Despite the situation, delegation of ministers and parliamentarians from across Europe commemorate the Babyn Yar massacre in Kiev

January 28, 2022

The two-day visit of the delegation was organized by the European Jewish Association (EJA) in partnership with the Babyn Yar Holocaust Memorial Center and the Federation of Jewish Communities of Ukraine ahead of International Holocaust Remembrance Daywrites Yossi Lempkowicz.
“We appreciate very much that you choose to come to Ukraine despite the current situation,” said Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Olha Stefanishyna as she addressed a delegation of 100 senior ministers, members of parliament, diplomats and Jewish leaders from across Europe who visited Kiev to commemorate Babyn Yar, the most infamous sites of the Holocaust and to pledge to promote education of the Holocaust in schools and to fight antisemitism.
The two-day visit of the delegation was organized by the European Jewish Association (EJA) in partnership with the Babyn Yar Holocaust Memorial Center and the Federation of Jewish Communities of Ukraine ahead of International Holocaust Remembrance Day. The initiative aims to keep antisemitism as a priority political and educational issue and ensure that the Babyn Yar tragedy is never forgotten.
Also known as the “Holocaust by bullets”, Babyn Yar saw around 34,000 Jews murdered and buried in a mass grave by the Nazis and their collaborators in two days in September 1941, and is never forgotten.
Day one saw a symposium to discuss the challenge of combating on-going antisemitism across the continent and the creation of parliamentary working groups to tackle the issue on all its forms.
Among the speakers who addressed the symposium on Monday was the Ukraine Parliament President Ruslan Stefanchuk (pictured, below), who stressed that Ukraine is the fourth country when it comes to the number of Righteous Among the Nations, those who helped Jews during WWII.

“Fighting antisemitism is an endless task which cannot be summed up to polite speeches in one day in the yearly calendar,” declared Rabbi Menachem Margolin, Chairman of the European Jewish Association, during a memorial ceremony at the site of Babyn Yar.

The Ukranian parliament recently adopted al law  to fight and prevent antisemitism in the country and to commemorate the Holocaust. “Memory is the only way to fight antisemitism,” he said. “The atrocities all happened because people kept silent because fear, indifference and egoism. The study of the Holocaust is of special importance for the Ukrainians,” he added.
”Fighting antisemitism is an endless task which cannot be summed up to polite speeches in one day in the yearly calendar,’’ declared Rabbi Menachem Margolin, chairman of the European Jewish Association.
“Significant educational work in all formal and informal educational frameworks and in civil society are needed  and they all need to be backed by concrete laws and not by mere recommendations,” he said.
Michael Sidko, last survivor of the Babi Yar massacare, who lives in Israel, shared his story with the conference attendees. He was six years old when the atrocity occurred. His mother, younger sister Clara and baby brother were shot dead by the Nazis in cold blood. He and his brother managed to escape thanks to one of the Ukrainian guards who let some children escape to the forests. Sidko asked members of parliament to return to their countries and work to teach the younger generation the story of the Holocaust and its lessons and to educate them to strive for peace and brotherhood among all peoples.
Michael Sidko, last survivor of the Babi Yar massacare
Rabbi Meir Stambler, Chairman of the Federation of Jewish Communities of Ukraine, noted that Jewish communities in the country are being renewed with the full support of the authorities. “There is a lot of dualities in relation to the nation’s heroes who were also antisemitic and we warn about that but understand that this is a nation being rebuilt after 70 years of communism. As someone who walks the streets of Kiev with all the hallmarks of a religious Jew, I must note that in Kiev I feel much safer as a Jew than Paris, Brussels. London or any other European capital,” he said,
The delegation of personalities participated in a memorial ceremony at the site of the Babyn Yar massacre where a memorial museum is being built.
https://www.eureporter.co/world/israel/holocaust/2022/01/28/despite-the-situation-delegation-of-ministers-and-parliamentarians-from-across-europe-commemorate-in-kiev-the-babyn-yar-massacre/

Additional Articles

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Jewish group urges halt to Nazi memorabilia auction featuring Hitler's wristwatch

In an open letter co-signed by 34 Jewish leaders, the Brussels-based European Jewish Association (EJA) called for Maryland-based Alexander Historical Auctions to abandon its sale of a slew of Nazi objects.

