The Jewish Confederation of Ukraine under the support of The World Holocaust Remembrance Center “Yad Vashem”(Israel), are going to publish “The Book of the Righteous Among the Nations, citizens of Ukraine”, who saved Jews during the Holocaust at the territory of Ukraine.
The edition is dedicated to the 80th anniversary of the Babyn Yar tragedy. This was announced by the President of the JCU Boris Lozhkin.
Almost 80 years ago on September 29-30, 1941, the Nazis murdered about 33,771 Jews in Babyn Yar ravine in Kiev. Mass assassination in Babyn Yar continued until 1943, where 110000-150000 persons were killed, most of who were Jews.
Majority of Jews who stayed in Kiev at that period of time were killed at Babyn Yar. However, some persons were saved by Kievites of various non-Jewish origins. After the Second World War, such heroes were awarded the honorary title of the Righteous Among the Nations by the the World Holocaust Remembrance Center “Yad Vashem”.
According to the official data of the “Yad Vashem”, at present there are 2,659 Righteous Among the Nations who risked their lives and saved Jews in Ukraine during the Holocaust. Boris Lozhkin noticed that criteria to confer the title of Righteous Among the Nations are very strict. Besides, the main stage in establishing the facts of salvation fell on the Soviet period of Ukrainian history, when state anti-Semitism was especially strong. Therefore, many salvation stories were not recorded.
“2659 persons - Righteous Among the Nations - are also 2659 dramatic stories, unique examples of courage and heroism. Our Book will contain many of these stories including photographs of the Righteous and the people they saved”, Boris Lozhkin said about the project.
The title Righteous Among the Nations takes its beginning from 1953, when Israeli Knesset issued a Law of establishing “Yad Vashem”. Since 1963 the World Holocaust Remembrance Center “Yad Vashem”, on behalf of the State of Israel and the Jewish people, has begun to award this title to those non-Jewish persons whose rescue actions could be documented or attested by the saved persons and their relatives.
Some of Righteous Persons saved Jews in Kyiv during massacres in Babyn Yar. The Babyn Yar Tragedy is a symbol of the beginning of the Holocaust in the Eastern Europe. The Book is going to be published in Ukraine before the 80th anniversary of the tragedy of Babyn Yar. It will be dedicated to the Righteous Among the Nations, who saved Jews in Ukraine and around the world.