We thought that if people from abroad started to visit the site, it would provide an incentive to build a memorial,” Deignan says.
Among them were local high school students, about a dozen American Peace Corps volunteers, and municipal office workers given the day off work by Mayor Ihor Matviychuk. The picture of harmonious Ukrainian-Jewish relations runs counter to the stereotypical anti-Semitism portrayed in the media — but it just may be the forerunner of larger things to come.
Get The Times of Israel's Daily Edition by email and never miss our top stories Free Sign Up “When I became principal three years ago, I felt a big sense of responsibility to do something about the neglected condition of the cemetery,” says Oksana Tabachuk, 49, head of the Kalush Gymnasium and one of the initiative’s creators.
“She used to shudder as she described climbing the wall surrounding the cemetery and witnessing the ground moving for hours and hours after the Nazis shot Jews there,” Tabachuk says.
The cemetery wall has long since eroded and it is this lack of a protective barrier that Tabachuk blames for a swastika being sprayed on a monument there last spring.