Commentary & Analysis, Genocide in Ukraine

The Tragic Anniversary of Talerhof


Original article
Translation: ValLisitsa
Editor: S. Naylor

“The past is never dead. It’s not even past.”
William Faulkner, Requiem for a Nun

It is a hundred years since the very first concentration camp was created—in Galicia, intended for Russians and Eastern Orthodox believers.

September 4, 2014 marks a hundred years since the tragedy of the concentration camps Talerhof [Thalerhof] and Terezin [Theresienstadt], where tens of thousands of victims met their violent end, martyred for their Orthodox faith, for the refusal to betray their beliefs, for the refusal to call themselves Ukrainian.

The Year 2014—foreboding and violent as it was—coincides in a very symbolical way with two tragic anniversaries in our history; a hundred years since the beginning of WWI, and a hundred years since the blood of martyrs was spilled in the concentration camps of Talerhof and Terezin. Yes, September 4, 1914¹, when the Hell’s gates of Talerhof opened wide, became a day of sorrow—not only for Orthodox Ruthenians of Transcarpathia, victims of horrific tyranny at the hands of minions of the Vatican, but for the entire Russian universe as a whole. It was not by mere accident that the first mega-war and the first concentration camp simultaneously defiled our existence, like two horns of Satan: the sudden treacherous strike that led to the extermination of God’s creatures on a scale previously unimaginable. The war and the camp—made at the same factory, headquartered in the underworld—became the main tools of annihilation of the human race in the Industrial Era.

In 1914-17 the government of Austria-Hungary, with the explicit support of Germany and with the direct participation of Poland, engaged in the systematic extermination of the Orthodox populations of Transcarpathia, Galicia and Bukovina. Researchers have estimated that the Ruthenian population of the Austro-Hungarian Empire numbered between 3.1 and 4.5 million people by the beginning of the twentieth century . These people were subjected to the worst persecution, mockery, indignities, tortures, and horrific slaughter. Tens of thousands of Ruthenians paid with their lives for their loyalty to their faith and their heritage, for their right to remain Russians.

The second half of the nineteenth century saw the renaissance of Ruthenian culture in Austria-Hungary. The people once again became conscious of their place in a pan-Russian culture, in belonging to an indivisible Russian Universe—from Kamchatka to the Carpathian mountains. In fact, the leadership of Ruthenian national organizations in Bukovina, Galicia and Transcarpathia was in the hands of partisans of the idea of a “Greater”, united Russia. To call oneself or someone a “Ukrainian” was not an ethnic, but rather a political kind of label, describing the anti-Russian minority.

Suleak-rusiny-5The rulers of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, deeply concerned about a sudden resurgence of Orthodoxy, responded by mass arrests among Russian Transcarpathians and Bukovinians. It was as an antidote to pro-Russian feelings that the imperial government created, and then encouraged, the growth of so-called “ethnic self-discovery”—the notions of “Ukrainian” ethnicity and Ukrainian nationhood among those parts of the population susceptible to such a subversion. “Ukrainians” thus were created by Polish and Austrian masterminds as a means of swaying Orthodox believers into an artificial variation of Catholicism and into an artificially created new “Ukrainian” language. But the concentration camps of Terezin and Talerhof showed the true face of the “enlightened” Catholic European reaction to the renaissance of Orthodox faith in their backyard. This was the reaction of the modern EU’s prototype, not yet covered by a fig leaf of “tolerance” and similar worthless verbal trash, to the resurgence of the Russian Universe, the Third Rome, Sacred Russia.

In the book written by Yavorsky, entitled “The Terror in Galicia in 1914-15” we read this terrible testimony: “They were taking anyone, without any due process—anyone who called himself a Russian, who carried a Russian name; anyone who kept—even in secret—a Russian newspaper, a book, an icon, or even a postcard. They arrested alike members of the intelligentsia or peasants, men or women, the elderly or children, sick or healthy. Their prime targets were, of course, the Orthodox clergy, priests—those selfless leaders of congregations, “the salt of earth”, the essence of Galician-Russian lands. They bore the brunt of the cruelty—tormented, tortured, mocked, incessantly sent from prison to prison, dying of hunger and thirst, beaten until they lost consciousness, chain-ganged, executed by firing squad or by hanging… Countless innocent victims, boundless suffering, bloodbath martyrdom, streams of tears of orphans.”

