Seminar of the Russian teachers at Yad Vashem10 2013
(April 2-10) seminar for teachers of Russian educational institutions completed
in the Yad Vashem International School for Holocaust. 24 representatives from
more than 20 cities and regions of Russia took part in the spring seminar.
Russian teachers participated in mourning events in Yad Vashem, dedicated to
the 70th anniversary of the rebellion in the Warsaw ghetto, and
attended the familiarization tour around Israel.
Moscow. Exhibition “Power of the Civil Society: The fate of the Bulgarian Jews”.28 2013
of March, Moscow. The exhibition “Power of the Civil Society: The fate of the
Bulgarian Jews” opened in the Holocaust Museum in the Memorial synagogue at the
RJC on Poklonnaya Gora.
It was dedicated to their rescue during the Holocaust
with active support of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church. For this act of bravery
the Church was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize in 2013.The Bulgarian
ambassador to Russia Boyko Kotzev opened exhibition. Alla Gerber (Member of the
Open Chamber of the Russian Federation), Anatoly Shein (Deputy of the State Duma
of the Russian Federation), Beni Briskin (RJC director), and Efim Gologorsky (Head
of the international Union of former ghetto prisoners) spoke at the
presentation of the exhibition, conducted by Ilya Altman. There were greetings
read out from the Israeli ambassador to Russia Dorit Golender and the Chief
Rabbi of Russia Berl Lazar.
Session of the Club “Unknown Holocaust”: ‘Was Nikita Khrushchev an anti-Semite?”22 2013
meeting of the Club “Unknown Holocaust” took place on March 21st. An author of many works on history of state anti-Semitism,
a leading researcher of the Institute of Russian History, a board member of the
Russian Holocaust Center Dr. Gennadi Kostyrchenko delivered the lecture “Was Nikita
Khrushchev an anti-Semite?” This was also the first presentation of the
author’s new book “Khrushchev’s secret politics. Power, intelligentsia, Jewish
issue” (Moscow: “International Relations”, 2012).
lecturer built his presentation on the comparison of anti-Jewish statements and
actions of Stalin and Khrushchev. While recognizing pragmatic nature of
Stalin’s attitude toward the Jewish and Israel, Dr. Kostyrhcenko also
highlighted Khrushchev’s impulsiveness and anti-Semitism.
In memory of Marina Solodkina17 2013
March 17th, 2013
Marina Solodkina, the member of the Knesset of several terms, a great friend of the Russian Holocaust Center, recently passed away. It happened during the anti-Nazi conference that took place in Riga. Marina was slightly more than 60 years old…
She was a daughter of the former prisoner of the Hmelniksky ghetto (Ukraine), a partisan and soldier of the Great Patriotic War, a representative of the “second generation” – children, who survived Shoah. Till very last minutes she remained the guardian of family roots (she planned to work on the book about her late father’s memories), devoted to the preservation of the Holocaust victims and heroes of opposition. She constantly kept in touch with the members of Hmelniksky Landsmannschaft in Israel – former prisoners of the ghetto, took part in mourning ceremonies, dedicated to anniversaries of murders of the Jewish people.
We often used to meet in Moscow, her hometown, and in Israel. Last time – in Yad Vashem last summer during the conference dedicated to Raoul Wallenberg. We discussed how to perpetuate the “Righteous among the Nations” in Israel and Russia – Marina Solodkina initiated the Knesset Law on the introduction of the Righteous Day on August 12th, Raoul Wallenberg’s birthday and the meeting of the Knesset, dedicated to his 100th birthday.
Ilya Altman, Gregory Reikhman
New documents and facts about Chiune Sugihara12 2013
A Round table named “Chiune
Sugihara and the USSR: New documents, facts, hypothesis” took place in Moscow
on March 12th at the Holocaust Museum in the Memorial synagogue at
the RJC on Poklonnaya Gora. Co-chairman of the Russian Holocaust Center Ilya Altman and Professor David Wolf
(University of Hokkaido, Japan) presented their works on the life and deeds of
one of the most famous Righteous of the Nations, whose significant part of life
was directly and indirectly connected with the USSR. It was the second meeting
(the first one took place in Helsinki on February 23rd, 2013) of
Russian and Japanese historians and archivists within the project of the Russian Holocaust Center and University of Rikkyo
(Tokyo). It covered the preparation of the documentary edition about a famous
Japanese diplomat and the circumstances of the Jewish refugees’ transit through
the USSR in 1940-1941s.
The Historical and diplomatic
department of the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, with which assistance
unique documents from the Archive of the Russian Foreign Policy were obtained,
supported the project. These documents allow us to clarify the dates of Chiune
Sugihara’s work in the Japanese Consulate in Petropavlovsk-on-Kamchatka in
1936; the reasons for a denial to obtain the Soviet visa in the beginning of
1937, when Sugihara was appointed to be a member of the Japanese Embassy team in
Moscow; dramatic circumstance of the return of the ship with refugees by the
Japanese officials and obtainment of visas in Vladivostok in March-April of
Discussion club “Unknown Holocaust”: On collaboration28 2013
February 28th the regular meeting of the Discussion club “Unknown
Holocaust” took place at the Russian
Holocaust Center. It involved the presentations of the books
and projects by the military historians Ivan Kovtun (from left to right on the
picture) and Dmitriy Zhukov on the Holocaust and collaboration on the Russian
territory during the Great Patriotic War. There was a lively discussion on the
Russian SS Brigade “Druzhina” under the command of F. Gil-Rodionov. This is a
very important publication, given the fact that there have been made attempts in
Russia to misrepresent and prettify the story of this formation, to the point that
of presenting its commander as a partisan hero and overlooking the crimes committed
by Russian SS soldiers against the civilians in Poland, Belarus, on their
participation in the mass murder of the Jewish people (particularly Slutsk
ghetto), anti-partisan activities carried out by “Druzhina” before joining Soviet
partisans in summer of 1943.
book about the Russian SS brigade “Druzhina” can be found here: http://www.docme.ru/doc/23825/zhukov-d.,-kovtun-i.---1-ya-russkaya-brigada-ss-druzhina-(vra...
