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The Russian Research and Educational Holocaust Center and the Holocaust Foundation
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Inauguration of the Monastyrshchina Holocaust memorial (Smolensker Oblast)

24th November 2013

On the 24th November the Monastyrshchina Holocaust memorial has been reopened after reconstruction under the support of the project “Restitute dignity”. The opening was initialized by the Russian Jewish Congress and the Russian Holocaust Center.

During the autumn/winter offensive 1941-1942 at least 1200 Jews were killed by the National Socialists and their Hilfspolizei in Monastyrshchina. Only a few human lives could be hid and rescued by partisans.

The first memorial at this place was built on the initiative of Efim Sosin in 1967, financed by relatives and friends of the victims and designed as an concrete-granite-obelisk by Eruvin Malkin. 250 victims were mentioned on the memorial plaque.

On the new memorial plaque is written: “In memoriam of the killed Jews of Monastyrshchina and Dudin. Erected under the support of the project “Restitute dignity” by the Russian Jewish Congress and the Russian Holocaust Center with practical help from Protestants in Russia. We are remembering us. Forgive us.”

Member of other confessions especially the foundation “Even Eser” – Protestants in Russia supported the reconstruction and erection of the memorial with important financial and logistical assistance. Support came also from members of the Russian Jewish Congress: Saimon Vain, Jakob Kaller and Peter Shchelishch.

This memorial is the 3rd one in the Smolensk area, which was built with support of the project “Restitute dignity”. Two other under it the avenue of the Righteous Among the Nations for the inhabitants of Smolensk was opened in Lyubavichi in 2011 and 2012 in and received a broad international response.

The president of the Russian Jewish Congress Juri Kanner, Gennadi Tarasov who survived the massacre, the Co-Director of the Russian Holocaust Center Ilya Altman, the deputy of the head of government of the region Monastyrshchina Alexander Golub, the deputy mayor of Smolensk Dimitriy Levant, the director of the foundation “Evin Eser” Boris Vasjukov. The press officer of the embassy of Israel in Russia Aleks Kagalski and the 2nd deputy of the German ambassador in Russia Rolf Moormann attended the opening ceremony.

The deputy of the rabbi of the Moscow Choral Synagogue spoke the prayer for the dead.

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