Elizabeth Holtzman, former U.S. Congresswoman, and Lyndon LaRouche, a far-right cult leader
INTRODUCTION: CONCERN TROLL
U.S. Senate candidate Diane Sare is proud to be a “32 year associate of the late Lyndon LaRouche,” a prolific conspiracy theorist and neofascist cult leader who died at the age of 96 in 2019. Sare says she is “running as a LaRouche Independent candidate versus the favorite son of Wall Street,” that is, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer in New York.
Over the past month, while Sare has unsuccessfully sought an invitation to the upcoming debate between Schumer and his Republican rival, her campaign workers, ostensibly taking action as antiwar protesters concerned about Nuclear Armageddon, have staged multiple publicity stunts — self-described “LaRouche interventions” —capitalizing on the fecklessness of progressive Democrats in Congress and the absence of an antiwar movement in the United States. Just before launching this strategy, the Sare campaign suggested that the powers that be are silencing her as “a prelude to nuclear war.”
More than a decade ago, Diane Sare played a central role in Lyndon LaRouche’s efforts to co-opt the Occupy Wall Street (OWS) movement. According to SareForSenate.com, Sare is “uniquely qualified” because of her experience leading a LaRouchite chorus in New York, which participated in OWS. In October 2011, “LPAC TV” (as in LaRouche PAC) produced a video report on OWS by Sare, during which she and other LaRouchites can be seen tabling with images of Barack Obama depicted as Adolf Hitler. The recent “interventions” she orchestrated against Democrats for “supporting Ukrainian Nazis” grew out of the LaRouchites’ racist “Obama-Hitler Slur.” (More about that in Part Two.)
In November 2020, Diane Sare published a video concern-trolling about a “famine of biblical proportions” in Africa if the U.S. elected Joe Biden, wondering, “Where is BLM on the issue…?” Her campaign began to predict a military coup against Donald Trump in September, and shortly after the election, held an online “symposium” titled, “The Strategic Implications of the Coup — What Every Patriot Needs to Know.” A couple months later, Sare attended a “Re-Occupy Wall Street” protest staged by the New York Young Republicans. More recently, her Senate campaign has tried to co-opt antiwar messaging while echoing the far-right John Birch Society. This is the LaRouche cult’s “new paradigm” in a nutshell.
PART ONE: ‘BEFORE ME, THERE WAS SHE’
A couple weeks ago, two staffers for Diane Sare aggressively heckled U.S. Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez “on her support for Nuclear War and Ukrainian Nazis” during the Q&A session of a Bronx town hall meeting. A slightly edited video of the “LaRouche intervention” went viral on social media, resulting in substantial media coverage and online discourse exacerbated by the Congresswoman’s response on Instagram.
Most assumed the protesters were anti-war activists, and right-wing media labeled them as far-left. The Executive Intelligence Review, founded by Lyndon LaRouche, has described them as “LaRouche movement activists.” For all the criticism that AOC has faced for how she handled them, the viral clip cut out (here*) as she said, “C’mon, y’all, I will get to your issue. I’m not even ignoring what you have (*) to say. I’m not even ignoring what you have to say. What I’m saying, what I’m asking, is that you respect all these people who are sitting here and have been waiting, and you’re standing up to get ahead of the line…” It’s not the first time AOC has been on the receiving end of this classic LaRouchite tactic of staging scenes at town halls.
Just over three years ago, LaRouche PAC took credit for an obvious stunt at another AOC town hall meeting in Queens. In that instance, the woman they sent exhibited decorum, except for her shirt, which said, “SAVE THE PLANET — EAT THE BABIES.” When she got the mic, she acted distressed about the world ending in a matter of months, and declared, “I love that you support the Green [New] Deal, but it’s not getting rid of fossil fuels… So I think your new campaign slogan should be this: We have to start eating babies.” AOC didn’t respond, but the video took off in right-wing circles, and Donald Trump denounced the first year member of Congress as “a Wack Job!”
Three days after AOC’s recent town hall in the Bronx, the LaRouche-affiliated Schiller Institute held a conference, the name of which shed light on the long-term goals of the publicity stunt: “Build the New Paradigm, Defeat Green Fascism.” Diane Sare and her campaign workers participated in the six hour long event. Jose Vega, the staffer who posted the viral video online, added “Vote Diane Sare!” to his Twitter display name, and in 2019, he tweeted a baby picture with the caption “Green New Meal.” In the Bronx, the Sare staffers voiced support for 2020 presidential candidate Tulsi Gabbard and her decision to leave the Democratic Party. Presumably they hoped to get Gabbard’s attention and draw her into their “movement.”
The “LaRouche intervention” in the Bronx renewed debate about the US-Russia proxy war in Ukraine, and AOC appeared to unfairly characterize her hecklers’ anti-war sentiments as “pro-Putin talking points” in an Instagram story, but the hypocrisy of the LaRouche people going after her for supporting Ukrainian Nazis is incredible under historical scrutiny.
AOC’s upset 2018 election victory in Queens, New York made her the youngest woman ever elected to Congress, drawing immediate comparisons to Elizabeth Holtzman, who did the same thing in 1972 by toppling a fifty year incumbent in Brooklyn. LaRouche, in the last year of his life, plausibly made the same connection. His cult went after Holtzman as a pro-Soviet traitor, and allegedly even “a servant of the Antichrist.”
Elizabeth Holtzman’s instrumental role in establishing the Nazi-hunting Office of Special Investigations (OSI) in the Department of Justice is precisely what made her Lyndon LaRouche’s sworn enemy in Congress.
