Photo Credit: YouTube
Flyers ordered Jews to appear at a designated location in Ukraine, in Sept., 1941. The next day, the Jews lined up at the Babi Yar Ravine.

Many Jews reacted with horror when the news began to spread on Wednesday, April 15, that the Jews of a particular area in Ukraine are being required to register with local authorities.

Those requests were allegedly made in flyers distributed to Jews leaving shul on Passover. The flyers informed “Ukraine nationals of Jewish nationality” to report to a particular location in order to register their religion and to provide documentation of their ownership of any property. All Jews had to pay a registration fee or lose their citizenship and face deportation, according to the leaflet.

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The leaflets were distributed in Donetsk, where pro-Russian militants have commandeered government buildings.

The Jewish Press covered the story, with appropriate notations that there was some uncertainty about the authenticity of the flyers, coupled with a dramatic increase in anti-Semitism in Ukraine in just the past few months.

The flyer – authentic or not – constitutes the 17th anti-Semitic incident to have taken place in Ukraine since the beginning of 2014. Most were violent attacks. Several were aimed at Chabad-Lubavitch emissaries and a few were life-threatening. Five took place in Kiev alone, according to statistics gleaned from the Coordination Forum for Countering Antisemitism(CFCA) website.

The story resulted in a huge outcry.

Secretary of State John Kerry called the demand for Ukranian Jews to register “intolerable” and “grotesque.”

Reporters at BuzzFeed pooh-poohed the story. One of the reporters, Max Seddon, tweeted a link to their article,  “Signal and noise in Donetsk over nonexistent Jew registration scandal.”

But actually, the leaflets – which were written in Russian, marked with a Russian symbol and one of the Donetsk People’s Republic, and allegedly signed by Denis Pushilin, chairman of the Donetsk interim government, were distributed in Donetsk. And they were distributed to Ukranian Jews.

A Daily Beast reporter in Ukraine went to the office in the building in Donetsk designated in the leaflet at which Jews were told to register and pay their fee. She wrote that it was empty.

In a statement issued on Thursday, April 16, the Simon Wiesenthal Center wrote that Geoffrey Pyatt, the U.S. Ambassador in Kiev, told a senior SWC official that no one currently knows who created the “Jewish Registration Leaflets.”

Pyatt said the leaflets were “clearly part of a general effort to sow fear among Ukranian Jews.”

The SWC denounced “this grotesque action that is clearly designed to spread more fear among the Jewish community, already reeling from the increased instability that has racked the region for the past few months.”

Rabbis Marvin Hier and Abraham Cooper, the two most senior officials of the Wiesenthal Center, urged “authorities to take all necessary measures to ensure the safety of Jewish communal institutions.”

According to a reputable Russian blogger, “this is a fake intended to present the pro-Russian forces in Donetsk as a dark antisemitic power with the worst intentions.”

On September 28, 1941, notices were posted informing all of the Jews of Kiev that they were to appear the following day, with all of their belongings, to a particular location. The next day, September 29, tens of thousands of Jews showed up at the designated location. They were marched to the forest, to the ravine known as Babi Yar. All of those Jews were stripped of their belongings and their clothing, and then shot. By the following day, more than 34,000 Jews were murdered.

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Lori Lowenthal Marcus is a contributor to the JewishPress.com. A graduate of Harvard Law School, she previously practiced First Amendment law and taught in Philadelphia-area graduate and law schools. You can reach her by email: Lori@JewishPressOnline.com

124 COMMENTS

  1. My perception: It is an “invite” to leave. To choose to stay is excepting whatever fate cast upon you. The flyer “notice” is a way of relinquishing any guilt on what is or may come to be by the perpetrator and place it upon those who do not heed the notice.
    If we say “Never Again”, it will only not be by show of force. The world has not changed.

