History - Ukraine

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.

After having read Philippe Sands’ essay East West Street, Danny Trom visited Lemberg, once Polish and now Ukrainian, the town at the center of the book and toured in Galicia on the trail of his own heritage. The path of Lemkin and Lauterpacht, the two heroes of Sands’ bestseller, overlaps with those of Trom’s grandfather. Galicia, this was a land of crime and the epicenter of nascent international law. But why does Sands occlude the fact that this was also the birthplace of the Zionist dream, expressed in Yiddish?

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