Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Ukraine: Gov't backtracks on Babi Yar plans amid accusations of Holocaust revisionism

A bit of history: Over two days in September 1941 the Nazis and their collaborators murdered all the Jews of Kiev, more than 33,000 Jews, in Babi Yar.  Until the end of the war, the Nazis continued to use it for massacres, murdering up to 150,000 other people.

During the Soviet occupation of Ukraine, the authorities prevented the Jews from erecting a memorial for the same reason the Ukrainian government gives now. 

During the struggle against the Soviet persecution of Jews, the Babi Yar memorial became a symbol - Jews commemorated their dead despite the government's attempts to prevent them from doing so.

Apparently, the Ukrainian government wants to go back to those days.

Via Jerusalem Post:
The Ukrainian government is facing allegations of historical revisionism after announcing plans to revamp the Babi Yar massacre site to turn it into a generic symbol of human suffering rather than a quintessential emblem of the Holocaust.

In preparation for September’s 75th anniversary of the massacre at the ravine in Kiev where more than 33,000 Jews were murdered in a two-day period in 1941, a government- backed design competition invited architectural proposals to resolve what it sees as a “problem” of a “discrepancy between the world’s view and Jewry’s exclusive view of Babi Yar as a symbol of the Holocaust.”

But the contest’s rules were revised on Monday after an outpouring of anger by Jewish groups around the world against a perceived attempt to diminish the site’s Jewish significance, including questions put by The Jerusalem Post to Ukrainian officials about the project.
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