  2. I am so upset over this,, it has bothered me all day after reading this article. Why just the Jewish ppl? Why not other groups ? Why just them? Dear God in heaven please protect them. I can’t stand this, it makes me feel like it’s starting all over again! And in Hungry they are starting that White Power thing that Hitler started in the 1940’s . People pray hard for you’re Jewish brothers and sisters, because they need all the protection ( covering ) they can get!

  3. Us Jews should not be surprised about Ukraine has told the Jews they have to register. I couldn’t careless what happens to Ukraine . During  World War 2, 1941, 34000 Jews were murdered in Kiev. Anti-semites.

  4. It’s a phony to antagonize and frighten the Jews in that city, probably instigated by groups such as Svoboda, pro-nazi POS. The Russians would not do it, not that I am crazy about Putin. It’s a scare tactic by some of the scum there-you know, the ones that admire their pro-nazi ancestors that helped Hitler kill Jews in WW2.

  5. The following is an explanation of the situation in Ukraine and how it is similar to WWII

    1. make being gay essentially illegal, 2. Have the most awkward Olympics since 1936 Munich Olympics where we all pretended to ignore things like the Cossacks whipping Pussy Riot performers. 3. Annex Crimea to protect ethnic Russians 4. Internal unrest along with pro-Russia gangs wandering the streets of the Ukraine, 5. Russia issuing Russian passports to ethnic Russians making Ukrainians of other ethnic backgrounds second class citizens and now the registration of Jewish properties.
    And just like WWII the world sits quietly. I wonder if this time the international community will act before they start sending people to ghettos and issuing yellow stars.

  6. That leaflet was at sure a forgery. It wasn’t the Russians who committed Babiy Yar’s horror, but those Nazi-collaborant Ukrainians mostly, who are at the roots form OUN/UPA and those Banderists who aligned with and served the Nazi occupants. That’s why its sure absolutely that this time that notice is in the footsteps of the “Elders of Zion” forgery.

  7. I cannot believe so many supposed Jewish people posting here are such sheep as to believe this. Maybe it is part of the original fake. Think once. Why would the Russians want to do this? Who would want to do this? Those wishing to blame it on the Russians is the answer. Don't they read the story? There have been 17 incidents this year many real enough to include violence and five in Kiev alone…nothing to do with the Russians obviously. This leaflet bit was a few masked unknown men handing out leaflets. Did they read the part about where the Jews were to register? An empty building.

  8. GOD’s people of the world…especially the JEWS …attention …Russia is marching southward nearing ISRAEL’s border …their only focus is ISRAEL…but this will not prevail because GOD is watching us…Russian Army and it’s allies will be defeated in all corners of the world…if you want to bless…pray for ISRAEL…GOD bless and Shalom

  9. Anti-Semitism and discrimination against people because they are Jewish is wrong in every and any form. Sitting back and saying nothing is also wrong. Whether the leaflets are genuine or not, the anti-Semitism is real. Last time the world looked on and did nothing…

  10. Ms. Morris – Shalom. I agree in part with your comment. In principle, Jews should never be driven from their homes. However, their lives might be in danger at this point in time. It’s often difficult to know the best course of action, because we cannot see into the future. If Jewish people in Europe in 1938 would have known of the events from 1938 to 1948, what would they have done?

  11. First, look at and read throughly the original text, it has some telling points, missing official references, no issuer, no office, no law or gov’t order reference etc. Also one must be very suspicious with knowing the current Ukrainian context, and knowing that it’s not the Russians there who are reviving the rightextremist power alliances, even to th e point where Hitler’s painting displayed as “liberator”. etc

  12. So in my opinion and after checking with Russian expats, it’s absolutely out of context with the Russian interim gov’t values and intentions, and serves only the interest of the.Ukrainian side to put blame on the Russians to “egalize” or “level” the field about the harsh.antisemitism they represent (and the Russians not).

