Researchers open ‘neglected chapter’ of Ukraine’s Holocaust history

[From The Guardian]

Project commemorating the killing of Jews reveals tensions between Soviet and modern Ukrainian historical narrative.

One day during the Nazi occupation of western Ukraine in the second world war, a young Jewish woman slipped out of the ghetto in the town of Rava Ruska to buy some butter in the market.

On her way, she was spotted by a German officer, who ordered her stripped naked, made the seller smear her body in butter, and then had her beaten to death with sticks.

This story was one of thousands relayed to a team of researchers led by Patrick Desbois, a French Catholic priest who has spent years investigating one of the most under-researched parts of the Holocaust.

Killings in western Ukraine were not carried out using the industrialised methods of Auschwitz and other death camps. Instead Jews were rounded up and shot, one by one. Sometimes they were kicked or beaten to death. No records were kept, so keeping track of numbers and locations is difficult.

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