Share Tweet Pocket Add to Bookmarks
You're reading: Why the word ‘zhyd’ stirs fighting in Ukraine

I
would like to tell a personal story about why the word “zhyd,” a derogatory
reference to Jews, stirs so much emotion in Ukraine. The reason I am doing this
is discussion around a recent comment by my former university mate-turned-member
of parliament from Svoboda Party, Ihor Miroshnychenko. He called the Hollywood
actress of Ukrainian descent Mila Kunis is a “zhydivka.”

My
great-grandfather’s name was Efim Abramovich Kalishevsky. The name is telling,
but in Soviet days people used to hide very carefully the Jewish roots of one’s
relatives. Actually, my great-grandfather was a christened Jew, and some years
ago he married my grandmother Varvara Radzievska. They had two daughters, the elder
Susanna and younger Agnessa, my grandmother.

In the 1930s, my great-grandfather was a bishop of the
Ukrainian Autocephalous Church. In 1937, he was shot in the dungeons of the
October Palace for membership in counter-revolutionary church-based
nationalistic organization. I only found out about it in 1990.

Exclusive article

Sign up or subscribe to view more articles.
See All Plans
$5.95
Monthly plan
Get unlimited article access, anytime, anywhere.

Subscribe
$60
Yearly plan
Access all the exclusive content on KyivPost.com and the complete online archive.
Subscribe
Advertisement

Add comment

Sorry, you must be logged in to post a comment.
Attention

Add a picture
Choose file
Add a quote
Attention

Are you sure you want to delete your comment?

Attention

Are you sure you want to delete all user's comments?

Attention

Are you sure you want to unapprove user's comment?

Attention

Are you sure you want to move to spam user's comment?

Attention

Are you sure you want to move to trash user's comment?

Spelling error report

The following text will be sent to our editors: