"Tkuma" Ukrainian Institute for Holocaust Studies conducts international scholarly conferences, releases scholarly literature (monographs, scholarly journal, textbooks, manuals, collections of documents and memoirs, etc.), coordinates and implements important research projects.
One of the main "Tkuma" Institute research topics is the feat of Righteous Among the Nations who rescued Jews during the Holocaust risking their own lives and lives of their families.
The mechanism of the Nazi "final solution of the Jewish question" in occupied Ukraine, problems of international relations during the World War II, the Holocaust, resistance etc. hold the important place in "Tkuma" Institute research.
Among "Tkuma" Institute publications issued in the first half of 2015 there are: new issue of the scholarly journal "Holocaust Studies", collection of memoirs "Reviving Memory", Proceedings of the International Scholarly Conference "Righteous and Other Rescuers during the Holocaust: Ukraine's Example in Comparative Context", album of photographs and documents "Nazi New Order in Ukrainian Cities" and others. We plan to release books on the Holocaust in Ukraine, the phenomenon of Righteous Among the Nations, research on regional aspects of the Holocaust.
"Tkuma" Ukrainian Institute for Holocaust Studies closely and effectively cooperates with research, museum and archival institutions from Ukraine, Austria, Belarus, Canada, Germany, Israel, Moldova, Polans, Russia, the USA, Sweden, etc.
On October 15, 2015 Montreal hosted Panel Discussion dedicated to Andrey Sheptytsky, Metropolitan of Ukrainian Greek-Catholic Church, and Ukrainian-Jewish Relations. The event was organized by Ukrainian-Jewish Dialogue of Montreal in collaboration with the Jewish Public Library. Dr Igor Shchupak, "Tkuma"Д Institute and the Holocaust Museum Director was invited to participate in the discussion.
Within the framework International Scholarly and Practical Seminar “Historical Memory About World War II, the Holocaust and Other Genocidal Phenomena” “Tkuma” Institute singed the agreement on cooperation for creation of the exhibition “Soviet Policy of Creating Famine in Ukraine (1920 - early 1930)” with Holodomor Ukrainian Research Center.
During the signing ceremony, Dr Igor Shchupak noted that the new exhibition, which is planned to be open at the Museum “Jewish Memory and Holocaust in Ukraine”, will show not only famine of 1932-1933, but also less known cases of an artificial famine in the Soviet regime 1920-30s of the 20 c.
Dr Lyudmyla Hrynevych said that no natural phenomena – drought, crop failures, etc. – can cause mass death from starvation. Government is always responsible for this and we need to determine whether similar phenomena were the result of unprofessionalism and incompetence, criminal negligence and irresponsibility, or whether they were part of a criminal plan and were carried out deliberately. Regarding all forms of hunger during this period, as emphasized Lyudmyla Hrynevych, the researchers have no doubts – it was part of the criminal policies of the Soviet regime, which falls under the definition of genocide.
June 22 – 24, 2015 International Scholarly and Practical Seminar “Historical Memory About World War II, the Holocaust and Other Genocidal Phenomena” was conducted in Dnipropetrovsk. The event was organized by “Tkuma” Institute, Museum “Jewish Memory and Holocaust in Ukraine” in cooperation with O. Honchar Dnipropetrovsk National University, Zaporizhzhya National University, Ukrainian Catholic University and Holodomor Ukrainian Research Center.
As lecturers and moderators “Tkuma” Institute invited Gulnara Bekirova (Simferopol), Vladyslav and Lyudmyla Hrynevych (Kyiv), Oleksandr Davlyetov (Zaporizhzhya), Oleksandr Zaytsev (Lviv), Oleksandr Kruglov (Kharkiv), Vitaly Nakhmanovich (Kyiv), Sergey Svitlenko (Dnipropetrovsk), Timothy Snyder (USA), Yuriy Tabak (Russia), Andrey Tikhomirov (Belarus), Malkhaz Tsirikidze (Georgia), MartinSchulze-Wessel (Germany), Igor Shchupak (Dnipropetrovsk), and others.
