New Ukraine Secret Service database eases info search


KIEV, Ukraine (JTA) — The Ukrainian Secret Service opened a database to simplify access to materials stored in its archives.

The Ukrainian Secret Service Information Center, which includes a digital archives center, was launched last week in Odessa.
Odessa Jewish community leaders told JTA they appreciate the opening of the center, which gives them access to archival documents that shed light on the operations of the KGB and liberation movements in Ukraine, Zionist and Hehalutz organization activities in the 1920s and 1930s, dissident movements, and materials concerning the Holocaust and Jewish underground activities in the Soviet Union.

“The Odessa Jewish community appreciates free access to important archive materials concerning Jewish activities in the former USSR and believes that declassification and conversion of archive materials into digital form will help to clarify many pages of Jewish history and to strengthen Jewish identification,” Berl Kapulkin, an Odessa Jewish community official, told JTA.

Digital archives centers have opened in Kiev, Kharkov and Odessa.

The working group’s head, Dr. Volodymyr Vyatrovych, an adviser to the chairman of the Ukrainian Secret Service, said an array of materials covering the Holocaust in Ukraine will soon be made available at the center. Vyatrovych has proposed that the Odessa Jewish community use such materials for a future Holocaust museum.

Documents at the digital archives center have been arranged according to topics. They include Holocaust; Holodomor, or Great Famine; Repression in Ukraine; and Movement of Dissidents. The archives also provide access to a large number of photos, scientific journals and books, and the digital versions of exhibitions and presentations.

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