The OSI prosecuted numerous Ukrainians early on, but LaRouche was plausibly more concerned for the Nazi nuclear scientist — brought to the United States via Operation Paperclip — associated with his Fusion Energy Foundation. How’s that for “green fascism”?
November 7, 2022 will mark the 50th anniversary of Holtzman’s historic election victory. As a first year member of Congress who rose to prominence during Watergate on the House Judiciary Committee, she learned that the U.S. government possessed “a list of Nazi war criminals living in the United States.” Holtzman confirmed this in 1974, and subsequently made it her mission to “undo the situation.” Almost twenty five years later, Holtzman testified to Congress in support of the Nazi War Crimes Disclosure Act, which compelled Washington to “make available to the public… all classified Nazi war criminal records of the United States.” This meant hundreds of thousands of files, many from the CIA or FBI.
Opening US files on Nazi war criminals is a crucial objective… To have Hitler’s henchmen living here in peace and enjoying the benefits of our society was an affront to the memory of those Americans and their families; it was also an affront to the victims of the Holocaust, and to all decent-minded Americans. How, too, could our government effectively fight for human rights if it tolerated the presence of these murderers on our shores? The message to the would-be mass murderers of the future was, in the end, the world just wouldn’t care… Unfortunately, my experience in the past has been that too many government agencies want to hide any information that might be embarrassing or troublesome. That has certainly been the case in this area. That is why the executive branch and particularly the intelligence agencies must be compelled to act.
Congresswoman Holtzman called out the Central Intelligence Agency for protecting Nazi war criminals on its payroll, and after several years of keeping up the pressure, her efforts culminated in the Department of Justice establishing its Office of Special Investigations in 1979. That year, Lyndon LaRouche’s Executive Intelligence Review accused her of creating this government agency “to run dirty tricks against the intelligence community” and LaRouche. The following year, the LaRouchites mobilized against Holtzman’s Senate campaign. According to the EIR, the OSI was ultimately just an “anti-Nazi cover” for the powers that be (in London and Tel Aviv) to persecute the LaRouche organization. As told by an anonymous former cult member, in the late 1970s, the LaRouchites began “to rethink German history and forgive Nazis.”
Sounds crazy, but that is what we did as World War Two was rewritten by us and now Hitler was a British project and Jews were involved with that. Helga [Zepp-LaRouche, who runs the Schiller Institute] was big on that as we were starting a German version of our electoral campaigns called “Patriots for Germany.” Among our supporters were a few real old World War Two German officers or soldiers. At the same time the FEF [Fusion Energy Foundation, a pro-nuclear LaRouche front group] began to write glowing articles about Penemunde and Nazi rocket scientists. I can say that never in the LC [LaRouche Cult] did I hear about how these “German patriots” used slave labor for their facilities. We went even further in attacking a NYC official named Liz Holtzman as a lesbian in leaflets. Her crime against Lyn [i.e. Lyndon LaRouche] was working in the U.S. Justice Dept. which was tracking down old Nazis who were in the USA by misleading immigration [authorities] with a false history.
In early 1980, Elizabeth “Liz” Holtzman announced her candidacy for U.S. Senate, hoping to snatch the seat of Jacob Javits, a liberal Republican and New York’s longest-serving Senator. Javits, diagnosed with ALS (“Lou Gehrig’s Disease”), lost his Republican primary to an obscure conservative challenger, Alfonse D’Amato. Javits however stayed in the race as a third party candidate and split the liberal vote, allowing D’Amato to barely win with just 44.9% of the vote, compared to Holtzman’s 43.5%. According to Dennis King, author of LaRouche and The New American Fascism, during the Senate campaign,
D’Amato held a joint press conference with LaRouche’s Anti-Drug Coalition, a group devoted to blaming the drug traffic on the Jews. The LaRouchians had attacked Holtzman for her role in founding the Justice Department’s Nazi-hunting unit, the Office of Special Investigations. The OSI, the LaRouchians charged, was a Zionist-British plot against America, and Holtzman was a traitor. They continued these attacks during the campaign, also calling Holtzman soft on drugs. D’Amato failed to publicly disassociate himself from the LaRouchian rhetoric at the time, although he held no more press conferences with them. Incredibly, Holtzman’s campaign staff let slip the opportunity to score a major point with Jewish voters, and D’Amato squeaked through to a narrow victory in November riding the coattails of the Reagan landslide.
In June 1981, first year Congressman Al D’Amato introduced a Senate resolution calling on the new U.S. President Ronald Reagan to “issue a proclamation inviting the people of the United States to observe this day with appropriate ceremonies and activities,” that is, “the 40th anniversary of the renewal of Ukrainian independence by proclamation on June 30, 1941, which, although short lived, became the symbol of a continuous struggle of the Ukrainian people.” D’Amato was referring to the pro-Nazi proclamation of the “restoration of Ukrainian statehood” in German-occupied western Ukraine, according to which,
The newly formed Ukrainian state will work closely with the National-Socialist Greater Germany, under the leadership of its leader Adolf Hitler which is forming a new order in Europe and the world and is helping the Ukrainian People to free itself from Moscovite occupation. The Ukrainian People’s Revolutionary Army which has been formed on the Ukrainian lands, will continue to fight with the Allied German Army against Moscovite occupation for a sovereign and united State and a new order in the whole world… Long live the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists! Long live the leader of the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists and the Ukrainian people — STEPAN BANDERA.
