Ukraine should be the main actor in the creation of the Babi Yar memorial – historian

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Ukraine should be the main actor in the creation of the Babi Yar memorial – historian

May 26.2020 22:29

Ukrinform

The Ukrainian state should take the initiative to create the Babi Yar Memorial Center.

This was declared during the round table by the famous Ukrainian historian, vice-chairman of the working group on the development of the concept of Babi Yar at the Institute of History of Ukraine NASU Vitaliy Nakhmanovich, reports a correspondent d ‘Ukrinform.

“Babi Yar is a national place of memory of Ukraine, and only a national state institution can be a platform for cooperation. It is necessary to give the possibility of participating in such a national public institution by any private initiative, and not vice versa. Any involvement of the state in private initiatives, especially foreign ones, is unacceptable and impossible, “said Nakhmanovich.

At the same time, he noted that Babi Yar is a place of interest to many external actors, in particular the private initiative of the Babi Yar Holocaust Memorial Center.

“This is the global Jewish community, including the State of Israel. It is Russia, because it is interested, in principle, in all questions linked to the memory of the events of the Second World War. To do this, we must understand that when we create the historical memory of this place, it must be the Ukrainian historical memory, and the main actors in the creation of this memory must be internal and not external stakeholders ”, noted the historian.

According to him, it is not only a question of honoring the victims, because there are already 30 monuments erected there to honor the victims.

“It is quite clear that when it comes to creating a large commemorative complex, it is a matter of creating meanings, of creating ideologies. And the main actors in this private project are not only people with a Russian passport, but with a model of Soviet-Russian memory in their heads … They were born and raised in the Soviet Union and live in post-Russia Soviet. I mean both the main donors and the person who is now the artistic director of the project (Ilya Khrzhanovsky – ed.). These are people with a Soviet thought, with a Soviet vision of history, who objectively carry the Russian meanings of the Babi Yar vision. And, obviously, they are unacceptable to Ukraine if it wants to move away from its Soviet past and go in a different direction, “said Nakhmanovich.

He stressed that without the state’s participation in Babi Yar, a normal memorial would not be created and unacceptable new projects would emerge.

“If the Ukrainian state does not take responsibility for this problem, nothing will happen. And the false argument is that the difficult financial conditions do not allow the Ukrainian state to create a memorial. It doesn’t take that much money to create it … Last year, the Groisman government allocated $ 1.5 billion to complete the creation cycle of the second stage of the Holodomor Museum on 15,000 square meters. meters. So the question is not that the Ukrainian state has no money. The Ukrainian state is not willing to commemorate Babi Yar, “said Nakhmanovich.

As reported, in 2016 in Ukraine founded the “Babi Yar” Holocaust Memorial Center. According to the plan, in 2023, a memorial with a museum and a research space should be inaugurated at the Babi Yar site in Kiev.

However, the project has been criticized for being invested by Russian businessmen of Ukrainian descent Pavel Fuks, Mikhail Fridman and German Khan.

See also: In Ukraine, we are wary of the Memorial Center project “Babi Yar” – Drobovich

In September 2019, the jury of the international architecture competition chose the project for the future Holocaust Memorial Center “Babi Yar”, developed by a team of Austrian architects. They proposed to lay an underground road that leads to the center with dark and bright rooms. However, the project has been criticized for violating traditional Jewish law prohibiting the excavation and development of burial sites.

Opponents of the Friedman-Khan concept advocate another version of the museum, which was developed by the History Institute of the National Academy of Sciences. He proposed to open a museum in the existing building of the old office of the Jewish cemetery. In 2018, the Ministry of Culture funded this idea, but the project was frozen.

According to the materials: ukrinform.ru

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