Popular Awareness and Ill Intent or Passivity of those in Power: Memory of the Holocaust in Russia and Ukraine in the 21st Century
Topics: Main Topic: Holocaust and Memorial, Holocaust Commemoration, Holocaust, Holocaust Education, Memory, Surveys
Abstract: Sociological surveys have shown that the majority of the population of Russia and Ukraine has a correct understanding of the nature of the Holocaust, or Shoah. However, a section of the population does not understand this crime against humanity; some believe that accounts of it are unjustifiably exaggerated. At the same time, knowledge of similar or comparable crimes – the Gulag, the Holodomor (or Great Famine) and the genocide of the Armenians – is lacking in the population as a whole. The inhabitants of these two countries are sometimes even less aware of these crimes than they are of the Shoah. Among Russians and Ukrainians awareness of the major European 20th-century crimes against humanity seems more considered, perhaps even more objective when compared to people in the West. Nevertheless, among the population of the former Soviet Union, there remains considerable scope for education in this field and there is a special need to improve living standards and the quality of life.