On February 26-27 in Munich the meeting of the Ukrainian and German historians and discussion on the creation of Ukrainian-German Historical Commission was held. In particular, the participants defined the range of the questions for discussing. They included questions on the Holocaust history teaching and the creation of the alternative textbook on World War II and the Holocaust history.
Intellectuals of Ukraine and Germany have been planning the idea of creating the Ukrainian-German Commission for a long time. But this idea turned into reality only now. Polina Barvinskya, Candidate of Historical Sciences, Doctoral Candidate of Modern History Department of I. I. Mechnikov Odesa National University, the specialist on Ukrainian-German relations; Yaroslav Hrytsak, Doctor of Historical Sciences, Professor of Ukrainian Catholic University; Igor Shchupak, Candidate of Historical Sciences, “Tkuma” Ukrainian Institute for Holocaust Studies and Museum “Jewish Memory and Holocaust in Ukraine” Director represented Ukrainian part in the creation of the Commission.
Dr. Shchupak is a member of the similar Ukrainian-Polish Committee which has been successfully operating for 17 years. The members of the Committee are analyzing the content of Ukrainian and Polish textbooks, discussing controversial questions and searching for the ways of objective coverage of Ukrainian-Polish history.
The Ukrainian-Russian Commission operated until recently, but it’s very difficult to call it effective as sometimes great Russian chauvinism interfered into the search for compromise, and the Soviet way of thinking and “creation of history” completely ruined the chances for objectivity.
Ukrainian-German Historical Commission is going to be successful, because this initiative aims at not just arguing about what already exists, but at creating something new and common. It plans not to destroy what separates us and but to look for what will bring us together. This way is the most constructive.
In the nearest future we are waiting for the new information regarding the Commission establishment.