extract of a stenographic note of a court hearing in Paris regarding Samuel Shvartsbard, who shot Simon Petlyura to death in broad daylight in 1926:

“… (Witness for the defense) Tcherikower, collector of evidence about all pogroms on the territory of the former Russian empire, told at the court hearing:

“I am a journalist and a historian. Running away from the Bolsheviks to save my life, I took with me from Ukraine an extensive archive on pogroms in Ukraine. I did so lest Bolsheviks misuse it for their own purposes. This archive comprises about 10 thousand documents, including many orders signed by Petlyura with direct calls for pogroms.

After studying these materials, I got convinced that the whole responsibility for pogroms is exclusively with Petlyura, who was at the head of the army, the government, and the all-mighty military party. The council of ministers around Petlyura did not matter at all. For instance, with his own power, Petlyura ordered to shoot to death a Cossack chieftain who violated one of his orders. Petlyura issued decrees on his own and signed agreements with foreign states. For example, the prime minister and the foreign affairs minister Chekhovskoy learned about declaring war on Russia … only from newspapers! The labor congress wanted to arrange a commission to control the director’s actions; however, Petlyura refused to establish such a commission. Petlyura’s power spread over everyone… except pogromists. Answering delegations of Jewish and Ukrainian people who protested against pogroms, Petlyura said: “I will not obstacle the army, let it do whatever it wants”. In the same respect, Petlyura announced to Grushevsky that pogroms maintained discipline in the army. Appeals from ministers and various organisations meant nothing as the authority was, in fact, fully in Petlyura’s hands. The instigator of the pogrom in Zhitomir, colonel Petrov, was in half a year appointed assistant to the Defense Minister. When in 1919 Petlyura was given evidence that Cossack chieftain Angel was a pogrom instigator, Petlyura refused to punish him. In his book “The history of Ukraine” Vinnichenko blames Petlyura for pogroms. Bandits and pogromists Angel, Volynets, Struk were officers in the Ukrainian regular army and headed divisions named after Cossack chieftain Petlyura.

Kampenshi (prosecutor):

— But Petlyura issued proclamations against pogroms.

Tcherikower:

— When Petlyura issued these proclamations, he always did so months after pogroms. To write such proclamations is the same as to call a fire brigade long after the building has burned down. “…”

I consider this dialogue would be more than enough for  brief evidence. Everyone can study  history for more details on their own.

Working over my book, I spent a whole year in various archives and knew that the bandit and murderer, a morphine drug addict, Cossack chieftain of Ukrainian People’s Republic Evgeny Lyakhovich, who was subordinate to Petlyura and in cahoots with an Orthodox priest from Sokolets (in whose house he kept the belongings he had looted), organized a gang (including peasants) and hacked to death the majority of the population of the shtetl Bratslav. Among others, there perished my great-grandfather Chaim Aronovich Fine, my great-great-grandfather Chaim Ersh Dikkerman and the majority of the Umansky family, including my paternal grandmother Dora (I spoke about that in the office before my dismissal). On a governmental portal, by the suggestion of a writer from Vinnytsia, the names of Lyakhovich and the priest are marked as “heroes of the liberation movement”. All the screenshots have been saved.

My publications in the blog zoriy.com and on Facebook have received attention worldwide. My literary “Letter to the deceased father” and two poems “Vinnytsia was stolen from my children” and “Intercession” were reposted by various global mass media. There was evidence from the States and Germany that Jewish people print out those poems and then recite them to each other. But here, in Vinnytsia, the local press started fuelling inter-ethnic hatred and labeling. Just look into this text: “an evil poem”, “Fain is an Honoured Art Worker as he claims himself”, “unleashed hysteria”, “Fain depicts Ukrainians as ferocious beasts”, etc. Newspapers issues have been kept. After that, many home-made authors attempted at writing counter-poems of approximately the following content: no one stole from us “the cutie Vinnytsia”. It looked ludicrous and vulgar.


In the photo above: the first and the sixth pages from the newspaper
“33d channel” #43 (1355) as of 18.10.17
(** the overall translation of this newspaper article is at the end of the entire article).


13.10.2017 I wrote in the blog (the original quotation is in Ukrainian):

"On Wednesday a Jewish man, citizen of Vinnytsia and historian, was contacted by a girl representing the ruling historical municipal community who very carefully asked him: “What at all does the Jewish community think of opening a monument to Petlyura?” And he answered her: “And why at all, are you  asking us four days before the opening?!”

Having considered the situation, I resolved: although next day I would have the first free day in the latest period of time which I had planned to spend with my baby daughter - unfortunately, no. I will take my camera and off for a whole day, away from Vinnytsia! Anywhere to the woods, to the fields, I will celebrate the Day of Ukraine’s defender outside the dishonored Vinnytsia, not a bit of me will be in the city among those who will take part in the infamous event! An event that destructs the basics of the civil society, the foundations of neighborly well-being, and respect to citizens. 

I think that the time outside the city will be not only useful but at least will somehow justify my inability to somehow change the situation”.

Following this message, the society “bubbled” and literally split. A boulevard internet-newspaper laughed: “whatever Fine writes, an anti-Ukrainian flash-mob will not start whatever happens”. (A new fashion of newspaper people: anyone disagreeing with anything “acts in favor of the aggressor”).

However, several real patriots deliberately did not attend the event, although they were going to do so. They wrote to me in private, agreeing that nobody needed the monument and that it was actively stimulating disruption in the society”. 


13.10.2017 I wrote a literary letter to my deceased father:


"Fimka, in five days, you would have turned seventy. But, you know, it’s good you haven’t lived to that. Your grandfather, Chaim Aaronovich, whom you were named after, probably also thinks so. He died young, cut to death during the storming Petlyura banditism in 1919. Your grandmother Beyla hid in cellars grandfather Duvid and six more children – Moyshe, Shloyme, Elya, Brana, Charna and Rakhmil. She did it in vain. A hundred years later, Petlyura came to your place again. He is now sitting, all such bronze, well-groomed, amid Jewish Jerusalimka in his shiny high boots. Tomorrow morning a mob of masters will bring flowers to his feet; sweet speeches will be pronounced from the tribune. It was right to kill us. Who needed us in this God-forlorn galut?

