An emotional and touching ceremony took place last week in the courtyard of the Yekaterinburg Grand Synagogue and JCC. Stones were laid for the construction of a Holocaust Memorial Monument and tribute to the Red Army for their part in fighting the Nazis and liberating the death camps. Ten stones collected from mass graves across Europe will serve as the foundation for the future monument.
Dozens of Jewish community members and students attended the historic ceremony that took place on February 10th in the courtyard of the local JCC and synagogue. A military band accompanied the ceremony that was addressed by dignitaries and leaders from across the region.
Ten stones, collected from mass graves throughout Europe, were laid at the foundation of the future monument. They were brought from Auschwitz, Treblinka, Sobibor, and Majdanek in Poland, Buchenwald and Dachau in Germany, Babi Yar in Ukraine, Rumbula forest in Latvia, Yama in Belarus, and Zmievskaya beam in Russia.
The ceremony was attended and addressed by the Governor of the Sverdlovsk Region, Mr. Evgeny Kuyvashev, who also laid the stones together with Mr. Alexei Orlov, the Mayor of Yekaterinburg and the project initiator, the Chief Rabbi of Yekaterinburg and the Sverdlovsk Region, Zelig Ashkenazi, Chairman of the Sverdlovsk Regional Association of Former Prisoners of the Ghetto and Nazi Camps Mr. Semyon Spektor, and Chairman of the Community, Mr. Yakov Soskin. Also in attendance were official representatives of foreign states resident in Yekaterinburg, public and cultural figures from the Sverdlovsk region, and, of course, members of the community.