Mass graves unearthed in Ukraine
bring calls for Holocaust openness
Courtesy of Federation of Jewish Communities of Ukraine
A local resident tells a group of visiting rabbis in June 2007 about the Nazi-era massacre of Jews in Gvozdavka, Ukraine.
By Vladimir Matveyev Published: 06/14/2007

KIEV (JTA) — With the discovery of a mass grave believed to contain the remains of thousands of Jews killed by the Nazis, angry Ukrainian Jewish leaders are demanding their country come clean on the Holocaust.

“During the Soviet era, Ukrainian authorities did not tell the truth about the real number of Holocaust victims” in Ukraine, said Mikhail Frenkel, head of the Association of Jewish Media in Ukraine. “Today some local authorities are still trying to conceal the numbers.”

Ukrainian officials say that isn’t the case.

“The situation is a rudiment of Soviet mentality and stereotypes,” Vasily Gazhaman of the Ukrainian State Committee on Religions and Nationalities told JTA.

Some Jewish leaders are insisting that the grisly discovery in the southern village of Gvozdavka be used to teach greater sensitivity regarding the massacre of Jews during the Holocaust and tolerance to younger Ukrainians.