Modern Memorial Center in Babi Yar Plans to Open in 2023
A modern memorial center to honor the victims of the Holocaust will be opened in Babi Yar. It will become a place of memory, a museum and a platform for public discussion. Also, it is going to provide a place for exhibits, an educational center, and a room for archives and museum collections
“In the period from 1941 to 1943 over 100,000 people were executed here in Babi Yar. Among the victims were Ukrainians, Jews, Roma and representatives of other nationalities. In memory of these victims of World War II, a national reserve was opened here and more than 20 monuments were erected. However, now it is planned to build one huge memorial complex,” UATV correspondent Artem Holub says.
“We hope that this will be a landmark center in Eastern Europe. Because, if you look at the geography where the Holocaust took place almost everywhere there are large memorial centers, but unfortunately there is no such center in Babi Yar,” Communications Director of the “Babi Yar” Memorial Center Myron Vasylyk said.
The idea of creating a Memorial complex in Babi Yar was first proposed in 2016. State and public organizations have been discussing the concept and mission of this project for several years. After discussions, a tender for the construction was announced.
“We held this tender within the framework of UNESCO. The jury consisted of various experts: the former chief architect of Kyiv, representatives from the Ministry of Culture, the Kyiv city administration and others. Each agency had its own representatives. As well as iconic architects from other countries,” Vasylyk said.
165 companies from 36 countries took part in the tender for the construction of the memorial complex in Kyiv. The project was won by Austrian architects from the Querkraft Architekten bureau.
“As you can see, at the beginning of the complex there will be a small area where visitors can walk. And slowly with each step, the walls will begin to grow and close above the visitor, who descends 20 meters underground. At first, you hear the birds singing, and see a lot of light. And then it gets darker and only their steps are heard. This 270-meter path changes the visitor’s perception,” Querkraft Architekten Gil Cloos said.
After passing through the tunnel, visitors will find themselves in a bright space, where they can see expositions dedicated to the Holocaust. In addition, they plan to place a research center, a space for public discussions and seminars.
“After this bright place and positive experience, you leave the museum and find yourself in a forest where you can walk along paths. And think over everything that you saw in the memorial center,” Cloos added.
In order to finally prepare the necessary documentation and obtain a building permit, the authors of the project need another six months. They plan to open the memorial center in 2023.