This was genocide, an ethnic cleansing directed at Russians, at the Orthodox. The round-ups of entire villages happened on a regular basis—men, women, elderly, babies… Over 100,000 ethnic Ruthenians were physically exterminated by the Empire. It is a telling fact that, until the winter of 1915, Talerhof concentration camp had no barracks. The inmates lived their last days under open skies—be it sun, rain or snow. They were hanged, shot or bayoneted. Before the executions they were subjected to horrific tortures—their limbs, fingers, lips, ears sliced off. A further 150,000 died in the same camps—not by executions, but of disease, exposure, and starvation. Hundreds of thousands managed to escape by going into exile. The only “crime” of those persecuted: the refusal to become “Ukrainians”, refusal to accept the Pope as their suzerain, refusal to betray their allegiance to the Orthodox faith, Russian ethnicity and Russian language.

1409831071_4This terrible crime is not something they like to reminisce about in modern Europe. One of the few reminders—a memorial stone in Lychakovski Cemetery in Lvov. Engraved on the stone: ” To the victims of Talerhof—Galician Rus”. Back then, Russia did not intervene to save the lives of their brethren in West Ukraine. Now, a century later, history repeats itself; the events follow the old familiar scenario of impending tragedy. The war and [filtration] camps, like two-pronged horns, are aiming once again at a familiar victim, identified by two traits—Russian and Orthodox. In the thousand years of the permanent state of war between Catholicism and Orthodoxy, East and West, Christ and Antichrist, the last century was the bloodiest ever. As you read this, hordes of new Cains, fratricidal possessed Ukrainians, are spilling the blood of their brothers on Donbass lands, and new filtration camps are being built in Zhdanovka (Donbass oblast) and Martynovka (near Nikolaev). According to official statements, these foreboding structures, surrounded by tall walls and barbed wire, are meant “to temporarily house illegal immigrants.” But Mikhail Koval, a high ranking general of the Ukrainian Army, publicly stated a different aim: “We shall perform a full filtration of the populace. We shall employ certain filtration techniques to make sure that no people, including women, who harbour separatist sympathies remain… We shall of course separate the women and men for treatment…. After the filtration we shall resettle those deemed trustworthy in remote regions… We shall take a close look at any of the participants in “information warfare” as well. Our special forces will be searching computers, telephone connections, friends…”

Thus, 1914 repeats itself. Will Russia find the spiritual strength and bravery to stand up and halt the attack by the forces of darkness this time around? Our Day of Judgement depends on the outcome.

¹Correction: As noted in several comments, ‘concentration camps’ were established by the British during the Second Boer War.  Similar camps have a long and brutal history:


33 thoughts on “The Tragic Anniversary of Talerhof

  1. The first concentration camp was built by the Brittish Empire in South Africa to detain women and children of the Boer nation during the Boer War (1898-1904).

    Liked by 1 person

    Posted by Richard McDonald Brown | Oct 11, 2014, 15:22
    • Noted & corrected.


      Posted by S. Naylor | Oct 11, 2014, 17:25
    • True enough, but they were more akin to the American internment camps for people of Japanese descent during World War II. The internees were deprived of their rights and property, but lived under humane conditions. Talerhof and Terezin were the first camps used as tools of ethnicide, which went beyond the camps themselves. And the actions of the Austrian government amounted to the opening of the war against ethnic Russians by Catholics and Urinates, followed by the Polish occupation of the western Ukraine and Belarus, the alliance of the west Ukrainians with Nazi Germany, and now the Euromaidan movement.


      Posted by Thirdeye | Oct 12, 2014, 01:29
    • The first concentration camp was built by Assyria in 740 BC to house the forcefully deported population of the Northern Kingdom of Israel. Those that survived were resettled as a buffer on the Northern frontier of Assyria with Urartu, and shortly thereafter escaped North to become known to history as the Scythian (Scuthae) tribes of the steppes of what is today Russia and Ukraine.

      Centuries later, an Assyrian sub-tribe called the “Kermani” migrated into Western Europe and became known to Roman history as the Germani, and to modern history as the Germans. The Assyrians worshiped a god called Asshur, their ancestor, whose symbol was the Ahura Mazda, as well as the swastika.

      So, once again, we see the very old German-Assyrian methodology of concentrate, filter and resettle being used against the children of ancient Scythia in the Donbass and using the same religious military symbols of their power.

      The more things change, the more they stay the same.


