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16.06.2007 | Halya Coynash

So who doesn’t want the truth?

   

The appointments made by the ruling “Anti-Crisis Coalition” over the last year have been so extraordinarily incongruous that one can easily lose sight of the sinister behind grotesque absurdity. As the events around the recently opened Museum of the Soviet Occupation show, this would be most dangerous.

One of the said appointments was of ex-Deputy from the Communist Party Olha Ginsburg to the post of head of the State Archive Committee.  Not perhaps the normal arena for accusations of conflict of interests, but just wait.

On Wednesday, 13 June, Ms Ginsburg publicly spoke of her wish to classify documents about communist repressions, especially those linked with Holodomor [the Famine of 1932-1933] and the 1930s.  She also condemned the Museum of the Soviet Occupation opened by the Kyiv Vasyl Stus Memorial Society.  Olha Ginsburg said, and I quote:

“Who needs this? My generation doesn’t need this. What generation needs to be told about the Soviet occupation?”

It is not considered polite to ask somebody’s age.  On the other hand, when that somebody claims to speak on behalf of an entire generation, then surely some specification is required. Especially when the suspicion is hovering that she and I may have entered this world within the same decade or so.

Which it has to be said is absolutely all that we share. 

We most certainly do not share an assessment of what our generation needs.

Ms Ginsburg asks who needs memory and truth about the past. 

I do, Ms Ginsburg.  I am one of your generation only not one of your people, or your world.  In my world there were victims, and there are questions. And those questions demand answers.

You ask what generation needs to be told about the Soviet occupation. In fact, I use the word “ask” very loosely.  Your kind don’t want questions, they never did.  Such rhetorical utterances in fact mean simply and brutally: do not ask. 

But those days have gone, Ms Ginsburg. It’s time to understand that. And to understand what your communist comrades never could. You can crush people – and your ilk did, millions. 

You can’t quash the questions, because a new generation will come – and deprived of graves, of details about their parents, grandparents, even great grandparents, they will want to know why.

All generations need to know the truth, Ms Ginsburg.

It is their right – and it is their – and our - duty.

For our freedom, and theirs

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