  13. The genozid killing in Babin Yar/in ENG = Grandma’s gorge (may all the victims rest in peace), was a horrible act by the Nazi-German Wehrmacht, the 6. Nazi Army corp under Gen. Walter von Reichenau. I worked in the German archives about it and other Nazi crimes. The author of the article makes a wrong conclusion, bringing up the missing link in what happend yesterday to the Nazi-German occupation of Ukraine. Because – it’s Donetsk, where the document was created, and in this area, which is “very Russian traditional”, the Russians killed longer and more Ukrainian Jews (may the victims rest in peace) – since the 1850s untill the end of Stalin’s time, and the Russians there deported Ukrainian Jews even longer – until the 1980s (!). So, please, don’t make the mistake to blame the Ukrainian citizens or the new Ukrainian government (which is ruled by native Jews like Yatsenyuk and Groisman, two amazing politicians), but look deeper into the history of the Russian anti-Semitism: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anti-Jewish_pogroms_in_the_Russian_Empire — or here — http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antisemitism_in_the_Russian_Empire — or here — http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antisemitism_in_the_Soviet_Union

  14. interesting that it appears that the Russians are behind this effort. Putin used Ukrainian anti-Semitism as one of his excuses to annex the Crimean Pennisula. Perhaps, because there is no real anti-semmitism that can be pointed out to the world, they needed to create the appearance of it as the next round of excuses in annexing more of the Ukraine?

  15. It seems evrytime there is conflict in the world, the jews become the target of hate. This is generations of brainwashing in Ukraine and Russia having been shut out from the civilized world and being spoon fed malicious propaganda. No different from many parts of the middle east.

  16. those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it, wake up world, the time is NOW, to speak out. whether this happened or not, its a fact that anti semitic incidents are on the rise globally but esp again in europe, which is where the holocaust began. never again!!!

  17. No Jew should be living in ANY of the ACCURSED lands where Jews have been discriminated, persecuted, slaughtered. I don't even believe Jews should visit and contribute in any measure to those accursed places and inhabitants: those lands are drenched in Jewish blood and, anyway, the lands of galut have the halakhic status of cemeteries.

  18. Yes that was my Grand-Parents My Aunt and 2 little boys who were killed in 1941 by the Romanians …….IT BREAKS MY HEART……
    THE JEWISH POPULATION IN UKRAINE MUST GO TO ISRAEL NOW

  19. If it "appears" that the Ukraine cannot "establish control", then the Russians will claim they have a "right" to come in, and "stabilize" the situation, to "protect" all Ukrainian peoples, including the Jews. There may be more to this than meets the eye. While Putin is not necessarily anti-Semitic, he is still a Slavic-xenophobic, and that is not necessarily without good reason. But still, I recommend that all Jews brush the dust of all of Europe from their feet, and never look back, as they Exodus.

  20. The Holocaust was one of the worst tragedies in human history. But, it should have educated people of the perils that Anti-Semitism, hatred, and bigotry produces. However , if we look at the state of affairs today, we clearly see that we have learned nothing. Anti Semitism in Europe is at an all time high. Much of the adversity Israel faces from the international community is fueled by hatred of the Jewish people. To this segment of society, Israel will be condemned not because of what Israel actually does, but because of that symbol in the middle of the Israeli flag. This is why it's so important to support Israel and is the biggest differences between today and seventy years ago. Jewish people throughout the world have the ability to escape persecution and have a place to go where they can live a Jewish life in peace and not have to worry about a government rounding them up and killing them. Another major difference between today and World War Two is the Jewish community has become much more politically influential with the establishment of advocacy groups who monitor world events concerning the Jewish community and actively work to remedy injustice and prejudice. It will be vital for these groups to intervene in the current situation in the Ukraine. Obviously, the first order of business is to determine who is producing these Anti Semitic flyers . Hopefully, the Jewish population in the Ukraine will take heed and recognize when it's time to leave. This situation underscores my original point,. The more things change, the more things stay the same.

  21. The Red Russkie Commie Rats are the ones who perpetrated this. They figured the world would believe the Ukranians pulled this stunt and tried to blame the Russkies for it. In fact, the Russkies did it, thinking the world would believe the Ukranians were responsible for this false flag operation which really wasn't one at all.

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