      Posted by Ken Griffith (@kendo451) | Oct 12, 2014, 19:14
      • The German-Assyrian connection is imaginary. The upright swastika is a meme that is common to central Asia and Fennoscandia, which were populated by Asiatic groups before the Nordic Fennoscandians came along. Finnish and Estonian are related to the Uralic and Dravidian language families. Herrmann Goering brought the upright runic swastika to the attention of the Nazis, who tilted it to make it their own symbol.

        Liked by 2 people

        Posted by Thirdeye | Oct 12, 2014, 23:18
      • Literally none of this comment is true.

        Liked by 2 people

        Posted by CorruptingSea | Oct 13, 2014, 03:56
  2. “victims of horrific tyranny in hands of Vatican minions”. Yeah, of course the Vatican was behind it. Wow, give me a break.

    “In 1914-17 the government of Austro-Hungary, with the explicit support of Germany and with direct participation of Poland, . . .” Wow again. History Lesson #1: There was no Poland in 1914. It had disappeared from the maps of history for 300 years, divided up between Germany, Austria-Hungary, and that wonderful, faithful, Orthodox nation Russia. POLAND DIDN’T EXIST IN 1914!!! There was no way anything happened with “the direct participation of Poland” in 1914.

    And those errors are only in the first three paragraphs, I haven’t made it past that yet.


    Posted by Michael Breslin | Oct 11, 2014, 15:29
    • 300 years? About 120. I agree that the reference to the Vatican oversimplifies the picture, although in the deep historical sense that is where the problem originated. The Catholic Church isn’t quite that monolithic, as the expression of Catholicism varies in different regional cultures. Catholicism in Polish-Lithuanian heritage regions is particularly nasty and bigoted, as is the Urinate Church of the western Ukraine. Baltic German Catholics were influential in the development of National Socialist ideology.


      Posted by Thirdeye | Oct 12, 2014, 01:44
  3. The author doesn’t discuss how the Poles were treated under Russian occupation for a few hundred years. While it may not have been as bad as his description of the treatment of Ethnic Russians under Austrian occupation, from what I’ve read it was not pleasant. Catholic Poles were persecuted for their faith and their religious orders were shut down. Bad things were done by both sides.


    Posted by Michael Breslin | Oct 11, 2014, 15:39
    • Given that the Polish branch of Catholicism had declared war against eastern Orthodox off and on for nearly 800 years, one can see that there might be repercussions. Western European Catholics eventually absorbed the lesson of getting along with the neighbors. I don’t think Polish Catholics ever did.


      Posted by Thirdeye | Oct 12, 2014, 01:52
  4. No offence, the article is good and certainly well meaning but I need to correct one small inaccuracy. I believe there have been earlier recorded uses of concentration camps as for instance by the British in South Africa during the 2nd Boer War and possibly Native Americans were also held in similar camps at even earlier dates.


    Posted by Brian | Oct 11, 2014, 17:11
  5. I do sympathize, but Richard is factually correct that concentration camps first appeared during the Boer War and Michael is correct that there was no Poland in 1914.

    As regards the Vatican? Well that does open a whole can of worms in European history, such as it can be said that the Roman Empire never really ended.


    Posted by gerryhiles | Oct 11, 2014, 17:21
  6. There was no Polish State in 1914. It can be argued that ‘Poland’ existed, however… The term ‘concentration camp’ gained wide use in the Second Boer War. Certainly similar camps existed earlier in history.


    Posted by S. Naylor | Oct 11, 2014, 17:29
  7. There was no Poland in 1914. Few if any Poles lived in Transcarpathia. Some of the people there were Orthodox but they certainly didn’t consider themselves to be Russian or Ukrainian.


    Posted by Joe | Oct 11, 2014, 21:53
  8. Maybe this will help those commentators that have posted with such confidence that Poland didn’t exist before. Remember that history is not an exact science……To have a bit of understanding of the past you shouldn’t dismiss the opposing side of the story.


    Posted by Eugen | Oct 11, 2014, 23:12
    • Thank you. Exactly the point I was trying to get at…
      If the STATE of Poland didn’t exist as a formal entity for large chunks of the last millennium, something we could call ‘Poland’ certainly did.


      Posted by S. Naylor | Oct 11, 2014, 23:18
    • … more link for those interested.


      Posted by Eugen | Oct 11, 2014, 23:20
      • There was no independent Poland in 1914. It wasrtitioned between Germany, Austria and Russia. Furthermore, Transcarpathia was part of Hungary in 1914.