And where is your great-grandfather Chaim Ersh Dikkerman? His daughter tearfully told me how they were looking for his grave all their lives, somewhere on the way to Marksovo (away from Bratslav – author’s note). Grandmother Beyla saved whoever she could and perished in a concentration camp herself. What was the sense to save? Your father, my grandfather Duvid, with his brother Shloyme, after the orphanage worked at night like cursed to give you and the elder daughters a good education, he was so proud you became a teacher. But whom did you teach for forty years to love Ukraine? You taught so passionately that the whole of school number 27 became with you like a united “Georgian” choir. Especially when you started singing “Chervona Ruta”? (He was a teacher of singing. – author’s note). Look at them! They keep silent; they don't care  and think that they will escape trouble. They will not even say a word for their favorite Fimka. No-no, these are the wrong times. Can a bronze high boot step on a throat?

And it was in vain that my grandfather fought for them. Both grandfathers. What use was the victory for you? You died in poverty, and useless Soviet doctors operated on you for cancer, not even bothering to find out that you had diabetes! You did not want to leave the country. Neither did mom. But you could. Always. Any time. You shouldn’t have brought me up, educating me to love the Motherland. The Motherland that a hundred years ago, and today, and in a hundred years would stifle me with a shiny boot whose owner is a hero and a role model for my neighbors. Why didn’t Hitler cut us out to the last one? “Bloody reds”, as “patriots” are shouting now, interfered with him. What a pity. How uncomfortable for them. Sleep, Fimka; if the gravestone on your burial place is broken, I will put another one! Sleep and be happy that you left us so timely. And I will fight for all ours. We’ll meet not soon.

Yes, I forgot to tell! I wrote a poem to your grandfather today. You know, one doesn’t normally write poems, but here I was coming from Tyazhilov, from your school, and amid the way I turned on the car lights and stopped. I looked up and there stopped a trolleybus waiting for me to finish up making notes in my phone. It did not beep, simply waited. I hope you, grandfather Duvid and great-grandfather Chaim will like it.

Yesterday they stole Vinnytsia from me,

By putting Petlyura to sit on a bench,

Instead of my grandfather who was cut

In year nineteen by an unscrupulous rascal.

At Ierusalimka, in a quiet court,

Never will you hear any Yiddish,

There sits an idol, sad like a gravestone,

And his trace of blood left after him.

My children have been robbed of Vinnytsia

And yours too, don’t be misled,

Where there is lie and nobody is ashamed

There is disgrace and no future.

Your Zorik."

Questions showered. Thanks to touching upon the topic, hundreds of people tried to understand who this Petlyura was. They failed to “feed” the society with “a legend about a hero”.


14.10.2017 — Day of Ukraine’s defender (appointed by President’s Decree in 2014 and timed to coincide with Ukrainian Cossackdom day and the Russian Orthodox holiday of the Intercession of the Mother of God). A monument to Petlyura was opened on that day in 2017. I wrote a second poem dedicated to Vinnytsia and published it in my blog. The original poem is in Ukrainian (an approximate translation is below):

"Zorii Fain. I N T E R C E S S I O N
 

A desecrated town on the country’s map,

Like a full stop in human trust to each other,

Like bare tree trunks and the leaves are thrown about,

Shuffled with feet, hands raised to the sky –

Asking for intercession. From whom?

From oneself to happiness as far as to the horizon.

Children are weeping, and the old moaning in unison,

Where is our country? Where are handsome people?

Why am I sad in my own home?

Aren’t I a master? Who are wolves? Who are sheep?

Am I to blame that my grandfather cut

The neighbor? But then, not a man – a Jew!

True heros. Intercession over them.

In every painting saint sons.

And the whole heaven is in heavy, leaden clouds.

Borderless scope sewn with ropes.

Where is such a town on the country’s map?

Where is a full stop in human trust to each other?

 

 16.10.17, a post from my blog:

"Now it is shaharit (morning prayer – author’s note) in a small synagogue in Grushevsky street. The chief rabbi of Vinnytsia is reciting psalms. We are all sitting feeling misplaced. Unable to absorb the psalms. We have been robbed of the last what we had. In the neighboring street, between our synagogue and the former Reicher’s synagogue, in the court of the house of the industrialist Borukh Lvovich where there used to be a synagogue, - now is sitting Petlyura. Jewish people say he is being guarded day and night. From whom? A bunch of old men? I am only sure: if he was saint, he wouldn’t have needed any guard”.


17.10.2017 I wrote in my blog (the original quotation is in Ukrainian):

"I reiterate my main point: I consider it inappropriate to set up nowadays a monument to notorious historical characters, such as Petlyura. Even more so when the descendants of those who suffered in those times of troubles still live, and this monument is a slap in their faces. The court in Paris in 1927, relying on witnesses’ evidence, fully found him guilty (posthumously (!) – author’s note) and acquitted the man who had killed him. There have been no other serious judicial or scientific meetings in this respect over a hundred years. Being a law-abiding citizen, I am ready to acknowledge any conclusions of a qualifying commission in this respect which would obligatorily include international experts. We know only too well the opinion of our home-raised specialists.

Once again, I ask everyone to remain reserved in their comments – once you have touched deeper into the pain – there are greater chances to be banned even for a single careless word. Thank you for understanding. With regards”.

17.10.2017 there appeared a declaration of International Jewish Congress (New-York, USA) on establishing the monument to Petlyura in Vinnytsia:


18.10.2017 I wrote in my blog:
 
"In his letter dated 11.10.1927 Zeev Zhabotinsky expressed his position which in every word coincides with mine:

“Petlyura was head of the Ukrainian government and the Ukrainian army for two years and more; almost for the whole time the pogroms went on; the head of the government and the army did not suppress them, did not punish those guilty and did not step down himself. This means he took on the responsibility for each drop of Jewish blood that had been shed.”

19.10.2017, a “dialogue” in my Facebook account:
 
"...I am unable to watch this. Goodbye. My advice to you – do what you are good at. Take photos and don’t interfere with history”. – with those words, I was unfriended by Doctor of History, professor, director of the state archive of Vinnytsia region (is it clear now why the document could not be found?), after I re-posted the statement of the International Jewish Congress.

