UWC joins in remembrance in Kyiv of the victims of Babyn Yar on the 75th anniversary of this tragedy
On the invitation of the Prime Minister and Administration of the President of Ukraine, a Ukrainian World Congress (UWC) delegation led by President Eugene Czolij joined commemorative events in Kyiv, Ukraine, in remembrance of the victims of Babyn Yar on the 75th anniversary of this tragedy.
In Babyn Yar the Nazis, during their occupation of Ukraine, murdered over one hundred thousand people, including 33,771 Jews executed on 29-30 September 1941. Those who died at the hands of the Nazis in Babyn Yar also included priests, the local intelligentsia, among them Ukrainian poetess Olena Teliha and her husband Mykhailo (a renowned bandurist), editor-in-chief of the newspaper Ukraiinske Slovo Ivan Rohach, Head of the Kyiv municipal administration Volodymyr Bahaziy, and many members of the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists.
The solemn events also remembered the Righteous of Babyn Yar who, risking their own lives, protected Jews from death, and specifically Metropolitan of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church Andrey Sheptytsky.
On 26 September 2016 UWC President Eugene Czolij greeted a public symposium organized by the charitable initiative Ukrainian Jewish Encounter headed by prominent Canadian community activist and philanthropist of Ukrainian descent James Temerty.
On 27 September 2016 UWC President Eugene Czolij addressed parliamentary hearings in Ukraine on the topic “75th anniversary of the tragedy of Babyn Yar: lessons of history and the present.”
On 29 September 2016, the UWC delegation participated in state events at the National Historical Memorial Preserve “Babyn Yar” and a commemorative meeting with the President of Ukraine, and also attended a concert in honour of the memory of the victims of the Babyn Yar tragedy at the National Opera.
The UWC delegation included UWC President Eugene Czolij, First Vice President Jaroszlava Hartyanyi, UWC Vice Presidents Olena Koszarny and Tamara Gallo Olexy, Ukrainian Congress Committee of America President Andrew Futey, UWC Director of Humanitarian Initiatives Victor Hetmanczuk, UWC Liaison Officer to International Organizations Maryna Iaroshevych, and prominent Ukrainian community activist from Canada and producer of the feature film “Bitter Harvest” Ihor Ihnatowycz.
“May the memory of the more than one hundred thousand victims of Babyn Yar encourage us to rise to the defence of every individual who suffers from violations of human rights, including from Russian aggression in Donbas and Crimea,” stated UWC President Eugene Czolij.