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Antisemitic incidents Ukraine תעמולה

Donetsk leaflet: Jews must register or face deportation

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Source: ynet

Donetsk – A leaflet distributed in Donetsk, Ukraine calling for all Jews over 16
years old to register as Jews marred the Jewish community’s Passover
festivities Monday (Passover eve), replacing them with feelings of concern.

 

The leaflet demanded the city’s Jews supply a detailed list of all the
property they own, or else have their citizenship revoked, face deportion and
see their assets confiscated.

 

The leaflet, signed by Chairman of Donetsk’s temporary government Denis
Pushilin, was distrbiuted to Jews near the Donetsk synagogue and later in other
areas of the city where pro-Russians activists have declared Donetsk as an
independent “people’s republic”, defying an ultimatum from Kiev to
surrender.

 

 

The leaflet was written in Russian and had Russia’s national symbol on
it, as well as the Donetsk People’s Republic insignia.

 

“Dear Ukraine citizens of Jewish nationality,” the
flyer began, “due to the fact that the leaders of the Jewish community of
Ukraine

 

supported Bendery Junta,” a reference to Stepan Bandera, the leader
of the Ukrainian nationalist movement which fought for Ukrainian independence
at the end of World War II, “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 leaflet detailed what type of documents the Jewish citizens would
need to supply: “ID and passport are required to register your Jewish
religion, religious documents of family members, as well as documents
establishing the rights to all real estate property that belongs to you,
including vehicles.”

 

If the message was not made clear enough, the leaflet further stipulated
the consequences that would come to those who failed to abide by the new
demands: “Evasion of registration will result in citizenship revoke and
you will be forced outside the country with a confiscation of property.”

 

To add insult to injury, the leaflet demanded the Jews pay a
registration fee of $50.

 

According to Alex Tenzer, a Kiev native and one of the directors of the
National Association of Immigrants from the Former USSR in Israel, said:
“The Jewish-Ukrainian leadership supports Ukraine’s new government, but
it’s hard to tell whether the leaflet is valid or simply a provocation.

 

“Anyway, the material is very anti-Semitic and reminds me
of the kind of material distributed by the Nazis in WWII.”

 

Emanuelle Shechter, from Israel, received a copy of the leaflet via
Whatsapp from his friends in Donetsk. “They told me that masked men were
waiting for Jewish people after the Passover eve prayer, handed them the flyer
and told them to obey its instructions.”

 

Olga Reznikova, a member of Donetsk’s Jewish community, told Ynet that
“we do not know if the leaflet was spread by pro-Russian forces or someone
else, but it did manage to create quite a fear. This reminds me of texts from
darker times. Other members of the Jewish community I spoke with are not
afraid, but it is unpleasant.

 

“I do not intend to register, I am 32, I have lived in
Donetsk my entire life and have never had to deal with anti-Semitism until I
laid eyes on this piece of paper. Though I take it very seriously, I am
uncertain of its authenticity.”

 

Jenia from Israel, who also received the letter from a Jewish
acquaintance, said “the Jews in Donetsk are uncertain of anything; it is
unclear who is responsible for the leaflet and who controls the city at the
moment.

 

“We don’t feel safe like we used to because of the
political instability in the area; there isn’t a legitimate president or
sovereign. Currently Donetsk is ruled by a junta.”

 

In a response to a request by a Ukrainian Jewish website, Pushilin, the
interim government’s regional chairman, confirmed that the flyers were
distributed by his organization, but denied any connection to the leaflet’s
content.