“It is only right that we salute these courageous people by declaring June 30, 1981, Ukrainian Independence Day,” declared Senator D’Amato. Five years later, the LaRouche organization ran a candidate in the Democratic primary ostensibly to face D’Amato in the general election. More likely, the LaRouchite ran against the actual Democratic nominee, Mark Green. According to Dennis King, this was LaRouche’s modus operandi. (“One of his followers would enter the Democratic primary against the targeted candidate, disseminating the smears from within. This would soften up the target for the Republican nominee’s post-primary onslaught.”) Green, who became New York City’s first Public Advocate, previously ran against the Congressman who sponsored sister legislation in the House of Representatives to designate June 30 as Ukrainian Independence Day.
After leaving Congress, Elizabeth Holtzman became the District Attorney of Brooklyn. King tells us that the LaRouche organization’s regional headquarters “was located right down the street from Brooklyn DA Liz Holtzman’s office,” but she and other New York prosecutors declined to go after the LaRouchites in those days. In 1998, the year that Congress passed the Nazi War Crimes Disclosure Act, Holtzman’s successor in the House of Representatives, Chuck Schumer, defeated Alfonse D’Amato to become the next Senator from New York. Over a dozen years previously, Schumer warned his colleagues, “the Office of Special Investigations of the Justice Department is under attack.”
In the meantime, Diane Sare became associated with Lyndon LaRouche, under whose auspices the Schiller Institute held hearings in 1995 dedicated to “The Dirty Side of the Justice Department: The Demjanjuk Affair.” This was two years after John Demjanjuk returned to the United States, having almost been executed in Israel as “Ivan the Terrible.”
Demjanjuk, it turned out, was the “Right Wrong Man.” He guarded the Nazi extermination camp in Sobibor, not Treblinka. But the LaRouchites, like Ukrainian nationalists, insisted on his complete innocence.
PART TWO —BANDERITES & LAROUCHITES
“The Soviet media reserves for groups like yours the worst kind of slanders and abuses, using their own political language to attack you. They have done a similar job, more extensively in the case of Lyndon LaRouche than with any other political figure in the U.S. How do you view this?” someone from the Executive Intelligence Review (EIR) asked the Iron Lady of Ukrainian Nationalism in 1988, two years after journalists Scott and Jon Lee Anderson described her Anti-Bolshevik Bloc of Nations (ABN) as “the largest and most important umbrella for former Nazi collaborators in the world.”
Slava Stetsko led the ABN for a decade, and in that time became the Providnyk (fascistic “Leader”) of the cultish “Banderite” faction of the far-right Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists (OUN-B), which acted as the vanguard party of the ABN. Stetsko took over for her husband Yaroslav, who led the ABN from 1946 — and the OUN-B from 1968 — until his death. As “Prime Minister,” Yaroslav Stetsko declared the “restoration of Ukrainian statehood” on June 30, 1941, as the OUN-B organized a pogromist militia that was subordinated to the Nazis. In 1993, Yaroslava “Slava” Stetsko co-founded an OUN-B political party in newly independent Ukraine. Its paramilitary arm went rogue by 2000 and almost ten year ago established the extremist Right Sector organization, which isn’t quite “neo-Nazi,” but contains neo-Nazis from top to bottom.
Slava Stetsko told the LaRouche magazine, “This policy of Moscow [is] either to kill physically, like when they killed our national hero, Stepan Bandera… or they try to completely ruin their reputation of political leaders who are respected by their nations…” The EIR interviewer gathered from her long answer, “So to have Mr. LaRouche attacked as a fascist repeatedly by the Soviet media is just part of the price one pays for standing up for freedom.”
In 1984, after being denied a visa to the Soviet Union, Senator Al D’Amato rallied with Stetsko and the American Friends of the ABN in New York. Two years later, D’Amato mourned the death of Yaroslav Stetsko — “one of a rare breed of men,” but actually a viciously antisemitic war criminal who served as the first deputy to the first OUN-B leader, Stepan Bandera (1909–59).
Bandera, of course, was a notorious Nazi collaborator, to some extent made (in)famous by Soviet propaganda and a KGB assassin. In his crucial 1980s book, Blowback: America’s Recruitment of Nazis and Its Destructive Impact on Our Domestic and Foreign Policy, Christopher Simpson wrote, “Today, more than forty years after the end of the war, Soviet propaganda still tags virtually any type of nonconformist in the Ukraine with the label of ‘nationalist’ or ‘OUN,’ producing a popular fear and hatred of dissenters that are not entirely unlike the effect created by labeling a protester a ‘Communist’ in American political discourse.”
The Bandera and LaRouche cults both “operated through a dizzying array of front groups,” and had a complicated relationship with the powers that be in Washington. Nothing united them like the far-right campaign in the United States against the Office of Special Investigations, but something else was their support for the Ronald Reagan administration, and in particular its proposed Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI), the point of which was to give the United States the ability to wage a one-sided nuclear war.
Lyndon LaRouche liked to claim it was his idea. Stefan Possony is credited with conceiving the SDI, or science-fictional “Star Wars program.” He wasn’t a LaRouchite, but associated with LaRouche’s Fusion Energy Foundation (FEF). According to Fusion, its magazine, in his keynote address to an FEF conference attended by “corporate representatives” from the oil and gas industry as well as the military-industrial complex, “Possony debunked the environmentalist scare stories of resource scarcity.”
