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Tolerance and Non-Discrimionation

EDU-NET: EAST. New Leaders through Informal Education

During the German occupation in 1941-1944 on the territory of present-day Ukraine more than 1 million Jews and 12.000 Romani people were killed in mass shootings. They were buried in numerous mass graves.

The Protecting Memory international project aims to regulate forgotten and neglected mass graves of murdered Jews and Romani, to create next to these places sites of memory and information about them in order to preserve memory about the victims for presence and for the future.

There are more than 2.000 places of the mass shootings on the territory of modern Ukraine. In remote ravines, forests, fields, former anti-tank trenches and sand quarries Wehrmacht squads, SS and police often with an involvement of local population exterminated whole communities. Victims frequently were forced to undress and to dig pits by themselves. Men were killed first, after them women and children

After the war many of these places of murder were forsaken. For a few, who managed to survive, honoring the memory of killed family members, friends and acquaintances was possible exclusively in small inner circles. Official Soviet historiography rejected to recognize Jews and Romani as a separate group of victims of the Second World War. When survivors who came back to their towns erected small memorial obelisks, they had to be dedicated to peaceful Soviet citizens.

Protecting memory project combines attempts of architectural protection and respectable arrangement of the mass graves with historical and pedagogical work. The project complexity can be seen in the following principles and directions of conducting activities:

– Accurate location and borders of the mass graves in the places of the project are determined by noninvasive methods;

– Mass graves and adjacent areas are given administrative protection which means assigning of the territories to the communal ownership. After arrangement of such areas they should be made to the State Register of Immovable Monuments of Ukraine in the category of local significance. Therefore, they would become a subject to the state protection.

– Mass graves are protected by architectural constructions and are arranged as dignified sites of memory and information. Existing memorial signs are preserved and they keep getting integrated into new sites of memory.

– Location of the mass graves, the number of the victims, the fates of some of them and survivors, the course of the crime and information about perpetrators are defined by the use of historical studies. The results of the historical works are used in education program with local schools and students.

In the frames of the Protecting Memory project monuments and informational steles were constructed in 14 localities in various regions (oblast) of Ukraine, where in the years of the German occupation in 1941-1944 Jews were murdered and in three localities in Zhytomyr region (Kalynivka village, Olevsk district (raion); Divoshyn village, Ovruch district (raion); Ivanopil town, Chudniv district (raion), where Romani people were also killed

Further information about the project one can find on the web-site: https://www.erinnerungbewahren.de/uk/

Divoshyn village, Ovrutch district (raion), Zhytomyr region (oblast) (in Ukrainian)
Ivanopil town, Chudniv district (raion), Zhytomyr region (oblast) (in Ukrainian)
Kalynivka village, Olevsk district (raion), Zhytomyr region (oblast) (in Ukrainian)
Kolodyanka village, Novohrad-Volynskyi district (raion), Zhytomyr region (oblast) (in Ukrainian)
Liubar town, Zhytomyr region (oblast) (in Ukrainian)
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