'Nazism Is Born in Silence': Ukraine President Urges World Jews to Speak Up

Following Russia's attack on a Ukrainian Holocaust memorial, Zelenskyy says 'It is very important that all of you together, millions of Jews around the world, do not remain silent'

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy at a press conference in Kyiv, on Tuesday.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy at a press conference in Kyiv, on Tuesday.Credit: AFP

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy called on Wednesday for Jews and allies to wake up to the threats posed by Russia's invasion, warning that "Nazism is born in silence," following Tuesday's bombing near the Holocaust memorial Babi Yar.

The leader posted a Hebrew translation of the speech to his Facebook page shortly after.

I am now addressing all the Jews of the world," Zelenskyy said in a video address, "Do you not see what is happening? It is very important that all of you together, millions of Jews around the world, do not remain silent."

Referring to Russia's attack on Babi Yar – the site of World War II massacres of Jews by German occupation troops and Ukrainian auxiliaries – Zelenskyy said, "This strike proves that for many people in Russia, our Kyiv is absolutely foreign."

"For anyone who knows world history, our history, Babi Yar is a special place in Kyiv, in Ukraine. It's a place of remembrance for one hundred thousand people killed by the Nazis, a place of old cemeteries in Kyiv. You are killing the victims of the Holocaust for the second time."

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"They don't know a thing about Kyiv, about our history. But they all have orders to erase our history, erase our country, erase us all," he added in the address.

"On the first day of the war Uman was severely bombed, a place which hundreds of thousands of Jews come to pray. Then Babi Yar," Zelenskyy said.

"Shout for the murder of innocent people. Shout for the murder of Ukrainians!" Zelenskyy pleaded.

On Wednesday, Zelenskyy said nearly 6,000 Russians had been killed in the first six days of Moscow's invasion, and that the Kremlin would not be able to take his country with bombs and air strikes.

Moscow switched to strikes on Ukrainian cities on Tuesday and appeared poised for an advance on Kyiv as the West tightened an economic noose around Russia in retaliation.

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