I will add: I do not trust those historians who take personal offence when confronted with a steady position of someone relying on facts and documents. I doubt the trustworthiness of the “historical truth” that belongs exclusively to them and that is “concealed from the whole civilized world” for a hundred years. Especially when their opinion is confronted on the other side by such “totally unknown people” as, for instance, Albert Einstein who openly voiced his position during the trial over Shvartsbard.
But if I wanted to “interfere with history”, my commentaries to worldwide media which attacked me for two days running, would have been quite eloquent. However, I never gave a single interview. Not to anyone”.
 
(Meanwhile Ukrainian television broadcast a special “documentary” telling that the trial over Petlyura in Paris “had been fully paid for by NKVD” /Soviet Ministry of Inner Affairs/. Independent journalists literally left nothing of this absolutely propagandistic stuff).

19.10.2017, I wrote in my blog (the original is in Ukrainian):

"FAIN, Yukhim Davidovich, 19.10.1947-29.01.2015. The monument on his grave reads in Ukrainian: “Beloved teacher of three generations. To Dad from the sons”. There are always flowers and a lit candle there. Thank you, students and friends! He had been teaching you to love Ukraine for forty two years. But now…

19.10.2017, 17:40, following the first brain washing by the university management, for the sake of my students, I wrote in my blog (the original is in Ukrainian): 

"Dear fellow citizens! This is my last publication regarding the monument. I do not want my private opinion and the pain of my family to be used by anyone in their own meaning and purposes. My position was clear: a discussion with the Jewish community was required before opening the monument, and it never took place. Some documents might have influenced both my opinion and the collective opinion of the city’s Jewish community.

Head of the Center of history of Vinnytsia and me agreed to have a meeting at the round table in the near future, to discuss and work out a mutual solution for the further peaceful co-existence of our communities (unfortunately, it never happened – author’s note). Ukrainian and Jewish people have been living in friendliness on this land for ages, helping each other, and there have always been people who tried to undermine these relations.

I apologize to all those who took my publications as a personal insult. Believe me, never did I have such intentions! Many of my words were taken out of context, and no one read my lengthy publications containing reasoning. Yes, in the first days I thanked all the media that responded to my poems and the letter to my deceased father. But I didn’t give a single commentary to any media, and they showered me with requests for an interview. Not a single one. Because I do not pursue any provocative purposes. For me, like for all of us, the words family, honor and Motherland are not empty. Thank you for understanding.

With regards, Zorii Fain.”

Exactly in an hour, specifically this post of mine was reposted on his page by a member of Vinnytsia municipal council, leader of the regional department of Ukrainian ultra-nationalistic party, and was commented on as follows (the author’s orthography and punctuation have been kept unchanged, translated from Ukrainian, literally):

"These people are interfering with our country again!!! “To co-exist peacefully” – is it when arranging Holodomor (Famine-Genocide – translator’s note) in Ukraine?!!! And now Israel does not acknowledge mass murder of Ukrainians – a genocide?!!! The only time when Ukrainians comfortably co-existed with Jews – was Koliivshchina (uprising of peasants and Cossacks in 1768 – translator’s note)! I hope Ukrainians will understand who the master in our country is and will put all “national minorities” in their place!!! One won’t tell us how to live, what language to speak and what language to teach our children in!!! We are – Ukrainians! That’s all you need to know, and you – guests! Want to live with us – get used to our rules, and if not, go to your place, or you must be punished!!!”

In any civilized country such a publication would have caused an immediate reaction of law-enforcement authorities, and the author would have been giving explanations in the prosecutor’s office. But not in Ukraine.

Another hour later, about 20:00 Ukrainian time, even the president of Russia made a statement about the monument to Petlyura during a forum. Naturally, condemning it.

I wouldn’t wish anyone to live through what started then! “Patrioteers” went mad: there was no end to hysterics. Luckily, after purifying my friend-list from the dirt that appeared, which had been imitating friendship for years, I saved my psyche from maddening reasoning of the crowd why exactly I should be crucified. Journalists whom I knew refused to shake hands with me in the street when they met me, telling me: “Go away to your Moscow!”

But in all this hysteria I’d like to single out two publications as they are also from public persons. 

16.10.17, 10:51, Deputy Chairman of State Television and Radio of Ukraine, member of organizational committee on Babin Yar (!) wrote (translated from Ukrainian)

“Following Putin, home-made fighters with Petlyura and “anti-Semitism” have raised their heads. I purposefully do not give any names. Firstly, they are marginal and idiots, secondly, I remember that, thank God, there are still Gontas and Zheleznyaks in the Ukrainian country (Note: Gonta and Zheleznyak are Koliivshchina heroes, organizers of Jewish pogroms when thousands of innocent Jewish people were massacred). … to smear Petlyura with dirt is not pluralism and democracy. This is, to say the least, anti-Ukrainian activity which requires trial and jail…”

And the second one.

Member of Brovary municipal council asks Ukrainians not to be tolerant to Jewish people whom he considers enemies of Ukraine (the author’s orthography has been kept unchanged):

 “I am lost for words to describe this meanness. Although, to be more exact, there will be some words. But liberastic*-totalitarian peyosbook** will not sustain it. In brief, I do ask all Ukrainians (and especially Ukrainian nationalists), don’t be like Simon Petlyura. Don’t be tolerant to the enemies of Ukraine. Especially to those who call themselves God-favored! You will have no gratitude from them anyway. At best they will spit you in the face. And moreover, they can dance over your graves”.

(* - pejorative word instead of liberal; ** - pejorative word instead of Facebook, hinting at peyos – Jewish side locks. – translator’s note).

But you know what disturbed me most?

21.10.2017 during a festive concert in the hall of Vinnytsia philharmonic “Pleiad” (and I was an arts patron of philharmonic projects – the least I could do for our culture), during an intermission, next to a washing basin in the toilet I met face to face with our governor – and the governor pretended that we were not acquainted. But we had been acquainted very well. For many years. Remarkably, at the same concert various respected people came up to me, among them advisor to the culture minister, to shake hands with the words: “And for the story with the monument – a big thank you!” But all of them, due to various circumstances, failed to express their attitude openly.

Or is someone else to blame for the fact that the governor made a point of crossing himself like in front of an icon at the opening of the monument on October 14 – and it was broadcast and laughed at by all global media? 

