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June 29, 2022 1:50 pm

US Holocaust Memorial Museum Opens Ukrainian Archives to Public for the First Time

avatar by Shiryn Ghermezian

United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C. Photo: Phil Kalina/Flickr.

The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum is making digital copies of its Ukrainian records related to the Holocaust available online for the first time.

With special permission from the Ukrainian State Archives, more than 10 million pages of records will be accessible online to scholars, historians, family researchers and the public.

The first million pages of the records are now searchable on the museum’s website, and additional materials will be made available every month until all of the museum’s Ukrainian archives are uploaded.

The files include historical materials from before, during and after the Holocaust, related to topics including the Nazi administration in occupied Ukraine and the Ukrainian auxiliary police; Jewish ghettos; pogroms during the Russian civil war; and the restitution of Jewish property. The collections also include information about the activities of Jewish political, cultural, educational and philanthropic organizations in Ukraine during the Holocaust, as well as post-war episodes, such as Soviet investigations into war crimes committed by Germans and their allies.

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“After four months of war in Ukraine and the potential of even more targeted destruction of Ukrainian cultural sites, including museums and archives, it is a historical imperative to make these materials digitally available,” said Rebecca Boehling, director of the Museum’s David M. Rubenstein National Institute for Holocaust Documentation. “We want to facilitate access and ensure these records remain available even if the originals are destroyed.”

At least 1.5 million Jews were killed in Ukraine during the Holocaust, according to the museum. On Sept. 29-30, 1941, more than 33,000 Jews were shot and killed in just two days at the Babi Yar ravine on the outskirts of Kyiv.

The Eastern European country was home one of Europe’s largest Jewish populations prior to World War II.

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