The Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists, or OUN, came into being in 1929 as an “integral nationalist” movement that set itself the goal of driving Polish landowners and officials out of eastern Galicia and Volhynia, joining hands with Ukrainians in other countries, and establishing an independent state. The OUN defined Jews, along with Russians and Poles, as aliens and enemies. There was no need, wrote an OUN ideologist in 1929, to list all the injuries that Jews caused Ukrainians. “In addition to a number of external enemies Ukraine also has an internal enemy … Jewry and its negative consequences for our liberation cause can be liquidated only by an organized collective effort”. The article examines archival documents, publications by OUN members, and recent scholarly literature to trace the evolution of OUN thinking about Jews from 1929 through the war years, when the German occupation of Ukraine gave the OUN an opportunity to stage pogroms and persecute Jews, and the prime minister of the state that the OUN proclaimed wrote that he supported “the destruction of the Jews and the expedience of bringing German methods of exterminating Jewry to Ukraine”.
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