Showing his loyalty to the governor, the chairman of Vinnytsia section of Ukrainian writers union wrote: “You are saying the right thing, don’t pay attention to anything. The sun of the truth is rising above the Motherland”. It was him, that writer, who a month and a half later wrote on his page on Facebook: “This serves right Zorii Fain for him accusing Ukrainian people of Petlyura’s men being guilty of exterminating the Jewish population”.

Can you feel the double-talk?

What is this writer going on about at all? 

And here is what: on December 6, 2017, on the Day of Ukraine’s Defense Forces there was a ceremonial opening of a memorial tablet to a certain sotnik of the Ukrainian National Republic, a Jewish person, Semyon Yakerson. The memorial tablet was in two languages: Ukrainian and Yiddish. Ukrainian people were indignant: why him? What sort of hero is he? (And behind the back there sounded voices: “there they go, those Jews”).

Because the authority urgently needed to find a hero of the Ukrainian National Republic who was a Jewish person to prove that Petlyura and Jewish pogroms were incompatible. This does not change things, though. Why couldn’t a Jewish person be a UNR sotnik in the chaos of the epoch? The “hero” was unearthed instantaneously (in certain circles his name was familiar before, but it was time to demonstrate it to broader audience), the governor at once approved the financing, the specialists (the same) quickly cast it in bronze. And all that took just about one and a half months! And all that just to “convince Fine”, as the city’s literary loudspeaker announced, of their dubious rightness?

(Had the economy developed at such a speed, we would have been ahead of China already). 

However, I was confused by a certain fact. The officially presented biography says that he perished in Prague ghetto in 1944. The American writer Elena Tsvelik immediately reviewed the available archives of Yad Vashem museum in Jerusalem and Washington Holocaust Memorial museum as well as lists of the camps; this is where the data on all the ghetto inmates is kept. So, she didn’t find such a person. That is, earlier Ukrainian historians wrote about him in the context of “state-liberation fight” of 1917-1920, and then he came in handy as a ready Jewish hero. Later the writer published a large essay about the work she had done which revealed falsifications with the “hero’s” biography. After its publishing “new facts have been revealed”, and the end of the story has been re-written by those in Vinnytsia.

But I got carried away. Let’s get back to the chronology of the October seventeenth.

The main thing I understood: no one is completely immune against marginal people. How is our time different from 1941? From the time when the city council reported to the occupational authorities that “the Jews who asked to indicate the Ukrainian nationality in their passports have been turned down”? And writers and poets devotedly told the citizens from the scene of the theater named after Sadovsky in Vinnytsia how happily they would start living “without Jews and the Soviets”?

I was rightfully indignant at the fact that on the 75th anniversary of mass shootings of Vinnytsia Jewish people, in September 2016, not a single representative of the authorities managed to bring even two flowers in commemoration or at least for the sake of “being nice”! (On the next anniversary, following my articles, they “improved”: they even put up tablets and reported their job to TV cameras)

In the hard October days of 2017 I was walking along Vinnytsia streets and had a feeling that someone would come up and mightily hit me with a hack on my back! I was going about, bent down by this heaviness, looking around. On October 20, I collected from the printing office the printed issue of my new book “Be-Siyata de-Shmaya” which contained lists and stories of 613 souls of all my relatives whom I managed to find up to the tenth generation. But the author’s joy and the long-awaited smell of printing paint went bleak against all those events.

Several days later, on October 25-27 2017, A.K. and me visited Babin Yar in Kiev after a seminar on Yiddish culture. This is what I summed up in my diary: 

28.10.2017. "Maybe it is not in vain that I so acutely, probably, on the genetic level experience the pain of my ancestors who went through so many sufferings? When man goes to death, and to that – undeservingly, after being tortured, hacked or shot down without any guilt, for nothing, and there is no one to defend him, - then his children and grandchildren are the last hope to be heard, at least generations after. We can face it, we can give place to these events in our soul. They may be the cause of unease, sometimes ill luck. We are connected.

Sometimes time focus is displaced: you are looking at a person and cannot understand: in what epoch are you talking with them? If I am alive, I inherit to those who perished in concentration camps, hence grandchildren and great-grandchildren of the righteous are alive, of those who saved whom they could from those camps. But the severe truth is also that the descendants of the executioners are also alive. And of those who sent them to these camps. The stories of their families were carefully kept secret, their grandfathers might have felt remorse, but thought they would take this burden with them when they die.

Would anyone want to admit that their grandmother snatched hanging clothes of the shot Jewish people when she was in Vinnytsia philharmonic in Sobornaya 62 (during World War II there were concerts for the population in the building of the synagogue, at the end of the century the building was returned to the Jewish community – author’s note): one was allowed to take one item after the concert? Or that she gave out a hiding Jewish girl to the commandant's headquarters? Or a grandfather who led a group to be shot down. And when there was anarchy at full swing, twenty years before that, when my great-grandfathers perished, - according to historians’ evidence – Jewish people were hanged, their body parts were cut off with cavalry swords and were burnt alive on fire. Cossack chieftans (among them Evgeny Lyakhovich) instigated ordinary peasants to these cruelties. And the peasants enjoyed the lawlessness. (V.Lukin, A.Sokolov, B.Chaimovich “100 Jewish shtetls of Ukraine”, SPb, 2000, pp. 179-180.)

I can see in the eyes of some of my contemporaries the unscrupulous faces of those from the past who violated the limits. It is not as though they fail to understand what I am telling them – they start the process of defending themselves from the truth that is inherent to their ancestry and is several generations old. The truth burns those who are far away there and their grandchildren here. The grandchildren are trying to shake off the burden as those unrelated. But they fail. It is impossible to explain the destruction of hopes of whole generations, the despair. No one cancelled connection between cause and consequences. It is hard for me to say what monstrous layers have collected since Koliivshchina: too many generations have come one after another, and the pain dissolved in troubles that are later and closer to us in time. But the events of a century ago, of the Minor and after it the Major Holocaust are alive. Not only as memory, but also as a wound.

It is a big mistake to re-write history while we are all alive. For instance, people like me are in an advantageous position in this case: I know the murderers’ names and I know how to progress further in life. And somebody’s grandchildren and great-grandchildren did not have enough of toy soldiers playing? The truth is an unpleasant thing, like water, like worm – the life will keep destroying till death. And so will it continue destroying in the descendants. That is why the nations that had courage to acknowledge the depth of their fall are strong and develop. And what with those who failed? Show must go on”.

