“Let My People Live!”
The Second International Forum

The Second
"Let My People Live"

26-28 September 2006
Kiev, Ukraine

Forum's Brochure

The Second International Forum “Let My People Live!” was held on 26-27 September 2006 in Kiev, Ukraine in the presence of the President of Ukraine Viktor Yushchenko  to  commemorate the 65th Anniversary of the Babi Yar tragedy.

The Forum was attended by over 1,000 people from 60 countries, including representatives of international political and public organisations, among them the UN, the European Union, the Council of Europe, the World Jewish Congress, the European Jewish Congress, the American Jewish Congress etc.


The most horrible stage of the Holocaust, the stage of total extermination of Jews, began with the shootings at the edge of the Babi Yar ravine. Over the course of two days in September 1941, the Nazis killes more than 33,000 of Kyiv’s Jews, mainly women, children and the elderly. Only a few witnesses and survivors still remember the Kyiv “death walk” that ended n Babi Yar on the city’s outskirts. Fewer still can understand the chilling terror and utter loneliness of a human being standing face to face with the Nazi death machine. That absolute loneliness still fills this area of Kyiv. It is the loneliness of a people faced with extermination. It is the loneliness of an individual facing death.

The executions in Babi Yar marked the transition to an open, physical extermination of Jews. They are a symbol of suffering, cruelty and absolute anti-humanism. This tragedy belongs not only to Jews in Kyiv and Ukraine, but to all countries and nations: the USSR, Europe and the whole world. Mass murders of Jews similar to the Babi Yar tragedy cropped up all over occupied Europe. The infernal instrument of death that was switched on at Babi Yar had its sights on more than just Jews. The Nazis planned to use the same techniques to exterminate other ethnic groups that Nazi ideology found undesirable. In a salient point made at the 2005 World Holocaust Forum in Krakow, President Vladimir Putin said “Today, six decades later, we see the Holocaust not only as a national tragedy of the Jewish people but as a catastrophe for all humanity.”

With xenophobia, ethnic and religious intolerance and aggressive antisemitism on the rise today, the world must realize the consequences of its indifference. Auschwitz, Babi Yar, die Kristallnacht, and the Nurnberg Laws are the countdown giving us a chance to peer into the future. If we understand the roots of the tragedy and the way it developed, we will find the answer for preventing its recurrence.

We will never succeed in building a good and fair future unless we preserve the memory of our historical tragedies and understand the suffering we have inherited from the past.

Organization Committee
The Second International Forum “Let My People Live!”
September 27, 2006

1. Viktor Yushchenko 2. Moshe Kantor 3. Sergey Mironov 4. Rabbi Yisrael Meir Lau 5. Stephen Herbits VIKTOR YUSHCHENKO
Over the decades, the memory of Babi Yar was turned into faceless and nameless ashes, belonging to no nation.

From these dust and ashes, from the hundreds of Yars that have scarred out destiny, Ukraine raises an eternal prayer for its children, and for the first time raises its voice to adress humanity in the name of the catastrophe, which is of global significance...

Time stops before their memory, opening up an eternity that we can only reach in prayer.

I recite this prayer as the son of an Auschwitz prisoner, as an Ukrainian, as the President of Ukraine.
Full Speech
1. Viktor Yushchenko 2. Moshe Kantor 3. Sergey Mironov 4. Rabbi Yisrael Meir Lau 5. Stephen Herbits MOSHE KANTOR
The Creator keeps testing us in order to head us off the Path of Idleness to the Way of Eternity.

Facing one of the cruellest tragedies of the 20th century, we must understand what actually happened Sixty-Five years ao in the plave called Baby Yar, and what its place is in Human History.

Starting in 1933, step by careful step, the Nazis were testing the world's tolerance for their intolerance.
Full Speech
1. Viktor Yushchenko 2. Moshe Kantor 3. Sergey Mironov 4. Rabbi Yisrael Meir Lau 5. Stephen Herbits SERGEY MIRONOV
People of different ethnicities - Jews, Ukrainians, Russians, Gypsies, adults and children, men and women.

This massacre was and still remains one of the most tragic events in modern history, along with Auschwitz, Majdanek, Treblinka, Drobitsky Yar in Kharkiv, and the Siege of Leningrad.

