MINSK, 19 October (BelTA) – The 75th anniversary of the Minsk Ghetto destruction was marked in a ceremony in the Yaar HaKdoshim Forest near Jerusalem on 19 October. The event was organized by the Israeli Association of Immigrants from Belarus, BelTA learned from the Belarusian diplomatic mission.
Attending the event was Belarus' Ambassador to Israel Vladimir Skvortsov, representatives of the Israeli Association of Immigrants from Belarus, war veterans and former ghetto prisoners.
Comparing the Minsk Ghetto to a concentration camp, Vladimir Skvortsov said that among 100,000 prisoners of this horrible place there were not only Belarusian residents but also Jews brought from Austria, Germany, Poland and other European states.
“The appalling Nazi doctrine of racial superiority, which began with theoretical discussions about the ‘master race' and ‘Untermenschen' led to the largest disaster of the last century, which cost Europe millions of innocent lives,” the ambassador said.
According to him, the prisoners of the Minsk Ghetto and other death camps did not bow their head, offered resistance, set up underground organizations, made escapes and joined the ranks of partisans selflessly fighting against enemy.
“Part of Hitler's mad Lebensraum im Osten campaign was burning hundreds of villages together with their inhabitants in the occupied Belarus. Suffering untold casualties themselves, Belarusians embraced the tragedy of the Jewish people – ghetto prisoners as their own. Risking their lives they saved tens and hundreds of Jewish children and adults from imminent death,” Vladimir Skvortsov said. He also added that over 800 Belarusians were awarded the noble title “Righteous Among the Nations” for heroism.
“The day of the destruction of the Minsk Ghetto is not only a sad date when we mark the victims of the fascist atrocities but, like the whole tragedy of the war, it is a clear reminder that we must prevent distortion of the historical truth and preserve the memory of joint heroism and assistance during the hard times,” the Belarusian ambassador said.
Vladimir Skvortsov laid a wreath at the memorial sign that holds the capsules with soil from the Minsk Ghetto, Trostenets concentration camp and Bronna Mount death camp in Brest Oblast. Candles were lit and the Jewish Kaddish prayer was read in memory of all those killed in the Great Patriotic War, tortured in concentration camps and ghettos.
Photo courtesy of the Belarusian embassy in IsraelMore about Society