An animal waste-burning facility is expected to be built 60 meters (197 feet) away from a Holocaust memorial commemorating the 3,000 Jews who were killed and buried during the Holocaust in a mass grave in the eastern Ukrainian town of Alexandrovka. One local resident said the area could be described as a “Mini Babi Yar,” a reference to the 1941 massacre near Kyiv where more than 30,000 Jews were shot dead by SS troops during the Holocaust of Bullets.
Local Rabbi Pinchas Vishetsky told Ynet that community members were concerned that the facility would be built on top of the mass grave as the exact location of the mass grave is unknown. Rabbi Vishetsky said it was "disrespectful to build that kind of a facility 60 meters from a memorial," and said that he has asked the governor to move the facility further away from the memorial, but it was unclear what would end up happening.
Construction projects on Jewish cemeteries and memorial grounds is an ongoing challenge for Jews in many Eastern European countries, including in Ukraine. In June 2019, WJC President Ronald S. Lauder expressed his outrage at plans to develop a mass grave of Jewish Holocaust victims into real estate housing in Poltava, Ukraine, describing the prospect as “deeply troubling.”
“It is critical in 2019, with rising nationalism and increasing attempts by some to whitewash history, that we work together to ensure that sites such as this one are preserved so they may serve as a reminder to the world of what can happen when hatred is permitted to thrive unchecked.”
That incident came less than two weeks after a monument honoring Ukrainian ultra-nationalist and Nazi collaborator Roman Shukhevych was erected in the western Ukrainian city of Ivano-Frankovsk, despite repeated appeals from the Jewish community not to glorify figures who were complicit in the murder of Jews.