The International Holocaust Remembrance Day: 805,000 Jews died in Belarus

2009 2009-01-27T16:51:49+0200 1970-01-01T03:00:00+0300 en The Human Rights Center “Viasna” The Human Rights Center “Viasna”
The Human Rights Center “Viasna”

27 January is of liberation of Nazi death camp in Auschwitz-Birkenau. Since 2005, this day has been marking as the International Holocaust Remembrance Day.

On January 26–27, the European Parliament holds its session in the former Auschwitz Nazi concentration camp, Radio Svaboda reports.

A word ‘Holocaust’ has gone down in history as name of the policy of Nazi Germany that led to killing of 6 million Hews in 1933–1945. Professor, Doctor of Historical Sciences Emmanuel Yofe dedicated his life to Holocaust research.

“In October, Henadz Vinnitsa defended a thesis “Genocide of Jews in Eastern and Central Parts of Belarus”. He was born in Orsha, but lives in Israel. His work confirms my research: he is very accurate with figures. Victims of the Holocaust were 715,000 Belarusian Jews and about 90,000 Jews from other European countries. Thus, 805,000 Hews were killed in Belarus,” the professor tells.

Emmanuel Yofe is very proud of his students, who study the theme of the Holocaust. The fourth young historian is going to defend his research under supervision of the professor.

“A dissertation “Genocide and Struggle of the Jews in Minsk Ghetto” by Syarhei Tukala is on my table now. It is the fourth dissertation on the Holocaust. In 2000, Yauhen Razenblat from Brest University defended his dissertation “The Holocaust in Western Belarus”. Last year, Alesya Korsak defended her research in genocide of the Jews in the Vitsebsk region. Henadz Vinnitsa defended in autumn,” he reminds.

What concerns teaching of Holocaust theme in schools and universities, it doesn’t cover much of the topic, though it was decided in 1993 to introduce a special course to schools.

“This hasn’t been fulfilled. Unfortunately, we do not have such courses, neither do Russia and Ukraine. In 2005 a special book about the Great Patriotic War for universities was published. But it says only about escapes of Jews. Finally, it has been admitted there was the Holocaust, escapes of Jews, but the book doesn’t tell about rebellions in Ghettos of Belarus, as if there had been no uprisings,” Emmanuel Yofe says.

The International Institute for Holocaust Research Yad Vashem gives title Righteous among the Nations to people of different nationalities who were saving Jews from the Nazi’s genocide. The Belarusians were saving the Jews during the war, too. More than 500 Belarusians were awarded with Righteous among the Nations medals.