As finger-pointing and accusations tumble out about whether Russian nationalists or Ukrainian nationalist are responsible for flyers in eastern Ukraine demanding that Jews register with local municipalities, the most important thing is being lost in the shuffle.
Without Vladimir Putin stirring the embers of Russian nationalism in Crimea and in Ukraine into a flame, it wouldn’t have happened in the first place.
"We are skeptical about the flier's authenticity, but the instructions clearly recall the Nazi era and have the effect of intimidating the local Jewish community," U.S.-based Anti-Defamation League Director Abraham Foxman said in a written statement according to CNN.
Whether the fliers were distributed by pro-Russian nationalists attempting to discredit Ukrainian nationalists or by pro Ukrainian nationalists looking to discredit pro Russian nationalists hardly matters anymore.
No serious student of history can look at what’s going on with Russia and Ukraine, without drawing the parallels from Putin’s Ukrainian adventure to Adolf Hitler’s gambits in Austria, Czechoslovakia, and finally Poland.
In those cases Hitler claimed that Germans in each country were being oppressed and that it was his “historical” duty to stand up for Germans everywhere, gathering them together into 1000 year Reich.
This would be akin to the United States claiming all of Canada, but Quebec, on the grounds that Canadians come from the same racial stock as our descendants from Plymouth Rock.
How dare those Quebecers oppress those whitey Canadians!
That Germans in Austria, Czechoslovakia and finally Poland were also victims to Hitler’s violence -- in addition to the Jews-- is likely of little solace to anyone in Ukraine.
As a person of Irish extraction—90% more or less-- I would not want to live under an Irish dictatorship here in the United States any more than I would want to live under an American dictatorship in Ireland.
I’m guessing the same is true for Russians in Ukraine.
"All is over,” said Winton Churchill after Neville Chamberlain gave over Czechoslovakia in Munich. “Silent, mournful, abandoned, broken, Czechoslovakia recedes into the darkness. We have passed an awful milestone in our history, when the whole equilibrium of Europe has been derailed, and these terrible words have for the time being been pronounced against the Western democracies, 'Thou art weighed in the balance, and found wanting'."