Photo Credit: Courtesy of US Dept. of State
Ellen Germain

Ellen Germain, who on August 23 was appointed the US Dept. of State’s Special Envoy for Holocaust Issues, told the news agency Interfax-Ukraine that “the adoption of the anti-Semitism law shows that Ukraine and its leadership are taking the issue seriously.”

“I am very happy to see that Ukraine has passed the law on anti-Semitism. It really shows that Ukraine and its leadership are taking the issue seriously and have now enshrined a law against anti-Semitism in legislation. So that is a good and serious step,” Germain said.

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The Ukrainian news agency also boasted that Germain assured them that anti-Semitism was not a huge problem in Ukraine.

Maybe because they’ve perfected it? See some important quotes below…

“In my conversations around the country over the last few days I’ve talked to Jewish community members and various government officials, and I have asked about the problem of anti-Semitism in Ukraine. What I have heard is that it is not a huge problem in Ukraine which is a good thing to hear. It is a problem as it is a problem throughout the world and again Ukrainian law on anti-Semitism is a good step and it really shows that Ukraine and its leadership, its parliament, are taking the issue seriously,” Germain said.

Germain’s first US government posting was in Tel Aviv, where she did a year of consular work and a year as staff assistant to the ambassador, “Which was great,” she told the Krakow JCC website when she served as US Consul General in Krakow. “And then I served in London, in Moscow, in Washington, in the office of Israel-Palestinian affairs, and in the office of Maghreb affairs, which is North Africa, Libya, Tunisia, Algeria, and Morocco.”

“And I also spent three months in Tripoli, Libya where I opened up our liaison office there in April 2004, which eventually became the embassy. This is while Qaddafi was still in power and we reestablished diplomatic relations with Libya. I was also in the office of Russian affairs. And then I went to Baghdad for a year. I was in New York at the US mission to the United Nations, which was great because I’m from New York. So it was wonderful to be home for a few years and the work at the UN was just fascinating; very intense, very fast-paced, but really interesting. And then I studied Polish for a year before coming to Krakow,” she continued to describe her life as very well-traveled.

On commemorating the Holocaust in Ukraine, Germain said: “I have visited only a few parts of Ukraine in my time here. I think generally for Ukraine as a whole the question of Holocaust memorializing and commemorating is a national issue and one that needs to be dealt with comprehensively on a national level. For example, the anti-Semitism law that was just passed is one way of enshrining for all the principles of what Ukraine believes in countering anti-Semitism. That is a very positive way of showing that Ukraine’s leadership takes this seriously throughout all of Ukraine,” she said. For the second time.

The National Geographic reported in 2014:

A number of Ukrainians had collaborated: According to German historian Dieter Pohl, around 100,000 joined police units that provided key assistance to the Nazis. Many others staffed the local bureaucracies or lent a helping hand during mass shootings of Jews. Ukrainians, such as the infamous Ivan the Terrible of Treblinka, were also among the guards who manned the German Nazi death camps.

According to The Simon Wiesenthal Center’s 2011 report, “Ukraine has, to the best of our knowledge, never conducted a single investigation of a local Nazi war criminal, let alone prosecuted a Holocaust perpetrator.”

According to a 2009 report by Israeli Holocaust historian Yitzhak Arad, “In January 1942 a company of Tatar volunteers was established in Simferopol under the command of Einsatzgruppe 11. This company participated in anti-Jewish manhunts and murder actions in the rural regions.”

According to a 2017 report by Timothy Snyder, “Something else to remember: the majority, probably the vast majority of people who collaborated with the German occupation was not politically motivated. They were collaborating with an occupation that was there, and which is a German historical responsibility.”

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David writes news at JewishPress.com.
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