Thematic meeting "Humanity in times of cruelty"


On November 26, in the exhibition hall of the National Historical and Memorial Reserve "Babyn Yar" a thematic meeting, "Humanity in times of cruelty", with the Righteous of the Peoples of the World, the Righteous of Ukraine and the Righteous Babi Yar took place. Boris Glazunov, General Director of the "Babyn Yar" NIMZ, in particular, said: "One can only wonder how powerful the spiritual foundation of the Righteous was. After all, in the context of the escalation of madness, the instinct of self-defence obliges to instantly find the enemy, otherwise, you will disappear. Some people saw the terrible omnipotence of evil, and because of their own salvation, they stood on his side. Naive: even if they managed to save a life, they ruined their souls ... Others thought they were wiser to watch only, hoping that their troubles would somehow disappear. Therefore, "prudent" also carried on their own shame and guilt.

As the English philosopher Edmund Burke rightly said, "the only thing that is needed for the triumph of evil is that good people do nothing." However, fortunately, there were people who, despite the instinct of selfpreservation, tried to preserve humanity in that non-human world and help someone who was doomed to death. After all, the Righteous of the peoples of the world managed to neutralize the effect of Evil in their hearts, although Evil tried to knock down a man from a righteous path. Mankind must know their names. President of the ICF "INSHE ZHITTIA" - Elena V. Balashova handed gifts to the Righteous. Righteous "In those days a gloom was throughout. . It seemed that in the heavens and on earth all the gates of compassion were closed. The murderer killed and the Jews were dying, and the outside world was either an accomplice or remained aloof. Only a few have had the courage not to remain indifferent. These few men and women were vulnerable, frightened, helpless - what distinguished them from their fellow citizens? Why were they so few? Remember: the victim can be mostly hurt because of indifferent beholder's dishonesty, not a cruel oppressor... Do not let me finally forget that the moment of choice always comes ... And so we need to know about these good people who helped the Jews during the Catastrophe. We must learn from them and remember them with gratitude and hope. " Eli Wiesel, Nobel Laureate. The Holocaust ... What is this? Apocalypse? Plague of hatred for the whole nation? Sophisticated destruction and extermination of the whole people. This historical event is a universal tragedy. For the first time, the "Holocaust" as a term was used in the first decade of the XX century. The Jewish Holocaust was described in the books of Eli Wiesel, a Jewish writer who passed through the hell of Auschwitz and Buchenwald. After his first book, "And the world was silent," published in 1956, the word "Holocaust" began to be written in capital letters. During the Holocaust - the catastrophe of European Jewry, representatives of other nationalities treated the Jews in different ways - from indifference to hostility. Most non-emotionally watched the neighbours and acquaintances arrested and killed. There were also those who helped the Nazis in the "final solution of the Jewish question", others were profited from the plundered property. Unlike the West European territories, the occupation regime in Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union was much more brutal in punishing those accused of helping the Jews. For the hiding of a Jew, the occupiers threatened to be shot not only to the rescuer, but also his whole family. This was reported by numerous leaflets on the streets, SS officers regularly accomplished searches and round-ups. In Poland, since 1942, Nazis killed not only a rescuer but also members of his family. We find such facts in the territory of Western Ukraine as well. In the opinion of the scientist Janna Kovba, in Galicia, among local residents (Poles and Ukrainians), "seven from ten passively or actively sympathized with the Jews." Rescuers of the Jews were often people of different political beliefs and representatives of various religious denominations. According to estimates of Prof. J. Honigsman, only in the Lviv region in 1943 more than a hundred Ukrainians were executed by the Nazis because of the provision of asylum to Jews. In Lviv, 38% of all criminal cases of the extraordinary German court for the population "Sondergericht" concerned those who hid the Jews or provided them with some other kind of assistance. According to preliminary data, more than 17 thousand Jews were rescued in the territory of Ukraine by representatives of different nationalities. Among the Ukrainians, there were thousands of those who risked and sacrificed themselves and their families, saved and concealed the Jews, with whom our people lived for centuries as the neighbours. Some of these Ukrainians are now Righteous Among the Nations. This title, according to the Israeli Law "On the Memory of the Catastrophe", is given to nonJews who, during the Nazi occupation, saved Jews from persecution. The title "Righteous Among the Nations" has been awarded since 1963 by a public commission under the Yad Vashem, which includes well-known Israeli lawyers, historians, as well as representatives of the Holocaust survivors. The honorable title "Righteous Among the Nations" is granted if the nominee nominated by the Jewish community meets the following requirements for the existence of the following conditions: 1) the implementation of active acts for the salvation of Jews, even if these actions were unsuccessful because of the circumstances independent of the savior; 2) for a real threat to the life of the savior associated with such actions; 3) for disinterestedness, that is, for the salvation of Jews without receiving or waiting for remuneration; 4) if, during the rescue operation, as well as before and after, the rescuer did not harm other Jews or non-Jews; 5) in the presence of reliable evidence. Scientists have long been trying to make a general portrait of "righteous" to better understand their motivation to come to the rescue. Professor of Sociology Samuel P. Oliner and his wife Pearl M. Oliner, a lecturer at the University of California, believe that all the rescuers are altruistic, empathy and a sense of complicity. The person who risked saving Jews during the Holocaust, and recognized as the Righteous Among the Nations, receives the medal of the Righteous, an honorary diploma and the right to add his name to the list written on the Wall of Honor in the Garden of the Righteous at Yad Vashem in Jerusalem. Rescuers or their immediate relatives receive a reward during the ceremony in Israel or in their countries at the premises of the Israeli diplomatic missions.

