Remarks by Mr. Viktor Kryzhanivskyi, Chargé d´Affaires, a.i. of Ukraine to the United Nations, at the presentation of screening of "Spell Your Name"
Dear colleagues and friends,
Ladies and gentlemen,
It is an honor for me to join you during Holocaust Remembrance Week, which, for the second time in history, is held at the United Nations.
It is especially important for me that the occasion which has brought us here today represents yet another tangible contribution, made by my fellow countrymen, to the eternal remembrance of the Holocaust and of its universally important lessons.
The documentary, directed by talented Ukrainian cinematographer Sergey Bukovsky, is a tribute to those lost in the Holocaust. It tells the stories and experience of survivors of Nazi massacre of tens of thousands of Jews, Ukrainians, Roma and representatives of many other nationalities in Ukraine. It also provides unique testimonies of those who risked their lives to save thousands of their compatriots from the inevitable death.
Spell Your Name is one of the films that help us keep the evidence and preserve the records to ensure that future generations will never experience the horrors of the Jewish Holocaust, Ukrainian Holodomor, acts of genocide in Rwanda, former Yugoslavia, and, most recently, in Darfur.
Here I would like to bring the words of Victor Yushchenko, the President of Ukraine, who, after attending the documentary’s premiere in Kyiv, emphasized its educating value, and once again stressed the importance of researching the Holocaust to ensure that the Ukrainian and world communities know the historical truth in order to help them to avert reoccurrence of similar catastrophes.
In Ukraine, we have done, and will continue to do, everything to prevent the ideology of totalitarianism, dictatorship, xenophobia and anti-Semitism from taking root on our national soil. The rights and freedoms of national minorities have been consistently safeguarded in Ukraine since the early days of her restored statehood. Our legislation for minorities fully corresponds to the highest international human rights standards; our educational and social systems foster awareness of and respect for different cultures and religions. There is an open discourse in politics, cultural life, cinematography and the media aimed at upholding interethnic harmony and tolerance.
I think that the Spell Your Name documentary that we are going to see today presents remarkable illustration to my words.
In conclusion, I would like to express our appreciation to the management of the Holocaust and the United Nations outreach programme for the invitation to be here as well as to USC Shoah Foundation Institute for Visual History and Education for its very important work.