More than 50 New York Jewish war veterans who fought with the Red Army during World War II gathered to mark Hebrew date of the 70th anniversary of V-E day – the European victory over the Nazis.
The veterans, who wore their Soviet uniforms and military medals from WWII, were joined by local rabbis and NY Jewish community leaders.
The celebration was organized by the American Forum of Russian Speaking Jewry (AFRJ) and the World Zionist Organization (WZO) with the support of Russian-Jewish leader German Zakharyaev, president of the Stmegi Foundation.
“As Jews we are proud to gather for this historic celebration honoring a great victory over evil,” said Brooklyn resident Boris Feldman, age 94. Feldman fought with the Red Army for two years after he was released from a Ukrainian ghetto.
“While it’s important to remember the end of the Holocaust, we must remain vigilant even today. Jewish communities throughout the world feel increasingly threatened due to the rise of anti-Semitism.”
Victory Day is celebrated on May 9 in Russia as well as elsewhere around the world in countries with major Russian immigrant populations, including Israel.
Israel officially recognized the holiday in 2000.
To mark the liberation of European Jewry from the Nazis, supporters of the holiday chose the Hebrew date of 26 Iyar – to commemorate May 9, 1945 – and call it “European Jewry Rescue Day.” This year, the holiday fell on the evening of May 14.
Photo: Shahar Azran – Jewish WWII veteran Boris Feldman, 94, with other Jewish WWII veterans of the Soviet Red Army celebrating Victory Day in New York’s Times Square.