June 22 – 24, 2015 International Scholarly and Practical Seminar “Historical Memory About World War II, the Holocaust and Other Genocidal Phenomena” was conducted in Dnipropetrovsk. The event was organized by “Tkuma” Institute, Museum “Jewish Memory and Holocaust in Ukraine” in cooperation with O. Honchar Dnipropetrovsk National University, Zaporizhzhya National University, Ukrainian Catholic University and Holodomor Ukrainian Research Center.
As lecturers and moderators “Tkuma” Institute invited Gulnara Bekirova (Simferopol), Vladyslav and Lyudmyla Hrynevych (Kyiv), Oleksandr Davlyetov (Zaporizhzhya), Oleksandr Zaytsev (Lviv), Oleksandr Kruglov (Kharkiv), Vitaly Nakhmanovich (Kyiv), Sergey Svitlenko (Dnipropetrovsk), Timothy Snyder (USA), Yuriy Tabak (Russia), Andrey Tikhomirov (Belarus), Malkhaz Tsirikidze (Georgia), MartinSchulze-Wessel (Germany), Igor Shchupak (Dnipropetrovsk), and others.
During the first day of the seminars scholars talked about the persecution of Armenians and Jews by Russian troops during World War II, about image of “Kurkul” and “Petliurists” in Soviet propaganda of 1920-30s, Nazi ideology of the 1930s and its influence on the younger generation in Germany, the national question in the Ukrainian SSR in the interwar period. Issues related to the historical memory of the Holocaust in Ukraine raised lively discussions. In particular, report by Vitaliy Nakhmanovich, Leading Research Associate Kyiv History Museum and executive secretary of the Public Committee for the Commemoration of the victims of Babi Yar, was devoted analysis of such “complex” memorial place for Ukrainians as Babi Yar, where in addition to thirty thousand Jews, thousands of Ukrainians and Roma were murdered. Maryna Strilchuk. “Tkuma” Institute Research Associate, tried to analyze the transformation of the views of Soviet and post-Soviet historians on the problem of Holocaust.
The second day of the seminar was devoted to religious and philosophical problems of memory of specific events of the past: from historical memory about the Holocaust and collaboration to the questions on deportations of Crimean Tatars in 1944 and forced migration to Germany. Topics related to current events in Eastern Ukraine became of particular interest for the audience. Thus, Dr Igor Shchupak spoke about the impact of propaganda on the creation of “idols”, as well as the use of Soviet propaganda images as new “quasi-religion” in the former Soviet Union. Dr Vladyslav Hrynevych organically supplemented this report by speaking about the images of World War II, which are actively used by Russian propaganda to incite war in the Donbas. Both reports aroused lively discussions.
The third day of the seminar was devoted to presentations of new research publications by Dr Yaroslav Hrytsak and Dr Oleksandr Zaytsev, Professors of Ukrainian Catholic Universities;
Dr Oleksandr Davlyetov, Professor of Zaporizhzhya National University; Lyudmyla Sandul and Denys Shatalov, “Tkuma” Institute and Museum Research Associates.
Lecture by Timothy Snyder, Professor of Yale University, and presentation of his book “Bloodlands: Europe Between Hitler and Stalin” became the special event of the seminar.