Ukrainian Student in Poland Gives Finger to Majdanek Monument – Then Issues Apology Saying ‘Sorry Poles, I Just Don’t Like Jews’
The shocking image accompanying this article was taken by a Ukrainian student who sparked outrage in Poland by posting a photograph of himself ‘giving the finger’ to a monument to the victims of the Nazi German concentration camp at Majdanek – then compounded the offence by saying ‘sorry Poles, I don’t like Jews’.
The photograph was published by student Vlodyslov Kucher. The image was publicised by Poznań’s Tomasz Maciejczuk, who promotes the efforts of volunteer battalions fighting pro-Russian separatists in Donbas.
The story was picked up by Poland’s Kresy.pl portal, which cited Kucher’s response.
Kresy wrote: “Within a few hours the case had received wide coverage. Via the portal Wykop.pl, Vlod K, apparently afraid of the publicity that he had received… posted the message: ‘Sorry to all Poles for this image from Majdanek. I have nothing against Poles, and I took the picture because I do not like Jews. Sorry Poles, Vlodyslov Kucher’”.
But Kucher’s apology rings hollow in the face of records of heroism from the Second World War. Among around 25,000 people named ‘Righteous Among the Nations’ – those who risked their lives to help Jews – most are Polish. Furthermore, Kucher’s statement makes no sense in the light of the 2,500-plus Ukrainians on Yad Vashem’s list, who also played their part in protecting Jews from the Holocaust.
Kucher also posted further pictures, including one of his tattooed arm, on which he had written the words ‘A Pole is my brother’.
The Majdanek concentration camp was established near Lublin, in 1941, by Nazi German forces occupying Poland. As with many of the concentration camps, it is not known exactly how many people died there. Currently, historians estimate that around 150,000 people were taken to Majdanek. Of these, most were Poles, Jewish or otherwise, and it is estimated that 80,000 were murdered.
Majdanek’s brutal story continued with the Soviet occupation of Poland. From 1944, the Moscow-headed authorities took advantage of the largely intact camp to turn it into an NKVD prison, where Polish resistance fighters – the accursed soldiers – were held.