Photo Credit: Vyacheslav Argenberg via Flickr
The Museum of Victory Poklonnaya Hill in Moscow

“Experts must have an opportunity to scrutinize the history of Holocaust without political pressure,” Israel’s Ambassador in Russia, Gary Koren, said on Tuesday as he attended the opening ceremony of an exhibition entitled “Shoah/Holocaust: How Could People Do This?” at the Museum of Victory in Moscow, TASS reported.

“The main thing is to keep up the memories and to continue research,” Koren said. “It’s important to guarantee an opportunity for historians to do research quietly instead of being exposed to any forms of political interference.”

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Ambassador Koren did not say so explicitly, but the subject of his statement was a bill introduced in the parliament of his host country’s next door neighbor, Poland, threatening imprisonment of individuals who use the term “Polish death camps.”

The ambassador underlined the similarity between Russia’s and Israel’s views on the history and outcome of World War II, and said that the two countries were cooperating closely to establish a list of names of all the victims of Nazism.

“We’re working with the Russian state service for archives on a project titled ‘Every Person Has a Name,’” Koren said. “Whole families died and therefore it’s very important for us to establish their names. Russian archives can help us a lot in this effort.”

According to TASS, the exhibition at the Museum of Victory highlights the major stages in the history of Holocaust. It begins with the depiction of the Jewish people’s everyday life in the countries of Europe and in the Soviet Union before World War II and ends with the story of the liberation of inmates from Nazi death camps and their return to a “normal” life.

Some of the exhibits have been loaned by the Museum of Jewish Heritage. These are the personal belongings of the inmates at the Nazi camps, the pencil sketches of frontline routine, the Red Army soldiers’ letters from the war trenches, a typewriter and a glass for Kiddush that belonged to the Soviet writer and publicist Ilya Ehrenburg.

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