25 June 2012, 20:31

Victory monument unveiled in Israel

Victory monument unveiled in Israel

Russia’s President Vladimir Putin together with his Israeli counterpart Shimon Peres has unveiled a Victory Monument in Netanya. This event is the first point in the programme of Putin’s 2-day visit to the Middle East.

The monument consists of gigantic wings that are made of white stone and directed high into the sky, and symbolize victory, peace and good. It was placed on the sun-filled embankment of the Mediterranean Sea resort of Netanya. A black labyrinth is nearby. There are bas-reliefs on its walls dedicated to the tragic pages of the Second World War, including the horrors of the Holocaust and the main battles fought by the Red Army. The Victory Memorial symbolizes the fight between light and darkness - meaning Nazi Germany that was defeated in that war.

The Russian President said that what he saw had made a great impression on him. And what emerges as a result is a great feeling of gratitude to the residents of Israel for everything that is being done in a bid to immortalize the memory of all those who were killed in the Second World War, Vladimir Putin stressed.

"In Russia the memory of that horrible war is sacred. And we praise highly the fact that the residents of Israel share our feelings and that such dates as September 1st, 1939 and June 22nd, 1941 mean as much to the Israeli citizens as to the people in Russia. Unveiling the Victory Memorial, we grieve for all those who were killed in the battles, who died from wounds or who were tortured to death in concentration camps. The Holocaust is one of the blackest, the most tragic, and one of the most disgraceful pages in the history of mankind. The unprecedented atrocities of the Nazis are unpardonable. The Soviet Army halted all these atrocities. It saved not only the Jewish people but also many other peoples from extermination. The Victory Monument has been built on the Holy Land in its honour."

The memorial in Netanya is the first monument in Israel that is dedicated to the contribution of the Red Army to the Victory in the Second World War. The idea of this monument that belongs to Israel’s Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu was supported by Russia’s leadership. The War Memorial in Netanya was built from private donations.

Israel’s President Shimon Peres said that the memorial in Netanya symbolized a profound feeling of gratitude to the Russian people who saved the world from Nazism but lost 30 million people in that war. “Had it not been for the Red Army that seized Berlin, Nazi Germany would have seized Moscow”, the Israeli President said.

"The Jewish people have feelings of historical gratitude to the Russian people. The Nazis killed 3 million of Jews who lived in the USSR. The Red Army was the first liberator of the prisoners of the concentration camps."

V-Day is a holy day for all Israeli citizens. Israel is the only country in the world, except the CIS states, where V-Day is celebrated as in Russia. There are about 5,000 war veterans in Israel today. One can say that the past war affected all Jewish families. “Every third Jew was killed in that war. It was a great tragedy, one of the Netanya citizens, David, says.

There is no doubt that the majestic monument has added more pearls to the embankment in Netanya that is one of the major tourist centres in Israel. There are plans to turn the Victory Memorial in Netanya into a pilgrimage site for tourists from Russia and other countries. This will serve as a warning to the future generations against any repeat of similar tragedies as well as any distortions of the memory about them.

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