The Ukrainian Catholic Archeparchy of Philadelphia announced this morning that it will temporarily cover an alleged Nazi monument in St. Mary’s Cemetery in Elkins Park.
The monument’s presence first arose in the news after a far-right Ukrainian politician posed in front of it. The photo was shared in a Tweet in May by Ukrainian researcher Moss Robeson, who wrote:
The new OUN-B leader has finished his tour of the US in Philadelphia where he visited a 30 year old memorial to the division of the Nazi Waffen-SS that has apparently flown under the radar since it was established in 1993 to mark the 50th anniversary of the “Galician Division.”
In late August, the story was picked up by Forward.com, a news site which claimed that the monument honored a Nazi military division: specifically, the 14th Waffen Grenadier Division of the SS’ 1st Galician, commonly known as “SS Galichina.”
The controversy has since been covered by The Philadelphia Inquirer, FOX 29, Philly Burbs, Apple.com, and The Jewish Chronicle, among other outlets.
The monument features a large stone cross and a lion and crown insignia of the SS. It was erected three decades ago around the time of communism’s demise in Europe and was commissioned by veterans’ groups to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the creation of the unit.
The cemetery is owned by the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, the primary church for the Ukrainian Catholic Archeparchy of Philadelphia. Abington officials declined comment when asked by Glenside Local, citing its private ownership.
From their announcement: