Connecting Memory

Connecting Memory

Funding: Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Germany
Organizations implementing the project: FoundationMemorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe (Berlin, Germany), Ukrainian Center for Holocaust Studies, Insha Osvita
Partners: «After Silence» NGO, Docudays UA, DOCU/CLUB Network, Osnabrück University (Osnabrück, Germany)
Duration: 2020—2023
Budget: 5 508 379,12 UAH

The “Connecting Memory” project deals with permanent protection of Jews and Roma mass graves from the Second World War. Since 2010 measures have been taken to preserve cultural heritage in Ukraine: the arrangement of worthy places of memory, accompanying historical and research work, development of a network of local initiatives.

As part of the project in 2022, we were engaged in the administration and financial management. Also, facilitators from Insha Osvita were involved in implementing educational events. Also, trainers of Insha Osvita were involved in implementing educational events. “Connecting Memory” helps 40 communities in Ukraine develop and implement long-term memory culture strategies.

There were 4 programmes realized thanks to the project in 2022:

  • Mentorship: Insha Osvita developed the competencies of 20 mentors and held regular inspection and supervision meetings. Overall, 12 group meetings and 27 individual consultations were conducted in 2022.
  • Regranting: Support for 48 community projects aimed at the sustainable development of local memory culture and community cohesion.
  • Protection of memory places: 20 communities received funding for arranging places of memory.
  • Cultural: 11 screenings of the mobile exhibition of the  “Let’s Protect Memory” project and 11 screenings of documentary films.

“Connecting Memory” also participated in the mediation of financial aid to save the funds of Ukrainian museums and archives, humanitarian aid and sponsorship activities for victims of the full-scale invasion of Russia in 2022.

During the year of Russia’s full-scale war against Ukraine, 21 mass graves were discovered in the de-occupied territories. Russia is purposefully exterminating Ukrainians, which is reminiscent of the genocides of World War II. The transformation of places of violence and final resting places into memorial spaces is a challenge for Ukrainian society, the relevance of which is growing every day.

Within the project in 2023, we continued our collaboration with partner communities. The team from the Makariv community created a documentary film about the mutual assistance of the Ukrainian and Jewish people. The Lypovets community published a methodological manual “In the Paths of Memory: Lessons of the Holocaust History”, and the community of the city of Druzhkivka, located in the north of Donetsk region, evacuated museum collections (one of the materials from the evacuated archive became a winner in a literary contest in Israel).

In 2023, a series of educational events, documentary film screenings and discussions around them, exhibitions in local history museums, excursions to places of the cultural heritage of disappeared Jewish communities, as well as memorial ceremonies on the day of remembrance of Holocaust victims and activities for the maintenance of memorial sites took place. Communities established memorials at sites of mass shootings of local Jews in Sobolivtsi, Vinnytsia region, Kolodyanka, Zhytomyr region, and Holoby, Volyn region. Additionally, together with DOCU/CLUB NGO Docudays UA, the collection of documentary films was supplemented with works that contemplate the tragedy of the Holocaust.

For more details about the results of the work in communities in 2023, read our publications for November and December.

The “Connecting Memory” project is implemented by Insha Osvita in collaboration with the FoundationMemorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe Foundation and the Ukrainian Center for Holocaust Studies with the support of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Germany.