Support from Local Leaders

Bakhiv, Dedication of the Memorial

Over the past years, the project Protecting Memory has met with a great deal of support from the Ukrainian authorities, the political world, clergy, and the local population. The Orthodox priest Nifon Omelchuk, St. George’s Church spoke during the event in Bakhiv about his efforts to remember the Jews in the neighboring town of Holoby.

The Forgotten Part of the Holocaust

Dedication of the Memorial

The mass shootings of Jews in Ukraine make up a “forgotten part of the Holocausts”. They marked the start of the Holocaust in 1941 and continued to take place in 1942-43 parallel to the industrialized killing in the extermination camps. There are over 1,200 Holocaust mass graves in Ukraine.

Prayer for the dead

Dedication of the Memorial, Prokhid

At the memorial site, Maurice Herszaft says an Av HaRachamim for the Jews shot here had to wait over 70 years. Mordechai Bald, the chief rabbi of Lviv and western Ukraine, said El maleh Rachamim in Rava-Ruska and Bakhiv. Andrew Halpert said kadish for the members of his family who were shot in Kysylyn.

Taking on Responsibility

Dedication of the Memorial, Ostrozhets

“We promise to honor this place and accept responsibility for its preservation,” says Oleh Parhomei, the mayor of Ostrozhets, to Deidre Berger, director of the AJC office in Berlin, during the inauguration of the memorial in that village.

Engagement in Kysylyn

Dedication of the Memorial, Kysylyn

The numerous people who came to the dedication ceremony in Kysylyn showed that Ukrainians were sensitive to the fate of the village’s Jews and had an interest in the past. Two girls, who had participated in the educational program developed by the Ukrainian Center for Holocaust Studies and local teachers, moderated the event.

Survivor at Dedication Ceremony in Rava-Ruska

Dedication of the Memorial, Rava Ruska

“Rava-Ruska was a very Jewish town. And they all disappeared. There’s nobody left here,” said Ludwika Schein, whose parents and brothers were shot by the Germans. On the occasion of the dedication ceremony for the memorial, Mrs. Schein returned to Rava-Ruska after more than 70 years in order to remember the murdered members of her family.

Dedication of the Memorials

Dedication of the Memorial

Oksana Syroid, deputy speaker of the Ukrainian Parliament, and Oleksandr Feldman, a member of parliament, stressed how important it is for Ukrainians to engage in a frank and thorough examination of their history as they work to build a democratic society. “A society that cannot protect its history has no future,” Syroid said during the opening event for the dedication of the memorials.