The Book of the Righteous among the Nations in Ukraine will be published to the 80th anniversary of the Babyn Yar tragedy. It will be dedicated to the Ukrainians who saved Jews during the Second World War. The book has been prepared by the Jewish Confederation of Ukraine in cooperation with the Babyn Yar Holocaust Memorial Center (BYHMC), according to the BYHMC.
The title of the Righteous Among the Nations has been awarded by the Yad Vashem - The World Holocaust Remembrance Center in Israel since 1953. There are 2,659 Righteous in Ukraine, officially recognized by Yad Vashem.
“The 2,659 Righteous Among the Nations are 2,659 dramatic stories, unique examples of courage and heroism. There will be many such stories in our Book, including photographs of the Righteous and the saved people,” noted Boris Lozhkin, President of the Jewish Confederation of Ukraine.
Ukraine ranks 4th in the world by the number of the Righteous Among the Nations. However, there were many more Ukrainians who rescued Jews, according to the statement of the Babyn Yar Holocaust Memorial Center. This is due to the fact that the main stage in collecting information about the heroism of the Righteous fell on the Soviet period of Ukrainian history, when the memory of the Holocaust was hushed up or distorted in the USSR.
“The Righteous Among the Nations have often been the only ray of hope for the doomed. Those people risked their lives and the lives of their relatives to save the persecuted Jews. In the stories of King Solomon it is said: “Every way of a man is right in his own eyes, but the LORD weighs the heart.” Those people are righteous according to God’s laws, which are higher than human standards,” said Natan Sharansky, head of the supervisory board of the Babyn Yar Holocaust Memorial Center.
Only 18 Ukrainians who have been awarded the title of Righteous Among the Nations by Yad Vashem are still alive.
The Nazis shot 33,771 Jews at the Babyn Yar ravine in Kyiv on September 29-30, 1941. The executions at Babyn Yar continued until 1943. More than 100 thousand people were killed there during that time, most of whom were Jews.
In total, the Nazis killed 1.5 million Jews on the territory of Ukraine during the Second World War.