Another Scandal at the Citadel…

Hostel is being built at the site of the former concentration camp

“Yuriy Kuzheliuk stated that nothing could be built at the Citadel, especially recreational facilities. “It was one of the largest concentration camps for POWs in Eastern Europe,   – said the deputy. – 288 thousand prisoners of different nationalities had been interned there between 1941 and 1944. 150 thousand people were executed. Most of those who perished without proper burial are still lying in mass graves. Just last year the first prayer was held at the Citadel and a memorial cross was put in place. According to the decree by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, the territory of the Citadel was added to the State Register of the Monuments of Ukraine in 2010. Despite the strict laws for the preservation of the Citadel site, Lviv businessman Yuhim Poliakov plans to build a hostel there.” “Surely there is no one else out there who could have thought of running a hostel in the barracks of Majdanek, Oświęcim, or the crematorium of the Zacksenhaus,  – noted Yuriy Kuzheliuk. We need to once and for all cease all attempts at construction on the territory of the Citadel.” In an interview with the correspondent of Vysoky Zamok, businessman Yuhim Poliakov acts surprised. He says that he has all permits to build a hostel, but deputies are blocking this project by pointing to political and historical issues. “I can show you the documentation, I have all the permits,   – says Mr. Poliakov. – There was never a kitchen on this spot (the building was erected in the 70s and the concentration camp was set up in 1943). There had always been a boiler house. I have documents from the archives, Prosecutor’s Office and the SBU (Ukrainian secret service) demonstrating that there are no burials. I have permits for the reconstruction of the building. This is pure politics. Someone is interested in spinning a certain issue against the authorities in order to reap the dividends.” Mr. Poliakov considers that crumbling buildings do not embellish the site of the Citadel, while some deputies refrain from saying from else could be developed there besides the hostel. Ivan Svarnyk, historian, told the Vysoky Zamok Newspaper that every concentration camp had a kitchen. “Most of the victims were buried on the adjacent territory – at the foothills of the Citadel – he explains. – The Germans buried them in long trenches. Before building or reconstructing anything there, one has to carry out an archaeological research: to determine whether there are any burials? I find it unfitting to do construction on the site of the Citadel because it is a place where numerous prisoners laid down their lives.” Commentary for Vysoky Zamok Newspaper from Lilia Onyshchenko, head of the Department for the Preservation of Historical Environment at the Lviv City Council Everytime someone wants to build something in Lviv, a scandal springs up. There is always someone against it. There will be no new construction at the Citadel. The businessman, who is going to create a hostel currently, owns the building of the kitchen (it has a shape of a barrack with high ceiling). He is just planning on remodel to accommodate a hostel. It is hard to react to this since it is his private property. Electron, a large factory, has at one point distributed its buildings to various owners. Even the barracks and the run-down tower are privately owned. If one were to create a historical complex at the Citadel, he would first have to buy out all the buildings from their owners. I don’t envisage such funds to be in the budget… There are two alternatives: either the structures continue to site there until they collapse, or the owners are going to remodel them as they see fit.”

Vysoky Zamok Newspaper, April 2, 2012, p. 6

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