Possony, a white supremacist Cold Warrior, was a notable U.S. figure in the far-right World Anti-Communist League (WACL), which the Banderite-led ABN played an important role in establishing. Possony was closely tied to Lev Dobriansky, the longtime chairman of the Ukrainian Congress Committee of America, who facilitated an OUN-B takeover of this umbrella organization in October 1980, shortly before the ascent of Ronald Reagan and Alfonse D’Amato.
According to Searchlight, a magazine dedicated to monitoring the British far-right, “a large contingent of Ukrainian emigres” attended the October 1985 launch of LaRouche’s EIR in London. In all probability, this included the Banderites, because at that point, they had already dominated the Association of Ukrainians in Great Britain (AUGB) for decades. London was an important node in the OUN-B network during the Cold War, and to some extent still is. In November 1985, the ABN held its annual conference at the AUGB center in London, and largely dedicated this international far-right gathering to supporting the SDI and opposing diplomacy with the Soviet Union. Throughout much of the Cold War, the ABN preached that World War III was “inevitable.” Otherwise it claimed that supporting the ABN was the only alternative to nuclear war.
At that year’s ABN conference, retired US major general and far-right CIA veteran John Singlaub delivered the keynote speech. Singlaub, as president of the World Anti-Communist League, was soon implicated in the Iran-Contra scandal. The Banderites owed much of their unprecedented access in Reagan’s Washington to him (and Dobriansky). In London, Singlaub made a Freudian slip, and while talking about his relationship with the ABN, said he “work[s] through them,” before correcting himself: “with them.” Singlaub, like Possony and Dobriansky, was a leading member of the American Security Council, a militarist think tank with close ties to far-right networks, the Reagan administration, and the military-industrial complex. According to The Iran Contra Connection by Jonathan Marshall, Peter Dale Scott, and Jane Hunter,
About his political activities with the LaRouche movement Singlaub has at the very least been less than candid. What makes this disturbing is that the LaRouche movement was then suspected of looking for a dissident general to lead a military coup. We have already seen that in May 1978, ten days before his retirement, Singlaub attended a meeting of right-wingers who “didn’t think the country was being run properly and were interested in doing something about it.” The meeting was hosted by Mitch WerBell, who in 1982 would travel to Central America in support of an attempted Guatemalan coup on behalf of WACL leaders Mario Sandoval Alarcon and Lionel Sisniega Otero… WerBell, when Singlaub visited him in 1978, had recently evaded separate indictments for arms smuggling and for narcotics trafficking…
WerBell, when Singlaub visited him in 1978, was employed as the “personal security adviser” to Lyndon H. LaRouche, then the leader of the so-called National Caucus of Labor Committees (NCLC), a group which previously had posed as left-wing but in fact harassed anti-nuclear and other left-wing demonstrations with the help of the right-wing domestic intelligence group known since 1979 as Western Goals (backed primarily by WACL donor and Texan millionaire Nelson Bunker Hunt). Singlaub and another leader of his U.S. WACL chapter (Anthony Kubek) joined the advisory board of Western Goals…
In 1979 General Singlaub conceded to the New York Times that he had met with two of LaRouche’s party officials at the home of WerBell, but claimed that he had since rejected the organization. “It was so clear to me after the first three or four contacts that they wanted something from me,” the general said. “They hounded me for months, they flooded me with documents, they showed up at places where I spoke.” “I think they’re a bunch of kooks of the worst form,” General Singlaub went on. “I’ve been telling WerBell that if they’re not Marxists in disguise, they’re the worst group of anti-Semitic Jews [sic!] I’ve encountered. I’m really worried about these guys; they seem to get some people.” The general was asked if any mention was made in his talks of the possibility of a military coup in the United States — an idea that has recently received currency in the party as a way to put Mr. LaRouche in power. “Well, it didn’t come up in that form, but it was suggested that the military ought to in some way lead the country out of its problems,” General Singlaub replied. “I guess I stepped on them pretty hard on that, and it never came up again. It was one of the first things that made me realize they’re a bunch of kooks.”
Singlaub’s worries about a LaRouchean military solution to America’s problems, although expressed so strongly in this interview, do not appear to have been very profound or long-lived. According to Scott and Jon Lee Anderson, in 1982 Singlaub returned to WerBell’s counterterrorist training camp in Powder Springs, Georgia, to lecture WerBell’s trainees. Many of these were security forces for the organization of Lyndon LaRouche, then the anti-Semitic leader of the so-called U.S. Labor Party, whose security director was WerBell.
Singlaub may have publicly repudiated the LaRouchites, but never the Banderites. At least one OUN-B member joined the board of his US Council for World Freedom, which Singlaub founded in 1980 with financial support from the government of Taiwan, arguably the principal WACL backer. Another board member of Singlaub’s WACL chapter was future Senator John McCain, who has become an idol of neo-Cold Warriors. Many years before infamously sharing a stage and meeting with a far-right Ukrainian politician in Kyiv, McCain likely met the latter’s idol, Yaroslav Stetsko. If not, McCain’s father did, at least once during a WACL conference.
In a 1986 article on “the Russians’ decisive cultural inferiority,” Lyndon LaRouche claimed that Nazi Germany would have “conquered Russia” if it supported “establishing an independent Ukraine under Wehrmacht sponsorship,” as the OUN-B tried to do. Two years later his EIR interviewed Slava Stetsko. The LaRouchites only became concerned about the Banderites and Ukrainian neo-Nazis in 2013-14, when they saw an opportunity to bolster their depiction of Barack Obama as a Nazi tyrant.