The items auctioned by the broker include a gold watch and candy bowl belonging to Adolf Hitler, and items belonging to his partner, Eva Braun, including a dress and dog collar for her terrier.

Also on sale are Wehrmacht toilet paper and the cutlery and champagne glasses of senior Nazi figures.

The highest valued item — the watch belonging to Hitler — was expected to fetch between $2 million (€1.97 million) and $4 million. The sale was taking place over two days from Thursday to Friday.

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CZECH « PERSONALITIES OF THE THIRD REICH » CALENDAR : CONDEMNATION IS MEANINGLESS IF SUCH ITEMS ARE NOT BANNED, SAYS EUROPEAN JEWISH HEAD

«Such items have no place in civil society, especially in a country that suffered so much under the nazi jackboot » – Rabbi Menachem Margolin.
As a storm erupted in Czech Republic diplomatic circles over the publication and sale of a calendar depicting « personalities of the Third Reich, the head of the Brussels based European Jewish Association said that in a time of rising antisemitism, condemnation was not enough and Czech authorities must ban all and any items that glorify the horrendous actions of the Nazis.
In a statement Rabbi Margolin, the Chairman of the European Jewish Association said :
«I find it incredible that a country that suffered massacres under the hard jackboot of the Nazis, and whose soldiers and airmen heroically fought the third reich from exile, would even countenance having such an item to buy in their country.
« The publisher states that there is demand for such items. We heard similar words from an auction house in Munich that was selling Nazi memorabilia in 2019. This is not an excuse.
« Words of condemnation whilst welcome are meaningless. The sale of such items is not only disgusting and an affront to the millions that perished under nazi ideology, but is very, very  dangerous in times of rising antisemitism. It glorifies murder, empowers those who hate the « other », and trivialises each and every abhorrent act undertaken by Hitler and his henchmen.
« I urge the czech government, for the sake of decency, for the honour of their fallen heroes and to send a messgae to Jews in the Czech Republic and across the world, to outlaw and ban the sale of any and all nazi memorabilia. »
you can read more about the story HERE

New Cooperation with The TSKŻ, Poland

The European Jewish Association is proud and delighted to welcome another organisation to our growing roster of partners and communities.

We have just concluded and signed a memorandum of understanding with Poland’s TSKZ.

The TSKŻ (The Social and Cultural Association of Jews in Poland) is the most important organization representing the interests of the Jewish community of Poland with 16 branches and nearly 2,000 active members.

TSKŻ aims to organize and to promote cultural events and Jewish art exhibitions, to consolidate and preserve the cultural heritage of Polish Jews, the Jewish culture among Jews and Poles, Yiddish language courses and publishing projects. The organisation is very active in preserving the memory of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising and of the Shoah.

They are also organizing conferences and lectures on Jewish and Israeli topics.

TSKŻ is managing welfare and health programs for its elderly members.

TSKŻ is also operating summer camps for youth and a Training & Holiday Center “Śródborowianka” in Otwock, as a place of regular meetings of the Jewish community from all over the country.

When two dynamic and active Jewish organisations get together and agree to work closely together, beautiful and important things flow from this. We look forward to working for the betterment of Polish and European Jewry together.

Chairman of the Council of Ministers of Bosnia and Herzegovina Blessings for Rosh HaShanah18-21-09-2020

The EJA warmly thanks H.E. Zoran Tegeltija, Chairman of the Council of Ministers of Bosnia and Herzegovina, for His Excellency’s kind wishes to the European Jewry in light of the recent holiday of Rosh Hashanah (Jewish New Year).

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