Russian Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Maria Zakharova shared on her Telegram channel claims by a Russian language Youtube channel that Yad Vashem had been hiding material on the Holocaust in Ukraine.


Mar 4, 2024

The Jerusalem Post


Yad Vashem on Monday dismissed claims spread by the Russian Foreign Ministry alleging that the Holocaust memorial museum was concealing materials about Ukrainian cooperation with Nazis during the Holocaust.

Russian Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Maria Zakharova shared claims by a YouTube channel in the Russian language on her own official Telegram channel that alleged that Yad Vashem had been hiding material on the Holocaust in Ukraine.


“This is how history is rewritten!” Zakharova said on Wednesday in response to Russian journalist Oleg Lurie, who had shared how video blogger Margarita Levin said that over two years “disappeared from the exhibition of the Holocaust museum, and most of the references and documents [regarding how] the Ukrainian nationalists-Bandera took a direct part in the mass murder of almost one and a half million Jews living on the territory of Ukraine” were removed.

Levin, who, according to her Facebook page, lives in Modi’in and runs a nail beautician school, posted the allegations against Yad Vashem on Tuesday on her small 1,000-subscriber YouTube channel. The channel posts content in Russian with English subtitles, mostly on the topic of the Russia-Ukraine war.

“Many people have the feeling that the Israelis support the current rewriting of history in Ukraine,” Levin wrote on Tuesday. “We, ordinary Israelis, see everything, remember everything, and know our history. And we do not agree with what is happening now!”

Yad Vashem called the blog “strange” and “fictitious,” and denied that there had been any concealment, removal, or alteration of its exhibits that obfuscates the collaboration of Ukrainians in the murder of Jews during the Holocaust.

“Yad Vashem indeed discusses and highlights the actions and efforts of local collaborators in the territories of Ukraine, Russia, Belarus, Lithuania, Latvia, and Moldova as part of Nazi Germany’s plan to annihilate the Jews of Europe,” said a spokesperson. “Yad Vashem mentions this history and showcases relevant documentation describing the collaboration in various forums and platforms, including on Yad Vashem’s website.”

The museum highlighted its preservation of such information with the Untold Stories – Murder Sites of Jews in Occupied Territories of the USSR project, which maps mass killing sites in the former Soviet Union, 700 of which were in Ukraine alone.

“As part of this research project, Yad Vashem offers archival documentation and testimony describing the mass murder of the Jews of Eastern Europe by the Nazis, often assisted by local collaborators,” Yad Vashem said in a statement.

Levin did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

This new point of contention between Yad Vashem and the Russian Foreign Ministry comes after Zakharova’s January 21 remarks on the Holocaust, which came, in turn, in response to Germany’s defense of Israel following the genocide allegations made against it at the International Court of Justice.

Zakharova attacked Germany for its consistently strong support of Israel and asserted that Germany had a narrow view of the Holocaust, focusing on Jews and ignoring crimes committed by its predecessor state against Russians.

“The Holocaust is defined as the persecution and mass extermination of people representing various ethnic and social groups by the Nazis,” said Zakharova.

Yad Vashem said on January 22 that the Russian Foreign Ministry should not bring the Holocaust into its political agendas and only engage with historical facts.

“Yad Vashem views the statement of the Russian Foreign Ministry as a serious distortion of the Holocaust. Contrary to its stated claim, the Holocaust was an unprecedented systematic genocide, carried out by Nazi Germany and its collaborators to annihilate the Jewish people,” said Yad Vashem. “This fact is supported by countless testimonies, documents, and studies.”