BRAMA, January 31, 2010, 9:00 AM ET|
Remembering Ukraine's Jews
By Bishop Paul Peter Jesep
Spokesperson for the Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church (UAOC) Kyiv Patriarchate in the United States issued a statement remembering Ukrainian Jews and all Jewish sisters and brothers who died in the Holocaust. January 27th is International Holocaust Remembrance Day.
According to Bishop Paul Peter Jesep, appointed Director of Communications and Government Relations for His Beatitude Metropolitan Myfodii of Kyiv and All Ukraine, "well over 1.5 million Ukrainians of the Jewish faith were systematically murdered in their native homeland. This does not include the innocent men, women, and children who were tortured and then murdered in the death camps."
"Due to the documented work and research of Father Patrick Desbois of France the world is learning more about the enormity of this human tragedy," said Bishop Jesep. "Previous figures placed the loss of Ukrainian Jews at a staggering 900,000. To this number must now be added 1.5 million due to the previously unknown mass graves being uncovered. In total, this means over 7 million people were murdered."
Fr. Desbois is author of "The Holocaust by Bullets: A Priest's Journey to Uncover the Truth Behind the Murder of 1.5 Million Jews." Bishop Jesep said, "I urge everyone, especially Ukrainians, to read this heart-wrenching book. It will make you cry."
Bishop Jesep observed, "It should leave every person with a conscience, no matter their faith, distraught and speechless that this hell on earth existed and has the potential to occur again. Vigilance is necessary to defeat ignorance, indifference, complacency, and inhumanity."
He added, "We must never forget those who perished. We must always honor Holocaust survivors still with us who courageously share their experiences so humanity can better understand that we are all sisters and brothers made and equally loved by the same God."
Bishop Paul Peter Jesep
Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church Kyiv-Patriarchate
U.S. Spokesperson for His Beatitude Metropolitan Myfodii of Kyiv and All Ukraine
PMB 464 - 1737 Union Street
Schenectady, New York 12309
* * * * *
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