This project involves creation of Holocaust museums in public schools and colleges in Ukraine. We pick an educational institution that is located within a short walking distance from a place where the Jews were killed. Our educational activities include excursions to the place of massacre, making a museum material real and not theoretical.
For students from other cities and nearby villages we organize bus trips to the museums and memorials where they have educational and commemoration events.
A few words about our research and artifacts used in the museums: we focus on the local Shoah events and use rare, archival materials from major museums like United States Holocaust Museum and Israel’s Yad Vashem Museum as well as from other sources. All information is being analyzed and verified. High school students work as guides in our school museums.
Segue into History
Jews settled in Lubny in the first half of the 17th century. The famous writer Shalom Aleichem served as a rabbi there between 1880 and 1883. By the beginning of 20th century, the population of Lubny was almost 30 percent Jewish, and more than 90 stores in town belonged to Jews.
On October 16th, 1941 Nazis ordered all Jews to come to the square with their belongings for further resettlement. Every one of the 4,000 people who came to the meeting point were marched to the Zasulskiy Ravine on the outskirts of town and killed by the Sonderkommando 4а.
Our work in Lubny started with a large commemoration event in 2015 held at the killing site on the date of the mass killings. The mayor of Lubny, local public officials, media, the Jewish community, and school students came to the memorial to commemorate the victims. Students from several local schools also planted eight metasequoias.
At the commemoration event, a local principle from Zasuls’ka Gymnasium, asked us to support his effort to create a Holocaust museum dedicated to the tragic local events.
Work on the museum started in the winter of 2016. The museum opened the same year on the 75th anniversary of these tragic events.
It is a very active, successful local museum offering group tours and events. Older Ukrainian school students conduct excursions, telling the local Shoah stories to their peers from other schools.
– Gennady Khenkin, the Head of the local Jewish Community of Lubny and the school principle, Anatoly Savenkov were the key contributors in Lubny project.