New Holocaust Memorial in Belarus —, November 24, 2008

New Holocaust Memorial in Belarus

BREST, Belarus [FJC] — In a field at Smolyarka, located in the district Berezovsky near Brest, a new plaque in memory of victims of the Holocaust was unvieled.

According to the Chairman of the Jewish community of Brest, Boris Bruk, the monument was established at the site of a mass murder of Jews where were the prisoners of the Berezovsky ghetto. Here, in 1942, occupying Nazi forces shot more than three thousand men, women, and children.

The opening ceremony was attended by representatives of local authorities, Jewish organizations functioning in the region, members and leaders of the Jewish communities of Brest and Pinsk, historians and local residents.

The special guests of honor were the creators of this monument and the heads of the Lazarus Family Foundation (Britain), Michael and Diane Lazarus. The event also involved Yoni Lefert of the American Joint Distribution Committee in Belarus, and the Polish Consul General in Brest Jaroslav Ksenzhek.

On black granite stone, mounted on a pedestal, reads an inscription in three languages – Belarusian, English and Hebrew – noting that this monument was erected in memory of the victims of Nazism. During the ceremony, participants light candles in memory of the victims, Jewish leaders led prayers, and attendees placed wreaths and flowers at the site.

The Association of Jewish Communities of Belarus and the Jewish communities of Brest and Pinsk are grateful to those who made it possible to commemorate the deceased through this memorial, underlining the generosity of the Lazarus Family Fund, the hard work put in by Alik and Galina Arslanov – residents of Bereza – to landscape the territory, and the sponsorship of the Brest City Administration for the site’s preparation.