Yad Vashem Chairman Avner Shalev met with Ukrainian President Victor Yuschenko yesterday in the Ukraine. The meeting, initiated by the Ukrainian President, was a follow-up of a previous meeting last month when Yuschenko visited Yad Vashem.
President Yuschenko presented Shalev with a file of archival documents relating to the actions of Yuschenko’s family members in rescuing Jews during the Holocaust. The Yad Vashem Chairman assured the President that he would present the documents for consideration to the Commission for the Designation of the Righteous, headed by Justice Yaacov Turkel, who will examine the documents and consider the request to recognize those individuals as Righteous Among the Nations. The Righteous Among the Nations designation is awarded by an independent Commission made up of Holocaust survivors, researchers and historians, and based on strict criteria. Some 22,000 individuals have been recognized thus far.
During the two-hour meeting, Shalev and Yuschenko agreed to cooperate in the area of historical research. A working committee will be created, during which the two sides will discuss topics of historical dispute. The committee’s work will be based upon historical documentation using current research and analytical tools accepted in the academic world.