Kyiv will defend idea of creating memorial to Ukrainian victims of Nazism in Berlin – ambassador
Ukraine will continue to promote the idea of creating a memorial to the Ukrainian victims of Nazism in Berlin, Ukraine’s Ambassador to Germany Andriy Melnyk has said in an interview with Ukrinform.
“As for our initiative on a memorial to Ukrainian victims, I will say at once that we are at the very beginning of the road. I hope that in coming days official appeals will be sent to the Bundestag, which is actually responsible for such issues, from the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine and the general public,” the ambassador said.
He noted that Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba was actively supporting this idea and had already discussed it with his German counterpart Heiko Maas.
Melnyk said it was difficult to predict what the final decision of the German parliament will be, given the incredible sensitivity of the subject of historical responsibility. For example, Poland, which has also been badly affected by Nazi Germany, has been seeking the construction of a monument to Polish victims of Nazism in Berlin for quite a long time, and the issue has not yet been resolved. However, Melnyk said, the number of Bundestag deputies who support the idea is constantly growing, which gives hope that Ukraine’s initiative will soon find understanding.
The ambassador stressed that Ukraine “has no intention to compete with other nations affected by the brown plague,” as this would be the height of cynicism. However, ordinary Germans, not just historians, should know that it was on the territory of Ukraine that Nazis committed unprecedented crimes against civilians, that five out of eight million Ukrainians killed were civilians, and that at least 2.4 million Ukrainians were forcibly deported to Germany.
In addition, the recognition of historical responsibility before Ukraine also concerns today’s politics, he said.
“I think if the monument to eight million Ukrainians who died in World War II had stood in the center of the German capital for five years, the discussions around Nord Stream 2 and other similar projects that are sensitive to us would have been held in a completely different manner,” Melnyk said.
On May 8, Ukraine’s Embassy in Germany will hold for the sixth time a ceremony honoring World War II victims in the Tiergarten Park in the center of Berlin.