‘Saviors’ exhibition dedicated to Russian Righteous Among the Nations
The multimedia exhibition ‘Saviors’ dedicated to the Russian Righteous Among the Nations - the people who hid Jews in their homes helping them to survive in the occupied territories during World War II - opened in the Museum of Moscow.
The exhibition is held as part of the Memory Week dedicated to the International Holocaust Remembrance Day on January 27th. On that day in 1945, the prisoners of the Auschwitz death camp were liberated by Soviet troops. The exposition is organized by the Russian Jewish Congress and supported by the Government of Moscow and the Zimin Foundation. The project was initiated by Moscow schoolgirls, who traveled around Russia and Israel to interview Jews rescued during the war.
"The history of the Holocaust is part of Russia and Soviet Union’s history. About half of the Holocaust 6 million victims were killed on the territory of the former Soviet Union," the President of the Russian Jewish Congress, Yuri Kanner said. "What is our job? First of all, it is the field work - the hardest part. It is necessary to put in order the burial of the Holocaust victims. What is important, that the most work is done by non-Jews. Yes, this is the Russian Jewish Congress’s project, we support and manage it in every way, but on the ground, it is managed by teachers of local schools, journalists, historians and just caring people."
The writer, head of the Russia-Azerbaijan inter-parliamentary friendship group, State Duma deputy Lyudmila Ulitskaya told about the timeliness of the exhibition: "This exhibition is held just right in time. Some participants of those events are still alive - few saviors and few saved. In 10 years, all of them will be gone. Enough time has passed to see these events no longer with the eyes of the participants, but with the eyes of people who explore the human nature. This exhibition tells everyone about the heroism of the people, who seemed to be looking into the future, crossed this insanely hard frontier. Sometimes it is hard to help the beloved ones, and it is a thousand times harder to help strangers.
The Israeli Ambassador to Russia, Gary Koren, explained that the term Righteous Among the Nations was adopted in 1953, ” when Yad Vashem [the Israeli National Holocaust Memorial] was founded in Jerusalem. This exhibition is one of the best dedicated to this topic. It needs to be organized not only here, but abroad as well."
The center of the exposition is a white cylinder with tablets, on which there are the names of all the Russian Righteous Among the Nations and those who they saved - 206 names of people of different nationalities from more than 20 regions of the country who sheltered Jews in the occupied territories.
Ida Spektor, a former prisoner of the concentration camp, shared her memories of those terrible years: “Friends, this is very hard. From 1941 to March 1944, I was held in a death camp in Ukraine. The village of Pechora in the Vinnitsa region. It was horrible there. 70 to 100 people died every day because there was no food and no water, it was cold, shootings were performed. Awful. People were dying, swelling. Someone shouted someone kept silence. In 1943, there was terrible shooting. Almost all prisoners were killed. A few of us were saved by miracle.”
Open to the public exhibition 'Saviors' will run in the Museum of Moscow until February 4th.