Never Again? Or, History Repeats Itself?

When Hitler started to expand Germany, his big lie was that he was protecting German speaking citizens of neighboring countries who really wanted to be free to join Germany.  He re-militarized the Saarland, then the Rhein.  Other countries ignored his military build-ups and violation of treaty because they were tired of war after The Great War, or the war to end all wars, now called WW1.  Then Hitler moved into neighboring countries, annexing Austria through a “vote” of the people called the Anschluss, enforced by brown shirted thugs at the polls.  Then the German speaking areas of Checkoslovakia, and so on.  It was not until he invaded Poland that people acted to stop him.

Once expanding, he set up the non-German supporters as enemies.  He made Jews and others register and denied them citizenship.  He outlawed homosexuality, implemented the Hitler youth to build a new super race and form a stronger Germany.

After WW2 cost over 50 million lives, we promised “never again.”

Now Vladamir Putin has invaded and taken over the Crimea, a part of the Ukraine.  Ukraine agreed to give up nuclear weapons to be protected, but no one is protecting them.  Russian special forces in plain uniforms oversaw the “vote” to join Russia in Crimea that was 96% in favor.  Now Russian thugs are taking over several parts of Ukraine and are active in Moldova, Georgia and Estonia.  They say they are there to protect Russian speaking people.  They have started a Russian youth fitness program to restore military power.  Putin outlawed homosexuality and other non-accepted behavior.  Now they are starting to try to register Jews in Ukraine.

Never again?  Do we really mean it?  Or are we truly the modern Neville Chamberlains, too war weary, too happy in our lives, the suffering of others so far away too distant?  History really does repeat itself all too often.

‘Complete lie’: Pro-Russian official denies role in mysterious leaflets to Ukrainian Jews

pushilin_denis.jpg

April 18, 2014: Denis Pushilin, foreground center, spokesman of the self-appointed Donetsk Peoples Republic, speaks to reporters inside the regional administration building seized earlier in Donetsk, Ukraine.AP

A pro-Russian official initially thought to be behind fliers telling Ukrainian Jews to register vehemently denied any involvement on Friday, telling Fox News the leaflets were a “complete lie.”

The leaflets were first reported in Israel’s Ynet News. The news site said the notices were circulated in the eastern Ukrainian city of Donetsk, demanding that Jews register — as well as provide a list of property they own — or else face deportation and revocation of citizenship. Pro-Russian activists have asserted partial control over some government buildings in that city.

 Ynet reported that the notices, sent as the Passover holiday began, were signed by Denis Pushilin, chairman of Donetsk’s temporary government.

But after the fliers gained international attention — including a public rebuke by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry — Pushilin and others described them as a deliberate “provocation.”

Pushilin said his organization did not distribute the leaflets. To back up his case, he said the notices were too sloppy to have been sent out by him.

“Moreover, this provocation has been done unprofessionally — first of all, it is signed as ‘people’s governor Denis Pushilin,’ and I never referred to myself as such and nobody called me like that first,” he told Fox News. “Secondly the stamp that is there, it is bigger in size meaning simply it has been done in a Photoshop. And third, if you read the text you will see that it’s relatively badly written.”

He said he has personally denied involvement in conversations with the Jewish community in both Kiev and Donetsk.

Donetsk is one of the hotbeds of unrest in eastern Ukraine, and pro-Russian activists are still showing resistance to the terms of a recently struck diplomatic deal that aims to ease the tensions between the Ukrainian government and pro-Russian forces.

After the notices to Jews began circulating, questions quickly were raised about their origin. One aide to Pushilin told Fox News that pro-Ukrainian groups were circulating them as a false flag operation to cause an international incident.

An Israeli official also told Fox News that the issue was brought to the attention of the Israeli embassy and foreign ministry, though they also presume the leaflets were handed out by local militia members as a kind of provocation. The official said the notices were distributed by masked men.

Yet the accounts gained international attention as Kerry condemned the notices on the sidelines of the diplomatic summit in Geneva.

“Just in the last couple of days, notices were sent to Jews in one city indicating that they have to identify themselves as Jews,” he said Thursday. “In the year 2014, after all of the miles traveled and all of the journey of history, this is not just intolerable — it’s grotesque. It is beyond unacceptable.”

Kerry said if anyone engages in these kinds of activities on either side, “there is no place for that.”

The notices reportedly were sent to areas where pro-Russian activists have declared the region as a “people’s republic” in defiance of the central Ukrainian government.

Ynet reported the fliers said that because Jewish community leaders supported a Ukrainian nationalist movement and “oppose the pro-Slavic People’s Republic of Donetsk,” the interim government has decided: “that all citizens of Jewish descent, over 16 years of age and residing within the republic’s territory are required to report to the Commissioner for Nationalities in the Donetsk Regional Administration building and register.”

The notices reportedly demand Jews pay a $50 registration fee.

State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf said Thursday that U.S. officials were trying to gather more information.

Fox News’ Leland Vittert contributed to this report.

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