* Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych’s spokesperson: “This place is important for the memory of hundreds of thousands of Jews murdered in the Lviv region. Even the Communists never built over this place. Or should we be more barbaric than them?”
UKRAINIAN PRESIDENTIAL ADVISOR ORDERS WORK STOPPED ON GOLDEN ROSE HOTEL PROJECT
[Note by Tom Gross]
This is an update to my last dispatch, which carried the article “Goodbye, Golden Rose,” and can be read here.
Since the article appeared six days ago, it has been discussed both in the international and Ukrainian media. It has been translated into Ukrainian and Russian, the two main languages of Ukraine, and a number of prominent commentators and public figures there have spoken out in support of the article (in contrast to some of the readers both on Ukrainian and Western websites who have left vicious anti-Semitic comments and comments amounting to Holocaust denial).
Yesterday, Anna Herman, the spokesperson and chief advisor to Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych in the capital Kiev, spoke with the mayor of Lviv, Andriy Sadovy, and ordered that works abutting the Golden Rose complex in Lviv be stopped.
Herman said: “This historic place in Lviv has to be preserved. This place is important for the memory of hundreds of thousands of Jews murdered in the Lviv region. Even the Communists never built over this place. Or should we be more barbaric than them?”
In response, the mayor of Lviv assured the authorities in Kiev yesterday that works adjacent to the former Golden Rose complex were now being stopped. (He also added that Lviv will now speed up plans to place memorials at important historic Jewish sites in the old town.)
Herman added in her statement that she was glad to hear from the Lviv mayor that the construction will be stopped. “But I am afraid,” she said, “that the construction will be renewed after things have quieted down. I address the investor to whom the local authorities sold the land for construction: I ask him to give up this business project. Nothing good can come from the profit he would get. This would be dirty money earned through shame. This site is historical for Lviv and it must be preserved,” she said.
Lviv was formerly an Austrian city called Lemberg, a Polish city called Lwow, and a Soviet city called Lvov. With the huge influx of Ukrainians into the city following World War Two, after it was annexed from Poland, the city has become a bastion of Ukrainian nationalism, and the local authorities there now often defy the somewhat more liberal and multicultural views emanating from the capital Kiev.
Among the dozens of Ukrainian and Russian language media reports on Herman’s statement yesterday are:
From the Ukrainian press agency:
From Ukrainian National News:
THE CITADEL STILL A RESORT
However, another new project built on a former site of mass murder in Lviv, the Citadel (pictured below), remains a five star hotel and resort, and activists are campaigning for the site to be turned into a place of memorial or a museum of Holocaust and genocide.
To see other pictures of the Citadel, please scroll down this webpage.