During the first day of the seminars scholars talked about the persecution of Armenians and Jews by Russian troops during World War II, about image of “Kurkul” and “Petliurists” in Soviet propaganda of 1920-30s, Nazi ideology of the 1930s and its influence on the younger generation in Germany, the national question in the Ukrainian SSR in the interwar period. Issues related to the historical memory of the Holocaust in Ukraine raised lively discussions. In particular, report by Vitaliy Nakhmanovich, Leading Research Associate Kyiv History Museum and executive secretary of the Public Committee for the Commemoration of the victims of Babi Yar, was devoted analysis of such “complex” memorial place for Ukrainians as Babi Yar, where in addition to thirty thousand Jews, thousands of Ukrainians and Roma were murdered. Maryna Strilchuk. “Tkuma” Institute Research Associate, tried to analyze the transformation of the views of Soviet and post-Soviet historians on the problem of Holocaust.
The second day of the seminar was devoted to religious and philosophical problems of memory of specific events of the past: from historical memory about the Holocaust and collaboration to the questions on deportations of Crimean Tatars in 1944 and forced migration to Germany. Topics related to current events in Eastern Ukraine became of particular interest for the audience. Thus, Dr Igor Shchupak spoke about the impact of propaganda on the creation of “idols”, as well as the use of Soviet propaganda images as new “quasi-religion” in the former Soviet Union. Dr Vladyslav Hrynevych organically supplemented this report by speaking about the images of World War II, which are actively used by Russian propaganda to incite war in the Donbas. Both reports aroused lively discussions.
The third day of the seminar was devoted to presentations of new research publications by Dr Yaroslav Hrytsak and Dr Oleksandr Zaytsev, Professors of Ukrainian Catholic Universities;
Dr Oleksandr Davlyetov, Professor of Zaporizhzhya National University; Lyudmyla Sandul and Denys Shatalov, “Tkuma” Institute and Museum Research Associates.
Lecture by Timothy Snyder, Professor of Yale University, and presentation of his book “Bloodlands: Europe Between Hitler and Stalin” became the special event of the seminar.
May 18 – 23, 2015 “Tkuma” Institute in cooperation with Jewish Museum Berlin conducted educational seminar for teachers and Institute research associates. The seminar was conducted with financial support of Conference of Jewish Material Claims Against Germany and Embassy of Federal Republic of Germany in Ukraine.
Within the framework of seminar program participants had an opportunity to visit Jewish Museum Berlin as well as its library and archive, German Historical Museum and Museum “Topography of Terror”.
Large collections of various exhibits, modern technical equipment, large number of multimedia development (installations, etc.) – this is only a partial list of what participants saw in Berlin museums. In addition, it was interesting to learn about the methodology of museum lessons. As a rule, German museums take into account the age of the visitors and, depending on that, offer special programs. For example, Jewish Museum Berlin while working with children of 1-5 classes use special computer games through which children can learn the features of Jewish history, culture and religion. Thus, children understand the topic via not studying the text, but through visualization. After each lesson there is a small debate; i.e. from the very young age children learn how to defend their opinion.
Museum “Topography of Terror” proposes interesting methodology of history studying as well. Visitors first see ordinary photos of tragic past – the rule of the Nazi regime in Germany, particularly in Berlin. Illustrative material shows various aspects of life of Germans during the 1933-1945 and in the postwar years. If this information is not enough to represent a complete historical picture, then you can go outside, and near the entrance to the museum you will see ruins of the buildings that once made up the powerful bureaucratic apparatus of Nazi Germany (and even the building of the museum is located in the former Nazi authorities).
Overall, 6-day seminar became a great opportunity to raise the level of professional knowledge and capabilities. Acquaintance the new European approaches to the design of museum exhibitions, the methods of educational programs at the museums can be used, in particular, when dealing with scientific and educational programs of “Tkuma” Institute and Museum “Jewish Memory and Holocaust in Ukraine”.
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.