        Posted by Joe | Oct 12, 2014, 00:02
  9. I meant partitioned between Germany, Austria and Russia.


    Posted by Joe | Oct 12, 2014, 00:03
    • Joe, if you like to “split hairs” regarding that Poland wasn’t a country, you are right. Poland was a kingdom that was part of the empires you mentioned.


      Posted by Eugen | Oct 14, 2014, 08:45
  10. ” … an artificially created new “Ukrainian” language” [author of the article]

    Really? I think, that Ukrainian as a Slavic language/dialect is much older than the mentioned WW1-politics and not an artificial construct of linguists, but a historically developed natural language of some natural people in the Ukrainian landscapes of the Early Middle-Ages (dates of birth of this Slavic language differ). This is always a sign for a larger part of a population, who identifies itself by a specific spoken language/dialect as a cultural/ethnical entity. Russian speakers in Ukraine should consider, accept and tolerate this – as they also want to speak ‘their own’ language, right?

    Religion & language.

    Those 2 tools are used in this Civil War to spur the conflict in both directions. Which saddens me.

    In January/February 2014 nobody of the wider population in Ukraine thought about the division of people in different groups.

    Those, who value ‘ “tolerance” and similar worthless verbal trash’ [author of the article] as just that, are condemned to slaughter each other until the Day of the Last Judgement.


    Posted by Historian | Oct 14, 2014, 19:23
    • “In January/February 2014 nobody of the wider population in Ukraine thought about the division of people in different groups.”

      Wanna bet? The Prosvita Society, founded in Lviv in 1868, was a group advocating a Ukrainian state with Ukrainian as the official language. Its ideology was the foundation of Banderite nationalism. Fostering a sense of anti-Russian Ukrainian nationalism served the purposes of the Austro-Hungarian Empire.

      The sense of Ukrainian national identity does go back further than Austria-Hungary’s control, but not by much. It was originally fostered under the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth when they had control of the western Ukraine and were looking to revive the Polish Catholic crusade against Orthodox Russians. Founding a branch of Catholicism that included Orthodox rites (Greek Catholic) in 1568 was a way of recruiting ethnic Russians to their cause. Such an aggressive and bigoted foundation doesn’t lend a lot of credibility to the spiritual basis of the Greek Catholic (Urinate) “faith.”

      A sense of Ukrainian national identity based on a dialect and pseudo-faith has never been anything more than a contrivance of powers with aggressive intent towards Russia.


      Posted by Thirdeye | Oct 19, 2014, 00:41
      • @ThirdEye, how large do you estimate the ultra-nationalist/extremist groups with a Banderite/Anti-Russian/Anti-Orthodox mentality? In percentages, lets say? Or to put it in another way: how large do you estimate the groups of Ukrainian people, who care about historical facts/dates beyond their own horizon of perhaps 5 years?


        Posted by Historian | Oct 23, 2014, 17:16
        • I know that your question was not directed at me, but;

          From my perspective, as someone who has lived in Donbass (and also in Crimea) the support for Banderite policies and this mentalitet is very pervasive in Ukraine.
          My son-in law for example who is 28, was taught at University of Lugansk that Bandera was a Ukrainian patriot and a hero and that first and foremost, he stood for pro-Ukrainian policies.
          His professor instilled in all of his students that the OUN organisation was libeled and defamed by Russia and by pro-Russians, and that OUN and Bandera were never ever responsible for the killing of thousands of Polish men women and children. (similar to Holocaust denial)
          .I would say 50% to 70% are pro-Nazi in Banderastan.

          The all-pervasive anti-Russian propaganda is making more and more facists every day, and has turned very many people in Donbass from supporting the Novorossian freedom-fighters to supporting Poroshenko,,Yatsenyuk, Turchinov and Yarosh/Paruby/Sytch/Tyahhnbok..and the rest…all sworn Nazis.

          Now, many of the people of Donbass (because they are not politicised and fairly ignorant) even think that Kolomoyskyi is OK and is doing his very best for Ukraine, by supporting Azov, Pravy Sektor and Aidar etc with his own money!.

          Svoboda supporters and Pravy Sektor supporters take their children on torch-lit marches, give Hitler salutes, and stress pro-Ukraine lifestyle to the exclusion and eradication of ‘untermensch’ and they chant ‘Kill the Moskals and Colorados’ at every opportunity, as is very well known. This only make more of them, and another new and easily swayed generation indoctrinated into fascism in Banderistan.


