At conference on Babi Yar, historian speaks about feat of priests

Sergei Shumilo at a conference at the KDAiS. Photo: facebook.com / shumylo

Sergei Shumilo presented the report "The Righteous Among the Nations in Ukraine: Feat and Memory", with which he spoke at the scientific round table at the KDAiS.

The names and deeds of many Ukrainian Orthodox priests who saved Jews during the Holocaust are forgotten today and need research and restoration. The head of the Centre for the Study of the Heritage of New Martyrs and Confessors of the 20th Century and Director of the International Institute of Athonite Heritage Sergei Shumilo said this at a conference at the Kyiv Theological Academy and Seminary (KDAiS) dedicated to the 80th anniversary of the tragedy in Babi Yar.

The text of S. Shumilo's report on the topic "The Righteous Among the Nations in Ukraine: Feat and Memory" is published on the website of the Centre for the Study of the Heritage of New Martyrs and Confessors of the 20th Century.

“Among the Ukrainian Orthodox clergy, who during the Holocaust saved Jews from death, the most famous feat is of the Kyiv priest, Fr. Alexey Glagolev,” Sergei Shumilo explained on his Facebook page. “But this was not an isolated example. Among the officially recognized "Righteous Among the Nations" are also Ukrainian Orthodox priests, Fr. Mikhail Dronchak, Fr. Fedor Zaviriukha and Fr. Vladimir Dlozhevsky from the Vinnytsia region, Fr. Mikhail Klebanovsky from the Donbass, Fr. Ignatiy Grogul from the Rivne region, Fr. Savely Tsybulnikov from the Kherson region, Fr. John Shcherbanovich from Bukovina, Fr. Joseph Tserdik from Transcarpathia”.

The historian noted that in addition to the officially recognized "Righteous", there were many of those whose names and deeds are forgotten today and need research and restoration. For example, Archpriest Nikolai Romensky from Kremenchuk, Fr. Trifon Bostaniuk from the Odessa region, Archimandrite Alexander (Vishniakov) from Kyiv and others.

Also among the "Righteous", there were many ordinary Orthodox believers, and, according to Sergei Shumilo, in their decision to save the Jewish population "many Ukrainians were guided precisely by the Gospel commandments of mercy, sacrifice and love for one's neighbour".

“This aspect is still the least studied. However, there is a reason to say that it was the religious feelings and beliefs of many Ukrainian "Righteous" that were key in their choice and deed. And here we can really talk about both the feat of righteousness and holiness. After all, we see vivid examples of how believing Christians confirmed their faith by real actions, often even at the cost of their own lives,” he stressed.

On September 28, a scientific round table on the topic "The Role of Orthodox Clergy and Believers in Saving the Jewish Population from the Holocaust during World War II" was held at the KDAiS.

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