A bit later, in January 2018, on the eve of Holocaust Memorial day, I tried to consider this topic again and again and painted two pictures, a diptych. 

“Vivid images of never-ending horror” – they were published with this subtitle by a large Israeli public-political portal “Isrageo”. 

This is the first of them.


"Unnecessary things on the way to Auschwitz” (canvas, oil, 14-16.01.18).

This work is based on a famous photo: in the background you can see the barracks and the tower of Auschwitz concentration camp. But I’d like to underline specially: the belongings of the Jewish people and maybe their priceless souls – bright, fiery, full of life – turned unnecessary in that epoche, and the world acted as if they had not existed at all.


The first spectator’s reaction to the second work ("Jedem das Seine (To each their own). Gate of Buchenwald" (canvas, oil, 20.01.2018), was predictable: "Isn’t it too festive?"

Here is my answer:

— There are two most terrible pages of my history of the 20th century, the Minor and the Major Holocaust. Personally, my family also suffered during those events. Take, for example, my grandfather Duvid Fine. His father Chaim was slaughtered during the Petlyura pogrom in 1919, and mother Beila perished from the hands of Nazis in concentration camp Pechera in 1941. But never had I met a person who loved life so much as my grandfather. Equally, he never touched upon how he remained a complete orphan. Life is a true festival. And the gate of Buchenwald seems to have vanished in the light of the fire of those souls that never more left this gate in their life…

But let’s get back to the chronology of the events…

31.10.2017. Deep on the closed territory (high fence, locked gate) of the Jewish school which my son attends there were broken several street lamps and the new façade lining.

The rabbi informed everyone, including the Israeli embassy. But the police reported: “everyday vandalism”.


03.11.2017. My dismissal from the university, described in detail at the beginning of the article.

04.11.2017. Information about my “retirement at free will” from the university instantaneously left its walls, despite my silence.  Already on the next day, November 4, journalists showered me with questions. On November 8, a local newspaper that later played its role in escalating the conflict published an article hinting that I “was asked to leave” (published at the beginning of this article). Several days later, the head of the Ukrainian Jewish committee wrote about it - requests for comments now showered from the leading world media. I could have become famous at once. But I have constantly repeated to everyone : “I do not comment this situation”.

Why?

Firstly, I wanted to spare my students and fellow-teachers from the outpouring of lies. Secondly, I did not want to damage the image of the university – it had been earned hard, also thanks to my efforts.

09.11.2017. On the eve of the Chrystal night – the first sorrowful events on the eve of the Holocaust, when in the night from November 9 to 10, 1938 in the whole Germany and Austria there were broken show glasses of Jewish shops and synagogues burnt down – I wrote a poem. To illustrate it, I placed my infrared photo of a destroyed mill on the South Bug river, on the border of villages Sokolets and Pechera. In Sokolets was based Lyakhovich’s gang, which in the times of Petlyura massacred by great-grandfathers, and in Pechera, in the camp “Dead loop”, among others, perished my great-grandmother Beila Fine. I dedicated the poem to the Chrystal night to remind all of us that  history repeats itself. Although, those who know the situation well, understood that this poem is about other things, about today.

DEDICATED TO THE CHRYSTAL NIGHT

His pen is a knife to some.

His soul is a military field to some.

He knew that it would be a full stop,

And he conceded to it himself.

His fathers could have been proud of the son,

What with it that they are no longer alive?

All titles and honors lead to wrinkles,

Has anyone taken them away to the better world?

He shone as he could. He cried about what pained his soul.

He did not nod and did not take off his hat.

To spare others was his saint goal.

And happy was he that darkness failed to reach them.

The above-mentioned Nadya Lipes published two interesting archive documents. Here is the first one. (The orthography of the documents has been kept unchanged, literal translation from Ukrainian):

Pechora (Pechera), Podol region, 192?. This legend was heard a month after Pechera pogrom from local peasants, it enables to feel the awakening conscientiousness.

LEGEND. There rode a woman across a village at night. It was pitch dark. Suddenly, she saw that in the church it was as bright as on Christmas eve. She was frightened, woke the church guard and they entered the church where in the middle there stood the Mother of God and wept. They were frightened and fell to their knees and started to pray. And the Mother of God said: Stop, stop murdering Jewish people, my Son Jesus cannot listen to the moans; stop touching Jewish people because you disturbed the quiet of my Son in Heaven. The Mother of God flew away, and it turned dark in the church. Heard and reported by N.Livshits”. 
 
And the second.

"ANNOUNCEMENT. From the First Partisan Khersonsky brigade and from the Second Umansky Haydamak Platoon. We ask all Russian peasants to put icons in their windows so that Cossacks would not rush into peasants’ houses, and if they are not put, we will massacre each and every and will not investigate why they are not put. All to be fulfilled in half an hour. Cossack chieftan of Rebel Khersonsky Platoon KOZACHKOV. Cossack chieftan of 2nd Haydamack Uman Platoon SOKOL”.

(Note: distance between Uman and Pechera is 130 km, from Pechera to Bratslav – 23 km, from Pechera to Vinnytsia – 62 km.) 



My wife and me celebrated the New Year 2018 in Prague at our friends’. Together with a postcard (on the left), in a festive greeting to my friends and readers I wrote:

"Hello to all from rainy Prague! Here was born my grandparents’ language – the sweet Yiddish. Here tour guides devotedly tell about the Jewish history of their country in all languages. The ticket cost a lot, by the way. Here the few Jewish people are taken great care of, and their dismissal from university is remembered as some wild archaic of the Middle Ages. Back-looking people!”




28.12.17, several days before that, Poland, from my diary:

“Crossing Ukrainian border you literally feel what stale world you have broken away from. And the main thing is that there is another world on its other side. I have grown disinterested in social networks, nowadays people do not share anything intimate there. And if you need to share a problem, a set of clichés is enough. You read and fail to understand: does someone really request or ask you something, or do they want to pretend being part of a great thing, remaining, just in case, detached? You can understand them. Hysterics and uncovered hostility are today’s norms: both to show loyalty to the “all-seeing” institutions and in an attempt to express collective opinion of a small provincial society in a small scope around itself.

