Former political prisoner critical of the motion to open a Soviet Occupation Museum


Former political prisoner Semyon Gluzman believes that a Soviet Occupation Museum would not have exhibits. He told the Ukrainian Service of Deutsche Welle that he fears the President’s initiative could not be carried through.

The main question, Gluzman believes, is what to put in such a museum. There are still a fair number of documents which have yet to be made public and which are in special archives of the SBU [Security Service]. Even if these were declassified, a lot of documents would need to be censored. Whether all of society is ready for this, and in particular, the victims of repression, is not clear. “If it’s a museum where they’ll have Vasyl Stus’ gloves from childhood or something like that, it’s not serious. I understand a museum to be an archive. Otherwise it’s just a game”. Gluzman believes that President Yushchenko is making a mistake in politicizing this issue. He says that in fact one needs to begin from an academic platform and sober science.

Semyon Gluzman himself was arrested in 1972 and sentenced to 7 years harsh regime labour camp for “anti-Soviet agitation and propaganda”. 

There are already such museums of Soviet Occupation in Tbilisi, Riga, Tallinn, Warsaw and Prague. 

President Yushchenko recently stated that “for the sake of our grandparents, grandchildren and great grandchildren” a similar museum is needed in Ukraine. He said that certain forces would “go crazy” over this.

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