Voice of the Jewish News: A crucial archive
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Voice of the Jewish News: A crucial archive

This week's editorial reflects on an important exhibit held in the Houses of Parliament, focusing on the first Holocaust memorial and learning centre in any Russian-speaking land

We commend those creating the first Holocaust memorial and learning centre in any Russian-speaking land, details of which were brought to the UK this week in a showcase exhibition at the House of Commons.

The site in question is Babi Yar, near the Ukrainian capital Kiev, (or Kyiv) and supporters made the point in London that while the US, Israel and much of Europe takes Holocaust commemoration seriously, some states in the former Soviet Union are still in the old mindset, turning a blind eye.

Ukrainian schoolchildren learn ad hoc about the Babi Yar massacre, where Nazis shot dead more than 33,000 of the city’s Jews in one weekend, but their learning is neither deep nor systematic.

In short, a memorial and learning centre that jointly acts as an archive is much needed.

The money is there. The Kiev mayor has already given the land. Architects are already designing. Yet there may be obstacles. No national politician has yet stood in the way, but the content has not yet been decided. Expect problems if it addresses complicity.

The time is now for Ukrainians to be as brave, tell their truth about the Holocaust, and show they are European in both value and deed.

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