On November 14, 2022, Anatoliy Podolskiy, a Leading Researcher of the Department of Ethnopolitics of our Institute, Candidate of Historical Sciences, gave a lengthy interview to the Hromadske Radio. During the discussion, the issues of historical memory of the Second World War and the history of the Holocaust were discussed.
Why is it important to preserve historical and cultural memory and why was it impossible during the USSR? Why does historical memory help us now to resist the enemy who wants to destroy our state and cultural identity?
In his interview, Anatoliy Podolskiy said in particular: “What is happening now is very important. Russian aggression against us calls into question the teaching of the history of the Second World War, in particular, the history of the Holocaust. Now we can no longer teach the way we taught it until February 24, 2022. We are doomed to associations, comparing the crimes of communism and National Socialism with the crimes of Russia nowadays.”
Anatoly Podolsky during an interview
Also, during the discussion at Hromadske, it was emphasized that during the Soviet period the topic of the Holocaust was silenced, as were the topics of the Ukrainian national movement, the Holodomor, prisoners of war, and forced laborers. The Soviet regime was not interested in people, their suffering and grief. It was profitable for the communist dictatorship to highlight only examples of heroism… Today, we suffer from Russian imperial aspirations, the autocratic regime of our northern neighbor, in particular, because we did not sufficiently highlight the past and memory about it.
At the end of the discussion, A. Podolskiy noted: “Russian aggression has been going on for 8 years and 8 months. And we defend ourselves and destroy the enemy. We will win. Many people give their lives for Ukraine. Now there are many Ukrainian Jews at the front. They, like all citizens of Ukraine, defend their Motherland. Thus, we understand that the tragedy of the Holodomor, the Gulag, and the Holocaust is not someone else’s story. This is our common history…”