UGCC Patriarch, OCU Primate and Chief Rabbi of Kyiv and Ukraine opened in Sambir Memorial of WWII Victims
In Sambir, Lviv region on August 21, the ceremony of unveiling of the 'Remember' memorial complex that commemorates the victims of the Second World War in Ukraine was held. A memorial cross for the OUN–UPA soldiers victims of Nazism was blessed at a former Jewish cemetery.
This cross is the first element of the future memorial to those in this cemetery who died in the hands of the Nazis: Ukrainians, Jews, Gypsies, Poles, the Department of Information of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church reports.
The solemn and important historical event was attended by Patriarch Sviatoslav of the UGCC, Primate of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine Epifaniy, Chief Rabbi of Kyiv and Ukraine Yaakov Dov Bleich, Roman Vashchuk, the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Canada to Ukraine, representatives of regional and city authorities, foreign guests, residents of Sambir.
The Head of the UGCC has noted that those present gathered in this city from different parts of Ukraine and the wider world to pay tribute to those "who were capable to love to an extent that they gave their lives for their land, for their people, for their Homeland. Those who knew how to love when it seemed the world could only hate. The world that only encouraged murder, neglect...".
The Primate of the UGCC has noted that this event takes place on the eve of the Independence Day of Ukraine.
"Perhaps these days, more than ever, the people of Ukraine should understand that the Ukrainian state is the common good, a guarantee of happiness for all those who live on its land: Ukrainians, Jews, Christians, Muslims; for all those for whom Ukraine is a guarantee of freedom, dignity, respect and confident future," he said.
Metropolitan Epifaniy expressed his gratitude to those who worked on the implementation of the idea of creating the memorial complex.
"Today we truly recall the tragic pages of our Ukrainian and European history of the 20th century, as well as those glorious fighters who gave their lives for the freedom and liberty of Ukraine. In this holy place, we remember those civilians who lost their lives. We have come to accord and unity. So today we are opening this memorial together. Here, Christians and Jews will be honored," the website of the Lviv Regional Government cited the words of Metropolitan Epifaniy of Kyiv and All Ukraine.
"Thanks to the incredible efforts and Ukrainian-Jewish meetings and with the support of all those present today, we are symbolically unveiling this memorial. It is now that we are creating our modern common history, rethinking the past and taking a step towards peace and unity. Respect for the opinion of others has helped us in the implementation of this project. We all need to learn to respect each other. This is our common victory and achievement," said the Chief Rabbi of Ukraine Dov Bleich.
The memorial complex is located in the former Jewish cemetery in Sambir. At one time, the German occupiers killed many Jews, Gypsies, Poles, and Ukrainians here. A native of Sambir, Mark Freiman, whose family survived the Holocaust, offered to have the memorial established.