Sevastopol, Russia, July 11 – A memorial service was held in Sevastopol on Thursday to commemorate the tragic events of July 12, 1942, when more than 4,200 Jews were killed by Nazi forces.
The event, which has been organized by the Sevastopol Jewish community for over 20 years, was commemorated on a much larger scale this year. The Federation of Jewish Communities of Russia assisted with the memorial event, which included rabbis from Israel, Italy, the Netherlands, Germany and other countries.
The rabbinic delegation also met with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow on July 9, to discuss a joint effort to prevent the “rewriting of history” – the fight against neo-Nazism and neo-fascism, as well as against xenophobia and anti-Semitism.
Opening the ceremony in Sevastopol, Berel Lazar, Chief Rabbi of Russia, spoke about the importance of remembering the evil of the Holocaust.
“It is not simply for the sake of remembering, but for us to understand that the way of indifference, when wrong and unjust events are taking place around us, is not our way,” he said.
“Some claim there was no Holocaust, they rewrite history, denying the obvious, and this is why we need to remember today more than ever the lessons of the Holocaust.”
“Yesterday, we heard clear and firm promises from President Putin that the memory of the Holocaust and of those who died will never be forgotten. And that Russia is doing everything possible to see that the ideology of Nazism and fascism never again has a place in the world.”
To commemorate the memory of victims of the tragic events of the past, candles were lit at the Holocaust memorial of Sevastopol, in keeping with tradition. A symbolic memorial candle was lit by 102- year-old David Barulya, a World War II veteran from Sevastopol and a Holocaust survivor.