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Nazi-collaborator monuments

Nazi collaborator monuments in the United States

There are statues and streets in Alabama, Georgia, Illinois, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, Ohio and Wisconsin

This list is part of an ongoing investigative project the Forward first published in January 2021 documenting hundreds of monuments around the world to people involved in the Holocaust. We are continuing to update each country’s list; if you know of any not included here, or of statues that have been removed or streets renamed, please email [email protected], subject line: Nazi monument project. 


Monuments to Belarusian collaborators (section added during the January/April 2022 project update)

Left: Radasłaŭ Astroŭski inspecting Belarusian auxiliary police (Wikimedia Commons). Right: Belarusian Central Council monument, South River, N.J. (Wikimedia Commons). Image by Forward collage

South River, N.J.  – On a hill behind Saint Euphrosynia Belarusian Orthodox Church stands a monument dedicated to “those who fought for freedom and independence of Byelorussia,” per the inscription. The identity of these “freedom fighters” is made clear by the reverse side of the monument, which features the seal of the Belarusian Central Council, a Nazi puppet government.

In 1943, the Third Reich held a series of military recruitment efforts among Eastern European collaborators. In Belarusia, the Nazis needed a local government body to drive the recruitment – as a result, they established the Central Council, appointing Radasłaŭ Astroŭski as president. Astroŭski had prior experience organizing collaborationist police units which partook in the Holocaust. He and the Central Council made good on Nazi hopes by creating the Belarusian Home Defense – mostly-volunteer battalions composed of thousands of Belarusians who fought for the Third Reich.

After the war, Astroŭski, like many Nazi collaborators, relocated to America, where he rebranded himself as an anti-Communist freedom fighter (an extremely common tactic used to whitewash Holocaust perpetrators and Third Reich lackeys). He was active in the Anti-Bolshevik Bloc of Nations, a hub of ex-Nazi collaborators used by the U.S. against the Soviet Union.

Above right, Astroŭski inspecting Belarusian local auxiliary police; these units directly participated in the Holocaust by liquidating ghettos, hunting down Jews and carrying out mass executions. For more on Belarusian collaborators, see Mark Alexander’s dissertation and Leonid Rein’s “The Kings and the Pawns: Collaboration in Byelorussia during World War II”.


Monuments to French collaborators

Left: Philippe Pétain, left, with Hitler, Montoire-sur-le-Loir, France, October 24, 1940 (Bundesarchiv, Bild 183-H25217 via Wikimedia Commons). Right: Pétain plaque, Broadway, New York (Catherine Triomphe/AFP via Getty Images). Image by Forward collage

New York, N.Y. and various U.S. states — Broadway plaque honoring Nazi collaborator Philippe Pétain (1856–1951). After the Nazis conquered France, Pétain led the Vichy Regime – a puppet government of the Third Reich. In that capacity, he enacted antisemitic laws and deported around 76,000 Jews, mostly to Auschwitz. Above left, Pétain meeting with Hitler, October 1940.

Prior to becoming a Third Reich puppet, Pétain was a WWI hero; in 1931 he received a ticker-tape parade in New York. The Broadway plaque, unveiled in 2004, memorializes that. A second plaque memorializes a parade to Pierre Laval (1883–1945), who also became a Vichy lackey and played a key role in deporting France’s Jews. In 2018, New York’s government refused to remove either plaque.

The U.S. also has 11 streets named after Pétain in: Hartselle, Alabama; Prichard, Alabama; Yuma, Colorado; Abbeville, Louisiana; Monroe, Louisiana; Goffstown, New Hampshire; Milltown, New Jersey; Defiance, Ohio; Ellwood City, Pennsylvania; Nemacolin, Pennsylvania; and Dallas, Texas. See report in France-Amérique.

Pétain’s case is unique because the honors bestowed upon him took place when he was a WWI hero, before he served the Nazis. That puts them in a different category from monuments erected to perpetrators after they became collaborators.