In early February 2014, a couple weeks before Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovych fled the country, the EIR warned, “Western Powers Back Neo-Nazi Coup in Ukraine,” because “Western-backed organizations made up of remnants of the wartime and immediate postwar Nazi collaborationist Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists (OUN-B) and their successors have launched a campaign of provocations.” This article, authored by “an EIR Research Team,” did not actually reveal that the OUN-B still exists, but included a section titled, “The OUN-B: A Bit of History.” After so many years, the EIR finally became concerned about British intelligence supporting the OUN-B and ABN during the Cold War.
Of course, the EIR didn’t give thanks to Elizabeth Holtzman for paving the way for the War Crimes Disclosure Act to empower the LaRouchites to investigate the OUN’s relationship with Western intelligence agencies for the purpose of justifying their crusade against Obama. Later in February 2014, an article in the EIR concluded, “What we are seeing in Ukraine today, is the same fascist policy pursued by [former CIA Director] Allen Dulles, this time under Barack Obama.” That spring, the front cover of the EIR declared, “History Is Closing In on Obama,” advertising a “Fact Sheet” on the “British Imperial Project in Ukraine.” After the election of Donald Trump, the LaRouchites began to warn that Democrats were planning another Nazi coup.
In February 2017, to mark “the third anniversary of the Soros-Obama backed-Nazi coup in Ukraine,” LaRouche PAC called for a nation-wide Day of Action “to stop the live operation to launch a similar Nazi ‘color revolution’ against the Trump administration in the U.S. today.” They went with the slogan, “Jail Obama and Soros for Treason,” and the EIR published a special report — “Nazis in Ukraine, 2014; USA, 2017?” — with “Jail Obama!” on the footer of every page. If the LaRouchites want to prove they are truly concerned about “Nuclear Armageddon” and “Ukrainian Nazis,” they could start by admitting that LaRouche was wrong about the SDI and OSI. But for some reason that seems unlikely to me. According to AOC heckler Jose Vega, the LaRouchites were just “kicking a lot of ass” in the 1980s.
PART THREE— “F*** AROUND AND FIND OUT”
Ironically, the LaRouche cult’s ulterior-motivated fixation on Banderites and Ukrainian neo-Nazis in recent years has only obscured the OUN-B’s continued existence. It just so happens that many of the present-day OUN-B leaders in the Ukrainian American community came of age politically during the far-right campaign against the Office of Special Investigations.
Borys Potapenko is the chairman of the “International Council in Support of Ukraine,” AKA the “World Council of Ukrainian Statehood Organizations,” formerly known as the “World Ukrainian Liberation Front,” an international coordinating body of OUN-B “facade structures.” Earlier this year, Potapenko spent several weeks in Ukraine as a “special representative of the Bandera Organization,” during which time he wore a patch of an obscure “Ukrainian Diaspora Unit” associated with elderly veterans of the neo-Nazi-led Azov Regiment.
Borys Potapenko (circled) at an American Friends of the ABN conference in New York, 1981
Potapenko is a leader of the “Free Ukraine Resistance Movement” in Ukraine, which was organized in 2019 as the “Capitulation Resistance Movement” to sabotage newly elected president Volodymyr Zelensky’s initial peace agenda. The “Resistance Movement” is coordinated by Andriy Levus, the deputy head of OUN-B for policy, and the leader of “Free People,” an OUN-B proto-party that belongs to Potapenko’s “International Council.” John Feffer of the Institute for Policy Studies, perhaps giving this OUN-B front too much credit, recently wrote that “outfits like the Free Ukraine Resistance Movement have taken out arms depots and killed [Russian] collaborators.”
As the chairman of the “Committee in Defense of Ukraine,” in 1979, Borys Potapenko reported to its parent body, the New York branch of the Ukrainian Congress Committee of America, that “the committee conducted a major campaign in protest against the showing of the television movie ‘Holocaust.’” That year, Lyndon LaRouche’s wife, Helga Zepp-LaRouche, who later founded the Schiller Institute, referred to “the hypocritical Holocaust hoax.” Her German political party, according to its Wikipedia page, “takes the position that statement refers to the television series Holocaust and not to the extermination programs of the Third Reich.”
Earlier this year, Borys Potapenko’s Congressman, Andy Levin, a deputy whip for the Congressional Progressive Caucus (CPC), introduced Potapenko at a rally organized by the Congressional Ukraine Caucus (CUC), which Levin co-chairs, as “a real mentor to me in all things about Ukrainian history.” Andy Levin did not sign the CPC’s recently published and then retracted statement on seeking diplomacy in Ukraine.
In February 2022, after Russia invaded, Levin invited Potapenko to participate in a Facebook livestream.
Potapenko and his late mentor, Bohdan Fedorak, were probably even closer to Levin’s father and predecessor, who cofounded the CUC. Congressman Sandy Levin allegedly did so on June 30, 1997. Bohdan Fedorak of Warren, Michigan, chairman of the American Friends of the ABN and the World Ukrainian Liberation Front, succeeded OUN-B leader Yaroslav Stetsko upon his death in 1986 as the honorary spokesperson of the “Ukrainian State Board” that he proclaimed on June 30, 1941.
Two years later, Fedorak resigned as the chairman of “Ukrainians for Bush” after journalist Russ Bellant exposed him as the OUN-B’s head of external affairs in the United States who ranted against the OSI at a campaign event for George H.W. Bush. In the summer of 1991, around the time that Bush lectured Soviet Ukrainian parliament about “suicidal nationalism,” Yuriy Shukhevych, a famous Soviet political prisoner and far-right son of OUN-B military leader Roman Shukhevych, visited the United States, and greeted Fedorak as the “chairman of the Ukrainian government in exile.” One might consider the implications that Fedorak died last year without ever giving up this title.
