Statement on Russia’s Invasion of Ukraine

The Dallas Holocaust and Human Rights Museum does not generally comment on geopolitical or military conflicts, but our permanent exhibition contains too much history relevant to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine for us to remain silent.

We condemn Russian President Vladimir Putin’s assault on Ukraine in a war of deliberate and overt aggression. We stand with the Ukrainian people and applaud their bravery in the face of chaos and the destruction of their country.

In times such as these, the world must be vigilant against potential war crimes. We encourage you to explore our gallery on the International Military Tribunals held in Nuremberg, Germany in the wake of the Holocaust and the establishment of an international judicial framework for prosecuting crimes against humanity.

Putin’s claim that his goal is the de-Nazification of Ukraine is absurd. His recent actions stand in a long line of Russian and Soviet moves against Ukraine from the 19th century to the present, including the Bolshevik conquest of Ukraine, Joseph Stalin’s genocide against Ukraine known as the Holodomor, Putin’s encouragement of separatists in eastern Ukraine, his occupation and annexation of Crimea, as well as the current Russian-sparked war in Ukraine. In each instance, Russia has sought to destroy Ukrainian culture, history, language, and national identity.

To learn more about Russia’s long-held aggression against Ukraine and its struggle to control their land, resources, and people, we hope you will read the graphic novel, Empty Baskets, about the Holodomor created to align with our Ten Stages of Genocide Gallery. This Soviet state-sponsored genocide resulted in the starvation and murder of between three and seven million Ukrainians. Known as the Breadbasket of Europe even then, every grain of wheat was stripped from Ukraine to fuel the Soviet Union’s economic growth, creating dire famine and horrific misery for Ukrainians. It was Stalin’s intention to destroy Ukrainian national aspirations for independence by starving its people into submission.

At the Dallas Holocaust and Human Rights Museum, our goal is to impact attitudes and behaviors through the study of history. If we don’t learn from the past, we are likely to repeat it. Sadly, the world is watching while history repeats itself in Ukraine. We urge our community to condemn Russia’s war of aggression and to support one of the many organizations working to provide critical aide to Ukrainians, more than two million of whom have been displaced from their homes to date in this humanitarian crisis.

– Mary Pat Higgins, President and CEO
– Mark Zilbermann, Board Chair

How to Help the Ukrainian People:
Alight: Humanitarian Aid and Disaster Relief
American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC)
B’nai B’rith International
Jewish Federations of North America
Medical Teams International
Nova Ukraine
Team Rubicon
United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR)
United Nations World Food Programme (WFP)
World Health Organization (WHO)

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