What happened at Babi Yar over two years, starting in September 1941, is beyond human comprehension.
Full Speech
1. Viktor Yushchenko 2. Moshe Kantor 3. Sergey Mironov 4. Rabbi Yisrael Meir Lau 5. Stephen Herbits RABBI YISRAEL MEIR LAU
We are here Sixty-Five years later to say to each other: all these extremists and fundamentalists and all these leaders speaking falsehoods and denying the very existence of the Holocaust - take them seriously, pay attention, give your ears, give your hearts, give your concern to those elements, because they mean what they say. And our silence will never lead to the fruitful accomplishments that must be done in order to prevent and thwart all these horrors in the World. Full Speech
1. Viktor Yushchenko 2. Moshe Kantor 3. Sergey Mironov 4. Rabbi Yisrael Meir Lau 5. Stephen Herbits STEPHEN HERBITS
Those who were silent were complicit in genocide. Those who are silent today, who stall negotiations and prevent serious penalties from being delivered to those who would destroy Israel, who would deny the Holocaust, who support terrorism, and threaten nuclear destruction, bear grave responsibility. For by not standing up to the threat that is Iran, they deny the lessons of Babi Yar. Full Speech

All the Speakers at the Forum

Mr. Viktor Yushchenko
President of Ukraine

Mr. Moshe Kantor
President of the World Holocaust Forum Foundation

Mr. Moshe Katsav
President of the State of Israel

Mr. Stjepan Mesić
President of the Republic of Croatia

Mr. Filip Vujanović
President of the Republic of Montenegro

Mr. Sergey Mironov
Chairman of the Council of Federation of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation

Mr. Dušan Čaplovič
Deputy Prime Minister of the Goverment of the Slovak Republic

Mr. Gela Bezhuashvili
Minister of Foreign Affairs of Georgia

Ms. Margaret Spellings
The United States Secretary of Education

Mr. Aleksander Szczyglo
Chief of the Chancellery of the President of the Republic of Poland

Mr. Francis O'Donnell
UN President Coordinator for Ukraine

Lord Janner of Braunstone
Member of the House of Lords

Rabbi Yisrael Meri Lau
The Chief Rabbi of the City of Tel-Aviv, Former Prisoner of Buchenwald

Mr. Avner Shalev
Chairman of the Yad Vashem Directorate

Mr. Stephen herbits
World Jewish Congress Secretary General

Mr. Ivan Dzyuba
Member of National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine

Mr. Robert Goldberg
Chair of Board of Trustees of the United Jewish Communities

Mr. Moisei Fishbein
Ukrainian Poet

Mr. Dmytro Pavlychko
Chairman of the Ukrainian World Coordinating Council


We are gathered here today, in Kyiv, the capital of Ukraine, commemorating Sixty-Five years since the tragedy of Babi Yar, to pledge our commitment to further education about the tragedy and remembrance throughout the Continent, and to fight all forms of Antisemitism xenophobia, racism and international terrorism which is a new serious threat for the modern world.

Ukraine suffered severe hardships during World War II. The tragedy of Babi Yar is one of the most devastating among them. Its legacy to us is that we never be silent in the face of these dangerous phenomena. The silent cries of Babi Yar, the reverberating silence of the world as the murders took place, cry to us today: “Never Again.” For the sake of our children, never to be silent; for the sake of our humanity and the future of the world, Never Again to turn away from the cries.

As the International Forum “Let My People Live!” in commemoration of the 65th anniversary of the tragedy of Babi Yar draws to a close, we the representatives of many nations, take a sacred oath of eternal commitment to the tragedy’s remembrance and its lessons. We seek particularly to reach the hearts and minds of young people, so that they will uphold the sanctity of human life.

We welcome the efforts aimed at preserving the memory of millions of innocent victims of World War II, the Holocaust and its legacy for generations to come.

We are pleased to support the initiative of the Jewish community of Berlin to hold the World Holocaust Forum on November 9-10, 2008, in Berlin, to mark 70 years since Die Kristallnacht.

"Let My People Live" International Forum 2006 PHOTO GALLERY 26 SEPTEMBER 2006 UKRAINIAN HOUSE ARTS PALACE The Opening of the Exhibition in Commemoration of the Babi Yar tragedy 27 SEPTEMBER 2006 BABI YAR RAVINE KIEV, UKRAINE Official Ceremony in Remembrance of Babi Yar Victims SHEVCHENKO NATIONAL ACADEMIC OPERA AND BALLET THEATRE OF UKRAINE The International "Let My People Live!" Forum 28 SEPTEMBER 2006 MENORA MONUMENT KIEV, UKRAINE Along the Death Walk; Mourning Procession to the Menora Monument Exhibition Opening Official Ceremony The International "Let My People Live!" Forum Along the Death Walk

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