Askold Lozynskyj, a former chairman of the “International Council in Support of Ukraine,” is perhaps the most infamous member of OUN-B in the United States. One of the most well-known columnists in the Ukrainian American community described him as “the OUN(B) point (some say ‘hit’) man in the United States” in 1998, when he became president of the Ukrainian World Congress. This same individual wrote to me in 2020 about Lozynskyj, “He seems to still follow Bandera’s dictum that ‘those who are not with us are against us.’ He still seems to push for OUN(B) domination of the Ukrainian American community.” That year, before becoming an advisor to the Democratic National Committee’s “Ukrainian Americans for Biden,” Lozynskyj wrote in a “memo to members of the Ukrainian community,”
We live in unusual times. We used to look out for enemies among others, and often failed to see or recognize our own Ukrainian provocateurs… While community naiveté or complacency is the crux of the problem it is borne of basic kindness and goodness. The community simply does not want to believe that there are crooks, provocateurs and essentially bad people within its ranks… My memo to members of the Ukrainian community — fight your enemies but beware your so called Ukrainian friends. They represent [an] equal if not greater danger.
In 1974, at least one OUN-B member appeared on the initial list of alleged Nazi war criminals that Elizabeth Holtzman received, and Askold Lozynskyj represented the ABN at the World Anti-Communist League’s first youth conference in Washington, parallel to a white supremacist takeover of the WACL. Lozynskyj, an antisemitic lawyer, was a key participant in the controversial 1980 Banderite takeover of the Ukrainian Congress Committee of America, which permanently splintered much of the Ukrainian American community. For Lozynskyj, this involved betraying his legal mentor, John O. Flis, who wrote rather extensively about the “coup.” Their law firm established a Legal Defense Fund for Ukrainians accused by the OSI of being Nazi war criminals.
They did so in the aftermath of the denaturalization trial of Wolodymyr Osidach, a Ukrainian immigrant and (perhaps former) OUN-B member who served in the auxiliary police set up in Nazi-occupied Ukraine, which largely perpetrated the “Holocaust by Bullets.” OUN-B members who infiltrated the police, and defected only after it became clear that Nazi Germany would not win WWII, formed the backbone of the Ukrainian Insurgent Army, led by Nazi collaborator Roman Shukhevych from 1943–50, which prioritized the ethnic cleansing of Poles and Jews in wartime western Ukraine over its mythical anti-Nazi resistance. Senator Al D’Amato, pictured above with Lozynskyj, proposed to designate October 14, 1982 as “Ukrainian Insurgent Army Day.”
“The gamut of allegations against Ukrainian Americans has ranged from participation in the Ukrainian police to membership in the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists,” Askold Lozynskyj wrote as he announced the Legal Defense Fund. Presumably the latter allegation concerned him the most, which would explain why Lozynskyj took on Bohdan Koziy as his client.
Unlike the other former Ukrainian policemen that the OSI sought to remove from the United States, such as Michael Derkacz in Astoria, Queens, the government argued that Koziy should never have been allowed into the country if only because of his membership in the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists. Rather than face deportation to the Soviet Union, Koziy fled to Costa Rica, where he died. According to Lozynskyj, “the OUN appeared on a list of organizations considered inimical to the United States that was relied upon by the U.S. Displaced Persons Commission during the period of its existence, 1948–52.”
Thus, the government contends, any OUN member who failed to reveal said membership at the time of applying for entry into the United States should now be subject to denaturalization. Inasmuch as no judicial precedent has been set for the latter assertion, the instant matter would appear to be the test case of OUN membership. Unquestionably, should the government prove successful in the subject action, new defendants would appear plentiful for further Soviet evidentiary initiative and the OSI’s zeal.
Lozynskyj wrote this less than a year after the OUN-B’s somewhat hostile takeover of the Ukrainian Congress Committee of America. In 1985, the honorary president of the American Friends of the ABN died. As one of three Displaced Persons Commissioners, Edward M. O’Connor made it easier for some Nazi collaborators to enter the United States. Later in life he celebrated the anniversary of the OUN’s founding, and successfully recommended his son to be John Demjanjuk’s first lawyer. Lozynskyj mourned Demjanjuk in 2012 as a “martyr” of the “Holocaust industry.” The following year, former OSI director Eli Rosenbaum recalled,
We found Bohdan Koziy living in Florida, and we brought him to justice. His victims included four-year-old Monica Singer. He dragged her to the courtyard behind the police station in Lisets, Ukraine, and shot her at point-blank range while she pleaded for her life.
Lozynskyj may have advised “Ukrainian Americans for Biden,” but “Ukrainians for Trump” was literally an OUN-B front group. A few years ago, Lozynskyj orchestrated a “coup” within the Banderite sector of the Ukrainian American community, which set off an ongoing legal saga. These days, the US leadership of OUN-B is working with attorney Bohdan Shandor, president of the Ukrainian American Bar Association, who worked on the Trump campaign as its point person to “Ukrainians for Trump,” AKA the “Suburban Council of Ukrainian Voters” in Illinois, which all but hosted the conclave where the “coup” was set in motion.
