Sad anniversary: 75 years ago Nazis wiped out Minsk ghetto

On 21 October 1943, Nazis made away with the Minsk ghetto.

“The ghetto existed 820 days. And these days were being at the point of death: every day, every night people expected that they would be killed,” Barys Mlynski, who miraculously survived in the Minsk ghetto, told Belsat.

The man, who now lives in Israel, arrived in Minsk to take part in the remembrance event.

Local residents as well as Jews from Europe were housed in the Minsk ghetto that was established on July 20, 1941. It was one of the largest in Belorussian SSR, and the largest in the German-occupied territory of the Soviet Union.

By various estimates, the lives of 80,000 – 100,000 persons were taken here; hundreds, maybe thousands, managed to escape – mostly children, young people, who could survive in neighbouring villages and partisan units,historian Alyaksandr Dalhouski said.

The solidarity movement Together has held a remembrance event on the occasion of the sad anniversary near the memorial Yama (Grave) on present-day Melnikaite Street. About 5,000 Jews were executed at this place during the Second World War.

“We are here today, and we’ll focus on the peace issue so that the mankind would never sacrifice on the altar of wars again,Alena Talstaya, a representative of the movement, stressed.

Yama reminds of the last steps made by victims of Nazism. Hovewer, a few people know much about the history, symbolism and whereabouts of the impressive memorial.

“It is a defenite must-know-about. When my wife and me were on the way, I wondered why there was not a single directional sign to Yama,” Minsk resident Svyataslau Haletski said.

“We should cherish their memory and tell the new generation about them so that people will be friends and appreciate life,” Halina Tsyarentsyeva told Belsat.

The organizers and participants in the event hope that such tragedies will never happen again. It should be recalled that there were 1,150 ghettos in the territories invaded by Nazi Germany.

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