Army Order No. 131
Do not stain those deeds
"It is time for you to understand that the peaceful Jewish population, their children and women the same as ourselves have been oppressed and deprived of national freedom. They can not be alienated from us, they have of old been always with us and they have shared with us their joys and sorrows." — Symon Petliura
Army Order of the Supreme Command
of the Ukrainian Democratic Republic,
August 26, 1919.
Officers and Soldiers!
It is time for you to realize that the Jews together with the majority of the Ukrainian population have recognized the evil of the Bolshevist-Communist invasion, and know already where the truth lies. The most important Jewish parties, such as: "Bund", "United Jewish Socialists", "Poalej-Zion" and "People's Party", have decidedly placed themselves on the side of the Ukrainian independent state and are working together hand-in-hand for its good.
It is time for you to understand that the peaceful Jewish population, their children and women the same as ourselves have been oppressed and deprived of national freedom. They can not be alienated from us, they have of old been always with us and they have shared with us their joys and sorrows.
The gallant army which brings brotherhood, equality, and freedom to all peoples of the Ukraine should not be lending an ear to various adventurers and provocateurs who long for human blood. Likewise, the Army should not be a party to bringing a hard lot on the Jews. Whoever is guilty of permitting such a heavy crime is a traitor and enemy of the country and must be thrust out of human society.
Officers and soldiers! The whole world cannot but admire our heroic deeds in the struggle for freedom. Do not stain those deeds — not even accidentally — by disgraceful actions and do not bring down burning shame upon our state in the face of the whole world. Our many enemies, external as well as internal, are already profiting by the pogroms; they are pointing their fingers at us and inciting against us saying that we are not worthy of an independent national existence and that we deserve to be again forcefully harnessed to the yoke of slavery.
I, your Commander-in-Chief, tell you that this very moment the question of to be or not to be for our independent existence is being decided before the International Tribunal.
Officers and soldiers! The judgement on this question rests in your hands, so decide it by showing an armed fist against our enemies remembering always that a clean cause demands clean hands. Be sure that a severe and lawful punishment by a people's court will overtake all enemies of our country; but remember also that vengeance — often the result of want of careful consideration — is not the way of the Ukrainian Cossacks. I most positively order that all those who are instigating you to pogroms be thrust out of the army, and as traitors to the fatherland be handed over to the court. Let the court punish them according to their crimes by giving them the severest lawful penalty.
The Government of the Ukrainian Democratic Republic recognizing the harm done to the state by the pogroms has issued an appeal to the whole population of the Ukraine to withstand all attempts of the enemies who might arouse it to anti-Jewish pogroms.
I command the whole army to obey this appeal and to provide for its widest dissemination among comrades-in-arms and among the population.
This Army Order is to be read to all division, brigades, regiments, garrisons and squadrons of the Dnieper and Dniester armies, as well as the partisan detachments.
The Chief of Staff of the Supreme Commander:
F. Pigido (ed.), Material Concerning Ukrainian-Jewish Relations during the Years of the Revolution (1917-1921): Collection of Documents and Testimonies by Prominent Jewish Political Workers, The Ukrainian Information Bureau, Munich, 1956.