BEFORE THE JOURNEY

I talked about my travel plans to Israel with the head of the Society of Jewish-Ukrainian Collaboration, Mr. Yacob Suslensky, during the time of his stay in the U.S. His association had already accepted me as a member earlier, but with certain reservations. These he expressed in his lectures in the U.S. At a private meeting he personally explained to me that he neither cared for my appearances in U.S. trials of suspected collaborators nor for my article in the press in defense of tried Ukrainians. The article clearly elucidates that it was not Ukrainians, but actually Jews, who collaborated with German Nazis in the destruction of Jews. Jewish "Judenrats", Jewish police, Jewish informers, and the "Sonder-kommando" composed of just young Jews in concentration camps.

"Why speak of this?" he inquired with dissatisfaction. "The Israeli press, which does not wish to present anything good about Ukrainians, presented this straightaway as evidence of Ukrainian anti-Semitism".

"But did I really say something that is untrue? Was this not indeed as I testified? Where is there any anti-Semitism?"

"It's true, but better not mentioned, in order not to provoke the Jews".

"Why do the Jews, then, not just verbally but in the press, attack Ukrainians, and, in addition, take advantage of their influence in the U.S.A. to make sacrificial goats of Ukrainians as "war criminals", in order to show America again and again how Jews were destroyed in wartime Europe? For Ukrainians did not do this".

"Well, these are isolated incidents, and don't pay any attention to them".

"How so? When Jews are attacking Ukrainians and provocatively defaming them, then Ukrainians should not pay attention to this - and when Ukrainians defend themselves and reveal the unpleasant truth to the Jews, then this is anti-Semitism, this irritated the Jews and must not be done. This attitude eliminates cooperation with Jews as "equal to equal" but actually gathers "Sabathgoys" for exploitation by the Jews for their purposes. I regard a clearing up of the atmosphere as a prerequisite for sincere cooperation by way of a candid discussion of the conflictory situation. This is my stand and only in accordance with it will I be active for the betterment of Jewish-Ukrainian relations. If this is agreeable to you, I will remain a member of the Association, and if not, then cross me out immediately from your list of members".

"I respect your stand," answered J. Suslensky, "and I repeat the invitation to come to us in Israel. There will be a better chance to mutually understand each other".