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Photo exhibition “Massacre in Odessa”, Berlin 11/08/2014

On 11th August a photo exhibition in Berlin  dedicated to tragedy events of 2nd May in Odessa went through. After learning that there is such an exhibition, the editors of Junge Welt newspaper invited the photo exhibition called “Massacre in Odessa” to Berlin. The program sponsors admitted that they didn’t expect such solid interest.


Arnold Scheltzel, chief editor of Junge Welt newspaper: This is an unbelievable scandal that big mass media, social channels doesn’t inform about the events of 2nd May in Odessa. Local mass media gave one-sided information. There is a trend – all informed gives an idea that victims are guilty by themselves.

52 colored photographs of small size are set in chronological order – 52 moments of Odessa tragedy.


Sabina Kochschmider-Peters, photo chief of Kunger Welt: I saw many photos shouted by information agencies – Reuters, AP, etc., but when I started to select these photos in order to prepare the exhibition, I felt uneasy. I closed all files, and it took time for me to recover from shock.

What did those felt that saw all this by their own eyes? Oleg Muzyka could be a victim, one the activists of social organization “Kulikovo pole” (Kulikovo field). On 2nd May he survived by a miracle in burning House of Trade Unions, and his brother jumped out from the window of 3rd floor and became a cripple.

Oleg came to Berlin on purpose to show and tell Germans about those flagrant events. Running from aggressive crowd, several hundreds of unarmed protest participants, pro-Russian citizens of Odessa, got into a stone trap, in regional House of Trade Unions, where they were burnt alive, the building being thrown with bottles of flame liquid and gas. Outside, there were an amok crowd: Pravyy Sector fighters, three hundreds of Euromaidan, arrived to the city, their supporters and football Ultras.

“At once there were smoke military grenades thrown inside. They were 50cm in length, 5 cm in diameter. Then there was a powerful blow. The smoke came from the floor to the ceiling, green-yellow, sulfur. You make two-three breaths-in and your lungs stop” tells Oleg Muzyka.

“Then the building was thrown around by bottles with flame liquid. Police was idle. Somebody tried to escape through windows: they were shot with guns. And those who succeeded to jump out, were finished by nationalists around”.


Documentary photos of Odessa tragedy: burning building, two on the parapet trying to escape from fire and smoke (fortunately, they survived); dead inside with faces black from smoke; the woman whom radicals suffocated  with a telephone cord – while viewing, nearly physically you start to feel this nightmare which fell to absolutely innocent people’s lot.


There is a completely logical question: why were many dead bodies not burnt and it seemed that they were taken from one place to another?


Oleg Muzyka: Our answer: they tried to find traces of participants of House of Trade Unions protection from other countries. That’s why fingers and faces of those people were burnt, so that they could not be identified, and then passports of Russian Federation were thrown”.

Official investigation continues, but according to the words of Muzyka, Ukrainian investigators are interested only in Russian trace, and they prefer not to see evidences of flagrant crimes, which are collected by survivors in House of Trade Unions.


“We found a murderer, on the video you may see how he finishes with a club those who fell out of windows. There is a photo, video record of this person. There is a record in internet – already with the address of this criminal, but policemen don’t see the crime” – Oleg Muzyka says.
Gregor Schoup: I was shocked by words of Oleg Muzyka. Criminals must be found and punished. But there is such a feeling that the present authorities in Kiev don’t want it”.

Two hundreds of people, came for the opening of the exhibition, were hardly placed 0in a small press-conference room. Photos on the walls are a consequential description of what will remain as black page in the history of Odessa. Is it possible in Europe in 21st century what is shown on those photos? The organizers trust: these photos will become the basis of the international investigation of Odessa crime.

Simultaneously with Berlin, there are the same exhibitions in Budapest, Rome and Madrid, London and Krakow, so that as more as possible people around Europe would remember this date – 2nd May 2014.


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