On September 2, researchers of the Babyn Yar National Historical and Memorial Reserve Andriy Tkachuk, Volodymyr Korneliuk, Iryna Myzak, and Mykhailo Hutor took part in the presentation of the exposition of the National Museum of the History of Ukraine in the Second World War documentary exhibition "Holocaust" dedicated to the 80th-anniversary of the beginning the mass executions of Jews in Ukraine and the 80th anniversary of the Babyn Yar tragedy.
With the help of artefacts from the collection of the Museum of War and the collection of the Sheremetyev Museum, the exhibition reveals the scale, peculiarities and tragic consequences of the Holocaust for Ukraine, highlights the complex and controversial aspects of the tragedy.
One of the central exhibits of the exhibition is a piano, inside which the Righteous Among the Nations Yakim and Polina and their children Victor and Valentina Oleynichenko hid the Jewish boy Veniamin Boryskovsky from the Nazis. This relic was donated to the Museum by Valentina Ponomareva's daughter (Oleynichenko) in early July 2021. A valuable item was delivered from Mariupol to the Museum by the military of the Armed Forces of Ukraine.
It was only 80 years later that it was possible to read for the first time Meyer Tsipes's message from Kamianets-Podilskyi to his son Isaac in Kharkiv, written in Yiddish. Isaac's granddaughter Julia Korsunska, a US citizen, helped the Museum with the translation.
The exhibition also presents paintings by artists Zinovy Tolkachev and Isaac Tartakovsky. Isaac Tartakovsky, by the way, was saved from death during the German occupation by the Righteous Among the Nations, Stepan, Nadezhda and Lydia Savchuk.
The co-moderators of the event were: Dmytro Hainetdinov, Head of the Research and Education Department of the National Museum of the History of Ukraine in the Second World War, and Anatoliy Podolsky, Candidate of Historical Sciences, Director of the Ukrainian Center for Holocaust Studies.
The event was attended by First Secretary of the Embassy of Israel in Ukraine Oleksandra Ben Ari, Head of the Culture Department of the Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany in Ukraine Katarina Schaupp-Karmann, Chief Rabbi of Kyiv Jonathan Benjamin Markovich, philanthropist and collector Oleksiy Sheremetievthe head of the department of History of WWII of Institute of History of Ukraine of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine, Doctor of Historical Sciences, Professor Oleksandr Lysenko, children of the outstanding artist Isaac Tartakovsky Olena and Anatoliy, representatives of the Armed Forces of Ukraine and others.
Jonathan Benjamin Markovich told the tragic story of his family, which was almost completely destroyed during the Holocaust. He remembered the words of his grandfather, who survived, got married, and his family continued to live: "Remember the past, stand firmly on your feet and do not let anyone prevent you from living." Rabbi Markovich read the Psalms of David for the repose of the souls of the people who died tragically in the Holocaust, and blew a shofar, a ritual musical instrument, on the eve of Rosh Hashanah's Jewish New Year.
Katarina Schaupp-Karmann said: “This event is very important, especially this year when we are celebrating the 80th anniversary of the Babyn Yar tragedy. We are very grateful for the cooperation of the Museum and the Ukrainian Center for Holocaust Studies. A few months ago, we presented the exhibition "Let's Protect Memory" here. One of our most important goals is to draw the attention of young people, teachers and students to the Holocaust. "
"This exhibition is much wider than any time limit," said Ivan Kovalchuk, director-general of the National Museum of Ukrainian History in World War II. - Although the stories presented at it happened a long time ago, the problems of moral choice, humanity, self-sacrifice and mercy are eternal. The best human virtues and deeds worthy of respect, regardless of their remoteness, should become spiritual guidelines for our society today. Let history teach us to be better, wiser, more tolerant, more responsible. "