Pétain’s status in his homeland has been ambivalent. France renamed its last Pétain street in 2011. In 2018, however, Paris announced plans to honor the disgraced marshal; the decision was reversed after an international backlash. The fact that even France, a staunch Western ally, was about to honor a traitor responsible for the murder of his country’s Jews shows the degradation of Holocaust memory worldwide.

For more locations named after Pétain, see the Canada section.

For more discussions about these cases, see the Tribeca Trib on the Pétain plaque in Broadway, the New York Times on the debate in Milltown, the Dallas Morning News on Pétain in Dallas and the Forward on Pétain’s antisemitism.


Monuments to German collaborators (section added during the January/April 2022 project update)

Left: Wernher von Braun, in suit, with Nazi military brass, Peenemünde, Germany, March 21, 1941 (Bundesarchiv, Bild 146-1978-Anh.030-02 via Wikimedia Commons). Right: von Braun quote at the U.S. Space & Rocket Center (Google maps) Image by Forward collage

Huntsville, Alabama, and the Redstone Arsenal U.S. Army post, Alabama – A quote of Wernher von Braun (1912–1977) displayed at the U.S. Space and Rocket Center in Huntsville. Von Braun was the star of Operation Paperclip, the program that brought more than a hundred Nazi scientists to build America missiles in the wake of World War II.

Prior to rolling up his sleeves in the U.S., von Braun was a decorated SS officer who built the Nazis V-2 rockets used to shell Allied soldiers and civilians. Von Braun constructed his missiles using labor from the Dora-Mittelbau concentration camp complex.

Dora’s conditions were hellish. For the first six months of the camp’s existence, inmates lived and worked in underground tunnels. Prisoners died from starvation, disease and overwork and were hanged for the slightest suspicion of sabotage. Von Braun visited it more than a dozen times and was well aware of these conditions. About half of the 20,000-plus men who died in the Dora camp system were involved in outfitting the tunnels for missiles or missile construction.

Von Braun rose to fame in America, palling around with presidents and being feted by the media. According to the Smithsonian’s Michael Neufeld, a von Braun expert, the man studiously avoided discussing his complicity in the use of slave labor and failed to demonstrate anything resembling genuine repentance.

Huntsville has numerous honors to von Braun on the federal, state and city levels.

The Redstone Arsenal – a U.S. Army base next to Huntsville – contains the Von Braun Complex, which is primarily used by the Missile Defense Agency, a part of the U.S. Defense Department. A spokesperson for the agency said that the complex contains at least one memorial/statue to von Braun as well as “commemorative items noting significant achievements of many in the field of missile defense.”

The U.S. government is currently in the process of renaming military bases honoring Confederate generals, which raises the question of whether an Army facility honoring an SS officer who armed Hitler should fall under similar scrutiny. Retired Army colonel Lawrence Wilkerson, who served as chief of staff to the late Colin Powell, said that items honoring von Braun should indeed be reviewed.

“So long as we are revising our approach to statues and other honorary paraphernalia erected or built years ago to less than savory individuals,” Wilkerson said, “we should extend our revisions to the Nazis, particularly the Schutzstaffel (SS) members, whom we kept out of the Nuremberg war crimes trials, in many cases, in order to exploit their expertise after the war.”

Efraim Zuroff, director of the Simon Wiesenthal Center’s Jerusalem branch, agreed.

“I think that renaming buildings, departments, bases or whatever, named for Nazi scientists, would be an appropriate step to take,” Zuroff said. “It’s bad enough that they escaped prosecution for their crimes, they don’t deserve to be glorified for their achievements.”

NASA recently removed its bust of von Braun as well as renamed its own Von Braun Complex at the Marshall Space Flight Center.

The U.S. Space & Rocket Center is a museum owned by the state of Alabama, an affiliate of the federally-owned Smithsonian Institution, and an “official visitor center for NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center.” Until January 2022, it displayed a prominent bust of von Braun. The center also has several informational boards casting the Nazi scientist in a decidedly positive light in addition to the von Braun quote about the rocket freeing men from chains towering over one of the floors (above right).

