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Belarusians awarded for saving Jews during World War 2

Society 28.11.2017 | 19:44

VITEBSK, 28 November (BelTA) – A ceremony to bestow certificates of merit and medals upon the Belarusians, who are deemed Righteous Among the Nations, took place in Sharkovshchina, Vitebsk Oblast on 28 November. Ambassador of Israel to Belarus Alon Shoham took part in the ceremony, representatives of the Sharkovshchina District administration told BelTA.

The Israeli diplomat awarded special certificates of merit and medals to representatives of five families, whose ancestors saved Jews from elimination during World War 2. Descendants of the saved Jews came to Sharkovshchina to once again thank the people, who had risked their lives so that others could live.

The Sharkovshchina ghetto was established in October-November 1941. The precise number of prisoners is unknown but estimated at 1,600 people. The Nazi started exterminating the ghetto in the morning of 18 July 1942 by firing assault rifles and machine guns and throwing grenades. Some prisoners managed to escape. The Nazi were looking for the survivors for a long time. Local residents sheltered some of the escaped Jews at a great risk to their own families.

The world holocaust remembrance center Yad Vashem was created in Jerusalem after the State of Israel was founded. One of the main tasks of the center is to offer gratitude on behalf of the state and the entire Jewish nation to the people, who risked their lives to save Jews during the Holocaust. The words “Quiconque sauve une vie, sauve le monde entier” (whoever saves one life saves the entire world) are engraved on the medal.

Alon Shoham intends to visit Glubokoye District tomorrow in order to see places of interest, which are related to the Holocaust in the village of Plisa, in Borok, and in the town of Glubokoye.

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