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Babyn Yar: Our Common Ground And Our Common Grief – Petrowskaja
26 September, 2016
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What You Need To Know:

✅ “It’s not only a Jewish place. It’s our common ground and our common grief; “
✅ According to Petrowskaja, the whole landscape of Babi Yar doesn’t exist;
✅ Having chosen to write her book in in German, and not in her native Russian, she says she was trying to tell the story as if it was possible for everybody to identify themselves with this place;
✅ Petrowskaja says that while Ukraine is moving towards remembering, and recognizing their common history, “memory is only a part of creating a democratic society.”

“In many layers of society there is no memory. Babyn Yar is only part of this oblivion,” says Katja Petrowskaja, Author of ‘Maybe Esther’. Petrowskaja, who grew up in Kyiv, says the site of the deadly massacre where 100,000 people were killed was a part of her childhood, and a part of her city. “It’s not only a Jewish place. It’s our common ground and our common grief,“she says.

According to Petrowskaja, the whole landscape of Babi Yar doesn’t exist.

“The Soviet regime tried to destroy the landscape, not only the memory.” And even after Ukrainian independence, monuments were raised but people stood silent. “Nothing happens afterwards.

Having chosen to write her book in in German, and not in her native Russian, she says she was trying to tell the story as if it was possible for everybody to identify themselves with this place. She adds that “Germany is one of the most important countries for the so-called culture of memory, “ and they have taken responsibility for their guilt -- a process she says hasn’t occurred in Russia.

Petrowskaja says that while Ukraine is moving towards remembering, and recognizing their common history, “memory is only a part of creating a democratic society.”

Hromadske’s Josh Kovensky spoke to Katja Petrowskaja, Author ‘Maybe Esther’, via Skype on September 26th, 2016.