Days before Russia invaded Ukraine this year, Walter Zaryckyj declared that “our Congressmen and Senators are saints — Republican and Democrat. I think that 80% on either side, and stuff like that, would back anything we say…” Zaryckyj, a former NYU professor, and apparently a Trump voter, is the president of the Ukrainian American Freedom Foundation (UAFF), the financial arm of OUN-B in the United States that owns 40% of the OUN-B headquarters building in Kyiv, the legal beneficiary of which is the British leader of OUN-B. The UAFF used to own a “lodge” near city hall in Hollywood, Florida, with Bohdan Koziy as a founding board member. In 2000, the OUN-B established the Center for US-Ukrainian Relations, with Walter Zaryckyj as its executive director, and Bohdan Fedorak, the “chairman of the Ukrainian government in exile,” at the head of its first steering committee.
“I know that there’s been all sorts of rumors,” Zaryckyj told an audience at the Westport Library in Connecticut this year. He was talking about the Ukrainian Insurgent Army. Mockingly, he said, “Oh yeah, they killed Poles. No, no, they killed Jews. No, they killed the Russians. No, they killed this.” Minutes later, Zaryckyj nonchalantly mentioned, “Now, in ’41, there was a moment in which, man, as Hitler was moving, our — the underground moved, and wanted to declare a government… June 30, literally, 1941. And there’s a whole bunch of stuff, that, ‘Yeah, those Ukrainians, man, were moving in, they were Nazis, because they were moving in.’”
In 1989, Zaryckyj ranted to members of the OUN-B affiliated Ukrainian Youth Association in Calgary, Canada about the Office of Special Investigations and the broader Nazi hunt in the West. “The KGB’s out to get you, and you better wake up! It’s not just my paranoia. I‘ve done six years of psychoanalysis because of this,” he said in conclusion, before launching into the most antisemitic part of his lecture, about Simon Wiesenthal. Zaryckyj’s obsession with the Nazi hunt as a KGB conspiracy likely played a role in the demise of his first marriage. “We now have no political impact in Washington,” he bemoaned earlier in his presentation, referring to the Banderite resignations from the Bush campaign.
Not having political impact in Washington at this point is death for us here in America — for Canadians, you’ve won in Deschênes, god love you —but for us in the United States, we no longer have any political pull or political power because our people, man, have been nailed as fascists. And think of why that would be important for the Soviets. Obviously, if things get hot in Ukraina, we don’t have people who can represent us in Washington. Why? Because they’ve been besmirched as Nazis. Classic…
In 2017, Fox News host Greg Gutfeld tried to defend Donald Trump from Russiagate by reviving a debunked rumor about Ted Kennedy “meeting with the KGB in order to beat Ronald Reagan in 1984. It was a quid pro quo. You help the Dems. We help the USSR. If it worked, we would still have the USSR.” He cited a 2009 Forbes magazine article, in turn based on a KGB memo from 1983. Conservative think tanker Paul Kengor, a firm believer in the “quid pro quo” myth, recalled that it was Marko Suprun (an OUN-B member) who brought the “stunning document” to light.
It allegedly came from Soviet archives in Moscow. I embarked upon a long process of confirming the letter’s authenticity. I exchanged emails with Walter Zaryckyj, who had turned the document over to Marko for translation. Walter immediately recommended I contact Herb Romerstein. If anyone could confirm this, it was Herb, said Walter, describing Herb as a “national treasure.” I talked to Herb and he assuaged me. “Don’t worry,” he assured. “It’s real. Take it to the bank.”
In 1989 in Calgary, and 2022 in Connecticut, Zaryckyj name dropped the late Herb Romerstein, a former investigator for the House Un-American Activities Committee, as a friend who would back him up, either on 1941 or Charles R. Allen, an obscure U.S. Nazi hunter who more or less passed the torch to Elizabeth Holtzman. From 1983–89, Romerstein directed the Office to Counter Soviet Disinformation at Reagan’s U.S. Information Agency.
Earlier this year, Nina Jankowicz flew too close to the sun as the executive director of the short-lived Disinformation Governance Board created by Biden’s Department of Homeland Security. Her association with the problematic Ukrainian “counter-disinformation” outfit, “Stop Fake,” appeared to play a role in costing her new job. Marko Suprun, an OUN-B member who helped kickstart the Ted Kennedy-KGB myth and has associated with prominent neo-Nazis in Ukraine, has been the principal host of Stop Fake’s English-language service. Suprun appeared on CNN in February 2020, ostensibly as an expert on Russian disinformation, when the media tried to Russiagate Bernie Sanders.
Stop Fake producer Irena Chalupa read poetry at Yaroslav Stetsko’s funeral in Munich, and worked for the ABN in the 1980s, in which capacity she translated for the 1985 London conference’s token Israeli delegate from Soviet Russia. This included an awkward moment when a British antisemite, who I am willing to bet was a LaRouchite, grilled the Israeli about putting a stop to Simon Wiesenthal. Recall, this was a month after the EIR launched in London. On the famous Jewish Nazi hunter, the LaRouchites and Banderites sounded nearly identical, except for Zaryckyj’s objection that this “son of a bitch… fought against our partisans,” meaning the OUN-B’s Ukrainian Insurgent Army, which hunted untold numbers of Jews who sought refuge in the forests of western Ukraine.
This past summer, the Ukrainian government published an outrageous blacklist of “Russian propagandists” and “information terrorists” that included high-profile individuals from the United States such as Glenn Greenwald, Jeffrey Sachs, Tulsi Gabbard, and Rand Paul. The list also named numerous people associated with the LaRouchites, who have conflated the blacklist with another Ukrainian government-backed website in order to claim they’ve been put on Kyiv’s official “kill list.”
