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Posted on January 27, 2017
Yury Kharchenko discusses Herschel Grynszpan in today's WAZ:
“The 30-year-old Kharchenko remembers the 17-year-old Herschel Grynszpan, whose desperate attack on the Nazi regime was used as a pretext for Kristallnacht on the 9th of November 1938. In a small painting, portrait and self-portrait merge into one, with the question written above: ‘how much longer should I hide my identity?’
“For Yury Kharchenko, Herschel Grynszpan is not only a ‘hero’ for sending out a message against the persecution of the Jewish people with five shots at the embassy attaché von Rath. In fact, he counts Herschel Grynszpan as family: his own grandfather changed his surname from the obviously Jewish ‘Grynszpan’ to the Ukranian ‘Kharchenko’ while a soldier in the Red Army. Even many years after Stalin, a hidden anti-Semitism ran through the Soviet Union, explains the grandson. ‘That’s why my father also didn’t want to change his name.’
“Yury Kharchenko is considering taking up the name Grynszpan once again, even though he has achieved some recognition as an artist under his birth name: ‘but it’s a fictive name; it doesn’t belong to me.’”
Excerpted and translated by Artitious