In Ukraine, police search for Holocaust monument destroyers leads to failure… if there was any search at all

The monument to Jewish victims of Lysyanka shootings was attacked in February 2020

On February 15, 2020, a villager from Lysyanka, Cherkassy region, Ukraine, saw that the memorial, dedicated to the Jews shot there in 1941, had been recently attacked. Unidentified vandals broke the memorial plate with the inscription in Hebrew. 

The United Jewish Community of Ukraine took control of the situation as it decided to monitor the investigation process. As early as March 4, 2020, the investigation reportedly stuck. Since no criminal case had been opened so far, the community sent a request to the Cherkassy main regional directorate of the National Police of Ukraine, asking to open a criminal procedure.

In May of 2020, the United Jewish Community of Ukraine received the response from Lysyanka police department. The letter said they decided to stop the investigations since the officers failed to find the perpetrators of the crime. However, the letter noted, if they are lucky enough to find the suspects the decision would be reconsidered and the perpetrators punished.

The monument to Holocaust victims in Pochapintsy forest was opened in 2017 after a major renovation financed by Dr. Valentyn Postrelko, a medical professor from Kiev and a native of Lysyanka. From 1941 till 1942, Hitlerite occupiers killed around 400 Jews in Lysyanka and the neighboring villages. Local and national history experts managed to establish first and last names of most of the victims. 

Anti-Semitic acts of various kinds are frequent in modern Ukraine. In May, 2017, somebody painted a swastika on one of the graves at the Jewish cemetery in Cherkassy, as well as wrote “Tolerantnistʹ – tse slabkistʹ” (Tolerance is weakness) on it.

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