Jewish veterans throughout Russia celebrated yesterday the victory over Nazi Germany in World War II. The day marks 71 years since the end of the war, and in Russia it is officially celebrated a day after the international V-day of May 8th. Fireworks, parades and celebrations take place all over the country, but for the veterans themselves the day is first and foremost a memorial, where they honor the ones lost and celebrate those who made it.
Members of the communities, school children and rabbis congratulated the veterans on this special day. Rabbi Berel Lazar, the chief rabbi of Russia, spoke to the veterans in Moscow, thanking them and praising their bravery and determination. “Your sacrifice and heroism lead an example for today’s youth,” he said. “The obligation of our young generations, however difficult it may be, is to ban hatred based on race and religion from international relations. And our obligation, as educators and mentors, is to raise them immune to propaganda of hatred of any sort.”
School children from FJC’s Or Avner schools prepared memorial concerts for the veterans, wrote poems and recounted war stories of their families.