ADL Raps UNESCO for Participating in a Celebration Which Falsifies History of Role of Jews in Kiev
Menu JTA Search

ADL Raps UNESCO for Participating in a Celebration Which Falsifies History of Role of Jews in Kiev

Download PDF for this date

The Anti-Defomation League of B’nai B’rith today criticized UNESCO for participating in a celebration of the 1500th anniversary of the founding of the City of Kiev “which falsifies history by excluding the role of Jews in the city’s post.”

In a letter to Amodou-Mahtar M’Bow, Director General of UNESCO, Abraham Foxman, ADL’s associate national director, charged that the use of UNESCO’s Paris headquarters for the ceremonies provides “a veneer of approval” to distortion of the historical record.

The 10-day observances at UNESCO’s head quarters which ends Apr. 9, involve diplomatic receptions, speeches, photo and art exhibitions and the distribution of a brochure about the founding and evolution of Kiev.


Foxman told the Director General that UNESCO has permitted itself to be “duped” by the Soviet Union into cooperating in a program that has been rendered “Judenrein.” The ADL official said that the Soviets’ “gap-ridden, unbalanced and skewed recall of the past makes no mention of Jewish contributions to Kiev where they were long resident.”

He noted that the record presented by the Soviets makes no reference to “the persecution of Jews in the Ukraine ranging from Chmielnitsky’s massacres in 1648 to Babi Yar and the collaboration of many Russians with Nazi murderers.”

According to Foxmon UNESCO’s action is comparable to the presentation last November at UN headquarters in New York,” City of the Soviet documentary film. “Babi Yar,” which glossed over the martyrdom of Kiev’s Jews, 100,000 of whom were the principal victims of the Nazi massacre.

Foxman made it clear that ADL has no objection to the anniversary celebration perse but was protesting as “reprehensible and not in keeping with the UN Charter” UNESCO’s association with a program which distorts the past.”It is just such actions as these by which the UN besmirches itself.”

Founding Funders

The digitization of the JTA Archive would not have been possible without the generous support of the following donors:
  • The Gottesman Fund
  • Righteous Persons Foundation
  • Charles H. Revson Foundation
  • Elisa Spungen Bildner and Robert Bildner, in honor of Norma Spungen
  • George S. Blumenthal
  • Grace and Scott Offen Charitable Fund