La parution de l’article de Grzegorz Rossoliński-Liebe : « Remembering and Forgetting the Past Jewish and Ukrainian Memories of the Holocaust in Western Ukraine » dans le dernier numéro de 2015 de la revue Yad Vashem Studies (43, 2 (2015)) est l’occasion de rappeler l’existence d’un article de John-Paul Himka également sur la mémoire de la Shoah en Ukraine paru en 2012 : « Ukrainian Momeries of the Holocaust: The Destruction of Jews as Reflected in Memoirs Collected in 1947”, dans le Canadian Slavonic Papers 54 (no. 3-4 (September-December 2012).
Résumé par John-Paul Himka de son article :
« Ukrainian Memories of the Holocaust: The Destruction of Jews as Reflected in Memoirs Collected in 1947«
In 1947 the Oseredok Ukrainian Cultural and Education Centre in Winnipeg held a memoir contest. Sixty-four memoirs were submitted, and most of them are still preserved in Oseredok’s archives. I examined all extant submissions in order to determine what they had to say about the Holocaust. Altogether twenty-five memoirs concerned World War II, and of these fourteen made at least some mention of the Holocaust. This body of memoirs is the earliest collection of Ukrainian memoirs of World War II that I am aware of, the closest in time to the events of the Holocaust. Already then, however, Ukrainians had become quite defensive about their behavior towards the Jews; this perhaps explains why close to half the memoirs about the war omitted the fate of the Jews altogether and why the memoirs that do mention the Holocaust say almost nothing about Ukrainian involvement. The memoirists did, however, reproduce the image of Jews as agents of communism, particularly active in the organs of repression. The majority of the 1947 memoirs none the less indicated horror at and disapproval of the murder of the Jews by the Germans. Perhaps characteristically, the account expressing the strongest such feelings was written by an older man from outside Western Ukraine. Conversely, the most outright expression of lack of sympathy with the Jews came from a man twelve years younger and from Galicia. Although the latter felt pity for some individual Jews he knew and gave them alms, he expressly stated that he had no sympathy with them as a group, as “a nation that had done so much evil to my nation.” Perhaps this is a case that corresponds to the phenomenon noted by Jan Gross in Fear, that individuals hate whom they have injured: this memoirist served in the civil administration.