Four days after the Forward inquired about the von Braun bust in January, a spokesperson for the museum said it had been placed in storage. The spokesperson said the museum was reviewing its display materials. Below left, von Braun with Kennedy at Cape Canaveral, 1963. Below right, two survivors from Dora, 1945.

Left: Wernher von Braun, center, with John F. Kennedy at Cape Canaveral, November 16, 1963 (NASA via Wikimedia Commons). Right: two survivors from the Nordhausen concentration camp where von Braun’s rockets were built, Nordhausen, 1945 (United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, courtesy of Nancy & Michael Krzyzanowski). Image by Forward collage

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Left: Wernher Von Braun Research Hall at the University of Alabama in Huntsville. Right: U.S. soldier supervises German civilians digging mass graves at Dora-Mittelbau, April 15, 1945 (United States Holocaust Memorial Museum). Image by Forward collage

Huntsville and Birmingham, Alabama – On the state and local levels, the city of Huntsville owns the Von Braun Center, a sprawling entertainment venue with a hockey arena and concert hall; a historical marker with a plaque to von Braun stands outside. Huntsville also has a Von Braun Drive Northwest. Meanwhile, the University of Alabama at Huntsville (a public school) has the Wernher Von Braun Research Hall (above left). A university spokesperson confirmed that von Braun has information boards in the research hall as well as a bust and two plaques on campus. The university’s history section and press releases extol von Braun as a “rocket pioneer,” while omitting his Nazi past.

Huntsville’s Monte Sano State Park contains the Wernher Von Braun Planetarium. The planetarium is owned by the Von Braun Astronomical Society (a private entity) but is on land provided by the Alabama State Parks Division, which advertises the planetarium on its website.

There’s another von Braun plaque at Stamford University’s Alabama Men’s Hall of Fame in Birmingham; his biography calls him a “German immigrant” while briefly mentioning he was “a major figure in the development of the German V2 rocket during World War II.”

Above right, a U.S. soldier supervises German civilians digging mass graves for inmates of the Dora-Mittelbau concentration camp where von Braun built his missiles, April 15, 1945.

For more, see AFP story on von Braun’s daughter who is against people calling him a Nazi; Forward interview with legendary Nazi hunter Eli Rosenbaum who exposed von Braun cohort Arthur Rudolph who used concentration camp slaves to build V-2 rockets; Smithsonian exhibit on von Braun slave labor; USHMM on Dora (and interview with survivor); Time overview of von Braun’s legacy; and essay about his past. See the Germany section for more von Braun honors. (Many thanks to Michael J. Neufeld for sharing his encyclopedic expertise on Dora and von Braun.)

Left: Kurt Debus, center, with Wernher von Braun, right, March 28, 1963 (The United States Army, Redstone Arsenal Historical Information via Wikimedia Commons). Right: Dr. Kurt H. Debus Memorial Award display at the Kennedy Space Center (courtesy photo). Image by Forward collage

Merritt Island, Florida – The Dr. Kurt H. Debus Conference Facility at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center celebrates Kurt Debus (1908–1983), the center’s first director and another Nazi scientist deeply involved in concentration camp labor. According to colleagues, Debus wore his SS uniform to work supervising the building of V-2 rockets; he also denounced a colleague to the Gestapo (the Third Reich secret police).

NASA’s biography of Debus does not  include the words “Nazi,” “Third Reich,” or “SS” and mostly skips over World War II, mentioning only that he was “actively engaged in the rocket research program at Peenemunde.” One would have to be familiar with the Peenemünde Nazi rocket center to understand that reference.

The Debus Conference Facility hosts a display (above right) honoring him and recipients of the Dr. Kurt H. Debus Memorial Award, which is given out by the National Space Club Florida Committee, a private organization.

Above left, Debus (middle) with fellow Nazi Party member and SS officer Wernher von Braun (right), in 1963. Below, underground plants at the Dora-Mittelbau concentration camp where 20,000 inmates were worked to death.

