In discussions about Metropolitan Sheptytsky, I constantly heard accusations that he 'collaborated' with the German Nazis. This was usually stated not as something in the realm of hypothesis, but as an affirmation of an undeniable fact. What is such a serious accusation based on? The answer was always: 'We know' or 'It's quite evident'. I have recently found a probable answer to all this in the Bolshevik 'Visti z Ukrainy' (News from Ukraine), which is published by the propoganda division of the KGB for distribution among Ukrainians outside the U.S.S.R. In the January, 1982, No.5 issue of this magazine, it is written:
'We should at this point pause to consider the aims and motives of a group of Judas' from the so-called: Association for Jewish-Ukrainian Cooperation who wish to push through a resolution proclaiming Metropolitan A. Sheptytsky as a 'Righteous man of peace' for having 'saved' Jews from destruction by the Nazis during the Second World War. Let us examine several archival documents, lest the traitor Suslensky's proposal mislead the community as to the relations of 'His Holiness' with the occupiers, and as to his attitude towards persons of Jewish descent.'
Here, then, is the answer to the question of what Jewish accusations against Metropolitan Andrij Sheptytsky are based on: 'documents' of the Russian KGB! What sort of documents are they? The KGB reports:
"Perhaps the first proof of the fact that A. Sheptytsky was not indifferent to the igeas of German Fascism, and even diligently encouraged and deepened the interest of his spiritual charges in Hitler's actions, is a photo of the 'Servant of God' during an audience with Ukrainian scouts - members of the 'Plast' Youth Organization. All of the participants of the gathering were decorated with badges which depicted the swastika 'Hakenkreuz', adopted by Hitler's National Socialists as their official party emblem. A swastika of larger dimensions gleams even on the cassock of 'His Holiness'. This emblem near the heart of this 'spiritual father' incontestably proclaims his political orientations, which in turn were adopted by the 'Plast' members as their own".
Here, then, is a Soviet 'document' and its explanation, a clear example of Russian-Bolshevik illiteracy mixed together with blatant demagoguery.
Even the initial remark about 'German Facism', attests to the pitiful political illiteracy of whomever wrote it. Even a moderately politically-literate person knows that Fascism is an ideology and an Italian movement, and to speak of 'German Fascism' is the same as speaking of 'Mohammedan Marxism'!
But what is the photograph that is being talked about? In it, we see members standing at attention with the Metropolitan reviewing their ranks'. But can the picture have been taken in the 1940's? Hardly, 'Plast' was liquidated in September of 1930, that is, eleven years before the Nazi invasion of Ukraine. At the time when Nazi Germany occupied Ukraine, the Metropolitan was paralyzed and could not even stand, let alone pass in review before the ranks of 'Plast' members, which, as everyone knew, had ceased to exist years before.
And what about the swastika seen on these uniforms? In the Ukrainian 'Plast' organization, there had been an emblem similiar to the 'swastika'. But this emblem, which every American encyclopedia defines as the symbol of movement, had been known to and used by ancient Indoeuropeans and by the American Indians, who had two different versions of it - one with the ends usually bent to the right and the other, much more frequently used in their pointings, with ends bent to the left. Hitler took this ancient 'swastika' symbol as an emblem for his party in 1933. But prior to that, the ancient 'swastika' was used by the internationai scouting movement, and from there it was accepted by the Ukrainian Plast movement. How could Plast, which ceased to exist in 1930, have taken the 'swastika' from the Nazis, who officially adopted for their own only in 1933?
With such twisting of facts, it's quite possible the Bolshevik liars may some day even ascribe the writings of Marx to Nazi influences. It's obvious to those who know that the photograph of Metropolitan Sheptytsky among the Plast members on the 'Sokol camping grounds' back in the 1920's. It would seem, then, that Met. Sheptytsky sympathized with the Nazis and spread their ideas among Ukrainians at least ten years before the actual arrival of the Nazi regime.
