Cover Osteuropa 1-2/2021

In Osteuropa 1-2/2021

The dispute surrounding Babi Yar
A memorial centre or a Holocaust Disneyland?

Darija Bad’jor

Deutsche Fassung


In Kyiv, a centre to commemorate the victims of the Shoah is to be created: the Babi Yar Holocaust Memorial Center (BYHMC) was founded in September 2016. Since then, it has been the subject of criticism, either because of funding for the project by businessmen based in Russia, or because of the type of content presented. The appointment of the scandal-ridden Russian film director, Ilya Khrzhankovsky, as artistic director, and his concept for the memorial centre, has led to open conflict. International museum specialists and historians walked out of the preparations for the memorial centre in protest. They fear that the memorial centre will become a Holocaust Disneyland, with no space for any serious museum education or remembrance. A lack of transparency and involvement of Ukrainian civil society further exacerbated the conflict.

(Osteuropa 1-2/2021, pp. 123–140)