Tribute to the Jewish victims of the massacre at Babi Yar 31.
(photo credit:Sergey Vladykiu)
Dozens of lawmakers gathered in the Ukrainian capital of Kiev on Monday for an
international conference condemning anti-Semitism.
Participants at the
event, organized by Ukrainian lawmaker and businessman Oleksandr Feldman, issued
a joint declaration commemorating the 70th anniversary of the massacre of Jews
by the Nazis at Babi Yar, which takes place next week.
“Babi Yar should
be viewed as a symbol of man’s inhumanity to man and an example of the horrific
cost which can be imposed in the name of hatred and intolerance,” the
“Educational efforts must be reinforced all over the
globe to establish the Babi Yar massacre as not simply another event within the
horrific scope of the Holocaust, but as a telling indicator of the breadth of
During the two-day gathering delegates from over a dozen
countries debated the significance of the Holocaust at the Ukrainian parliament
with local lawmakers.
Vice President of the Bundetstag Petra Pau spoke on
behalf of the German government saying events which took place in her country
over 70 years ago were examples of why supporters of democracy must stay united
“Germany’s history teaches us that the reasons
fascism gained power was not that the Nazis were so strong but because democrats
were hopelessly divided on crucial issues,” the social democrat said. “This must
be remembered when commemorating the millions of victims of the
Israel’s representative to the conference, MK Alex Miller
(Yisrael Beiteinu) used the opportunity to call on delegates to oppose the
expected unilateral Palestinian statehood bid at the United
“Nowadays we often see that anti-Semitism is being converted
into anti-Israeli sentiment,” he said. “Recognizing a country which does not
recognize us could potentially take us back to the dark times of the mid- 20th
Other lawmakers in attendance included MPs John Mann and Denis
MacShance of the UK; Raffi Hovannisian of Armenia; Yusuf Ziya Irbec of Turkey;
and Rufat Guliyev of Azerbaijan.
“I first arrived in Kiev in 1975 to
study and I know the city very well,” Guliyev said. “But before I visited Babi
Yar I had never realized the size and significance of the Holocaust.”
the end of the gathering participants issued a second declaration calling for
the establishment of a museum in Kiev depicting the history of the Jews in
“So as to transform this important vision into reality, we call
for broad international support – both moral and financial,” it
Feldman, who is also the head of the Ukrainian Jewish Committee,
said he hoped to turn the conference into an annual event.
Relevant to your professional network? Please share on Linkedin