[Cz-L] Re: Museum-Holocaust

From: Bruce Reisch <bir1_at_nysaes.cornell.edu>
Date: Fri, 28 Mar 2008 20:48:50 -0400
To: Czernowitz-L_at_cornell.edu
Reply-to: Bruce Reisch <bir1_at_nysaes.cornell.edu>

Dear Friends:

It's come to my attention that the driving force behind the
establishment of a Jewish Museum in Chernivtsi is Josef Zisels, Chair
of the Vaad of Ukraine <http://www.jewukr.org/frames_e.html> and
General Council Chairman of the Euro-Asian Jewish Congress
<http://www.eajc.org/>. This has come up on the list in posts from
March 11 and March 22. I don't have all the facts, but it is a
distinct possibility that Mr. Zissels may be the person who made the
decision to focus only on the pre-War / pre-Holocaust period. For a
person like this, who has been jailed in the past by communist
authorities for following his own political beliefs, it's hard to
explain why he would work so hard to establish a museum that is
tantamount to a denial of the holocaust.

More investigation is required. We can not assume the Chernivtsi
authorities are behind the decisions.

I have seen copies of correspondence from Josef Zisels addressed to
another list member. Language/translation difficulties make it
difficult to fully understand his reasoning, but he leaves open the
door to the development of holocaust period exhibits in the future.
He also proposes that an initial stage be completed in time for the
August 19-20 celebration of the 100th Anniversary of the Yiddish
Conference, and that during the 600th Anniv. celebration in October,
a campaign for the museum's expansion will be announced, along with
plans for fundraising and the creation of an international council of
museum trustees. The correspondence raises the possibility that if
the "Diaspora" supports the idea, it will be possible to expand the
museum to include the holocaust and post-War history. I take this to
mean that financial support will be sought.

After viewing the letter from Mr. Zisels, I have to say that I am
still at a loss to explain why he supports cutting off the museum's
coverage of the fate of the Czernowitz Jews. Some treatment would be
much more accurate than no treatment of the War years at all.

Another interesting point from the correspondence: the museum is to
be named the "Museum of Bucovina Jewry", implying broader coverage
than Czernowitz alone. The letter also alludes to contact with "Jews
of "Die Stimme"", implying direct contact with the World Organization
of Bukovina Jewry. Can anyone in our group confirm whether the World
Organization has been in contact with Mr. Zisels and what their
stance on the Museum might be?

If we obtain his permission, we will be glad to share the full
contents of his letter. For now, I can only paraphrase and comment
on what I saw.

Bruce Reisch

This moderated discussion group is for information exchange on the subject of
Czernowitz and Sadagora Jewish History and Genealogy. The Czernowitz-L list
 has an associated web site at http://czernowitz.ehpes.com that includes a
 searchable archive of all messages posted to this list. Please post in "Plain
 Text" if possible (help available at:

To remove your address from this e-list follow the directions at

To receive assistance for this e-list send an e-mail message to:
Received on 2008-03-29 00:48:50

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.2.0 : 2008-10-17 22:48:13 PDT