What beggared belief early this year has now become the harrowing, ongoing reality in Ukraine and a staple of the daily news. Russia is once again waging a brutal war against Ukraine, resuming and expanding what began in 2014 with the illegal annexation of Crimea. In response, we as a museum are doing we can and we consider our mission: to showcase Jewish, historical, and societal vantage points, shed light on history, and ensure that Jewish voices are heard. And that is what have been doing in our Ukraine in Context discussion series, on our website, and in this issue of the JMB Journal.
We examine the region’s complex Jewish-Ukrainian history as well as the rich literature of Bukovina. We also explore Babyn Yar, where the brutal 1941 massacre has been commemorated with a new synagogue since 2021. We have published photographs by an artist who emigrated from Kyiv to Germany in the late 1990s, as well as images of objects from our collection with a variety of links to Ukraine.
“Everything that is now happening in Ukraine is bound up closely with German and European history ,” stressed psychologist Marina Chernivsky in an interview. Almost half of members of Jewish communities in Germany have roots in Ukraine. The country is part of the diverse Jewish heritage and cultural richness here in Germany.
Contributing writers: Inka Bertz, Marina Chernivsky, Franziska Davies, Tasha Karlyuka, Rita Ostrovska, Robert Jan van Pelt, Jörg Waßmer, Daniel Wildmann, Markus Winkler, and Theresia Ziehe.