Chronicle

Human Experiences of the Second World War
May 18, 2019

On May 18, 2019, at 12.00, we invite you to the city walk "Human Experiences of the Second World War in Lviv. City as an Open-Air Museum" taking placeas part of the International Museum Day in Lviv.

There are topics difficult to talk about. One of them is the Second World War and the Holocaust in Lviv. Every time we speak of the Holocaust we remember victims, more rarely – rescuers, but hardly ever – the perpetrators. Public discussions of actions of local population have two dominant and opposite positions – that of a rescuer who sympathizes and helps, and that of a perpetrator who informs on others and is an executor. Rarely do they mention the difficulty of human choices predetermined by circumstances, forceful and context-bound, by conscious or unconscious attitudes. Almost never do they talk about multiplicity of behaviours when a rescuer and a perpetrator could be impersonated within one human.

Lviv citizens keep discovering these difficult human stories for themselves. The city reclaims the contested past through stories of individual people and marks them through managing commemoration sites, by installing memorial plates and via open-air museum exhibitions.

The city walk is a peculiar walk around Lviv of the Second World War through individual stories and tragedies. During the walk, we shall talk about different choices: about individuals who saved the Jews under the threat of death, and were recognized as the Righteous of the World; about those who saved but never got the status. We shall mention lawyers whose lives were related to the prewar Lviv, and who initiated conversations on the genocide and crimes against humanity on international scale. Moreover, we shall discover the stories of little known Lviv citizens that would illustrate the entire complexity of life under occupation and bring us closer to wartime human experiences and extreme violence.

The tour will be led by Olha Lidovska– director of the "Traces of Galician Jews" museum, methodologist for informal Jewish education, historian and area studies expert.

The tour is free of charge. It will be condicted in Ukrainian.

You must register to join.

The city walk starts at the First Theater (former Theater for Young Audiences) and finishes in the museum "Traces of Galician Jews." We shall go to sites related to individual personalities and their stories that are not part of conventional itineraries, and offer deeper understanding of the wartime tragedy in Lviv.

It is the first tour in the series of city walks designed on the basis of materials of the workshop for tour guides on contested chapters of Lviv history. The walks will be taking place once in a month, since May till October, inclusive. All walks are consolidated by one focus - that of the Second World War in Lviv, but each of them is an individual outcome designed by a tour guide who would suggest his/her own vision of this complicated and critical period in the history of the city. Welcome to join the walks and contemplate on experiences of the Second World War in Lviv.

This series of city walks is part of the two-year project "ReHERIT: Shared Responsibility for Common Heritage". They resulted from a separate project activity to design and pilot materials for tour guides developed by the Center for Urban History.

Project "ReHERIT: Shared Responsibility for Common Heritage" is funded by the European Union.