Sadly, many Ukrainians have little knowledge of their own country's colorful past and tend to promote a rather monolithic and narrow-minded view of history based solely upon the Ukrainian ethnic experience. Perhaps it would be more productive to delve into the country's rich interethnic experience so as to foster greater understanding between Ukrainians and minority populations.
As a medical social worker, I have witnessed both in my patients and clients. I saw my parents take a downhill slide as they aged, even though they did so with grace. I have a difficult time allowing myself to be taken care of, since my role has long been that of caregiver. As I face my fears, they become less fierce.
Literature and memory are essential to a culture's survival. For Jews, that literature is Yiddish -- 26 of its greatest writers and poets were murdered in a 1952 Stalinist purge. As Zunser (Ron Rifkin) explains to his four jailed comrades: "We are all here because of the fifth line on the form: Jewish."