The Contribution of Ukrainian Collaborators to the Preparation of Nazi Germany for the Great Patriotic War

Translated by Ollie Richardson & Angelina Siard

24/06/2018 (Miroslava Berdnik)

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Nowadays, when Ukrainian Nazis not only write that they “were the third force in World War II”, but also glue themselves to the Great Victory, the report “The contribution of Ukrainian collaborators to the preparation of Germany for the Great Patriotic War” was read by me in the 2011 at the International science conference “Raise the great country” in Sevastopol.

On June 15th-17th on the eve of the 70 anniversary of the beginning of the Great Patriotic War in the hero city of Sevastopol, the international science conference “Raise the Great country” took place, devoted to the tragic and heroic pages of the Great Patriotic War and the illumination of its historical and geopolitical roots and the activities of foreign intelligence agencies for the creation of the conditions of war by fascist Germany and its satellites.

Still quite recently, during Viktor Yushchenko’s reign, the national democratically orientated newspaper wrote with pride that the Great Patriotic War was started by a Ukrainian some minutes prior to when it officially began. In the “Ukraine molodaya” newspaper (No. 110, 20.06.2009) in the article “The German Ukrainian Who Started War” it was said that “the 30-year-old Luftwaffe Oberleutnant Robert Oliynyk downed a Soviet fighter plane over the skies of the Lvov region two minutes prior to the ‘official’ beginning of the Great Patriotic War”.

The ideology of OUN-UPA and the glorification of their activity is the cornerstone of the so-called Ukrainian-centric concept of history.

It is a big and unscrupulous lie geared towards naive simpletons when it is said that OUN allegedly went to serve Hitler, having illusions to realise the idea of a “Ukrainian Independent Conciliar State” (UICS) with his help. There were no illusions. During the war everything developed as it was planned long before its beginning somewhere on the side. The OUN mouthpiece newspaper in Paris “Ukrainske slovo” in September, 1939, with references to the idea of Germanist “Drang nach Osten”, Hitler’s “Mein Kampf”, and Hitler and Rosenberg’s statements, wrote: “… The Germans didn’t even think about creating an independent Ukrainian state or such abstract decisions as the self-determination of the people. Germany thought of Ukraine as about a colony, populated by subordinated subjects, the people of servants who will work for ‘Sirs’ (according to Himmler’s words), but not as about an independent State which has its own leading class, its own cultural circles, and its own government” (“Ukrainske slovo” newspaper, September 24, 1939).

Opting to cooperate with Hitler, the leaders of OUN didn’t stop profusely talking about an independent Ukraine, thus wishing to win round the people at large. However, Hitler didn’t consider it necessary to share power with OUN members on the occupied lands of Ukraine, and only gave them unlimited opportunities to humiliate and exterminate the Ukrainian people in the interests of Great Germany – and OUN members used this opportunity with unprecedented scope. The Colonel Erwin Stolze, captured by Soviet counterintelligence on May 31st, 1945 in Berlin, testified that “the main principle of work with nationalists consisted in the fact that we never gave them far-reaching political promises. We only warned them that they are free to behave according to their political convictions while carrying out active actions. We concluded agreements with them that contained mutual obligations. The most perspective leaders of national movements – for example, Colonel Konovalets – were summoned for a discussion in the headquarters of Canaris … The agreement in which mutual obligations were stipulated was signed: the German side gives money, the Ukrainian sides provides the necessary work. During the conclusion of the agreement, or later, Konovalets met Canaris” (Mader Yu. Abwehr: shield and sword of the Third Reich — Rostov, Feniks, 1999).

Recently the SBU declassified archive materials about the Ukrainian painter the people’s artist of the USSR Nikolay Glushchenko, who was an outstanding Soviet spy. The first information transferred by the young spy was information about the fact that “the OUN Berlin organisation controlled by Konovalets was enlisted in the staff of the Gestapo with the rights of a special department. In the suburb of Berlin the barracks were built for Ukrainian nationalists at the expense of German intelligence and the formation of military groups under the leadership of Richard Jary is being carried out. A HQ was created, which must organise them and also develop mobilisation plans for the approaching war. Colonel Melnik leads the HQ. The General of the Ukrainian Galician Army Kurmanovich, Petliura’s General Kapustyansky, and the Colonel of the Ukrainian Galician Army Vyshivany are included in its structure”.

The task of this HQ was: the formation on the territory of Germany and also the countries adjacent with the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic of armed units using OUN members intended for use in the attack on the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic that was being prepared. Its functions included also the development of different plans for conducting subversive activities against other countries that fascist Germany was preparing acts of aggression against.

Implementing these criminal plans, OUN, with the help of the Abwehr, created a network of special schools that trained spies and saboteurs. The units and groups of saboteurs who participated in the attack of Hitler’s Germany firstly against Poland, and a bit later against the Soviet Union, were quite often formed using graduates from these schools.

