«Jewish Observer»
November 2002
5763 Kislev

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Year after year Jews of Odessa, according to the established sorrowful tradition, observe in October one of the most tragic dates in the history of the town. At the very beginning of the Odessa occupation the Nazis committed a fearful crime. Fascists drove together thousands of people into so-called "gun powder" ordnance depots. Thousands of people perished there. They were burnt alive...

More than ten years ago a modest memorial wall was mounted in that place, near the Tolbukhin square, in memory of the innocent old people, women and children. Annually, mourning meetings take place here uniting those for whom the Catastrophe is still a fresh wound and those in whom Jewish people continue today and will continue tomorrow.

The annual sorrowful ritual. Former prisoners of ghettoes and concentration camps, representatives of municipal authorities and Jewish organizations of Odessa, pupils of Jewish schools...And the figure which is reiterated more than once, remaining inhumanely fearful - 25 thousand lives... burnt alive, 25 thousand mothers, fathers, grandmothers, brothers, sisters, children. They died here. Now people who know not to forget come here.

- We stand in this terrible place holding the flags of State of Israel and free Ukraine and pronounce in memory of the dead and for future generations - no to fascism, no to terror, - said Maks Shankerman, director of the Israeli informational cultural center in Odessa. - One of the ways to struggle is to live. We live, we bring up and educate our children, we build our Israel which is alive monument to the Holocaust victims and present national home for Jews throughout the world.

- I am newcomer to Odessa and in this place, - says Ilana Shpak, head of the "Sokhnut" representations in Odessa and South of Ukraine. - An awful tragedy that broke here can't fail to stun. We mustn't forget about it, about the bloody massacre 6 million Jews perished in. we must remember it ourselves, we must teach the money of Catastrophe of our children, we must do our utmost not to let it recur. "I want you to erect a monument o us reaching the skies (for all peoples to see it) - a sculpture not to marble or stone, but of good deeds"; - these are the words from 1943, the words of a Jewish woman, one of heroines of Resistance. She was one of those who were deeply convinced there would not be another Catastrophe, there would not be another villain able to turn out world into a hell and that life, truth and live are invincible...


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