Mass hatred towards each other. Hatred not so much for ideological reasons but for testing oneself and society. The more unthinkable and sophisticated arguments succeed in being realized, that is when at least a minimal number of people are made believe at least short disinformation, the more new “blood scent” inspires and validates the fight. The fight against the beautiful, the pure – what at once turns laughed at. It is not enough to call it the time of lumpen. It’s the time of lumpenization as a process, a rapid process. Of mass indulging from actions, way of thinking and behavior of a degraded person.

The most tragic in this are our children. We are adults who rely on our experience and knowledge, trying to filter the storm of lies, but the children take everything as it is. Sending a child to school or even a kindergarten we are unaware that we are bringing up an ideological enemy. Children are like sponges. Only to single ones of them when they grow up it will occur to sort out what is wrong with their “heroes”. For them they will be heroes in fact. And the grown up grandchildren will be our antagonists. And they may possibly annihilate us - either physically or ignoring our values. There is a saying: if you want to annihilate your enemy, bring up their child.

Undoubtedly, life does not go on in social networks. But it is the networks that bring out the horror of lack of morals which feeds hostile social opponents. And they are all on your friend list. You become an outcast in your own house, on your own page. And there appear those who transfer your disagreement with the imposed ideology into real threats.

You can get dismissed from university, be shown at the door where you are the master, where your ancestors have lived for a dozen generations. This has turned into mass entertainment. The tragedy of the society is in silent agreement. A statement is declared – and a mass of people pretend it does not relate to them. Journalists who have just unleashed a war – and it is them who should be mainly responsible as well as those who have access to the “ears and eyes” of the mass of people – so, exactly these journalists run head over heels to those who should be visited by law-enforcement bodies with handcuffs for their disgusting declarations.

Remember as a famous Polish writer and playwright Bruno Yasensky said:  “Do not fear your enemies. The worst they can do is kill you. Do not fear friends. At worst, they may betray you. Fear those who do not care; they neither kill nor betray, but betrayal and murder exist because of their silent consent”.

At home I am no longer at home. I have never been a coward; I have always shocked my close ones with my audacious journalistic work as my family still remembered quiet liquidations. Now I can feel with all my might that the time has come. It has not returned but has been re-created: carefully sown, carefully artificially cultivated. And now the entertainers are reaping their dubious fruit. I hate myself for the acid lie that has affected my brain too, to that in some inconspicuous events, on the face of it, that you just superfluously marked walking by without spending yourself on them. I hate myself for they let me quarrel with my elderly Moscow professor because of topics that are absolutely irrelevant for us.

I am living among slaves. Even you, those who are externally free, who think that they see the world clearly, do not be misguided. I can see how the flowers of your souls have left your publications, how you have replaced them with sweet little postcards of celebratory banalities. I won’t believe that this is how you are hiding from the external banality, the alien, from the powerfulness of its sickness. Man follows his word, becomes such as he/ she has formulated – actually has formulated oneself. Because the word is primal. Because of it everyone tries not to give one’s word in order not to fulfill it. It is the word that gives a person a mark in their own eyes for the events happening in life. When elevated words get covered with dust in the backyard of our speech because they are not needed, the banal start ruling us like full-right masters of our lives. When we are ashamed of being beautiful but old-fashioned in our speech, be it oral or written, when our everyday life gets void of words about love, friendship, fidelity, happiness – in their high, guiding meaning – we witness the canonization of murderers, the establishment of monuments to dubious historical characters, because it is thought that this cannot harm the modern man who got demoralized in the wake of time. And there we are: living next to anti-heroes. Look out of the window – there he is, napping on the bench. This calms us down. We are nervous today and wound up tomorrow and he is undisturbed. He is the symbol of our future peace and belief in new ideals. But times will change, it will be thrown out to hell, and we will remain broken. Without the present, without the past and as a consequence, without the future.

I feel suffocated among such people in the same city. The city chose them, who are dead in all respects, including ideologically and morally, and has rejected those who are alive, like me. What will become of such a city? A shadow despite all the ratings and economic indicators? Because first of all people like me create a rating for a city. Those who are role models for others, even if it is not stated openly.

Personally I no longer feel like inspiring the society that voluntarily commits a suicide in its collective consciousness. I do not want to be related in any smallest way to the ruining of the whole and the emigration of the last elements of the particular. This is not my choice, not my war, not my responsibility. I am leaving”.


January 2018.

On January 22, 2018, on the Day of Ukraine’s Unity, during a festive address to the nation from a high tribune, the president of my country recommended us reading some kind of a brochure by Petlyura. I forgot the title. And the sponsor who paid the expenses for the Vinnytsia monument was awarded an order on this Day.

And approximately at the same time Ukraine, one of the poorest states, was reported to have allotted one million (!) dollars for creating a “truthful” feature movie about Petlyura. 

In the photo, January 2018: a woman holding an Anti-Semitic poster with threats, half a year before she introduced me to her grandmother. In warm family atmosphere I interviewed her about how Jewish people were hiding in Vinnytsia during the occupation. Anti-Semitism seems to be a contagious disease, no one is safe against conceiving it. (By the way, in case you do not know, the poster reads a quotation from the poem “Haydamaks” by Taras Shevchenko (1841): “Got involved with zhids  and off they started crushing. Crushed, tortured, drowned by whole churches… Meanwhile haydamaks sanctified their knives”.)

Came across a painting and two sketches to it. Vasiliy Silvestrov is a painter, well-known in his time, was nearly the only professional, lived in Vinnytsia in the first half of the 20th century. Was repressed and shot in 1937.

This painting is kept in the National arts museum of Ukraine (Kiev) and is titled “Pogrom” (according to other sources – “Pogrom in Vinnytsia”). Painted in 1934. Canvas, oil. Was exhibited in 2015 in Kiev at the exhibition “Special stock. 1937-1938”. Sketches to it are dated 1930 and 1931.

The action is on the square in front of the main synagogue in Vinnytsia in the Jewish quarter “Ierusalimka”. It is easily recognizable in the painter’s other graphic works and postcards of that time.

One can look at the details of the painting for hours. And the sketches are even more self-speaking. But I have a single question: aren’t pogromists in our understanding bandits who are chaotically attacking defenseless people with whistles and shouts? What can we see here – a pogrom as a festival? With icons, church flags and a celebratory slow marching?

