The end of communism has not eased the challenge faced by former Soviet republics in commemorating the Holocaust. Observed the Sofia Globe: “It is not uncommon in Central and Eastern Europe, and in the Balkans in particular, for there to be a lack of consensus on shared history. In some cases, that lack of consensus extends to remembrance and interpretations of the Holocaust.”
However, memorials and museums continue to be opened throughout the region. In 2009 a Holocaust museum was opened in Odessa, recognizing that Ukraine was a center of killing. Another museum was opened in Dnipropetrovsk last fall.
Memorials were added in Slovakia last year. The Museum of the History of the Polish Jews is set to open in Warsaw in April. Three years ago the Schindler’s Factory museum opened in Krakow. Various commemorations also have been held in Romania, Serbia, and Turkey. However, Romania suffered from controversy last after the appointment of a government minister who had denied that Romania persecuted Jews.
Those living today in the former communist states obviously were not responsible for the Holocaust. However, the rise of extremist parties in a number of countries makes it especially important to preserve the memory of what happens when the bonds of civilization are broken.
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