Another 'documentary proof' adduced by the KGB against Metropolitan Sheptytsky if the following:
'On July 1, 1941, after the invaders entered Lviv, Sheptytsky addressed his flock with a pastoral letter in which he called the Nazi invasion a 'new epoch' in the history of Ukraine. He appealed for 'obedience to the new administration', and to the 'government' of Jaroslav Stetsko, who fought to introduce into Ukraine the German methods of exterminating Jews, thus forever eliminating the possibilities of their integration into the general populace.'
As proof of this 'article of truth' the Bolshevik propaganda piece produces the 'Pastoral Letter of the Prince of the Church', in which it is stated:
"By the will of the All-Mighty and All-Merciful God, One Indivisible, in the Holy Trinity, a new epoch has begun in the history of the National Independent Ukraine. The meeting of the National Council which took place yesterday affirmed and proclaimed this historic event. We offer our allegiance to the newly-established government, and acknowledge Mr. Jaroslaw Stetsko as head of the National Administration of the western regions of Ukraine.'
From the text of this letter, it becomes abundantly clear to every normal person that Metropolitan Sheptytsky is referring to the 'new epoch' of a restored Independent and United Ukraine. What relevance is there to the praises of German occupation? This is an obvious contradiction of the legitimacy of the German occupation of Ukraine. The enjoinder to 'obey the newly-established regime' clearly refers to the Ukrainian government, the head of which became Jaroslav Stetsko. To every normal person this document undeniably affirms that Metropolitan Sheptytsky not only never issued enjoinders to cooperate with the occupiers of Ukraine, but - quite the reverse - steadfastly adhered to a declaration of the Ukrainian nation; that, in defiance of all Hitler's and Stalin's plans, he desired to live his own life in a free and independent Ukrainian state! The falsification and lies of the KGB 'interpretation' are supremely evident! As the second proof of Metropolitan Sheptytsky's collaboration with the Nazi occupiers of Ukraine, the author of this pamphlet, a KGB hireling, gives the fact that... 'Gestapo officers frequently visited Sheptytsky'. It is true that Gestapo commandos visited Metropolitan Sheptytsky, much in the same manner that he, and latter his successor Metropolitan Slipyj, were visited by officials of the NKVD. The difference was that the Gestapo officials merely attempted to terrorize Metropolitan Sheptytsky whereas the NKVD officials, after initial attempts to intimidate Metropolitan Slipyj and persuade him to cross over to Russian orthodoxy, arrested him and took him, along with other bishops and hundreds of priests of the Ukrainian Catholic Church, to concentration camps, where the majority died a martyr's death. Are these 'visits' to Ukrainian archbishops by NKVD officials proof of their collaboration with the NKVD? The same author also considers, as a 'document' and proof of Metropolitan Sheptytsky's cooperation with the Hitlerite occupiers of Ukraine, that in his missle the Metropolitan urged Ukrainians in July 1941, to greet with sincere hearts the Ukrainian youth who in the Fall of 1939 were forced to flee from Ukraine, in order not to perish at the hands of the bloodthirsty NKVD executioners, and who returned to Ukraine in 1941 to fight for Ukraine's freedom from the Russian yoke. For the KGB writer it does not matter that the Ukrainian youth, having returned to Ukraine, fought equally against the Red Russians as against the German occupiers of Ukraine, and against the NKVD members as well as against the Gestapo sadists.
Such are the "documents" and "proofs" of Metropolitan Sheptytsky's collaboration with the Germans, which the KGB relays to Jews in Israel and beyond. On the basis of these "proofs" and "documents", the administration of Yad Vashem refuse to give thanks from the entire Israeli nation, before the world, to the great Metropolitan. He was the only one, in German-occupied Europe, who bravely protested to Hitler and Himmler against the inhuman destruction of Jews. Unlike anyone else in Europe, he personally saved thousands of Jews, as well as through the Ukrainian clergy he had commissioned, risking his own life, the lives of hundreds of Ukrainian clergy, and the continued existence of Ukrainian churches and monasteries, in which, at his instruction, Ukrainians sheltered Jews.
Clearly, with such a Jewish attitude toward Ukrainians, it is not possible to build a healthy and sincere mutual cooperation between Ukrainians and Jews.