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Updated: 2/12/2021


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Genocide Studies Center. Rafael Lemkin

Updated: 4/12/2021

"Genocide is a new word, but the disaster it describes is old".
Raphael Lemkin

Raphael Lemkin Center for Genocide Studies is created by Kherson State University.

The aftermath of World War II had a profound effect on the development of international law. The Nuremberg Trials of 1945-1946 first condemned Nazi crimes as crimes against humanity. According to the decision of the tribunal, representatives of state bodies that in the future will authorize torture or genocide against their population should be held criminally liable in accordance with international law. Therefore, the tragedy of the Holocaust was to be a revelation that would change the situation in the world forever.

The next step in this case was the adoption of the Convention on the Crime of Genocide of December 9, 1948, which significantly improved the understanding of the essence of this crime and was to help prevent similar actions in the future. The convention was based on the ideas of the famous lawyer Raphael Lemkin.
However, the following decades of history have demonstrated the failure to master the tragic genocidal experience of mankind. The events in Rwanda in 1994 and Srebrenica in 1995 showed the world the possibility of a repeat of the crime at the turn of the XX-XXI centuries.
Ukraine on the world map of genocide is characterized by unpleasant statistics, as a state in whose territory during the twentieth century. Several such crimes took place: the Holodomor of 1932-1933, the Holocaust of the Jews, the Genocide of the Roma, the Genocide of the Crimean Tatar people.
Historical and legal assessment of these phenomena requires new interdisciplinary research that will help rethink these tragic events and develop a strategy to prevent their recurrence in the future.
To this end, our work combines educational, research and educational components aimed at studying the history and protection of human and civil rights in modern conditions.

The head of the center is  Dr. Yuri Kaparulin, PhD in history Associate Professor, Member of the International Association of Humanities.


September 2019 – December 2019 Fellowship for the Initiative on Ukrainian-Jewish Shared History and the Holocaust in Ukraine at Yahad - In Unum in Paris, France

December 2018 – July 2019 Research fellow in The Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies of United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington DC, US

Latest conferenses and additional academic training

Yahad - in Unum Holocaust Young Scholars’ Workshop “Testimonies of Neighbors as a Source for Research about Nazis Crimes”, Paris (France), December 12 2019United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Digital Tool Consultation Initiative for the study of Ukrainian Jewry, Kyiv (Ukraine), February 23, 2020

Yahad in-Unum and The Caen Memorial Museum European teachers’ seminar "The Holocaust by Bullets in the Occupied Soviet Territories", Paris-Caen (France), 22-24 November 2019

Special Lessons & Legacies Conference Munich. The Holocaust in Europe. Research Trends, Pedagogical Approaches, and Political Challenges, Munich, 4-7 November 2019

International Association for the Humanities - MAG 2018 Annual Convention, Ukrainian Catholic University in Lviv, 27-29 June 2018

International Conference "Mapping Memories 2017: Babyn Jar and other "forgotten" sites of the Holocaust", Kyiv, 15-17 Oktober 2017

 A mini-course by Dr. Yohanan Petrovsky-Stern (Northwestern University, Chicago, USA), Jews and Ukrainians: A Millennium of Co-Existenceorganized by TKUMA, Ukrainian Institute for Holocaust Studies, Dnipro, 4-13 September 2017

I Summer School for university faculty and doctoral students, "History of the Holocaust in Europe and the Ukraine", organized by the Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in partnership with Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv, 3-13 July 2016

Latest monographs and articles


Current project (tentative title): Between Soviet Modernization and the Holocaust: Jewish Agrarian Settlements in the South of Ukraine (1921-1947)

Intellectual Biography of a Historian. Oleksandr Ryabіnіn-Sklyarevsky, 1878-1942. Kherson: "Helvetica", 2014, 236 p. (in Ukrainian)


The Holocaust in the South Ukraine: the Response of Survived Jews of Kalinindorf District after Occupation, in Colloquia Humanistica, Vol. 9, Warsaw: Institute of Slavic Studies of the Polish Academy of Sciences, 2020, p.153-190

Chronicle of the Kherson Ghetto (1941) (in Ukrainian), in City History, Culture, Society Journal, Vol. 9 (2), Kyiv, 2020, pp. 88-104.

Kaparulin Y. Jewish agrarian settlements in Southern Ukraine: origin and change of toponyms under the impact of state policy (in Ukrainian), in The Ideology and Politics Journal, Vol. 1 (15), Milan, 2020, pp. 172-187.

The Holocaust among the Agrarian Jews of Kherson Region (in Ukrainian), in Holocaust and Modernity, Vol. 1., Kyiv, 2019, pp. 31-47.

The Epistolary Heritage of Ilya Ehrenburg and the Problem of (Non)Return of the Evacuated Jews of Kalinindorf (Kalininske) after the Holocaust (in Ukrainian), in Holocaust Studies: A Ukrainian Focus, Vol. 10., 2018, pp. 189-204.

In Search of a Better Destiny: Kherson House of Settlers of the Society for Settling Working Jews on the Land (in Ukrainian), in Scriptorium Nostrum, Vol. 2., Kherson: KSU, 2017, pp. 146-156.

A Biographical Essay. Heorhii Afanasiev: Life and Work of a Scholar (1848-1925) (in Ukrainian), in Collection of Articles published by Faculty of History, Zaporizhzhya National University, Vol. 43. Zaporizhzhya: ZNU, 2015, pp. 231-237.

Oleksandr Ryabinin-Sklyarevsky: last years of life in Gulag and posthumous rehabilitation of a scholar (in Ukrainian), in: Intellectuals and State Power, Vol. 32. Odessa: Odessa National Polytechnic University, 2015, pp. 401-410.