Left: unfinished V-1 missiles in the underground plant at Nordhausen, 1945 (Yad Vashem). Right: underground workhall, Nordhausen, 1945 (Yad Vashem). Image by Forward collage

***

Left: Ferdinand Porsche, second from right, with Hitler, Robert Ley, second from left, and Hermann Göring, far right, Wolf’s Lair, Poland, 1942 (Bundesarchiv, Bild 101III-Reprich-012-08/Reprich via Wikimedia Commons). Right: Ferdinand Porsche Drive, Herndon Virginia (Google maps). Image by Forward collage

Herndon, Virginia – Update (October 2022): the street has been renamed to Woodland Pointe Avenue. 

A street named after Ferdinand Porsche (1875–1951), designer of the eponymous car line and the Volkswagen Beetle. Porsche was a decorated member of the Nazi Party and the SS, receiving the Third Reich’s War Merit Cross and Heinrich Himmler’s SS-Ehrenring award.

Porsche was far more than Hitler’s car dealer – he designed weapons such as the Tiger tank for the German army. Most disturbingly, his plants used slave labor including conscripts from Eastern Europe and concentration camp prisoners. Porsche’s Volkswagen plant in Wolfsburg is infamous for murdering up to 400 infants – the children of their slave laborers.

In 2012, Porsche’s bloody past led Atlanta to nix plans for an avenue in his honor; Germany and Austria, however, have dozens of Porsche streets (see those sections as well as the Czech Republic section for more). Above left, Porsche (third from left) alongside Hitler, Robert Ley and Hermann Göring, 1942. The last two were charged with crimes against humanity and war crimes in Nuremberg. See the Austria, Czech Republic and Germany sections for more Porsche honors.

Left: Ferry Porsche bust, Porsche Experience Center Atlanta (YouTube). Right: Porsche photograph polyptych, Porsche Experience Center Atlanta (YouTube). Image by Lev Golinkin

Atlanta, Georgia – This entry was added in October 2022 — A bust of Ferdinand Anton Ernst Porsche, commonly known as Ferry Porsche (1909–1998) sits in the Heritage Gallery of the Porsche Experience Center Atlanta. Like his father Ferdinand Porsche (see entry above), Ferry Porsche was a member of the Nazi Party and an SS officer involved with slave labor in the Porsche factory in Stuttgart. 

The Porsche Experience Center Atlanta, which is the car manufacturer’s North American headquarters, bills itself as a unique venue for weddings and corporate events. The center also has a photograph polyptych of Porsche, above right. 

See coverage in Haaretz and the book “Nazi Billionaires” and Forbes essay by David de Jong. See the Austria and Germany sections for more Ferry Porsche honors.


Monuments to Lithuanian collaborators

Adolfas Ramanauskas-Vanagas monument, Lithuanian World Center, Lemont, Ill. (Google maps). Image by Forward collage

Lemont, Illinois — Adolfas Ramanauskas (1918–1957) commanded one of the many “self-defense” groups in the antisemitic Latvian Activist Front. Ramanauskas commanded his LAF unit in the summer of 1941, when the LAF slaughtered thousands of Lithuanian Jews of their own volition, carrying out lethal pogroms even before the Germans arrived.

While there’s no direct paper trail linking Ramanauskas to murders of Jews, the fact remains he was the leader of a unit in a Nazi-allied militia whose record of atrocities toward Jews is well-documented. Both the Simon Wiesenthal Center and the World Jewish Congress condemned the memorial.

Lemont’s monument was unveiled in 2019 outside the Lithuanian World Center, in a ceremony attended by Lithuania’s foreign minister. This came after a drawn-out battle to place the monument on public land in New Britain, Connecticut. Eventually, local authorities soundly rejected the plan to use public space for a monument to an alleged collaborator in the atrocities of 1941.

Defending History worked closely, and quite publicly, with New Britain alderman Aram Ayalon during the months of debates on the monument. For more, see Defending History’s New Britain section, this BBC report and Defending History’s Ramanauskas page. (Many thanks to Dovid Katz for his information on Ramanauskas and Defending History’s Lithuania team’s involvement in the New Britain story.)