For Ukrainian Statehoodness
(who built and who destroys Ukrainian Statehoodness?)

Legion action

Such was the resolution of Ukrainian concerning land. Also the actions of OUN after the leadership of Stepan Bandera had a penetrating, activist  character concerning emigration. Irrespective of the difficulties that were connected with it, it was managed by the organisation, by having a common understanding with a German official, to obtain the first armed units. One of those units marched together with the German Armed Forces up to Lvov, and then fought on the front, by which it documented that Ukrainians fight shoulder-to-shoulder against the common enemy. The military units – some of which stood at the frontline, and others who are now passing through staff training – are the bud of the Ukrainian Army. Thanks to the policy of OUN, numerous Ukrainian workers who today are still emigrants are given the possibility to obtain military training and thus be embedded in military units.”

During several hearings of the Nuremberg tribunal the question of forming and using saboteur units from persons with a non-German nationality, including also Ukrainian nationalists, was comprehensively studied. General Lahousen, the chief of the 2nd department of the Abwehr, testified: “In accordance with the foreign policy doctrines of the Reich officially declared by von Ribbentrop and the orders received by Admiral Canaris from the chief of staff of the Oberkommando der Wehrmacht, the General Field Marshal Keitel, the Abwehr-2 prepared an uprising in Galicia that mainly aimed to liquidate communists, Jews, and Poles. As far as I know, this decision was made at a meeting in the salon car of Field Marshal Keitel”.

These revolting Ukrainian units were created by the order of the Oberkommando der Wehrmacht, they had military training in special camps and cooperated with the Ausland/Abwehr/Oberkommando der Wehrmacht department. The German command instances — Oberkommando der Wehrmacht and the leadership of the Abwehr – defined the list of tasks, proceeding from the operational situation. And the specific tasks of these fighting groups included carrying out various sabotage operations. According to the testimony of General Lahousen, “these operations were performed on the territory of those countries that Germany was at war with at that moment”.

Thanks to the courtesy of the State Committee of Archives of Ukraine, I received copies of the Abwehr’s documents on cooperation with Ukrainian nationalists that were transferred to the German archive in Freiburg. In the document from June 13th, 1939 concerning a meeting between Colonel Lahousen and Colonel Sushko from the military HQ of the Organisation of Ukrainian Nationalists about “development, the needed weapons, and possible participation of this combat organisation should there be military complications in the East”, there is a question of preparing and using 1,300 officers and 12,000 privates in the event of an attack on Poland, (BA-MA, RW 5/123, Abw. Nr. 664/39 g. Kdos. II/1 (ON), gez. Döhring). In another document – from July 3rd, 1939 – Colonel Lahousen explains to the Ukrainian military HQ that “the organisation of a Ukrainian uprising is being carried out according to the directives of Abwehr-2 by employees of the body of Abwehr” (BA-MA. RW5/123, Nr. 762/39 g Kdos. Abw///1, [the original is signed]: Lahousen).

In the report of Colonel Lahousen from July 15th, 1939 to the chief of the 4th department of the General Staff of the Land Forces and Colonel of the General Staff Blumentritt it is reported that “within the framework of preparing Abwehr-II for the ‘Weiss’ operation, the use of Ukrainian freedom fighters is also provided” (BA-MA RW 5/699, g. Kdos. Abw. II/ch., gez. Lahousen).

After Konovalets’ death in 1938, OUN were headed by Andrey Melnik, who, like Konovalets, was an agent of German intelligence. The former deputy head of Abwehr-2, Colonel Erwin Stolze during an interrogation in May, 1945 described in detail the process of recruiting Melnik as an agent.

Melnik made the development of ties between the Ukrainian nationalists living on the territory of the Poland of that time and nationalist elements on the territory of the Soviet Ukraine, carrying out espionage and diversions on the territory of the USSR, and the perdition of an uprising as the basis of his activity. Then, at this same time, at the request of Melnik the Abwehr assumed all expenses necessary for the organisation of subversive activities (Central State Archive of Public Associations of Ukraine – F. 57. – Op. 1. – D 338.-L 280-288).

It is noteworthy that already in 1937 the Germans frankly shared their plans with Ukrainian nationalists. In the materials of the criminal case of one of the leaders of a OUN unit Kravchuk Ya. A., who was in the SBU regional department archive in the Rovno region, it is said that despite the strategic mutual understanding of Germany with Poland, Germany won’t abandon an East Prussian corridor and Silesia at all, and also that a union with Poland is needed by Germany against the USSR, but that it can’t last a long period of time in the present conditions at the borders. Poland will have to enter into its ethnographic borders, and if in general it will continue to exist in the future, then it will play the role of a minor State.

