- October 1, 2018. Holocaust Monument Opening at the Soshne Forest Killing Site
- Hope4Hanukkah Annual Charity Campaign in Ukraine
- Documentary project "Word of the Righteous" was presented in Kyiv
- XIth Congress of the European Association for Jewish Studies 2018 will take place in Krakow
- Polish-ukrainian workshop for young scholars: history and heritage of eastern-european jews
According to official figures, there are about 2.5 thousand people in Ukraine, who have the honorary title of the Righteous Among the Nations, which they were awarded by the State of Israel in gratitude for rescuing the Jewish people during the Second World War. We are the second country after Poland by the number of heroes, and the work of Svetlana Levitas and MargarethaOrmotsadze, will tell about the people who saved others, risking their own lives.
The Nazi invaders executed all those who helped the Jews during the Holocaust. In the times of the USSR, information about such people was silenced, any public statement about them was impossible. And only today, during the independence of Ukraine, the Righteous are able to tell their incredible, sincere, touching and fearless stories. The courage of these people, who managed to find strength during the war to save not only themselves but also others, should be documented.
“The feat of each of the Righteous is no less valuable than the feat accomplished at the front. These people fought with the enemy one on one realizing that salvation put their lives under threat of death. But after the horrors of the war, they were forced to exist in the anti-Semitic environment of the USSR, where their brave deeds were preferred to be forgottenfor many years. Therefore, in today’s Ukraine it is very important to talk about the Righteous, their merciful souls, their families and courage. For the older generations, righteousness was a closed topic, and almost nothing is known about it among the new generation. Therefore, such work will eliminate another gap in history and improve Ukraine’s image in the international arena,” said Felix Levitas, historical consultant for the film “Word of the Righteous”.
“The Word of the Righteous Project is intended to remind society about the outstanding people whose noble deeds were unjustly forgotten. The authorities were reluctant to mention them, but the trace they left in history and in the lives of individual families is immense. This project seeks to restore their forgotten stories, as well as to tell about heroism and the horrors of war. And our Center has the same mission“, commented Yana Barinova, the Executive Director of the Babi Yar Holocaust Memorial Center.
“The easiest way to communicate information is from heart to heart. We are shooting a film about the People with great, sincere hearts, who during the darkest times became bright examples worthy of memory and recognition. I ask all those who are not indifferent to support the project ” Word of the Righteous”. This is more than just a movie. It is aimed at ensuring that no man or race are ever convicted on an ethnic basis“, explained Margarita Ormotsadze, the producer of the film.
“The Word of the Righteous” is the direct speech of the Righteous Among the Nations from Ukraine. Personal stories told by them will disarm anyone who will try to deny the Holocaust. These are the stories of pain and horror, but above all about courage and love for the neighbor. Now the Righteous are at a very respectable age, many have already gone to the eternity, and we hurry to record as many interviews as possible. The feat of the Righteous Among the Nations is a very important part of the history of Ukraine and the Ukrainian Jewry, which must be preserved“, considers SvitlanaLevitas, author of the idea.
The project involves three stages: a documentary film, a book of interviews with the Righteous Among the Nations and a photo exhibition with archival photos. The heroes’ stories from Kiev, Odessa, Dnipro, Kharkiv, Lviv, as well as from Belarus and Lithuania will be represented to the visitors.
The general partner of the project – The Babi Yar Holocaust Memorial Center (BYHMC)
The Babi Yar Holocaust Memorial Center, BYHMC, is a nonprofit educational institution that documents and commemorates the Holocaust, in particular the Babi Yar mass shootings of September 1941. By following this educative mission based on scientific coming to terms with the past the Center contributes to more resilient and democratic societies and a peaceful living-together of future generations.
The target date set for the opening of the Memorial Center is 2021, and will coincide with the 80th anniversary of the Babi Yar massacre.
The Supervisory Board of the Babi Yar Holocaust Memorial Center represents an unprecedented collaboration of the public and private sector and is led by the strong leadership of Mayor VitaliKlitschko. The members of the Supervisory Board are: Rabbi Yaakov DovBleich, Chief Rabbi of Kiev and Ukraine; Joschka Fischer, Foreign Minister and Vice Chancellor of Germany (1998 – 2005); Mikhail Fridman, Co-Founder and Chairman, Alfa-Group Consortium, LetterOne investment holding, Co-Founder Russian Jewish Congress and Genesis Philanthropy Group; Pavel Fuks, Chairman, Babi Yar Memorial Foundation, private investor; German Khan, deputy Chairman of the BYHMC Supervisory Board, Co-Founder and a Member of the Supervisory Board, Alfa Group Consortium , LetterOne investment holding, Co-Founder and a Member of the Supervisory Board, the Russian Jewish Congress and Genesis Philanthropy Group; VolodymyrKlitschko, world heavyweight boxing champion, philanthropist and public figure;Aleksander Kwasniewski, President of Poland (1995-2005); Joe Lieberman, U.S. Senator Connecticut (1989 – 2003); Victor Pinchuk, Ukrainian businessman and philanthropist, Founder, EastOne Group and the Victor Pinchuk Foundation; NatanSharansky, Chairman of the BYHMC Supervisory Board, Chairman of the Executive Board of the Jewish Agency for Israel (JAFI); SvyatoslavVakarchuk, artist, founder of the most successful Ukrainian rock band “OkeanElzy”, civic activist and opinion leader, Yale World Fellows 2015 Alumnae.