New Publisher Module

  • Monday, September 20, 2021


    On September 13, the Jubilee Concert Hall hosted a presentation of the documentary project “(Un) Famous Holocaust. Kherson ghetto ".

    The authors of the project were Yuriy Kaparulin, Associate Professor of the Department of International and Public Law and Law Enforcement at Kherson State University, and director Les Kasyanov (Yahad-In Unum).

  • Sunday, July 25, 2021

    We invite you to read this new publication of the head of the center Yurii Kaparulin on the page of the leading Ukrainian intellectual magazine Ukraine Modern


  • Monday, May 17, 2021

    An evening in memory of the victims of the genocide of the Crimean Tatar people took place on May 15 in Kherson.

    The band DahaBrakha and singer Jamala performed.

    Kherson is one of the first cities in Ukraine where a memorial to the genocide of the Crimean Tatar people was erected and is the closest regional center to the temporarily occupied Crimea.

  • Friday, May 14, 2021

    To commemorate the Day of Remembrance and Reconciliation and the Day of Victory over Nazism in World War II, the head of the center Yurii Kaparulin took part in a special program for Susypilnoye UA

  • Monday, April 12, 2021

    To the Day of Remembrance of Catastrophe and Heroism
    of European Jewry Yom Ha-Shoa, head of the center Yuri Kaparulin, together with staff
    Hesed Shmuel Jewish Charitable and Community Center gave a lecture
    on the topic: "Uprising in the Nazi death camp Sobibor: Kherson trace."
    The event was joined by about 150 participants from Ukraine, Germany, Israel, Belarus and South Africa.

  • Sunday, March 14, 2021

    We invite you to watch the video from the last webinar


  • Tuesday, March 09, 2021

    We invite teachers and students to the next webinar on "The Prosecution of Nazi War Criminals and the Case of Ivan Demyanyuk: Discussion on the Documentary Series" Devil in the Neighborhood ". In Unum (French Republic), a participant in court cases against Nazi criminals Andriy Umansky, as well as to give their thematic presentations.

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  • Thursday, January 28, 2021

    For the International Holocaust Remembrance Day, we offer you the publication of an interview with the head of the center Yurii Kaparulin for BBC News Ukrainian

    During the Second World War, mass killings of Jews and Roma, prisoners of war, communists and psychiatric hospital patients took place in the Kherson region.

    The stories of these people must go beyond dry statistics in order to rethink and prevent similar crimes in the future.

    Голокост біля моря. Забута історія херсонського гетто

  • Sunday, January 10, 2021

    Вітаємо усіх вас з прийдешнім 2021 роком!

    Нехай він буде повен приємних несподіванок, а світ у якому ми всі живемо стане трохи кращим!

    Маємо приємні новини!

    Незабаром наш центр відзначатиме рік свого існування!

    З-поміж інших, однією із головних цілей у минулому році стало формування бібліотеки центру і сьогодні ми отримали справжній передноворічний подарунок від

    BABYN YAR Holocaust Memorial Center

    - останні україномовні витання зі студій Голокосту та геноцидів. Висловлюємо за це нашу подяку! Отже, з другого семестру, книжки будуть доступні для прочитання студентам

    Херсонський державний університет

  • Wednesday, February 12, 2020

    We invite you to participate in the webinar

    "Investigation of crimes against humanity through the prism of forensic archeology"

    December 10

  • Wednesday, November 18, 2020

    Dear colleagues and students!
    Our center organizes a series of webinars on the history of crimes against humanity.
    We begin with the story of August Virlich, a political prisoner, Ukrainian local historian and human rights activist.

  • Thursday, October 22, 2020

    A special issue of the magazine "City: History, Culture, Society" was recently presented in Kyiv. The Holocaust and the City: Spaces of Murder, Spaces of Destruction, Spaces of Memory. We are pleased to receive a copy for the library fund of our center.
    The issue includes an article by the head of the center Yuri Kaparulin on the history of the Jewish ghetto in Kherson in 1941. We hope for interest from readers and thank colleagues for their cooperation.
    NGO «CSMP« Mnemonics »
    and editions City: history, culture, society.

  • Friday, October 09, 2020

    Congratulations on Lawyer's Day!

    08.10.2020 within the autumn school of international law Classes were held on the topic: "Crime of genocide: the history of invention and implementation of international law" for students 1-3 courses.

  • Tuesday, July 14, 2020

    The head of the Center Yuriy Kaparulin co-authored a documentary on the history of the Holocaust in southern Ukraine

    Official trailer

  • Monday, June 22, 2020

    Наш центр разом із Українським інститутом національної пам'яті виступив організатором вебінару присвяченому життєвому шляху та науковій спадщині видатного юриста, творця терміну "геноцид" Рафаеля Лемкіна.

    Захід приурочено до 120 річниці від дня народження Р. Лемкіна (1900-1959 рр.)

    Запис дискусії доступний за посиланням

  • Sunday, June 21, 2020

    22 червня відбудеться дискусія із професором Генадєм Побережним. Цього разу йтиметься про автора концепції геноциду Рафаїла Лемкіна: наскільки осмислена в сучасній Україні його спадщина.
    До розмови долучаться Юрій Капарулін – керівник Центру студій геноцидів імені Рафаїла Лемкіна Херсонського державного університету та Володимир Зілінський – старший зберігач фондів Державного архіву Львівської області.
    Початок – о 13:00.
    Трансляцію дискусії можна буде переглянути наживо на фейсбук-сторінці Українського існтитуту національної пам'яті.

  • Sunday, June 07, 2020

    Discussion dedicated to the Day of Remembrance of the Victims of the Crimean Tatar Genocide

  • Sunday, June 07, 2020

    Documentary film

    "Kherson at the Holocaust"