NEW YORK (May. 12)
Several thousand Jews gathered in Minsk on May 9, VE Day, to commemorate the Jewish victims of the Holocaust, according to the National Conference on Soviet Jewry (NCSJ). On hand for the occasion were many young Jews attending the event for the first time.
Despite frequent KGB disruption, Jewish activist Shmaya Gorelik delivered a eulogy for the dead. Several other Jewish activists spoke on the meaning and effect of the Holocaust, focusing on the theme that Jews have traditionally been persecuted only because they are Jews, the NCSJ reported.
Minsk Jews have repeatedly asked Soviet authorities to restore the memorial site to the fallen victims. During the celebration, a representative of the Minsk municipal authorities assured them that their request will receive action.
In a related development, Soviet authorities warned Col, Lev Ovsishcher, prominent Misk activist and refusnik, not to attend the VE-Day celebration, Fearful of the threats made, he did not join his friends.