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New 'Babi Yar' Plaque Omits All Mention of Jewish Nazi Victims

Simon Wiesenthal Center criticized Russian authorities for “revisionist history” of Holocaust mass murder at Babi Yar in Ukraine.
By Rachel Hirshfeld
First Publish: 8/14/2012, 11:45 AM

Holocaust memorial
Holocaust memorial
Israel news photo: Flash 90

The Simon Wiesenthal Center together with the Russian Holocaust Center of Moscow criticized Russian authorities on Monday for their “revisionist history” regarding the Holocaust mass murder that occurred at Babi Yar in the Ukraine.

Last year, authorities removed a plaque, placed at the mass grave on the outskirts of Rostov in 2006, that identified most of the Nazi victims as Jews.

The current plaque, however, deletes all Jewish references, in an epitaph to "the peaceful citizens of Rostov-on-the-Don and Soviet prisoners of war."

Shimon Samuels, the Wiesenthal Center’s director of international relations, said that the “plaque's identity theft was a form of 'memoricide', twice murdering the victim - in both life and posterity."

Samuels called upon the authorities "to take the opportunity of this 70th anniversary of the greatest Holocaust massacre on Russian territory, compared with the Ukrainian Babi Yar - to promptly return the previous plaque or provide a new truthful narrative."

Former Chief Rabbi of Israel, Meir Lau, attended the proceedings to honor the memory of Rostov resident, Fedor Michovichenko, a Righteous Gentile who saved him as a child prisoner in Buchenwald.

A local teacher recalled comments among German high-school students who “heroize Hitler” and contribute to the revision of history. The Wiesenthal Centre offered the Russian Holocaust Center its documentary films, to counteract the new and increasingly prevalent revisionism.

"Each of the over one thousand mourners at the commemoration donned a yellow star armband marked 'Jude'. Though emotionally disturbing, this marked a gesture of defiance. To wear it inspired our collective obligation to the faithful transmission of memory across the generations," Samuels said.