Verification within Meta’s Third-Party Fact-Checking Program
A quote allegedly from Joseph Paul Goebbels spread online, “The Banderites are crazy maniacs, or, in other words, savage cattle. But that’s what we need right now to wipe out the unruly Slavs. Then they, too, need to be destroyed because beasts have no place among people.”
However, no such statements by the politician are found in historical documents.
The independent Latvian fact-checkers from Re:Baltica refuted this fake news. They found that the quote’s source was most likely russian propagandist Yuriy Kot. In response to a question about the quote’s origin, he said the words did not belong to Goebbels but to the Gauleiter of East Prussia, Erich Koch. The latter allegedly said: “Ukrainians are russians who’ve become like cattle, ready to kill even their own Frau for the idea of a Ukrainian state. They’re ideal fighters against the Red Army, but then they’ll be subject to total sanitation as the most terrible barbarians.”
However, there is no explicit confirmation that the quote belongs to him. This quote is often cited as an excerpt from the post-war novella by the Soviet military, Dmitry Medvedev, entitled “Strong in spirit.” However, Koch says nothing of the kind in the novella’s text.
Erich Koch was a party and military figure of Nazi Germany and the Reichskommisar of Ukraine from 1941 to 1944. As the Reichskommissar, he was notorious for being one of the most brutal and persistent leaders of the Nazi colonial policy in the East. In a speech delivered in March 1943 in Kyiv, he continued to call on the Germans to remember that “the lowest German worker is racially and biologically a thousand times more valuable than the local population.” He was an outright opponent of the idea of limited Ukrainian statehood.
Joseph Paul Goebbels was a statesman and politician of Nazi Germany and A. Hitler’s closest friend and associate. He was the Minister for Public Enlightenment and Propaganda from 1933 to 1944.
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