(JNS.org) A flyer reportedly distributed on Passover to Jews in eastern Ukraine called on Jews to register with authorities or be deported.
“We are skeptical about the flyer’s authenticity, but the instructions clearly recall the Nazi era and have the effect of intimidating the local Jewish community,” said Abraham Foxman, the Anti-Defamation League’s (ADL) national director.
The flyer, which bears the stamps of the self-proclaimed “People’s Republic of Donetsk,” a pro-Russian separatist group in eastern Ukraine, was distributed to Jews as they left Passover services, according to the Novosti Donbassa news agency. It was signed by the self-appointed “people’s governor” Denis Pushilin. But Pushilin has denied any connection to the flyer, according to the Russian news site Tvrain.ru.
According to the flyer, Jews would have to pay a registration fee of $50 before May 3 and list all of their real estate and other assets. The flyer said the registration and fee were coming due because Jews supported World War II-era Ukrainian “nationalist junta of [Stepan] Bandera in Kiev” and because they are hostile “to Orthodox Donetsk republic and its citizens.”
“In case of failure to register, the perpetrators will be stripped of their citizenship and deported forcibly outside the country with confiscation of property,” the flyer said.
Amid the upheaval in Ukraine, Russian propaganda has used World War II-era terminology against pro-Western supporters in the region, characterizing them as fascists and Nazis.
“We have seen a series of cynical and politically manipulative uses and accusations of anti-Semitism in Ukraine over the past year,” ADL’s Foxman said.