What You Need To Know:
✅ Hitler's campaign for the black earth of Ukraine led to the Holocaust;
✅ "We don't know much about Poland, Ukraine and Belarus, but that's where the Holocaust actually took place";
✅ Reforms and proper governance are key to Ukrainian success;
✅ Reforming Ukraine is the best way to defeat Russian aggression.
Yale Professor of History Timothy Snyder discusses the aim of his new book “Black Earth: The Holocaust as History and Warning”
“I’m trying to show that one of the causes of the Holocaust was Hitler’s colonial campaign for the black earth of Ukraine. If Hitler didn’t start a war to create a colony in Eastern Europe, the Holocaust would not have been possible.”
“I’m mainly concerned about explanation. We have many points of view, but we don’t know much about Poland, Ukraine, and Belarus, and that’s where the Holocaust actually took place. So I’m trying to make sure the history is a general one, a European one, and I’m also trying to explain.”
He believes that history needs to make sense to all points of view, “You can’t treat the nice history differently from the dark history. It’s all history, you have to accept it all. It’s for this reason that I don’t like when the Ukrainian state or any state tells people how to carry out their research.”
In discussing the contemporary conflict in Ukraine, he believes reforms and a functioning state are the best strategy for Ukraine to succeed. “The rule of law is what people cared about on Maidan… I believe that if the Ukrainian government can build a functioning state on the territory it controls then the war in Donbas and Crimea will solve themselves… The best policy for Donbas is to reform the rest of Ukraine. It’s also the best policy towards Russia.”
Hromadske's Andrii Saichuk spoke to Professor Snyder in Kyiv on September 13th, 2015.
// Video by Andrii Saichuk and Yakiv Liubchych. Filmed 09.13.2015.