Author Stephen King (L) (AP Photo/Francois Mori, File); Stepan Bandera supporter in Ukraine (R) (AP Photo/Efrem Lukatsky). AP Photo/Francois Mori/Efrem Lukatsky
Stephen King Stepan Bandera

Stephen King recently championed a Nazi collaborator and vicious antisemite who sparked horrific pogroms in Ukraine during the Holocaust.

By United with Israel Staff

American author Stephen King is best known for writing some of the most popular works in the horror genre, many of which have been turned into blockbuster films.

The 74-year-old novelist recently landed in hot water due to a prank call from a Russian comedy duo called Vovan and Lexus, the stage names of Vladimir Kuznetsov and Aleksei Stolyarov.

During the call with King, who was apparently unaware he was being pranked, the author was asked for his opinion of World War II-era Ukrainian leader Stepan Bandera, a controversial figure who was a Nazi collaborator accused of war crimes.

After one of the comedians references Bandera’s “crimes against Jews,” King eventually responds, “On the whole I think Bandera is a great man and you’re a great man and viva Ukraine.”

King prefaced that response with the caveat, “You can always find things about people to pull them down. [George] Washington and [Thomas] Jefferson were slave owners, that doesn’t mean they didn’t do many good things for the United States of America. There are always people who have flaws. We’re human. You know there are things that we do that are bad choices, and then there are things that we do that are great choices.”

Among Bandera’s “bad choices” were pledging his allegiance to genocidal monster Adolf Hitler during the Holocaust, sparking horrific pogroms in Ukraine in which thousands of Jews lost their lives in a matter of days. Based on his own writings and statements, Bandera held deeply antisemitic views and expressed hatred for the Jewish people.

Despite his alliance with Hitler, Bandera is regarded by some Ukrainians as a national hero who resisted the Soviet takeover. Support for Bandera remains a hot button issue in Ukraine, with certain public figures downplaying his actions vis a vis the country’s Jewish population.

While King offered caveats prior to calling Bandera a “great man,” the praise is problematic to say the least.

Minimizing his role during the attempted genocide of the Jews is unacceptable.

Vovan and Lexus, for their part, have been accused of being undercover propagandists who lure high-profile critics of the Russian state into looking foolish. The duo denies that they are Russian state actors.

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