Below left, Lithuanian collaborators watch a synagogue burning, June 1941. Below right, Lithuanian ultranationalists, some of whom bore swastikas, march through Kaunas, February 2014.

Left: Lithuanian collaborators watch a synagogue burn, June 1941 (Bundesarchiv, Bild 183-L25397/Zoll via Wikimedia Commons). Right: neo-Nazi march, Kaunas, February 2014. Image by Forward collage

For more on Lithuania’s widespread glorification of Nazi collaborators, see the Lithuania section.


Monuments to Russian collaborators

Left: Andrey Vlasov, right, with Reichsführer-SS Heinrich Himmler (Wikimedia Commons). Right: monument to Vlasov and the Russian Liberation Army (ROA), Novo-Diveyevo Russian Orthodox Convent, Nanuet, N.Y. (Wikimedia Commons). Image by Forward collage

Nanuet, N.Y. — A monument to Andrey Vlasov (1901–1946) and the Russian Liberation Army (ROA) at the Novo-Diveyevo Russian Orthodox convent. Vlasov, a Red Army general who defected to the Nazis and formed the ROA in 1944. Above left, Vlasov shakes hands with Heinrich Himmler, head of the SS and one of the principal architects of the Holocaust, on the cover of the Nazi Army’s Signal magazine, Norwegian edition.

Vlasov’s army had numerous White Russian émigrés (Tsarist loyalists and various other anti-Communists who fled to the West after the Russian Revolution and Civil War). The graves of many prominent White Russians in the convent’s cemetery make it likely it was those émigrés who erected the Vlasov monument. Strangely enough, Vlasov resurfaced in the news in 2019, when Prague announced plans to build a monument to the general.


Monuments to Serbian collaborators

Left: Pavle Đurišić (Wikimedia Commons). Right: Đurišić bust at Chetnik Heroes Park, Saint Sava Serbian Orthodox Monastery and Seminary, Libertyville, Ill. (Wikimedia Commons). Image by Forward collage

Libertyville, Illinois — A monument to Chetnik commander Pavle Đurišić, (1909–1945), who commanded Chetnik troops operating in Montenegro. In the process, he collaborated with the Third Reich, which awarded him the Iron Cross — a Nazi Germany military honor. Additionally, Đurišić allied himself with the Serbian puppet government of Milan Nedić, whose collaboration with the Nazis resulted in the annihilation of Serbian Jews; Belgrade became the first city in Europe to be declared judenfrei (the term Nazis used to declare an area “free of Jews,” meaning all Jews have been deported or killed). Đurišić also ordered his troops to carry out ethnic cleansing of Muslims in Bosnia and Montenegro. (Many thanks to Milijana Pavlović for aid in locating Chetnik statues outside Serbia.)

Left: Dragoljub “Draža” Mihailović, 1942/1943 (Wikimedia Commons). Right: Mihailović monument, Saint Sava Orthodox Church, Broadview Heights, Ohio (Brian Kelly). Image by Forward collage

Cleveland, Ohio and five other cities — One of the several monuments to Dragoljub “Draža” Mihailović (1893–1946), founder and leader of the Chetniks, a Yugoslavian royalist and Serbian nationalist militia. At various points during the war, Mihailović’s forces collaborated with the Nazis and Mussolini’s Italy, the Serbian puppet government responsible for the elimination of 90% of Serbia’s Jews, and the genocidal Ustasha regime in Croatia. According to Yad Vashem, Israel’s main Holocaust research center, Chetniks killed Jews and turned them over to the Germans. That said, the Chetniks didn’t interact with too many Jews, because Serbia’s Jews were slaughtered very early in the war.

Later, Mihailović sided with the Allies, using his troops to rescue over 400 American airmen shot down in enemy territory; for that, he was posthumously awarded the Legion of Merit by Harry Truman. Other Mihailović monuments in the U.S. are in Libertyville, Ill. (below left); Third Lake, Ill. (below right); Milwaukee, Wis.; Sheffield, Ohio; and San Marcos, Calif. (Thanks to Brian Kelly for the Cleveland image.)

Left: Dragoljub “Draža” Mihailović monument at Chetnik Heroes Park, Saint Sava Serbian Orthodox Monastery and Seminary, Libertyville, Ill. (Google maps). Right: Mihailović statue at the New Gracanica Serbian Monastery, Third Lake, Ill. (Brian Kelly). Image by Forward collage

For more Chetnik monuments, see the Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Australia and Canada sections.


Monuments to Ukrainian collaborators

Left: “Heroes’ Monument” with busts of Roman Shukhevych, second from right, and Stepan Bandera, far right, Ukrainian Youth Association summer camp, Ellenville, N.Y. (Moss Robeson). Right: detail of Shukhevych and Bandera busts (Moss Robeson). Image by Forward collage

Ellenville, N.Y. — This elaborate “Heroes’ Monument,” described by Moss Robeson in Medium, features busts of Nazi collaborators Stepan Bandera (1909–1959) and Roman Shukhevych (1907–1950). Bandera led a faction of the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists (OUN) which allied itself with the Nazis, while Shukhevych was a leader in a Third Reich auxiliary police battalion as well as the commander of the Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UPA), which massacred thousands of Jews and 70,000-100,000 Poles. The monument was erected in 1962 by UPA veterans who, like thousands of other Holocaust perpetrators, were freely admitted to the United States.

As a side note, the Ellenville monument also contains the bust of WWI-era nationalist Symon Petliura (1879–1926), whose hordes murdered tens of thousands of Jews in pogroms, albeit before the Holocaust. (Thanks to Moss Robeson for photos and information about the monuments in this section and Jared McBride for advice on Ukrainian Nazi collaborators in the U.S.)

Left: celebrations shortly after a pogrom, Zolochiv, July 6, 1941 (Eduard Dolinsky). Left banner: “Glory to Bandera”. Middle banner: “Long live the German people – Heil Hitler”. Right: busts of Roman Shukhevych, second from right, and Stepan Bandera, far right, Ukrainian Youth Association summer camp, Baraboo, Wis. (Eduard Dolinsky). Image by Forward collage

Baraboo, Wisconsin — A youth summer camp featuring busts of Petliura (see entry above) and Nazi collaborators Bandera and Shukhevych, erected in 2012–2013. Bandera’s OUN eagerly participated in the Holocaust across Ukraine, as did the men under Shukhevych, an officer in the Nachtigall battalion under the Nazis and hauptmann of the 201st auxiliary police battalion of the Third Reich.

The camp also contains a plaque commemorating the establishment of a self-declared collaborationist government in Ukraine, 1941. In the proclamation, the OUN’s Bandera wing (OUN-B) formally pledged to “work closely with National-Socialist Greater Germany under the leadership of Adolf Hitler.” The proclamation happened as Nazis and OUN-B members were carrying out horrific pogroms, slaughtering thousands of Jews across western Ukraine. It was the first step toward the genocide of L’viv’s Jews in which the OUN-B played an integral part.

Baraboo’s plaque also commemorates the 25th anniversary of the creation of the Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UPA), which massacred thousands of Jews and 70,000–100,000 Poles. See Ellenville entry for more information. Above left, the town of Zolochiv celebrates after a pogrom, July 6, 1941. Banners include “Glory to Bandera!” and “Heil Hitler!” See the Ukraine section for more plaques commemorating the 1941 proclamation.

Update (January 2022): See the Wisconsin Examiner’s coverage of Baraboo’s statues after the publication of the Forward’s investigation.

Left: June 30, 1941 proclamation of the establishment of the Nazi collaborationist government by the Stepan Bandera faction of the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists (OUN-B) in Samostiina Ukraina newspaper, Stanislaviv (now Ivano-Frankivsk), July 10, 1941. Right: monument honoring, in part, the OUN and the Ukrainian Insurgent Army, Hamptonburgh, N.Y. Image by Forward collage

Hamptonburgh, N.Y. — A monument to the OUN and UPA unveiled in 1989. In 2018, the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum denounced Ukraine’s glorification of the OUN and UPA. Similar condemnations of Kyiv’s whitewashing of Holocaust perpetrators came from the Simon Wiesenthal Center and the World Jewish Congress; 1.5 million Ukrainian Jews were killed in the Holocaust, many gunned down in fields and forests in what is known as the Holocaust by Bullets.