Helsinki. Round table on Chiune Sugahara26 2013
February 25-26th in the capital of Finland the Round table on the
topic “Documents about the life and deeds of Chiune Sugahara, in the context of
the Cold War took place. He was a Righteous among the Nations, Japanese consul
in Helsinki, Kaunas, Konigsberg and Bucharest, who adopted Orthodox
Christianity at age of 24 in 1936 and worked in the USSR in 1960-1974. Ilya
Altman spoke about new documents on Chiune Sugahara, provided by the Archive of
Foreign Politics under the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Head archivists of the Japanese Ministry of
Foreign Affairs Dr. Ishida and Dr. Siraisi, as well as Professor Takao from the
University of Rikkyo (Tokio).
Alla Gerber’s “Once and now” book presentation at Moscow Jewish Community Center (MJCC)07 2013
7th at MJCC “Tekst” publishing house with the participation of
“MJCC’s library friends club” presented Alla Gerber’s new book “Once and
now”. The book is a collection of
photographs and documents from the family archive, author, her friends and
family’s memories about Holocaust – one of the most horrible tragedies of the
presentation provided a great opportunity for all guests to talk to Alla
Gerber, the author of affecting articles, interviews, speeches on TV and radio,
and ask questions about the story of her family and other Jewish families that
survived the Holocaust, what once happened and what there is now.
Altman, co-chairman of the Russian Holocaust Center gave a speech at the event.
The International Forum “The Nazi genocide of Jews and Gypsies in Eastern Europe. Issues of study, origins and methodology” with participation of the Russian Holocaust Center opened in the synagogue o07 2013
“We are used
to talk about the uniqueness and unprecedented essence of the Holocaust, – said
the co-chairman of the Russian Holocaust Center, Professor Ilya Altman, - but
there is an aspect of its universalism. And this fact just highlights that
there is no genocide against only one nation. Genocide is the most horrifying
crime of the 20th century, and who, but the Jewish people, know the
most about it. Armenian genocide on the eve of the First World War, Gypsies’ massacre
during the Second World war are the elements of the same politics of hatred”.
International Forum “Nazi Genocide of Roma and Jews in Eastern Europe: Research, Methodology and Source Issues”06 2013
On February 6, the Jewish Heritage and Holocaust Museum in Moscow on Poklonnaja Gora hosted the International Forum “Nazi Genocide of Roma and Jews in Eastern Europe: Research, Methodology and Source Issue”, dedicated to research on the genocide of Roma and Jews during the Second World War period, at the site of the Russian Jewish Congress (RJC) with the scientific and organizational assistance of the Russian Research and Educational Holocaust Center.
The Forum consisted of 2 parts – a scientific conference on the above mentioned topic and the opening of the exhibition “Routes of Disappearance. Jewish and Roma Memory of Transnistria”. The academic part of the Forum included 2 sections and a round-table discussion. Leading scholars from 8 Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, Moldova, Romania, Sweden, Israel, and France presented and participated in the Forum.
The first Section was devoted to studying and teaching the topic of the annihilation of Roma and Jews, focusing on post-Soviet space. In this section of the Forum, the participants dealt with the contemporary situation in the field of Romani and Jewish Genocide Studies. Co-chairman of the Russian Research and Educational Holocaust Center Professor Ilya Altman summarized the overall development of Holocaust Studies in Russia over the last 20 years. Head of the Archive Department of Russian Holocaust Center Leonid Tyorushkin devoted his report to documental sources concerning the Holocaust and destruction of Romani in Latvia, noting the contemporary conditions of this issue.
The second Section was devoted to various aspects of Romani and Jews persecution that had heretofore received little attention. An interesting report in this section was presented by the director of the “Historical Memory” Foundation Alexandr Dyukov, who told about the Lithuanian Activist Front and their anti- Semitic policy in the year 1940. Kiril Feferman, Head of Research and Educational Departments of Russian Holocaust Center, gave a talk on Jewish attitudes towards evacuation and escape from the Wehrmacht invasion of the territories of the USSR in early 1941. A pioneering report about an almost unknown aspect of Roma studies, namely the issue of how the “Roma Question” was presented in the collaborationist media was given by Doctor of History and professor of Novgorod State University Boris Kovalyov.
In addition, the report of Dr. Shimon Samuels, Director for International Relations of the Simon Wiesenthal Centre was read out. Dr. Samuels couldn’t be present in person, but in spite of this had sent his report to the Forum about the international policy of memory concerning the Jewish and Romani tragedies and the necessity of the struggle against contemporary anti-Semitism and Romophobia.
This Forum was the first event in post-Soviet space to place the issues of Roma and Jewish genocide on equal footing in terms of quantity and quality of presentations, and to provide a space for representatives of various scholarly communities, schools of thought and perspectives from the West as well as the East.
After the ending of the Forum’s academic part, a ceremonial opening of the exhibition “Routes of Disappearance. Jewish and Roma Memory of Transnistria” dedicated to the fates of Jews and Roma during the Romanian occupation of the Bessarabia and Northern Bukovina territories at the time of the Second World War, took place in the frame of the Forum.
Anna Abakunova, a Head of the Inter-Ethnic and Cross-Cultural Relations Research Center
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