News Release

Why Are There Monuments to Nazi Collaborators?

Wednesday was Holocaust Remembrance Day, the anniversary of the Soviet army liberating Auschwitz.

LEV GOLINKIN, golinkin@gmail.com
Golinkin just wrote the piece “How many monuments honor fascists, Nazis and murderers of Jews? You’ll be shocked,” in the Forward, launching the The Nazi Monument Project.

He writes: “The most curious thing about last year’s protests that toppled statues of slavers and colonizers is that the monuments of Holocaust perpetrators didn’t even make headlines.”

Golinkin documents — with a map — “320 monuments and street names in 16 countries on three continents which represent men and organizations who’ve enabled — and often quite literally implemented — the Final Solution. …
“The Nazi collaborators honored with monuments on U.S. soil represent governments, death squads and paramilitaries that murdered a half million Jews, Poles and Bosnians. …

“Even more worrying than the sheer number is the overall trend. The vast majority of these statues were erected in the past 20 years. Wherever you see statues of Nazi collaborators, you’ll also find thousands of torch-carrying men, rallying, organizing, drawing inspiration for action by celebrating collaborators of the past.”

Golinkin provides a country-by-country breakdown. These include:

In the Ukraine, which is where a quarter of the Jews killed in the Holocaust came from: “In 2016, a major Kyiv boulevard was renamed after [Nazi collaborator Stepan] Bandera. The renaming is particularly obscene since the street leads to Babi Yar, the ravine where Nazis, aided by Ukrainian collaborators, exterminated 33,771 Jews in two days, in one of the largest single massacres of the Holocaust.”

In Belgium, in 2018, a monument titled “Latvian Beehive for Freedom” was erected. The Latvian prisoners of war commemorated “were none other than the Latvian Legion, a unit in the Waffen-SS, which was the military wing of the Nazi party.”

Golinkin adds that “a disturbing number of Nazi collaborators documented in this database resettled in the West after the war.”

He is the author of A Backpack, a Bear, and Eight Crates of Vodka, a memoir of Soviet Ukraine, which he left as a child refugee.