Holocaust Museum Urges Ukraine To Examine Its History of Anti-Semitism

http://forward.com/articles/200016/holocaust-museum-urges-ukraine-to-examine-its-hist/?
On Trial: Menakhem Mendl Beilis, whose blood libel trial took place in Ukraine in 1913, with his family in the Russian Empire of the 1910’s.

As Ukraine grapples with political upheaval and threats to its territorial integrity, the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum is confronting the country’s post-revolution government with another, no less difficult challenge: contending with its past treatment of Jews.

The museum has urged the new government in Kiev to set up an international commission to examine its troubled relations throughout the 20th century with the country’s Jewish community.

Aware of the country’s current turmoil, a delegation of museum officials visiting Kiev presented the proposal as an idea, not necessarily as an immediate priority to be implemented quickly. But according to museum director Sara Bloomfield, the initial response from Ukrainian officials was positive.

“In this country — you can’t really separate communism, Nazism and anti-Semitism,” Bloomfield said in a June 8 phone interview from Kiev. She noted that discussing anti-Semitism and teaching about it in Ukraine should span from the early twentieth century, including the infamous 1913 blood libel trial of Menachem Mendel Beilis through the Stalinist persecution of Jews and the collaboration of some Ukrainian nationalists with the Nazis during the Third Reich’s occupation of the country.

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