September 28 Revelations

Short Reflection on Ukrainian American Hidden History

Today is the one year anniversary of two little known events that sent shockwaves through much of the organized Ukrainian American community: a secretive “extraordinary convention” held under the auspices of the late Ukrainian fascist Stepan Bandera’s Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists (OUN-B) in Bloomingdale, Illinois with the apparent blessings of the leadership of the Ukrainian Congress Committee of America (UCCA), and the submission of a sensational complaint to the New York State Attorney General’s Charities Bureau about the alleged activities of the OUN-B in the United States. This came weeks after “a founding member of the Ukrainian Congress Committee of Passaic, New Jersey and longtime Board member of the Executive UCCA Board,” according to the September 28, 2019 complainant, “passed to me [shortly before they died] a large envelope with a portable USB drive, to be mailed to the Attorney General’s Office with [another] detailed complaint that will be filed against the entire Board of Directors of the Ukrainian Congress Committee of America, Inc.”

As it turns out, the Bloomingdale conclave and the Charities Bureau complaint fell on the 80th anniversary of a mostly forgotten event in Ukrainian American history, when in the first weeks of World War II, the House Un-American Activities Committee heard stunning testimony about the pro-Nazi nature of the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists and its covert foothold in the United States. Shortly after 10 a.m. on September 28, 1939, the so-called “Dies Committee,” named for its chairman Martin Dies, began to question Emil Revyuk—the president of the United Ukrainian Organizations of America (UUOA, the predecessor of the UCCA) and the associate editor of Svoboda, the oldest Ukrainian newspaper in the United States. Among other things, Revyuk testified about UUOA financial support for the OUN and the latter’s shocking influence in the Ukrainian American community, including its close relationship with Luke Myshuha, Svoboda’s editor-in-chief. Revyuk convinced U.S. Representative Dies, the OUN “is very clearly a Fascist organization with a direct tie-up with international officers in Germany,” and “we have about come to the time when the power of this committee ought to be tested…”

Headline that appeared in the Washington Evening Star based on Revyuk's testimony, September 28, 1939. "An international organization with headquarters in Berlin and Vienna has worked for years to organize 800,000 Ukrainian-born Americans along Nazi lines, and has solicited funds from them to establish a 'fuehrership' in the Ukraine, the House Un-American Committee was told today by Emil Revyuk... The money, he explained, was sent to OUN in Berlin (an organization for Ukrainian Nationalists) for distribution by its Executive Committee, the Provid..."

To Be Continued, one day…