June 5th, 2013
Voronezh. Ilya Altman spoke at the ceremony that took place at the War Memorial in the Rudkino village. Here rest the remains of approximately 2000 Hungarian Jews from so-called labor battalions. Co-chairman of the Russian Holocaust Center called those people, whom the Hungarian soldiers deprived from weapons, forced to starve and sent in order to the minefields, a peculiar “forfeit battalion deprived of a right for rehabilitation”. He noted that amongst all the other commemoratives at this memorial there is a Jewish symbol – menorah. However, there are no such commemoratives and texts at any place of execution in the Voronezh region. The representative delegation from Moscow took part in the ceremony: Israeli ambassador to Russia Dorit Golender, chief Rabbi of Russia A.S. Shaevich, Secretary-General of the Eurasian Jewish Congress M.A. Chlenov, as well as the head of the Jewish community in Voronezh M.E. Segal. The ceremony of the remembrance of the Hungarian Jews, who against their will fought on Nazi Germany’s side, took place in Russia for the very first time. This happened thanks to the efforts of the family of Ian Verkhaymer, who rests at the memorial under Voronezh. After the War Verkhaymer’s family moved to Israel, and only after 70 years his granddaughter Carney Gerstein found her grandfather’s grave with the help of Israeli President Shimon Peres.