Putin, Netanyahu Commemorate Holocaust Victims in Moscow’s Jewish Museum

Yesterday President of Russia, Mr. Vladimir Putin and Prime Minister of Israel, Mr. Benjamin Netanyahu, commemorated the International Holocaust Remembrance Day at FJC’s Jewish Museum and Tolerance Center in Moscow.

The two leaders participated in an inauguration of the memorial honoring resistance heroes at ghettos and concentration camps, to be built at the museum. A cornerstone for the inauguration was brought in from a mass murder site in the village of Lubavitch. They proceeded by visiting an exhibit about the Sobibor concentration camp uprising, which now opened at the Jewish museum to mark the uprising’s 75th anniversary.

After visiting the exhibit, President Putin and Prime Minister Netanyahu officiated the commemoration ceremony attended by dozens of ambassadors from all over the world, war veterans, and Holocaust survivors    

Although the original date of the International Remembrance Day is January 27th, a Saturday this year, the ceremony was moved to Monday in order to accommodate Shabbat observance of the Jewish participants.  

Opening the ceremony, the Chief Rabbi of Russia Berel Lazar talked about the importance of remembrance and taking a clear stand: “Remembering those who perished, and appreciating those who liberated – requires us to take an unequivocal stand here. Those who saw, knew, and did nothing – also bear their share of responsibility, even if they don’t have blood on their hands.

Let us not forget that this is the mission of every religion. Mutual help, mutual respect, love of others – all this constitutes the basis of faith in G-d! These are eternal values – they have helped mankind survive and develop over the years, and these days it is especially important to understand that it is our duty to preserve those values,” Rabbi Lazar said.

The ceremony was continued with speeches by President Putin and Prime Minister Netanyahu. “I greatly appreciate this invitation and your personal support, in this place and on this day, which reflects our common struggle against the greatest evil that humanity has ever known, at the terrible price of six million of my people, along with the twenty million Russian people who perished,” Prime Minister Netanyahu said.  

President Putin said that Holocaust Remembrance Day commemorates the memory of everyone, who gave their life at the hands of Nazi Germany and fought to rid the world from fascist and their ideology.     

The International Holocaust Remembrance Day was established by the United Nations in 2005, which picked the date of January 27th because that was the date the Red Army liberated the Auschwitz -Birkenau concentration camps. 

Photos: Levi Nazarov

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