Memory Stones — AVIV, June–July 2017
They are scattered over various regions of Belarus – from Vitebsk to Polesye, from Brest to the Russian border. Since 2004 the Committee for the Preservation of Holocaust Victims’ Memory of the Union of Belarusian Jewish Public Associations and Communities (UBJPAC) under the sponsorship of the Lazarus (England) and Kletter (USA) families has erected 99 memorial signs in places where Jews were killed during the Great Patriotic War.
This summer, Diana and Michael Lazarus and Cary Kletter took part in the unveiling of two signs on the sites where Jews were massacred by Nazis – near the Malyatichi village of Krichiv region, and in the town of Rubensk in Pukhavichy region. In addition, mourning ceremonies were held in Krichev, where 99 people were killed by Nazis, and the Pogost 1 village of Soligorskyi region, where memorial stones were installed at places of death of 440 and 180 people.
The village Antonovka doesn’t exist. Nearby is Malyatichi. It was burned by the Nazis during the war. There is only a burial place for it, in the symbolic cemetery for villages in Hatyn. The Nazis massacred more than 90 of its Jewish inhabitants on November 14, 1941. According to eyewitnesses, brought by the Coordinator of the Committee for the Preservation of Holocaust Victims’ Memory of the UBJPAC, Igor Kraversky, soldiers and policemen shot the residents of Antonovka cynically, during the day, taking a break for lunch.
However, teenagers Elena Vertlib and Mira Neznanskaya managed to escape during the mass execution of Jews. One of those who helped them was a local resident Feokla Tkacheva, whose daughter was present at the mourning ceremonies. The Jerusalem Institute, Yad Vashem, recognized Feokla Tkacheva as Righteous Among the Nations in 1999.
190 Jews became victims of the Nazis in Rudensk. The memorial stone was set near the railroad, which the Nazis used to come for the execution.
The mourning ceremonies were attended by diplomats from Israel, Germany, USA, sponsors Diana and Michael Lazarus, Cary Kletter, deputy chairman of UBJPAC Boris Gersten, Rabbis Mordechai Rahinstein and Grigory Abramovitch, Head of the Judaic Religious Union Grigory Haytovich, Chairman of the Union of Belarusian Jewish Public Associations and Communities, members of UBJPAC and representatives of local authorities, veterans, residents of the surrounding villages and towns.
Newspaper founded in March 1992
Publisher – Union of Belarusian Jewish Public Associations and Communities
#03-04 (234-235), June-July, 2017
This issue of the newspaper was published with the financial support of the Office of the Plenipotentiary Representative for Religious and Nationalities Affairs of the Council of Ministers of the Republic of Belarus