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15 Oct, 2018 21:31

‘Nazi buried here’: UK blogger places sign on Ukrainian nationalist icon’s grave in Germany

‘Nazi buried here’: UK blogger places sign on Ukrainian nationalist icon’s grave in Germany

UK blogger, Graham Phillips, has posted a video of him tearing down flags from the grave of Ukrainian nationalist icon, Stepan Bandera, in the German city of Munich and placing a sign on it reading: ‘A Nazi is buried here.’

Bandera, who collaborated with the Nazi invaders during World War II, died in Munich in 1959, and his grave has become a pilgrimage place for his admirers. With current Ukrainian authorities actively stirring up anti-Russian moods in the country, he is being presented as a protector of Ukrainian land, and a national identity from an onslaught by Moscow.

The gravestone and the cross were decorated with Ukrainian national flags, banners of a Ukrainian radical group and candles. Phillips took them down and placed a sign on top reading: “Ukrainian Nazi Stepan Bandera buried here.”

He explained his actions in a Tweet by saying that he only “corrected” the burial site so that it would fall in line with the German legislation.

Many commentators praised the stunt, calling Phillips a “brave person” and a “true anti-fascist,” while others criticized and even threatened him.

Some argued that the blogger’s references to the German law were irrelevant as it says nothing about shrines and only forbids the use of swastikas and other Nazi symbols. They said that Phillips committed a crime himself by desecrating the grave and should be held accountable for it.

Bandera was the leader of the Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UPA), which collaborated with the Nazis and fought against the Armia Krajowa of Poland and the Red Army in Western Ukraine during World War II. UPA is responsible for the deaths of 76,000 and 106,000 Poles, mainly women and children, in Volhynia and Eastern Galicia during the merciless campaign of ethnic cleansing. He fled Ukraine after his cause failed and eventually settled in Munich, where he was assassinated in 1959.

Despite his atrocities, Bandera is regarded as an iconic figure, not only by Ukrainian nationalists, but also by the country’s authorities.

Torchlight rallies dedicated to the UPA leader are staged regularly without any resistance from the authorities in different Ukrainian cities and gather thousands of sympathizers.

In 2010, Bandera was even officially honored with the title of “Hero of Ukraine,” but the decision was later outlawed by a court.

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