These ceremonies are held in the presence of local government representatives and are widely covered in the media. It is the most honourable duty for Israeli diplomats than honouring not only everyone who died during the Shoah but also the Righteous Among the Nations. As of January 1, 2017, there were 26,513 righteous in 51 countries, including 2573 in Ukraine. The rescue of Jews in European countries occupied by the Nazis has long been studied and recorded in the State of Israel by the Institute of Heroism and the Catastrophe of European Jewry in Jerusalem - Yad Vashem. Active searches of Ukrainians who saved the Jews doomed to death, began in October 1988. It was the very time that the Kyiv Society of Jewish Culture and its first structure - the "Memory Babyn Yar" Foundation began their activities, which directed its efforts to find the Righteous in the territory of Ukraine. In April 1989, the "Memory of Babyn Yar" Foundation approved the title "Righteous of Babyn Yar", "The Righteous of Ukraine". The first evidence about of their saviours was provided by those who survived during the shooting: Genya Batashova, Maria Palti, Raisa Dashkevich, Joseph Gusarev, Vasily Mikhailovsky, Lyudmila Borodyanka, Shelia Polischuk, Roman Shteyn. The first righteous were the members of the family of the priest O.Glagolev - his wife and children. In November 1989, Kyiv's Teacher's House hosted the first meeting of Kyivans rescued from shooting and their saviours. The participants of the meeting were more than 600 people. The first diplomas "Righteous Babyn Yar" were given to the families of the Glagolevs, Bondarenko, Seagulls, Patyutes, Altinnikovs, as well as Olena Berezlova, Olga Rozhchenko, Lyudmila Chekhova. In 1989, the Association of the Righteous of Babyn Yar was founded. It consists of all those who have been awarded the title "Righteous Babyn Yar", or "Children of the Righteous". The Association is engaged in solving domestic problems, providing humanitarian assistance, organizing meetings, celebrating holidays and birthdays. Righteous people often meet schoolchildren, speak at rallies, participate in television programs. The Kyiv City State Administration annually organizes the solemn commemoration of the Righteous by Mayor of Kyiv. The leaders of the Association were Yuriy Myaskovsky, Olga Rozhchenko. Now it is headed by Sophia Yarova. In 2016, the researchers of the National Historical and Memorial Reserve "Babyn Yar" analyzed the archive of the All-Ukrainian Jewish Council and found that the title "Righteous Babyn Yar" is awarded to 625 people, the title of the Righteous of Ukraine have1543 men (work with current archival materials continues). In 2006, 2008 and 2010, the President of Ukraine Viktor Yushchenko awarded 423 Righteous Among the Nations, the Righteous of Ukraine and the Righteous of Babyn Yar to the Order "For Merits" of the III degree and "For Courage" of the III degree