Babyn Yar: 80 Years Later

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Babyn Yar: 80 Years Later

29th September 2021 @ 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm

80 years after the extermination of almost 34,000 Jews at Babyn Yar, this tragic part of history is becoming increasingly politicised, part of a broader trend of instrumentalization of the Holocaust in Eastern Europe. To commemorate this anniversary, this panel will address Antisemitism in the region, including its politicisation of the Holocaust and the region’s failures to ‘come to terms’ with tragic moments in its recent history. It will position Babyn Yar and Ukrainian developments within broader Eastern European trends, evaluating these concerning developments and assessing whether there is any room for hope in truthfully and respectfully commemorating this devastating event.

The Henry Jackson Society invites you to join this important discussion as we commemorate this tragic loss of life.


Natan Sharansky was a spokesman for the human rights movement, a Prisoner of Zion and leader in the struggle for the right of Soviet Jews to immigrate to Israel. Subsequent to his request to make aliya, Mr Sharansky was arrested in his native Ukraine, on trumped up charges of treason and espionage. He was convicted in a Soviet court and served nine years in a Gulag. Following massive public campaigns, Sharansky was released in 1986 – the same day he made aliya. In his first few years in Israel, Natan established the Zionist Forum to assist Soviet olim in their absorption in Israel. In the 1990’s, he established the Yisrael B’Aliyah party in order to accelerate the integration of Russian Jews. He served in four successive Israeli governments, as Minister and Deputy Prime Minister. Natan is the only living non-American recipient of both the Congressional Medal of Honor (1986) and the Presidential Medal of Freedom (2006). Between 2009-2018 Natan served as Chairman of the Executive of the Jewish Agency for Israel. After retirement from the Jewish Agency, he continues to serve as Chairman of the Shlihut Institute, which he founded. In July 2019 Mr Sharansky became Chair of ISGAP (The Institute for the Study of Global Antisemitism and Policy). He is also the author of ‘Never Alone: Prison, Politics and My People‘.


Norman M. Naimark presently holds the Robert and Florence McDonnell Chair in East European History at Stanford University. He is also a Senior Fellow of the Hoover Institution and of the Institute of International Studies, where he was Convener of the “European Forum.” In the past, Naimark’s writing focused on the problems of radical politics in the Russian Empire and Eastern Europe. He is the author of two books on the Russian and Polish revolutionary movements in the late nineteenth century. He has also written extensively on the problem of nationality in the Soviet Union; on World War II; on politics and history in the Soviet Union; on relations between Moscow and Germany; and on the war in former Yugoslavia. Since publishing a major study of the Soviet occupation of Germany, ‘The Russians in Germany‘ (Harvard 1995), and a comparative study of ethnic cleansing and genocide in 20th Century Europe, ‘Fires of Hatred‘ (Harvard 2001), he has been working on two projects: a seminar series discussing ‘Mass Killing in the 20th Century‘ and a book on “Stalin and Europe, 1945-1953”.


Isabel Sawkins is a Research Fellow at the Henry Jackson Society. She has a BA in Modern Languages at Durham University and an MA in Political Sociology of Russia and Eastern Europe at UCL. She is currently completing a PhD on Holocaust memory in the Russian Federation at the University of Exeter, funded by the South West and Wales Doctoral Training Partnership (part of the Arts and Humanities Research Council). Isabel has presented her research at numerous international conferences. She has also published her findings in academic journals, as well as contributing to online media outlets. Isabel’s most recent accomplishment was the curation of an online exhibition about a Nazi death camp in occupied Poland. 


Dr Jade McGlynn is an Associate Research Fellow specialising in Russian political culture and foreign relations. Prior to joining HJS, Jade worked as a Lecturer and Researcher at the University of Oxford. Jade holds a DPhil in Russian from the University of Oxford, where she also gained her BA in Russian and Spanish. She also has a Masters by Research in Russian and East European Studies from the University of Birmingham. Jade has published in various media outlets, leading academic journals, think tank reports, and collected volumes, and she is currently finalising a manuscript on the politics of memory in Putin’s Russia.


You can RSVP your tickets HERE



29th September 2021
4:00 pm - 5:00 pm


United Kingdom


Henry Jackson Society
+44 (0) 20 7340 4520


Natan Sharansky, Norman M. Naimark, Isabel Sawkins, Jade McGlynn


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