On September 26, 2021, a unique event took place in Dnipro – the meeting of the Righteous Among the Nations. The initiative to honor Ukrainian heroes – rescuers of Jews during the Holocaust –was made by the United Jewish Community of Ukraine with the support of the Dnipro Jewish Community, Museum “Jewish Memory and Holocaust in Ukraine”, “Tkuma” Institute, Odessa Jewish Association – former ghetto prisoners and Nazi concentration camps, the Holocaust Museum in memory of the victims of fascism (Odessa) and the Kharkiv Holocaust Museum.
Descendants of 29 families of Ukrainian rescuers – the Righteous Among the Nations, the Righteous of Ukraine and the Righteous of Babyn Yar – arrived to Dnipro from 11 regions of Ukraine. These are the children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren of those who, risking their own lives and the lives of their families, rescued Jews and helped them survive the Holocaust.
City tour and tour around the “Menorah” – the world’s largest community center was organized for distinguished guests. The participants of the meeting visited Museum “Jewish Memory and Holocaust in Ukraine”, a guided tour of which was conducted by researchers Dr. Olena Ishchenko and Tatiana Selyutina.
Dr. Igor Shchupak had the honor to communicate with representatives of the families of True Heroes, as Yakov Suslensky called the Righteous Among the Nations. The documentary “Righteous” was shown (2019, director – Yevhen Titarenko, producer – Natalia Khazan), created with the support of the State Administration of Dnipropetrovsk region and with the participation of “Tkuma” Institute and Museum “Jewish Memory and Holocaust in Ukraine”. It is symbolic that one of the heroes of the film – Serhiy Levchenko, the son of the Righteous Among the Nations Natalia Levchenko – was on the meeting. We recorded a video interview with Yevhen Tytarenko’s team; we will work on new films. Finally, modern pupils and students are visuals, and video sources of information are the most effective for perception.
The culmination of the meeting was a solemn event honoring the memory of Ukrainian Jewish rescuers during World War II. Touching and incredible stories of rescue were heard (in one family, for example, there were five Righteous Among the Nations), relatives showed family relics – photos and documents, medals and diplomas of the Righteous – sometimes with tears.
Sincere gratitude and a low bow to the extraordinary Ukrainian families who risked their lives to rescue the most valuable thing – human life.