Article by Lisa Vapné

Maya Katznelson founded the “Centre for Belarusian-Jewish Cultural Heritage” (BJCH centre) in 2019, with the aim of collecting and exhibiting the rich Jewish cultural heritage of Belarus. One of the goals of the centre, after having already hosted various events, is to create a Belarusian Jewish Museum, a space that also combines research and education. Maya Katznelson had to leave her country because of the events that are currently shaking her region. She spent two months in residence at the Museum of Jewish Art and History (Mahj) in Paris and is temporarily living in London.

Exactly eighty years ago, on September 29-30, 1941, nearly 34,000 Jews from Kiev were executed at Babi Yar, a ravine located west of the Ukrainian capital. The question of the memorialization of the site, raised at the end of the war, has still not found a clear answer to this day. Lisa Vapné gives us a glimpse of the long and conflicting history, full of twists and turns, of a memory that has yet to be built on the very site of the crime.

With the support of:

Thanks to the Paris office of the Heinrich Böll Foundation for their cooperation in the design of the magazine’s website.