Our last blog elicited a lot of response, which is always welcome.
The following response was very poignant as it was written by someone who, as a young child, was witness to what happened during the Holocaust and survived. We felt it needed to stand alone. It is crucial that we remember history…
I just want to tell you about a few things from my own experience with the Russians and the Ukrainians during the Holocaust.
First, the Russians were the only ones to open the doors to us Jews, to let us in. They offered us Russian citizenship but my father refused so we were sent off to Siberia to a forced labor camp. For those who accepted they were sent off to Asia and had a reasonably easy time of it.
When the war broke out between Germany and Russia they opened all the camps and allowed everyone to go free, and at this time we tracked to Asia, Uzbekistan where life became much easier…
Now about the Ukrainians…
Jews were terrified of the Ukrainians, they were no friends of the Jews. The acted with severe brutality against the Jews. They didn’t save the Jews during the Holocaust but were active participants in the shedding of Jewish blood. In 1941 between 1.2 & 1.6 million Jews were murdered with the collaboration of most Ukrainian civilians.
Only 2,619 Ukrainians were righteous amongst the nations (as per the information from Yad Vashem).
Nevertheless, this current war, like all wars, is tragic. Innocent people and children die and my heart goes out to the children.
Yet Israel and we the Jews are doing everything to help the Ukrainians despite the past. This is who we are as a people. TIKUN OLAM…(repair the world)
Am Israel Chai.