News

08.09.2011

Exhibition “Shoah by Bullets: Mass shootings of Jews in Ukraine 1941–1944”opened today in Kyiv, commemorating the 70th anniversary of the Babi Yar tragedy

Exhibition “Shoah by Bullets: Mass shootings of Jews in Ukraine 1941–1944”

On Thursday, September 8, 2011, an official opening of the exhibition “Shoah by Bullets: the Mass Shootings of Jews in Ukraine 1941-1944” has taken place in Kyiv, Ukraine, as part of the official national program commemorating the 70th anniversary of the Babi Yar tragedy. The exhibition is organized by the Victor Pinchuk Foundation in partnership with the Memorial de la Shoah, Yahad – In Unum and the Ukrainian Embassies of Israel, France, Germany and the United States. It will be on display at the ‘Ukrainian House’ (2, Khreschatyk, Kyiv) from September 9 to October 3, 2011.

The exhibition, previously displayed in Paris, Brussels, New York and other cities, is shown for the first time in Ukraine. It seeks to promote tolerance and prevent discrimination, particularly among younger generations. The exhibition is part of the official national program commemorating the 70th anniversary of the Babi Yar tragedy.

The event was attended by Father Patrick Desbois, Baron Eric de Rothschild (President of the Shoah Memorial), Speaker of the Ukrainian Parliament Volodymyr Lytvyn, Victor Pinchuk, ambassadors of the state of Israel, France, Germany, USA, Great Britain and other countries, as well as leading historians, experts, and other.

Father Patrick Desbois: “Our focus is identifying the mass gravesides of the genocide – we are not hunting for the killers or seeking to assign culpability. Instead, we are looking for the victims, who often cast aside forgotten in the historical reconstruction of events. Our work is about education and increasing awareness and understanding of the Holocaust in Eastern Europe. It is the greatest barrier we can build against future genocide.”

Baron Eric de Rothschild: “Since 2004, Father Patrick Desbois and a team of Yahad-In Unum researchers has found more than 500 Ukrainian witnesses who actually saw the massacres, some living close to the execution sites, some requisitioned during the executions of the Jewish population. Their testimony writes new pages in the book of history: the execution procedure of Jews in each town or village is now known, due to the bystander’s contribution.”

Victor Pinchuk: “We were all united by the goal to remember what happened. Understand how it happened. So that such horror never happens again, and that courage, cooperation and tolerance prevail in the future. So that knowledge and remembrance of our common history will reinforce Ukraine’s European destiny.”

The exhibition is created by the Memorial de la Shoah, updated and adapted with the help of leading Ukrainian experts. “Shoah by Bullets” is based on the work of the French Roman Catholic priest Father Patrick Desbois, who has been conducting archival and field research and videotaping interviews with witnesses to the mass shootings in Ukraine for many years. The exposition includes information on historical facts, video interviews, wartime documents, photographs of mass graves that have been discovered, and objects documenting the history of the mass shootings – such as bullets and shell casings, etc.

An educational program created by the USC Shoah Foundation Institute for Visual History and Education, USA, and the Ukrainian Centre for Holocaust Studies will be carried out during the exhibition, in order to involve, inform and engage Ukrainian pupils and students in a dialogue on the subject.

During the opening, Father Desbois presented his book, The Holocaust by Bullets: A Priest's Journey to Uncover the Truth Behind the Murder of 1.5 Million Jews, translated into Ukrainian for the first time, with financial support of the French Embassy. The Jewish Book Council awarded this book the National Jewish Book Award in 2008.

The Victor Pinchuk Foundation in partnership with “Istorychna Pravda”, media partner of the exhibition, has launched a website of the exhibition: www.istpravda.com.ua/holocaust-history

The exhibition will be shown at the ‘Ukrainian House’ (2, Khreschatyk, Kyiv) from September 9 to October 3.
It will not be shown on September 21-23.

Opening hours: Monday – Friday, 09:00 am – 19:00 pm, Saturday, Sunday 11:00 – 17:00.
Admission is free.
To book group excursions in advance, please call +38 044 285 90 30

Organizers:
The Victor Pinchuk Foundation
Memorial de la Shoah
Yahad – In Unum

Partners:
Embassy of France in Ukraine
Embassy of Germany in Ukraine
Embassy of Israel in Ukraine
Embassy of the United States of America in Ukraine
Ukrainian Centre for Holocaust Studies
USC Shoah Foundation Institute for Visual History and Education
Center of Studies of History and Culture of Eastern-European Jews
Kyiv City State Administration

Media Partner
“Istorychna Pravda”

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