Then no wonder that, almost a hundred years later, on the same Ierusalimka, in the court of a religious Jewish industrialist Borukh Lvovich, in whose house there was a home synagogue and a charity school for Jewish girls, there is sitting Cossack chieftan Simon Petlyura on a bench, in cleaned bronze high boots with a map case in his hands, the person whose murder was acquitted by the whole civilized world. 

Inspired painter Silvestrov’s beautiful works, on March 1, 2018 I painted a small picture: “On Ierusalimka in Vinnytsia after a pogrom. Inspired by V.Silvestrov’s pictures” (canvas, oil).


09.03.2018 the following exchange took place in a public group:

A certain V. is writing to me: I always address professionals of your “level”: do not leave! Do not go away from here, we need some kind of a model. Both in music and in criminal investigation – everywhere. Due to the emigration of intelligentsia and professionals our wonderful country starts degrading even not as low as Sharikov, but as the dog Sharik” /allusion to the characters of M.Bulgakov’s book “Dog’s heart” – translator’s note/

I answer him: There are such landmarks in our life which give the direction to our further movement. And there are such short-sighted managers like, for instance, in a certain university we know, who cut off the blossoming branches on the tree of the country”.

And I recalled writing a verse when I was twelve-thirteen years old: 

"Forgive me, my Motherland,

I cannot live here, I am frightened.

I am not leaving yet,

But I am already not staying”.

 

19.03.2018 I wrote to Vinnytsia rabbi:

"Reb Sh., if I suddenly pass away untimely, bury me here, over the Bug, next to my great-grandfather Avrom ha-Cohen. In the old part of the cemetery, so that there would be both a view of the river and that I would be closer to reb Nathan Shternharts. This place has inspired me more than anything in the world, and I have seen a lot. I will whisper with the wind about the meaning of our life to those who come to visit me. My whole family history is here. Below, next to Soliterman’s mill, Ukrainian war policemen drowned my relatives during the occupation, including even a pregnant woman. On the left on the hills, my grandfather Duvid and grandmother Dora built a house; there still live nice people in it, and on the walls there hang mezuzahs that were hung by my grandfather. My grandfather’s mother perished in a concentration camp in 1941 twenty kilometers away from home, and his father was massacred by bandits in 1919 in the very Bratslav. Here I spent my childhood. My father and I went fishing and at night I didn’t let my elder cousins sleep – I was trying to tell them a mayse (a fairy story or fable (Yiddish) – translator’s note). Even now there still remains so much untold…”

03.05.2018 I left a note in my diary and blog:

“Do you know what my first reaction was (to an anti-Semitic meeting in Odessa 02.08.2015  — author’s note)? I felt like sewing myself a yellow six-pointed star, like the one that was worn in those times that everyone has forgotten. To sew it on my coat and walk around the city like this. I do not do so only not to make it look like an insult to the memory of the millions of those who wore it not at their own will but because they were forced to do so”. 




This painting of mine is titled so: “My grandfathers prepared this Yellow patch – and I am preparing it” (canvas, oil), 07.05.2018.

Zorii Fain, 2017-2020.

***************************************


P.S. The above two articles from the newspaper translated Bogdan Kotenko:

*
“33d channel” #46 (1358), 08.11.2017:

Did Zorii Fain dismissal from his work at pedagogical university due to  Petliura?

After heated discussions about the Petliura monument in Vinnytsia, historical truth and Jewish massacres, VIP photographer, blogger and teacher Zorii Fain lost his job at the university ...

Did he resign from Vinnytsia Mykhailo Kotsiubynskyi State Pedagogical University «on his own» or was «asked», after a collective complaint from the «patriots»?        

To this time, this acute situation regarding Petliura and the «hurted Jews» in the person of Zorii Fain has not been officially discussed at the university place, and abroad of University walls.

Especially, since the same time, Zorii Fain, a photographer and active author of articles, never wrote about his work at the Vinnytsia Mykhailo Kotsiubynskyi State Pedagogical University on his Facebook account.

- Zoriк, is it true that you were «asked» to resign from the University after the situation about Petliura?  We (newspaper's editorial office) asked Zorii Fain via messenger.

- I don't want to comment that.., - he answered.

At the same time, the head of the Vinnytsia Mykhailo Kotsiubynskyi State Pedagogical University also briefly commented on the situation.

- The university administration did not fire anyone! Just Zorii did all the working hours that had been agreed upon earlier, - commented the rector of the university Natalia Lazarenko. - Sorry, I have a visitors in my office now... I'll give more comments later.

Let us remind you (newspaper's editorial office), on the religious holiday «Pokrova» , October 14, in Vinnytsia, was unveiled the world's first full-figure monument to Symon Petliura.

And immediately after the unveiling of this monument, in Israel, Russia, and among some Vinnytsia Jews, after Zorii Fain's remarks about the «Petliurs massacras» and 200,000 murdered Jews, a scandal broke out that even Russian President Vladimir Putin became aware of.

Later, after discussions with historians and Facebooks friends, Zorii Fain's comments became softer, but he did not fundamentally change his mind.

The newspaper's editorial office is ready to listen  other opinions on this issue during the discussion on the pages of the newspaper and the website of  «33d Channel».

33kanal.com

Recorded by Roman Kowalski.


**

“33d channel” #43 (1355), 18.10.17

Why the Jews of Vinnytsia against Petliura?
The scandal about the monument to Petliura in Vinnytsia reached the Knesset.

On the eve of the unveiling of the world's first full-figure monument to Simon Petliura in the center of Vinnytsia, the famous photographer and blogger Zorii Fain published an "evil" poem in the Internet ...
Now, these words have become a hit in the discussion of "bloody massacres" in Vinnytsia 100 years ago and the "extermination of 200,000 innocent Jews" by Petliura soldiers ...

Vinnytsia was stolen from me yesterday,
Sitting Petliura on the bench,
Instead of my grandfather, he killed
In the year one thousand nine hundred and nineteen
By treacherous man...
In jarusalemka, in easy yard,
You will never hear Yiddish again,
There sits sad,
as a tombstone,
The idol and his bloody trail.
Vinnytsia was stolen from my children
But yours too, don't think
Where there is a lie, we are not  shamed of it,
There is shame and no future...

