President of Ukraine

President discussed the construction of the Babyn Yar Memorial in Kyiv

29 July 2020 - 09:45

President discussed the construction of the Babyn Yar Memorial in Kyiv

President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy held a video conference with members of the supervisory board of the Babyn Yar Holocaust Memorial Foundation.

The participants of the online meeting discussed the construction of the future Babyn Yar Holocaust Memorial Center in Kyiv.

Volodymyr Zelenskyy stressed the importance of honoring the memory of the Holocaust victims in Ukraine and supported the creation of such a memorial.

"Many Ukrainians hold the high title of Righteous Among the Nations. These are Ukrainians who saved Jews during the Holocaust often at the cost of their own lives. The creation of a memorial is very important for our country. There were many tragic pages in its history. However, we must remember them, tell them to our future generations. Such moments should be in the history of Ukraine. They are in our stories, in our memory, in our books. I really want this project to be implemented, to build history together with you," Volodymyr Zelenskyy said.

Natan Sharansky, Chairman of the supervisory board of the Babyn Yar Holocaust Memorial Foundation, noted that the history of Babyn Yar is important not only for the Jewish people. After all, representatives of other nationalities, including Ukrainians, Belarusians and Poles, were also murdered in this place.

"We have the same goals - to fight for freedom and democracy of our nations. This initiative is not just a monument, it will be a remarkable memorial, where there will be both a museum and a research center, which will promote tolerance in society and will be of global importance for Ukraine’s positioning in the world and international recognition. Such institutions all over the world are created in partnership with the state with the support of the country’s leadership," he said.

President of the World Jewish Congress Ronald Lauder stressed that the future memorial should give visitors a clear answer to the question of what anti-Semitism is. This project should be international and draw the world's attention to the history of Ukraine.

"This is the third generation that knows about the Holocaust. But if almost everyone knows about Auschwitz, the history of Babyn Yar is almost unknown to young people. I want people to come to Kyiv to see the Babyn Yar memorial to understand what happened here," Ronald Lauder said.

President of Poland in 1995-2005 Aleksander Kwaśniewski added that the project would have a significant impact on Ukraine's image.

"We want to talk seriously and sensually about the events that happened 80 years ago. And to look and understand with this story how to live in the future. This project has a great impact on the image of Ukraine and how people will understand modern Ukraine," he said.

The first President of Ukraine (1991-1994) Leonid Kravchuk was involved in the supervisory board. He stressed that the future memorial should be objectively truthful, honest and humane.

“The project is interesting, important and comprehensive. However, we must design it so that there are no discrepancies. We need to do everything so that it meets the highest humanitarian goals," he said.

According to Minister of Foreign Affairs and Vice Chancellor of Germany in 1998-2005 Joschka Fischer, the main goal of this project should be education and appeal to the younger generation.

"In this project, we will use the latest technology to preserve history," Joschka Fischer told.

Svyatoslav Vakarchuk, member of the supervisory board of the Babyn Yar Holocaust Memorial Foundation, noted that the construction of the complex is a matter of preserving the fair history of Ukraine.

"It is very important to show that Ukraine is part of the civilized world, which respects its memory, knows its history," he said.

The participants of the meeting discussed further cooperation within the project, as well as coordination of the parties in preparation for the 80th anniversary of the Babyn Yar tragedy.