Above left is the 1941 proclamation of the Ukrainian state written by the OUN, one of the groups honored by the Hamptonburgh monument. The proclamation was published right as the Nazis, aided by eager Ukrainian collaborators, were slaughtering Jews across western Ukraine. It states that the OUN looks forward to “working closely with National-Socialist [Nazi] Greater Germany under the leadership of Adolf Hitler.”

Below, a torchlight march on Bandera’s birthday, Kyiv January 1, 2021; during the 2017 commemorations marchers chanted “Jews Out!

Far-right march in honor of Stepan Bandera’s 112th birthday, Kyiv, January 1, 2021 (Genya Savilov/AFP via Getty Images). Photo by Genya Savilov/AFP via Getty Images

Note: the entries below were added in January 2022

Left: memorial chapel to the Bukovinsky Kuren, Kerhonkson, N.Y. (Moss Robeson). Right: Ukrainian Schutzmannschaft soldiers, December 1942 (Bundesarchiv, Bild 121-1500/Scherer via Wikimedia Commons).Kerhonkson, N.Y. – A “memorial chapel” honoring the Bukovinsky Kuren, a collaborationist military formation composed of Ukrainian nationalists. The Bukovinsky Kuren likely participated in the Babi Yar massacre. In the fall of 1941, most of it was reformed into the 115th and 118th Schutzmannschaft Battalions. These auxiliary police battalions controlled by the Third Reich participated in the Holocaust and suppressed anti-Nazi resistance.

In 1943, two platoons of the 118th Schutzmannschaft carried out the Khatyn massacre, liquidating a Belarusian village by burning the inhabitants alive and gunning down anyone who tried to escape. See the Ukraine section for another Bukovinsky Kuren monument and the New York Times on a Khatyn perpetrator who had emigrated to Canada. Above right, Ukrainian Schutzmannschaft soldiers.

Left: Iosif Slipyi (Wikimedia Commons). Right: Slipyi statue, Saints Volodymyr and Olha Ukrainian Catholic Church, Chicago, Ill. (Google maps). Image by Forward collage

Chicago and Kerhonkson, N.Y. – A statue of Iosif Slipyi (1892–1984), Archbishop of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church, outside Chicago’s Saints Volodymyr and Olha Ukrainian Catholic Church. In 1941, Slipyi was first deputy in the self-declared OUN-B government which formally pledged allegiance to Hitler (see Baraboo entry above). He was part of a delegation that welcomed the Nazis to Ukraine.

Two years later, Slipyi was the church’s point man for the creation of the 14th Waffen Grenadier Division of the SS (1st Galician) aka SS Galichina. This was a Ukrainian division in the Waffen-SS, the military arm of the Nazi Party responsible for the Holocaust, among other war crimes. Slipyi assigned chaplains to serve in the unit and personally celebrated mass at SS Galichina’s creation. The division went on to commit war crimes such as the Huta Pieniacka massacre when an SS Galichina subunit burned 500–1,000 Polish villagers alive.

In 1983, forty years after the Holocaust, Slipyi celebrated SS Galichina’s founding with praise. “Let the memory of Ukrainian Galichian Division live with us forever as a testament to nations that we strive for freedom, statehood and are prepared for the greatest sacrifices for truth, fairness and peace to be in our land,” he proclaimed, calling on the faithful to pray for SS soldiers. Commemorations of SS Galichina, which continue today, have been widely condemned by Israel and the West.

Chicago also has Patriarch Josyf Slipyj Way, an honorary street designation on North Oakley Boulevard between West Huron Street and West Chicago Avenue which uses an alternate spelling of Slipyi’s name. Chicago’s honorary street designations are enacted by city ordinance. In 2017, Chicago limited honorary street designations to two terms of five years. A Chicago Department of Transportation spokesperson wasn’t sure whether Slipyi’s street designation has been extended under the new rules, but confirmed his signs remain up as of April 2022.

