United Jewish Сommunity of Ukraine headed by Kolomoisky supports the Russian project of Babyn Yar memorial

22 June, 12:15
State
United Jewish Сommunity of Ukraine headed by Kolomoisky supports the Russian project of Babyn Yar memorial - фото 1
The United Jewish Community of Ukraine, whose president is Ihor Kolomoisky, released a statement on its official Telegram channel regarding "support for more than 100 Jewish communities for the construction of a memorial in Babyn Yar by the Babyn Yar Holocaust Memorial Center."

The message of the United Jewish Community of Ukraine has not specified which Jewish communities support such an appeal.

Editorial board of JewishNews cited a full statement on this issue:

"More than 100 Jewish communities in Ukraine supported the construction of the Babyn Yar Holocaust Memorial and appealed to the authorities
The Jewish communities of Ukraine joined the position of the United Jewish Community of Ukraine and supported the construction of a memorial to memory in Babyn Yar by the Babyn Yar Holocaust Memorial Center.

The communities sent an appeal to President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky, Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine Dmytro Razumkov, Prime Minister of Ukraine Denys Shmyhal and chairman of the Kyiv City State Administration Vitali Klitschko.

The Jewish community of Ukraine noted that the issue of memorialization of the world-famous Babyn Yar tragedy has a high priority of importance and requires immediate implementation in accordance with the maximum level of support available in society.

Based on this, any manipulations regarding the position of the Jewish community of Ukraine regarding the construction of the Babyn Yar Holocaust Memorial Center should be stopped immediately, and the Center's projects should be implemented as soon as possible."

In 2016, two Babyn Yar memorialization projects were developed and implemented in parallel. The Babyn Yar Holocaust Memorial Center is being implemented with the support of Kyiv mayor Vitali Klitschko. The main initiators and sponsors of the project are Russian businessmen Mykhailo Fridman, German Khan and Pavel Fuchs. Later, Viktor Pinchuk joined them.

At public discussions of the project's narrative, concerns were expressed that it was created in the spirit of the Kremlin's policy of memory, which wants to present Ukrainians, Poles, Lithuanians and other local populations as total anti-Semites.

In 2019, Russian director Ilya Hrzhanovsky was appointed the project art director, whose approach to historical memory caused a mixed reaction from the Ukrainian scientific and cultural community.

A state comprehensive project is also being implemented to build a single memorial in Babyn Yar, which should integrate all the monuments available today, as well as two museums, in one complex. The Babyn Yar victims' museum will be located in the former Office of the Jewish cemetery. Currently, the reconstruction of the building continues, the opening of the museum is scheduled for 2021. Also, under the auspices of the Institute of History of Ukraine, based on the Decree of the Cabinet of Ministers, Ukrainian researchers developed the concept of integrated memorialization of Babyn Yar.

It is proposed to turn the park at the site of the tragedy into a single memorial complex, which should unite all the existing monuments today. It is also planned to create a Holocaust Museum.

Hundreds of public intellectuals addressed an open letter to the authorities demanding to erect an exclusively state memorial in Babyn Yar.

Johana Petrovsky Stern, a leading researcher of Jewish history, directly turned to Zelensky with a similar demand. Later, "as a Jew to a Jew," the historian Vitaly Nakhmanovich addressed Zelensky.

Famous Ukrainian Jews, in particular Joseph Zisels, appealed to civil society to be conscious of the Babyn Yar tragedy as part of Ukrainian history and Ukrainian historical memory, as well as to support the creation of the Ukrainian memorial in Babyn Yar.
The government's stance was voiced by the head of the Institute of national memory Anton Drobovich and the Minister of Culture Oleksandr Tkachenko in the first year of Zelensky's tenure. They both focused on the implementation of the state project.

On July 28, President Zelensky publicly supported the Babyn Yar Holocaust Memorial Center. On September 29, a memorandum of cooperation was signed between the Ukrainian government and the BYHMC.

In December, Volodymyr Zelensky signed a decree "On measures in connection with the 80th anniversary of the Babyn Yar tragedy and additional measures for the further development of the Babyn Yar National Historical and Memorial Reserve.

Prime Minister of Ukraine Denys Shmyhal and head of the Office of the president of Ukraine Andriy Yermak have been appointed co-chairs of the organizing committee for the long-term development of the Babi Yar National Historical and Memorial Reserve, and a new composition of the organizing committee has been approved. In addition, the initiative of the Babyn Yar Holocaust Memorial Center was supported.

As RISU has reported, a group of public activists, which unites well-known political and public figures, previously initiated public hearings in the KCSA, where they should present the Ukrainian project of the Babyn Yar memorial instead of the Russian-backed one. To date, more than 2,500 thousand signatures of Kyiv residents have already been collected for public hearings on the Ukrainian project.