On September 1st, 1939 fascist Germany attacked Poland, having thus unleashed World War II. After the defeat of the Polish State, during which Ukrainian nationalists gave considerable help to the Nazis, the main program point of OUN, as we know, wasn’t resolved – an independent State wasn’t created. But this didn’t prevent them from continuing to serve the interests of the Third Reich like before. It couldn’t be on the contrary because, firstly, OUN was logistically connected to the intelligence agencies of the Nazis, and secondly, OUN was financed by German intelligence, without which it couldn’t exist. Thus, during Bandera’s negotiations with a representative of the Oberkommando der Wehrmacht Dr Markert, which took place in April, 1941 in Berlin, 2.5 million reichsmark was handed over to him in a lump sum for the activation of subversive work against the USSR (Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic in the Great Patriotic War of the Soviet Union, K., Politizdat of Ukraine, 1975, page 321).

After the reunification of the western regions of Ukraine – Bessarabia and Northern Bukovina – with the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic, at the beginning of 1940 a meeting of the HQ of the Krakow Ukrainian unit took place, during which a decision was made to prepare in the shortest possible time and to transfer to the Soviet Ukraine the necessary quantity of leading OUN personnel for the purpose of creating in Lvov and Volyn a HQ for the preparation of an armed revolt. For the completion of these tasks OUN, with the help of German intelligence, created a special network of schools and courses to train spies, saboteurs, and organisers of uprisings, who were subject to being transferred to the territory of the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic. On the strip of land bordering Ukraine special OUN committees were created, which were involved in transferring couriers and agents of the Krakow unit to the Soviet territory for the purpose of preparing conditions in the western region of Ukraine that could “justify” before the world community a Nazi armed intervention in the internal affairs of the USSR. The Nazis considered one of such conditions to be the armed uprising of local OUN formations in the West of Ukraine. “A seat of fire in the Ukrainian regions,” it was specified in one of documents of the foreign policy department of Ribbentrop, “would give Germany a reason to militarily intervene on a large-scale” (Cherednichenko V.P. Anatomy of betrayal, K, 1983, page 72).

The intelligence of the Soviet border troops alone revealed 95 of such points on the territory of occupied Poland (V. Tkachuk, The front without a frontline, K., 2007, vol.1, page 82).

The report with the materials of the aforementioned artist Nikolay Glushchenko about the preparation of acts of aggression by Germany and the large-scale use of Ukrainian nationalists in this preparation was obtained by Stalin on June 10th, 1940 , i.e., five months before Richard Sorge’s radio-telegram from Japan. It was specified in it:

“Despite the treaty of friendship signed with the USSR, the government of Germany actively prepares for war against the Soviet Union. The Nazis mask their preparation at all cost for the purpose of not giving the government of our country a reason to be dissatisfied.

When preparing acts of aggression Germany widely uses Ukrainian nationalist organisations under the flag of the fight for the creation of a ‘independent Ukraine’. A number of material legal privileges are created for nationalist cells, and considerable propaganda activities are carried out among Ukrainian emigration. Nationalists are appointed to different positions in the Ministry of Internal Affairs, in the army, the police, and the border troops under the pretext of preparing the State and political and military figures for a future conciliar Ukraine.

The Ukrainian science institute that works in Berlin under the direction of the Ministry of Propaganda recently considerably upped its activity and became a center of research work into Ukrainian nationalist organisations designed to scientifically substantiate anti-Soviet work.

Since 1939 the institute is actually subordinated to the German administration, but the personnel remained Ukrainian. This scientific institution developed powerful publishing and research activity of a specific character. During 1939-1940 it published the military German-Ukrainian dictionary for infantry, a similar dictionary for pilots, and a big German-Ukrainian dictionary especially for military-topographical, economic, and political surveys of certain regions of Ukraine. Pocket military dictionaries and detailed maps of the territory of Ukraine are being prepared for printing.

The research work of the institute is led by professor Kuzelya – a former Hetman connected with Rosenberg’s bureau. In a conversation with ‘Yarema’ (the operational pseudonym of Glushchenko) concerning German-OUN plans for the near future, he said: “I communicate with many German political figures, and I will say with all responsibility — war with the USSR is not far off. At the moment we also work a lot, but we try not to be noticed, because the Germans are interested in not sharpening relations with the Soviet Union. Hitler gave the most preferential treatment to the Ukrainian national emigration”.

Characterising various political groups of emigration and their antagonism, Kuzelya noted: “In effect, the disputes between them have a formal character. Such a State temporarily suits the Germans, but the main goal is common and the master is common too” (Soviet bodies of State security in 1939-June 1941, documents of the main department of the SBU, K., publishing house of the Kiev-Mogila academy, 2009, page 424-426).

Today the followers of Ukrainian nationalists affirm that the latter battled for the independence of Ukraine and that they were “the third force” in World War II. The documents presented here and many other ones incontestably testify that they were fully-fledged participants in the preparation of Nazi Germany for World War II and the Great Patriotic War (the Western Russia).

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