Slipyi also has a bust at the Soyuzivka Heritage Center in Kerhonkson (see entry above), and more honors in Ukraine, Canada and Italy.

Left: Stepan Skrypnyk aka Patriarch Mstyslav, 1948 (Wikimedia Commons). Right: Patriarch Mstyslav Way honorary street designation sign, corner of West Cortez Street and North Leavitt Street, Chicago, Ill. (Google maps). Image by Forward collage

Chicago – On West Cortez Street between North Oakley Boulevard and North Leavitt Street is Patriarch Mstyslav Way, another honorary street designation (see Iosif Slipyi entry above), this one for Stepan Skrypnyk (1898–1993) who became Patriarch Mstyslav of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church.

In 1941–1942, Skrypnyk was the publisher and manager of Volyn, a viciously antisemitic paper which incited hatred of Jews as the Holocaust raged across Ukraine. On March 29, 1942 he wrote about the “Great European named Adolf Hitler,” who was “sent by providence” to liberate Europe and the world from Jews and Bolsheviks. Skrypnyk wrote he was awaiting the day “the fanfares of the German army will carry the song of victory across the globe.”

“Today is a great day for Kyiv,” Volyn proclaimed on the eve of the Babi Yar massacre, when Germans and Ukrainian collaborators gunned down over 33,000 Jews in two days. “The German authorities met the passionate desire of Ukrainians, ordering all Jews, of which there are still 150,000 remaining, to leave Kyiv”.

In November 1941, three days after Germans and Ukrainian collaborators exterminated about 21,000 Jews in Rivne, Volyn – a Rivne-based paper – rejoiced by running antisemitic cartoons with a caption: “For the Judeo-Bolshevik hydra, it’s the final hour”.

A Chicago Department of Transportation spokesperson wasn’t sure whether Skrypnyk’s street designation was extended under the city’s new rules (see entry above), but did confirm that his signs remain up as of April 2022. See the Ukraine section for more Skrypnyk honors.

Left: Oleg Olzhych (Wikimedia Commons). Right: Olzhych bust at the Oleg Olzhych Ukrainian Homestead cultural center, Lehighton, Penn (Google maps). Image by Forward collage

Lehighton, Pennsylvania – A bust of Oleg Olzhych (1907–1944) at the Ukrainian Homestead cultural center named in his honor. Olzhych was a key figure in the Ukrayins’ka Natsional’na Rada, a Nazi collaborationist entity set up by Ukrainian nationalists in German-occupied Kyiv. The Ukrayins’ka Natsional’na Rada coordinated the creation of Ukrainian auxiliary police units which aided the Nazis in the Holocaust. It also published the Ukrayins’ke Slovo, which advocated for the genocide of Ukraine’s Jews.

On October 2, 1941, three days after Germans together with Ukrainian collaborators exterminated 33,771 Jews at Babi Yar, the paper ran an editorial titled “The Jew Is the Greatest Enemy of the People,” calling on Ukrainians to show Jews no mercy. Another article urged readers to be on the lookout for Jewish survivors sheltering in the city. See the Ukraine section for more Olzhych honors.

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Scio Township, Michigan – in 2022, the Michigan outlet MLive reported on Bandera Drive, a street honoring Nazi collaborator Stepan Bandera. See the Ellenville entry above for more on him.

For more statues of Ukrainian Nazi collaborators, see the Ukraine, Australia, Austria, Canada, Germany and Italy sections.

For more information about other shrines to Nazi collaborators on U.S. soil, see Moss Robeson’s Twitter thread. Some of the last remaining Nazis in the U.S. have been collaborators from Ukraine. See the Daily Beast and the New York Times on a collaborator from Queens; the Times of Israel on one who settled in Michigan; and this AP story on a commander of an SS-led unit linked to murder of civilians who became an officer in SS Galichina before settling in Minnesota.

 

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