REMEMBRANCE OF THE HOLOCAUST IN OSTROH: MEMORY PLACES AND SPACES, AND (COM)MEMORATIVE PRACTICES OF WORK WITH THEM

Authors

  • Khrystyna Semeryn National University Ostroh Academy

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.15407/mics2020.09.126

Keywords:

memory, the Holocaust, Urban Studies, Ostroh, a memory place, memorial landscape, commemoration

Abstract

During the Holocaust in Ostroh, the majority of the Jewish community, accounted from 64% to 70% of the then population and existed since the late 14th century, was ruined. The structure of the city was destroyed, and its multicultural history was broken up. A further totalitarian policy of the Soviet regime tried to deprive the material media of memory of its socio-cultural context and authenticity. In the article, I review the central locations saving the memory about the Holocaust, their current state, as well as memorial practices and forms of working with them. After the Shoah, the ancient Jewish cemetery in Ostroh was transformed into a Soviet recreation park. The territory of the Ostroh Jews’ execution was initially determined by the formula of the general identity of the “city residents,” notwithstanding the fact that the Nazis murdered the Jews overwhelmingly because of their origin. The Great Synagogue was for a long time a warehouse, and then it became almost a ruin. The march of the Maharsha was rebuilt and gradually restored only after Ukraine’s independence. I draw attention to the various forms of vandalism: garbage disposal, the destruction of graves, and the “Nazi” graffiti, which are still relevant regarding the Ostroh Jewish heritage. On a positive note, the dominant memory locations are now restored or being in the state of restoration. The variety of ways to work with them includes practices such as performances of remembrance, restoration and reconstruction, educational and tourist activities, an analysis of sources, documents, maps, decryption of texts and inscriptions, searches the graves, etc. In the same way, the development of an adequate policy aimed at preserving memory about the city’s lost identity and at intercultural understanding, developing tolerance and social consciousness, is of great importance today.

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Published

2020-07-23

How to Cite

Semeryn Х. (2020). REMEMBRANCE OF THE HOLOCAUST IN OSTROH: MEMORY PLACES AND SPACES, AND (COM)MEMORATIVE PRACTICES OF WORK WITH THEM. City History, Culture, Society, (9 (2), 126–140. https://doi.org/10.15407/mics2020.09.126