Friday, October 13, 2017
your Zorik.

But the loud statements of the "favorite photographer of the presidents" did not go unnoticed by the rest of Vinnytsia residents. And it's not about nationalities or knowledge of the real history of Ukraine.
The myth of Petliura and the Petliurists still are in the minds of many Ukrainians, and terrifies, above all, the Russians and the Jewish diaspora!

Here are reviews of the poem and statements by Zorii Fain  from famous Vinnytsias.

- Jews avenge Petliura for loyalty. He forbade Jewish massacres and had the nickname "Jewish father" -  among Ukrainians, says Yuri Pavlenko (Hort).
 - Together with,  in Paris, he was killed by seven shots by a representative of  Jewish. Now they tell about who should put monuments here...

Journalist and daughter of the writer M. Ryabogo, -  L. Mrachkovska,  described her emotions:

 - A monument to Simon Petliura, a symbol of the Ukrainian revolution, has just been unveiled in Vinnytsia on the religious holiday “Pokrova”, and Zorii Fain, composer, art critic, honored art worker, as he calls himself, is known as the personal photographer of Viktor Yushchenko, Petro Poroshenko and other VIPs, and now a docent at the journalism faculty of the university, dispersed the hysteria on social networks, demanding an apology from fellow Vinnytsia residents for Petliura, - she writes.

- As Zorii's grandmother told him, the Petliurists killed his grandfather ...

So, together with, the support of the Anti-Fascist Committee of Ukraine, known for its hatred of the Ukrainian spirit, Zoriy Fine is now trying to create an international scandal by turning Ukrainians into ferocious villains, adding to Petliura the murderer of  "Jewry" Bohdan Khmelnytsky.

It is useless to discuss with Z. Fain and the Anti-Fascist Committee not only because they do not know the history of the people among whom they have lived for centuries, in all its scope and multidimensionality, but, above all, do not want to know it. Because then we need to get rid of the benefits of the situation of the people - the victim, the people - the sufferer, and take some responsibility for the bitter pages of Ukrainian history, "eternal mercenary of Europe, who wanted to be a housewife in her house," and in particular for the tragedy which was at beginning of 20th century.

The fact of the unveiling of the monument to Petliura in Vinnytsia became known in the Israeli Knesset, and on this occasion one of the deputies expressed dissatisfaction.  On October 16, Knesset deputee  Ksenia Svetlova (Zionist Camp) appealed to Ukrainian Ambassador to Israel Hennadiy Nadolenko and head of Vinnytsia  Serhiy Morgunov, to overturn a decision to put a monument to Simon Petliura in the center of Vinnytsia's Jewish quarter.

 - Simon Petliura is responsible for many pogroms in Ukraine in which tens of thousands of Jews died, - Ksenia Svetlova wrote in a letter.
 - Because the time of Petliura's role is one of the sad  pages in the life of the Jewish community of Ukraine. Therefore, I ask you to make the necessary efforts to cancel the decision to install a monument in the center of the old Jewish quarter in Vinnytsia.

And on October 15, the Russian propagands TV channel «Zvezda», reported that a monument  one of the leaders of the nationalist movement in Ukraine in the beginning 20th century, Simon Petliura, was unveiled in the presence of the city's head, Serhiy Morgunov.

Pro-Russian blogger Anatoly Shariy, who stood up for the Jews of Vinnytsia, also took part in the discussion, from Netherlands.

- Thank you, Anatoliy Shariy, for the truth. Thank you for protecting  Jews of Ukraine, especially Vinnytsia, Z. Fain wrote on his Facebook account, together with criticizing Petliura.

- In general, I think, disrespect happened to the Petliure, like commander! Why hero was an outstanding somewhere in the backyard? On a small street, in an inconspicuous courtyard. Who will see him there? Where will the children take the flowers? After all, the main office of commander was not located here, but directly on Soborna Street, in the heart of the city. Are documents, clear plans of the room: where, what, in which room it was located. Together with,  the place for the museum of modern history is convenient there. And he look  best  - in front of the executive committee!

However, historians had investigations: the UPR government hot reacted to the first pogroms in the beginning of January 1919 in Zhytomyr and Berdychiv:  the organizers were shot away, and one of the military units involved in the crime,  was disbanded. Announcing this to the representatives of the Jewish parties of the city authorities of Berdychiv on January 10, the then head of the Directory Volodymyr Vynnychenko said that the bolsheviks and other military elements are engaged in agitation for the massacres. He said, the government would vigorously fight not only anti-Semitism but also all manifestations of Bolshevism.

By the way, the Jews understood, that - the massacres were not the policy of the Ukrainian government, but were planned provocation against this  government. A representative of the  party Poalej Zion, Drachler, said for Petliura : we are deeply convinced having enough facts that the massacres in Zhytomyr and Berdychiv was against the decisionl of the government. Immediately after the massacre in Zhytomyr, the Russian and Polish ”black soldiers units” says : “Of the conceived massacres plan we succeeded perfectly and it will “the end of Ukraine».

Even the pro-Bolsheviks representative of the Bund, M. Rafes, who initially claimed that "a special unit sent to Zhytomyr and Berdychiv to fight the authorities, staged a massacres there" then, speaking at a meeting of the Labor Congress of Ukraine on January 26, 1919, said: «the directory notes that it is not guilty of many actions, that she is not to blame for the programs. I agree with that. None of us blame the directory for being to blame for the programs».

Even Simon Petliura himself, - a member of the Directory and the head of the UPR troops, resolutely stopped the pogrom initiatives among the insurgent detachments. When he received information from the Minister of Jewish Affairs of the UPR, that military units passing by the Yaresky station, had committed violence against the Jewish population, he immediately gave a telegram to the military commander of the Myrhorod station: "I order to investigate the case in criminal process, and inform me, than these situations will never took place." 

January 28, Chief Ataman Petliura.

By this way, Petliura confirmed to the Jewish representatives that he "will use all the power of his authority to eliminate excesses, against the Jews, becouse these excesses hinder state work."

Especially,   his wife was also Jewish, and was buried in Paris at her famous husband ... Remind (edition department of newspaper) in Simon Petliura time,  Vinnytsia was the capital of Ukraine.

Prepared by Roman Kowalski. Read about the unveiling of the monument to Simon Petliura on the «Channel 33» website.

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