Ukranian University Teaches racism and homophoibia

Nash Mir, Press release, 6 July 2005

Let us be vigilant! The Nash Mir (Our World) Gay and Lesbian Center today draws the public's attention to recent printed ‘facts' deliberately kindling hatred and animosity (on the grounds of nationality, sexual orientation, and personal convictions). Actually, what we have identified is the spreading of explicit and undisguised instigations of xenophobia in Ukraine—by persons associated with the Interregional Academy of Personnel Management (IAPM).

The faculty and staff, and printed and electronic editions of this non-state educational institution (which advertises itself as “the major humanitarian and economic higher education institution of Ukraine”), have been repeatedly and publicly expressing views that cannot, in our estimation, be read as anything other than primitive xenophobia. The so-called domination of a “Jewish mafia” in Ukraine has always been IAPM's greatest concern. Lately this hate-mongering theme of theirs was intensified with an equal number of hate-mongering homophobic statements. IAPM's call to return to methods for tackling homosexuals that were practiced in Nazi Germany (methods featured in a recently published article by Mikola Sensenko, Director of the Book Chamber) alone is quite telling. The article was printed in the 24th issue of IAPM's periodical Personal Plus. The co-authors of the piece do not scruple to resort to explicit lies, referring to unknown “authorities”, distortions of facts, and substitutions of concepts. While we recognize liberty of conscience and freedom of thought and speech as fundamental values of our 21st century society, it is our belief that no one may be allowed to abuse these values if such abuse results in restricting other people's rights. Recently, therefore, the Nash Mir Center made a group decision to render legal assistance to a former student of IAPM. He had been expelled from IAPM institution because of the administration's hostile attitude to his homosexuality. Apparently, it was the sexual identity issue of this student that spurred a surge of homophobia—in addition to IAPM's traditional anti-Semitism. Apart from disseminating their views via conformist mass media controlled by the institution, previously IAMP hosted an “academic conference” titled Dialogue of Civilizations: Zionism as the Greatest Threat to Modern Civilization. Each one of us who has gone through the Soviet school system knows what is meant by the “struggle against Zionism” in our country* Incidentally, the guest of honor was David Duke, who formerly headed the American Ku-Klux-Clan.

We draw your attention to the fact that the mentioned statements and actions of IAPM's administration cannot be viewed as merely their own private affair. Using their positions IAPM administrators are actively prejudicing the minds of the young Ukrainians who study in the extensive system of the institution's affiliates across the whole of Ukraine. An official directive issued by the Rector openly obliges students to subscribe to the editions where the mentioned articles were published. Also, the administration promotes the setting up of centers of certain political and public organizations. We identify and define these activities as IAPM's ongoing attempt to take total control of the lives and thoughts of those under their charge.

Though presenting themselves as a recognized factor in the “Orange Revolution”, IAPM personnel in fact create, by publishing their hate-fomenting materials, an utterly negative impression of the new modern Ukraine for the democratic countries of Europe and worldwide. Their actions discredit Ukraine in the eyes of Western society—to a greater extent than anti-Ukrainian propagandistic articles in the foreign mass media that are made to order. IAPM administration's attitude towards the Holocaust, as expressed in their statements and articles actually justifying the Nazi regime's actions, are an outright and cynical outrage against the memory of millions of Jews, Ukrainians and representatives of other nationalities (together with gays and lesbians)—who died while directly experiencing the “effectiveness” of such actions.

We suggest that everyone in Ukraine and beyond its borders who are not indifferent to the described regressive developments, (and who are hoping for the creation of a modern European liberal democratic society in our country), join the struggle against this dangerous phenomenon of disseminating and propagandising xenophobia in all its forms.

Please forward your suggestions and requests for additional information to the Nash Mir Center .

Mainly by uniting our efforts can we all overcome those who sow discord and separation in our society. Let us be vigilant!

PS An excerpt from an article published in the Ukrainian paper Personal Plus (issue number 24 dated June 15-21, 2005) authored by a state official, Head of the Ukrainian Chamber of Books, Doctor of Science, professor Nikolai Senchenko. He writes in the article entitled Spiritual Zionism in the Global Historical Process:

“Let me briefly touch upon the issue of a tool of ethnic genocide called sexual perversions. Research has shown that the number of homosexuals in different nations amounts to 2-4 per cent. Their greatest percentage is in West European countries, which show no growth of population. According to sociologists and psychologists, when the number of homosexuals exceeds 5 % of a nation's population this results in irreversible processes which in its turn lead to depopulation—by up to 3 % yearly. Ancient people were perfectly aware of the fact and thus regarded homosexuality as a greatest crime and punished the offenders with death. So, in 1933-1945 male homosexuals in Germany were put into female prisons and homosexual women were put into male ones. As a result, in the course of one or two years they all came back to the normal sexual orientation. It was a severe, but apparently correct measure.”