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.
Covered by stone and framed by wooden posts, the mass grave and shooting site near Kysylyn is located in an open field. The posts were put up to prevent agricultural machinery from crossing the site. Prior to protection, the site was used as cropland. The memorial was designed by Arina Agieieva and Dmitry Zhuikov.
Workers from Kysylyn assisted in the construction of the memorial and proved to be extremely knowledgeable and attentive colleagues. Together with scholars Joe Shik and Maurice Herszaft, workers prepare to brace wooden posts to mark the contours of the mass grave. The religious scholars supervised the work so that the dead were not disturbed.
To determine the precise location of the mass grave at this location, geophysical analysis and eyewitness interviews were used. During soil analysis, non-invasive methods in compliance with Halachic law were employed in order to ensure the dead were not disturbed.
Scholar Maurice Herszaft of the Committee for the Preservation of Jewish Cemeteries in Europe made his first visit within the framework of the Protecting Memory in September 2011. In a quiet moment, he reflected on the 48 Jews and two Ukrainians, presumably Orthodox Christians, buried at a mass grave in the center of Kysylyn.
A trip was made to the sites suggested by Yahad-In Unum for the project Protecting Memory. The participants were from AJC, the Committee for the Preservation of Jewish Cemeteries in Europe, the Ukrainian Center for Holocaust Studies, Yahad-In Unum, as well as the German War Graves Commission and the Volhynian Religious Community of Reform Judaism.