«Jewish Observer»
July 2002
5762 Av

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Babiy Yar!

At these words the heart of every Jew, every honest person of any nationality sinks from pain and anger, and terrible pictures of the Jewish tragedy come to the minds. That's why everything related to this place and its history concerns the entire Jewry and that's why live disputes over constructing a new Jewish Heritage Community Center in Kiev have involved not only former Kievites, but all "Russian", "Ukrainian" and other Jews who now reside in the town of Dimona in Israel. Disputes boil down to the question, " Where should a Center be built? - "within" Babiy Yar or "near" it?" We, probably, are not able to pass a well-grounded judgment being here, but we are absolutely convinced: to construct "within" is IMPOSSIBLE. It is IMPOSIBLE to build something in the place thousands of victims shed their blood on, it is IMPOSSIBLE to get something built in the death zone. That's why we consider the words "within" and "near" blasphemous, especially bearing in mind that a Community Center will be home to art circles and a recreation center, and various holidays will be marked there after our traditions.

That's why we are categorically against "within". As for "nearby", we believe this notion should be very accurately defined for not a single brick be laid in the place poured by at least a drop of Jewish blood. If this Center is engaged in solely science, history of the development of Jewish culture, then there is enough space "nearby" in Syrets convenient for a new Jewish community house.

Such is our opinion.

Veterans of World War II,
fighters against Nazism and
other inhabitants of Dimona, Israel (31 signatures in total).

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