SUSK Attends Commemoration of Babyn Yar
The Ukrainian Canadian Students’ Union (SUSK) is honoured to have participated in the 75th anniversary of the human tragedy that occurred at Babyn Yar (Babi Yar), a ravine in Kyiv. Babyn Yar has become a major symbol of the destruction of Europe’s Jews during the Holocaust. This by far was the largest commemoration of Babyn Yar in Ukraine and greatly contrasts with its years under Soviet occupation, where crimes against Jews were deliberately covered up.
The Ukrainian Jewish Encounter (UJE) invited SUSK to participate in the commemoration of this event, where we selected External Relations Director Stephanie Nedoshytko to attend as a delegate.
“The Babyn Yar symposium gave a Jewish perspective to Ukrainian history, one that I was generally unfamiliar with. Through this conference, Ukrainians were able to show that they not only take responsibility for their actions in the Holocaust, but also that many Ukrainians helped Jews throughout this horrible atrocity. Both communities were able to share the experience of facing horrible genocide through the discussion of not only the Holocaust but also the Holodomor,” Nedoshytko remarked.
The Ukrainian Jewish Encounter also took the participants on tour through appropriate historical sites concerning Ukrainian-Jewish relations. Nedoshytko recalled one of the symposium include a session from Timothy Snyder (“Babyn Yar and the Holocaust: Remembering the Future”) as one of her highlights, where he attributes three possible causes of the Babyn Yar: colonial war, anti-semitic ideology, and policies of lawlessness. Snyder observed that the most dangerous factor concerning nation is it’s lack of statehood, of which Ukraine is no exception.
External Relations Director Stephanie Nedoshytko, pictured with Timothy Snyder and Norman Neimark
Ukrainian President Poroshenko also made significant remarks on the atrocity during the weekend, stating that ”No Ukrainian has the right to forget the Babyn Yar massacre.”
SUSK would like to thank the Ukrainian Jewish Encounter for inviting us to participate in this poignant event. SUSK will continue to advocate for the interests of Ukrainian Canadian students.
Full press release available here