Zisels: Russia's attempt to provoke internal conflict in Ukraine underpins the construction of a temporary synagogue in Babyn Yar
This is reported by "Day".
"We are dealing with a clash of not just two projects, although very large ones. Today we are dealing with two conceptually different approaches. The first Ukrainian approach originates from Ukrainian culture... The Ukrainian view of history, both its own and the one that was around Ukraine. The second approach is that of the Russian project, which does not pay attention to such "trifles" as the traditions of different peoples... Which goes very roughly towards its goal, and only confirms my opinion that this is a "Trojan horse" that Putin puts under Ukraine," said Joseph Zisels, co-chairman of the Association of Jewish organizations and communities of Ukraine (VAAD), at a press briefing in honor of the 81st anniversary of the Holocaust victims on Monday.
In particular, we are talking about a project to build a temporary memorial synagogue on the territory of the Babyn Yar National Historical and Memorial Reserve with the support of Russian-Ukrainian businessmen Pavel Fuchs and Mikhail Fridman, namely on the territory of the former Orthodox Kirillovsky cemetery, located behind the Menorah Memorial.
At the same time, Professor and deputy chairman of the working group on the development of the Ukrainian concept of integrated memorialization of Babyn Yar Alexander Lysenko highlighted the basics of the Ukrainian concept of the Babyn Yar Museum.
"The controlling stake in Babyn Yar memorialization should belong not to public associations or political players, but the state of Ukraine. Memorialization of this place should be inclusive, contribute to ending the wars of memory and consolidating the Ukrainian political nation, which does not mean belittling the tragedy of the Holocaust. Capital structures cannot be built on the territory of the memorial," Lysenko said.
The professor also focused on ancient Jewish traditions, according to which construction in tragic burial sites is prohibited.
"The concept of the Babyn Yar Memorial Museum was completed in early 2018, and supported by the Museum Council of the Ministry of Culture of Ukraine on February 9, 2018, and approved by the Academic Council of the Institute of history on May 3, 2018. Work also began on preparing the construction of the Office of the Jewish cemetery, the only one where you can make a temporary exhibition of the Babyn Yar Museum, and we were tied to this particular building. There are few opportunities... We can't go beyond out of respect for ancient Jewish traditions. And probably Orthodox traditions also prohibit construction in such tragic burial sites," Lysenko said.
When asked by journalists whether there is a scheme for selecting the project of the memorial site, experts noted that such a scheme does not exist at this stage.
"Unfortunately, there is no concept for selecting projects for the memorial. We hope that by presenting the state concept implemented by the working group, the state will pay attention to this, and we will conduct a dialogue on this plane," Lysenko concluded.