According to Diane Sare, this included “30 of us who spoke at conferences sponsored by the Schiller Institute of Helga Zepp-LaRouche, who made the top of the list, only after Graham Fuller, who was also a speaker at the Schiller Institute conference.” (Fuller, a CIA veteran, played a role in kickstarting the Iran-Contra affair.) Sare has tried to partially blame Chuck Schumer for being placed on what she has called a “Ukrainian Nazi hitlist.” Unlike the more credible people smeared by Kyiv for speaking out about NATO or the necessity of diplomacy, two days after Russia invaded Ukraine in February, Sare explicitly called on Zelensky to “surrender.”
In the aftermath of this blacklist being published, Diane Sare scored an interview with a provocative Twitch streamer known as Haz, and received a shoutout from another, Jackson Hinkle. By this point, a LaRouchite started tweeting in jest about #MAGAcommunism, #RedMAGA, and #TankiesForTrump. This was a reference to the “patriotic socialism” advocated by Haz, Hinkle, and other fringe personalities online. The oxymoronic (emphasis on moronic) concept of “MAGA communism” didn’t take off until after Hinkle made an appearance on Tucker Carlson’s show on Fox News in September. After #MAGAcommunism trended on Twitter, Hinkle went on the far-right One American News Network to promote this idea. Since then, he has increasingly identified himself as a LaRouchite.
As the astroturfed #MAGAcommunism picked up steam, in late September, Jose Vega confronted Congressman Jamaal Bowman about “funding Neo-Nazis in Ukraine.” Bowman wasn’t alone, but because this “intervention I did on him” was about calling out “green fascists,” Vega singled out Bowman, and ignored the other Congressman present, Hakeem Jeffries, chairman of the House Democratic Caucus, who is a major foe of the progressive movement.
Earlier this year, Jamaal Bowman participated in a news conference held outside the Ukrainian Youth Center in Yonkers, which belongs to the local “June 30, 1941” branch of the OUN-B affiliated Ukrainian American Youth Association. But of course, that anecdote has flown under the radar.
Vega and friends got much more traction by repeating the stunt with Alexandria Ocasio Cortez. Conveniently for the LaRouche cult, they did so a couple days before the kooky Schiller Institute conference, “Build the New Paradigm, Defeat Green Fascism,” which brought together many of the online supporters of “MAGA communism,” including Haz and Hinkle.
Marlon Ettinger, a freelance journalist, attended the conference, and got kicked out after being confronted by Haz, who allegedly threatened to kill him. Afterwards, Ettinger shared some very interesting observations in an interview with the TrueAnon podcast. He noted that Jose Vega manned the sound board at the event, contrary to the image Vega has presented online as a disillusioned AOC supporter turned antiwar activist. (“In person, he’s an operator.”) More importantly, Ettinger reported that Hinkle took credit for talking points made by Tucker Carlson in his lengthy Fox News segment inspired by the AOC incident.
You know when you go on a show, you’ll text back and forth a little about what you’re talking about? … He [Hinkle] put out six points in a text [to Carlson], Chapo Trap House being one of them, and then he was shocked and amazed when he saw Carlson on TV reading the six points…
Ettinger made another important observation at the LaRouchite event:
It’s hyper nihilistic too… A lot of these people, their whole public perception is being antiwar. But when I was talking to a lot of them, they were gleeful about the war. I was talking again with Hinkle and this guy Nick Brana, who is part of the Movement for a People’s Party… And they’re talking, and he [Hinkle]’s like, ‘Dude, I love General [Surovikin], he’s so based” … And this other guy, this big guy with dreads and Satanist necklaces is showing us memes of Putin… and he’s like, “Oh yeah, [Surovikin] is great, they call him The Cannibal.” “Why do they call him the Cannibal?” “Well, he doesn’t believe in any of this surgical strike bullshit. He just believes in [*explosion sound*] going in everywhere”… They’re taking glee in the fact that they’re bombing people… They love this shit. They love war!
Since I started to write this, the LaRouche cult’s disingenuous “anti-war” campaign against the Squad has reached beyond Diane Sare’s turf in New York. A few days ago in Boston, a self-described “LaRouche Democrat” confronted Ayanna Pressley and Elizabeth Warren. “You are bringing us to the brink of nuclear war,” warned Bill Ferguson, a speaker at the recent Schiller Institute conference, who formerly ran for office on the promise, “If you elect me to Congress, you are going to get LaRouche.”
Yesterday, another pair of LaRouchites appeared to heckle Congresswoman Ilhan Omar. In response to Jose Vega’s clip of the incident, which didn’t include the part where one absurdly accused the United States of placing nuclear weapons in Ukraine, Omar tweeted, “I am sorry, you all aren’t ‘anti war protesters’, you are dangerous propagandists who are literally making a mockery of the anti war movement.” Similar to AOC’s reference to “pro-Putin talking points,” Omar then accused the provocateurs of spreading “ridiculous internet disinformation” with an emoji of the Russian flag.
As in the case of AOC, presumably all according to the LaRouchites’ plan, throngs of people already disillusioned with the Squad misinterpreted Omar’s response as simply smearing antiwar protesters. I have also lost faith in the “Berniecrats,” so I am not interested in defending their fecklessness or how they’ve handled these “interventions.” But I think the LaRouche cult spearheading “antiwar” protests is, at least, just as pathetic and depressing as progressive Democrats in Congress retracting “the world’s softest trial balloon about diplomacy.” As the great Guru rapped thirty years ago, “You’ve got to understand that this has all been conspired, to put a strain on our brains so that the strong grow tired…”