MINSK, 28 April (BelTA) - Belarus reverently preserves the memory of the Jews who died on its territory during the Great Patriotic War, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Israel to Belarus Alex Goldman Shayman told reporters in Minsk on 28 April, BelTA has learned.
"Cooperation with Belarus on the topic of Holocaust remembrance is very important for us. 800,000 Jews were killed here. The fact that there is information about them, and that their memory is reverently preserved is very important,” Ambassador Alex Goldman Shayman said. “Belarus' Prosecutor General's Office has launched an investigation into the genocide of the Belarusian people. It is very important for us to get the information about the Jews who fell victims. A book on this subject has recently been published. Every person has a name, and it is important that these 800,000 Jews who were brutally murdered be remembered, that their names be returned to them.
A ceremony dedicated to the Holocaust and Heroism Remembrance Day is taking place in the Belarusian State Museum of History of the Great Patriotic War today. During the ceremony Alex Goldman Shayman is expected to present diplomas and medals of the Righteous Among the Nations to descendants of the Belarusian citizens, who saved Jews during World War Two and were awarded this distinguished title by a special commission of the World Holocaust Remembrance Center Yad Vashem.
"In those dark days, the righteous people of the world were rays of light. Today we will honor two more families in the ceremony. Unfortunately, the righteous ones themselves died, but two families will be awarded the Medal of Honor. More than 700 people have been awarded the status in Belarus, but there were many more who helped and saved Jews. It is with great trepidation and delight that we honor these heroes who saved Jews during the Great Patriotic War, in most cases risking their own lives and the lives of their families," the ambassador said.
The exhibition “Art during the years of the Holocaust” featuring works from Yad Vashem's collections was organized as part of the event. The exhibition offers a glimpse into the world of graphic arts of the Shoah period (the Holocaust). Created by twenty artists in 1939-1945, the works reflect contradictions between the desire to freeze into place the dreadful events with art media and the desire to break free into the realm of art, imagination, and faith. Most of the artists did not survive. Often created at the risk of their own lives, the works testify to the strength of human spirit that refuses to surrender.