Jerusalem and New York – Two senior officials of the Simon Wiesenthal Center have urged the Ukrainian authorities to expedite an investigation recently initiated to determine why the police in the western Ukrainian city of Kolomyia demanded a list of all members of the local Jewish religious organization and their personal details, including home addresses and phone numbers.
Dr. Efraim Zuroff, Director of the Center’s Israel Office and Eastern European Affairs, wrote to Ukrainian ambassador to Israel Hennadii Nadolenko, and Mark Weitzman, Director of Government Affairs, wrote to Ukrainian ambassador to the United States Volodymyr Yelchenko, to express the Center’s concerns regarding this potentially ominous development.
According to Zuroff:
“Such steps are unfortunately reminiscent of dark periods in our history, when demands of this kind were the precursor of horrific victimization and mass murder.
“I am aware that the Ukrainian authorities have initiated an investigation of the situation. Allow me, therefore, to urge them to expedite their work in order to quickly identify those responsible and hold them promptly accountable.”
According to Weitzman:
“I am writing on behalf of the Simon Wiesenthal Center to express our outrage over learning about the attempted registration of Jews in the city of Kolomyia. This is an extremely disturbing and shocking act that singles out Jews in a manner reminiscent of the harshest antisemitism of the past.
“This type of action falls precisely into the categories of antisemitism as defined by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s (IHRA) Working Definition of Antisemitism.
“I call upon the government of Ukraine to react in a proper manner and to strongly condemn this action and to immediately institute educational and training procedures to ensure that type of antisemitism is not repeated or encouraged.”
For additional information please contact the Israel Office of the Wiesenthal Center: