· Lviv, Ukraine
11 11 2017 Earlier today in Lviv, two memorial plaques were unveiled for two extraordinary individuals who revolutionized the way humanity thinks about justice and human rights. They were prominent international lawyers who served on the prosecution team at the Nuremberg Trial. Thanks to them, the concepts of "genocide" and "crimes against humanity" became inextricable part of international law.
These two men, Hirsch Lauterpacht (put "crimes against humanity" into international law) and Rafael Lemkin (created the term "genocide" and was the father of the Convention on Prevention and Punishment of Genocide), likely didn't know each other. Yet, they both spent formative parts of their lives in Lviv, got crucial aspects of their legal education at Lviv University, and even studied with the same professors. Both were Jewish and lost virtually their entire families in the Holocaust. Both came to play crucial roles in securing justice at Nuremberg. The drama of their interwoven lives as it played out in Lviv and internationally is described in Philippe Sands's page turner of a book "East-West Street," which just got published in Ukrainian and is being translated into 15 other languages.
Very powerful to see Lviv come together to honor the memory of these people - and an honor for the Kennan Institute to have co-sponsored the events here, including the symposium "Rights, Justice, and Memories of the City," the unveiling of the plaques, and the sold-out musical event at the Lviv Philharmonic dramatizing the story (a separate post coming about that). In photos and video - Philippe Sands; Mayor of Lviv Andriy Sadovyi; members of the Lauterpach and Lemkin family (who came to Lviv for the first time ever); world-famous scholars of international law and justice; and others. And huge kudos to ????? ??????? ??????? , its director Sofia Dyak, and the rest of her amazing team for having created an opportunity for the city to come together to restore and take ownership of collective memory of an important chapter in its life.
Mayhill Courtney Fowler
Blair Ruble Vladislav Davidzon Prokip Andrian Roman Kalytchak