The World Jewish Congress denounced the newly put up monument to Symon Petrliura in Vinnytsia, which was erected for the anniversary of the Ukrainian War of Independence of 1917-1921, according to the WJC press service.
“The World Jewish Congress is distressed by the Vinnytsia municipality’s disgraceful and regrettable decision to celebrate the anti-Semitic nationalist leader Symon Petliura as a ‘Defender of Ukraine’ and by Vinnitsa Regional Chairman Valery Korovy’s description of him as an ‘honest man,’ WJC CEO Robert Singer said.
On the contrary, Singer called Petliura a barbarian, who bears responsibility for killing around 40,000 Jews in 1918-1921.
“It is inconceivable that a man, who today we would not hesitate to call a terrorist, should be honoured in the very same city in which he and his regime tried to wipe out a rooted and strong Jewish population,” Singer believes.
He also noted that the erection of the monument which “undermines the critical process of democracy and tolerance” in Ukraine.
Finally, the JWC called on the local authorities to retract their celebration of Petliura and take all possible steps to have the monument removed.
The monument to Symon Petliura was erected on October, 14.
Symon Petliura was a publicist, writer, journalist, Ukrainian politician, a statesman of the Ukrainian People's Republic, and nationalist leader who led Ukraine's struggle for independence following the Russian Revolution of 1917. Petliura has been a controversial figure connected with pogroms of Jews.
Anti-Jewish pogroms accompanied the Revolution of 1917 and the ensuing Russian Civil War. Some historians believe Petliura didn’t do enough to stop the mass murdering of Jews. There is no evidence, however, that he personally participated in the organization of or appeals for pogroms.