“To the kikes, flow the riches. And the peasants, they’re treated like bitches.”
Digging out some anticommunist, antisemitic propaganda I picked up the last time I was in the Old Country.
In my last installment I mentioned how antisemitism can pervade Holodomor narratives: It’s the idea that Jews, in their guise as communists, organized the famine so they could depopulate Ukraine and claim the land and its riches for themselves. That’s what talk about zhydokomuna — aka “kike-communism” — is all about.
One of the things that makes the “Jews tried to genocide Ukrainians” story interesting is the more contemporary political angle. The ironic thing is that this narrative was spread around in a big way by a Ukrainian diaspora that had ended up in Europe and North America after World War II. And it started getting popularized around the same time that this community was itself trying to wiggle out of its own very well documented complicity in a genocidal campaign. A genocidal campaign against the Jews: the Holocaust. So this community pumped out narratives that denied its own participation in the Holocaust, while also blaming Jews for the Holodomor and for the brutal policies of Soviet communism. In the end, both of these made-up narratives had a dual and slightly contradictory function: it allowed Ukrainian nationalist emigres to whitewash their own genocidal history, all while also defensively justifying this history. “Hey, man. The Jews genocided us first!”
Writing about the 1932-1933 famine reminded me of something.
The last time I was in Kiev I stumbled on an old guy selling vintage posters and items from World War II. Among other things, he had a bunch of anti-Soviet propaganda leaflets that were distributed in Ukraine under Nazi occupation. From the looks of them, they were probably dropped from aircraft and were meant to be picked up by Red Army soldiers on the frontlines. I bought a few from him.
Many of the ones I have contain the same kind of kike-communism/judeo-bolshevisk slogans and images that are central to Ukrainian nationalist conceptions of the Holodomor. One of them, although it does not mention the famine directly, portrays the idea that Soviet communism is a Jewish plot meant to despoil Ukrainian peasants and enrich the Jews.
The leaflet shows a two-faced Stalin sitting on a big communist throne. With one hand, he’s giving food and riches to a smiling, corpulent Jew. With the other, he gives a thin peasant in threadbare clothes nothing but a whip and a sign to go to a collective farm.