          Posted by Richard McDonald Brown | Oct 23, 2014, 17:51
      • Thanks, @Richard, that was informative of yours.

        .”I would say 50% to 70% are pro-Nazi in Banderastan.” [Richard]

        if this is true, then the situation is more grave than I have expected. I have no data of my own (would have to wait until next elections). I expected some radicalization by the Civil War Propaganda, but perhaps also quite the contrary, some new Anti-War opposition and more understanding of the Militia and the conflict at Donbas as a whole. But, if you are correct in saying, that Banderism is part of the university lessons and overall political climate even in Donbas, then I expect more bloodshed of the worst kind in the near future. My hopes for peace at Donbas and Ukraine would be seriously shattered.


        Posted by Historian | Oct 23, 2014, 18:25
      • It’s hard to say how deep the support of the Ukrainian “National Idea” is among most of those who publicly support it. If a Ukrainian speaker isn’t made aware of the mendacious nature of the official version of Ukrainian history, accepts the hype about the west as the Shining City on the Hill, and is subject the youthful herding instinct among humans, it’s easy to go along to get along. That is, until the economy, currency, and utility systems crash and a conscription notice arrives. The upcoming winter promises to be a tough one that will separate the Nazi True Believers from the less politically oriented followers.


        Posted by Thirdeye | Oct 30, 2014, 07:33
      • “The upcoming winter promises to be a tough one that will separate the Nazi True Believers from the less politically oriented followers.” [ThirdEye]

        I think so, yes.

        Maybe – if we want to trust the ‘official’ statistics by Kiev – the latest elections (without some parts of Donbas and Krim) have shown, that the Civil War had an impact on the public opinion: an impact of forming a (silent) opposition and mistrust towards ANY representatives of political systems and parties. Voters’ participation was about 55% at average – with 45% of Ukrainians who did not want to vote at all, which could be quite telling.

        The new wonder of ‘voting’ Yatseniuk and his ‘People’s Front’ got about leading 22% (estimated 10%) – a fascist with a neoliberal face and the executioner of America’s will. Second is the favorite Bloc of Poroshenko (with Klitschko as a mascott) with NEARLY 22% (estimated 25% to 33%) – an Oligarch with a strongman/militarist face and the executioner of Germany’s will. There is a stronger opposition, which astonished the western press: Samopomich Union about 11% (reformers with a more non-radical face) and Opposition Bloc about 9% (former Yanukovich-personnell). Liashko’s Radical Party (about 7%) with a clearly fascist face and Timochenko’s Batkivshchyna All-Ukrainian Union (about nearly 6%) with an ultranationalist face are forming the more radical elements of parliament. Svoboda (nearly 5%, extreme right wing) and Right Sector (about 2%, active Banderites) could not enter the Rada – like the Communists (under 2%?).

        So what can we make up of all that?

        A large part of the Ukrainian population did not vote any party – maybe more than 40%.

        Therefore there are about 20% of all Ukrainians voting hardliners preferring war against Russia (People’s Front + Radical Party + All-Ukrainian Union) and about 12% of all Ukrainians voting Poroshenko preferring multipolar compromises between Ukraine, EU and Russia (because the war at Donbas was lost …). There are also 10% of all Ukrainians voting real opposition parties. And there are about 3,5% Ukrainians who voted the obvious extremist parties, which I would associate with active Banderism.

        So hardliners and ‘negotiators’ are about 50:50, I guess. And nearly 50% of Ukrainians are generally FED UP WITH EVERYTHING. But did not vote Svoboda or Right Sector. Which is a good sign to me.


        Posted by Historian | Nov 3, 2014, 22:56
      • ” … executioner of America’s will” [Historian]

        ‘executor’, I meant. Well, ‘executioner’ would be also fitting, in some way.


        Posted by Historian | Nov 4, 2014, 15:06
  11. Christianity and its branches, the never-ending source of separation, bloodspill and war among the European peoples…


    Posted by Tacitus | Nov 9, 2014, 19:51
  12. Reblogged this on modilanto and commented:
    TALERHOF Interniertenlager Grensgevangenis, Concentratiekamp 100 jaar geleden Katholicisme tegen Russisch-Orthodox


    Posted by modellanti | Apr 1, 2015, 11:37


  1. Pingback: The tragic anniversary of Talerhof – the very first concentration camp for Russians and E. Orthodox believers | Piotr Bein's blog = blog Piotra Beina - Oct 12, 2014

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