Dnipro pays tribute to victims of Nazi genocide of Jews
On May 2, Dnipro joined the commemoration of Yom Ha-Shoa (the Day of Remembrance of the Catastrophe and Heroism of European Jewry). This memorial day is celebrated every year after one of the greatest Jewish holidays – the Pesach.
The symbolism of the date is that it was the Pesach of 1943 that marked the beginning of the uprising of the Warsaw ghetto Jews – one of the most significant manifestations of the resistance to Nazism in the occupied Europe. This was stated by Ihor Shchupak, director of the Memory of the Jewish People and the Holocaust in Ukraine museum on its Facebook page.
Representatives of the Israel Cultural Center Nativ, the Dnipro Jewish community and its head Rabbi Shmuel Kaminetsky, representatives of other Jewish organizations, students of 144 schools and towns took part in honoring the memory of six million victims of the Nazi genocide.
Chief Rabbi of Dnipro and region, Shmuel Kaminetsky, stressed that, despite the real catastrophe experienced by the Jewish communities of Ukraine during the German occupation, Jewish life in modern Ukraine continues. The fear of one’s Jewish origin, generated by Nazi terror, Soviet anti-Semitism, recedes and now young generations of citizens of independent Ukraine are proud of their Jewish roots, traditions, faith, etc.
Dr. Yehor Vradiy, deputy director of the Memory of the Jewish People and the Holocaust in Ukraine museum, believes this day is a moment of honoring the Jews who fought with Nazism – the rebels of the Tuchin ghetto in Volyn, who were the first in the occupied territories to resist with virtually no weapons the Nazis and their allies in the fall of 1942; a Ukrainian Jew, Alexander Pechersky and his comrades – prisoners of the Sobibor death camp, who did what seemed impossible – in 1943 they raised an uprising at the Nazi "death factory" and saved the lives of hundreds of other people … The attendees heard the memories of Asi (Esther) Stern, who in 1939 lived with her mother in Warsaw and, like hundreds of thousands of other Jews, found herself in a ghetto. Only thanks to a lucky event and help of Polish friends, she managed to illegally cross the border between the German and Soviet occupation zones and save her life.
Up till now, the 93-year-old woman remembers the atmosphere of fear that prevailed among Jews in the city immediately after the establishment of the Nazi rule.