Memorial tombstone for Ukrainian Jewish community unveiled

Rabbinical Center of Europe unveils memorial tombstone on a mass grave of the Jewish community of the City of Sadigora in Ukraine.

Arutz Sheva Staff,

Memorial tombstone for Jewish community in Sadigura, Ukraine
Memorial tombstone for Jewish community in Sadigura, Ukraine
Photo: RCE

The Jews of Sadigora in southern Ukraine, near the border with Romania and Moldova, thought that the Russian army's victory over the German Nazi army during the fighting in the region in July 1944, was the end of the war, and the end of the attacks on them by the Romanian Army who controlled the area and cooperated with the Nazis.

However, the Russian command allowed local Ukrainian and Romanian gangs a “24-hour window to do with the Jews as they will”. The relief sensations of the Jewish community of the region became a murderous nightmare.

“We played together – all of the children and suddenly our Jewish friends began to disappear one by one," said on Thursday morning in a trembling voice, an elderly Ukrainian woman who was present at the time of the acts during the unveiling ceremony of the tombstone established by the Rabbinical Center of Europe over the mass grave in which , about 1,200 Jewish children women and men were murdered and buried – some of them when they were still alive.

The mass grave and the hidden testimonies were found in part by Rabbi Mendi Glikstein of the nearby city of Chernivtsi who harnessed the RCE in order to establish a headstone on the mass grave.

The unveiling ceremony that took place on Thursday morning saw the distinguished presence of the district’s Governor, Eiom Vasilovitz, Israel's ambassador to Ukraine, Joel Leon, RCE General Director, Rabbi Arye Goldberg, Chief Rabbi of the nearby Jewish Community of Jetimore and Western Ukraine, Rabbi Shlomo Wilhelm, members of the small Jewish community who survived the massacre and Ukrainian neighbors, some of whom testified how they could feel the “earth burning underneath their feet” even days after the terrible massacre took place.

Rabbi Goldberg said during the ceremony that the Rabbinical Center of Europe, and its over 700 rabbi Members across the continent, took this very important mission upon itself and is now in the midst of an extensive operation of locating and establishing tombstones on other Jewish mass Graves in the Ukraine. “We collect evidence and testimonies as much as possible from elderly Jews and Ukrainians who still remember. We than locate the mass graves and only after a team of experts confirms the findings, we establish tombstones for the memory of the victims."

RCE and EJA Chairman, Rabbi Menachem Margolin, made it clear that the special activity for locating and establishing tombstones on the tombs of the victims was held in parallel with the effort to further and renew Jewish life throughout the Ukraine, as well as the restoration of synagogues and mikvehs.

Israel's ambassador to Ukraine, Joel Leon who carried the Kaddish prayer in the ceremony, thanked the RCE for the initiative and its implementation in the field, and said that the embassy was conducting a special program for training Ukrainian teachers on how to teach the lessons of the Holocaust in schools throughout the country.




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