Belarus remembered its Jews who perished in the Holocaust on the 65th anniversary of the annihilation of the Minsk ghetto.
Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko took part in Monday’s memorial ceremony held at the Yama memorial complex in Minsk, where many of the ghetto victims are buried. “A small part of Belarusian Jews survived (the war). They were killed only because they were Jewish,” Lukashenko told.
The president promised that Belarus would remember the Holocaust victims. He declared that a great memorial will be created on the site of the former Trostenec death camp was located, where thousands of Jews and people of other nations were killed by the Nazis. “New generations haven’t forgotten what happened in the middle of the last century,” Lukashenko said.
The head of the Belarusian Jewish community, Leonid Levin, told JTA that the ceremony is the first time that the Belarusian government has paid so much attention to the memory of Holocaust victims. “Mourning ceremonies take place all over the country. It is the first time that people speak openly about the tragedy of the Belarusian Jews,” Levin said.
More than 800,000 Jews were killed in the country during World War II. About 100,000 Jews perished in the Minsk ghetto.