2017-08-09 10:00:00

March of the Living to be held in Rostov region to commemorate Jews massacred by Nazi

Moscow, August 9, Interfax - An event to commemorate the 75th anniversary of a tragedy in Zmievskaya Balka will be held in Rostov Region this Friday.

Participants of the March of the Living will walk down part of the route on which 75 years ago Rostov residents, mainly Jews, were led by the Nazi for execution on account of their ethnicity, the Federation of Jewish Communities of Russia (FJCR) said.

Those joining the march will be wearing black armbands with a yellow six-pointed star which all Jews were compelled to wear during the occupation years. The March of the Living will be announced on posters plastered around the city similar to those that ordered Jews to come to an assembly point from which they would walk towards the place of execution.

The event will be held with the support of the FJCR, the Rostov Jewish community, the Rostov regional government, and the Russian Jewish Congress and Holocaust Center.

The March of the Living will link two locations of the Rostov tragedy: the marchers will walk to Zmievskaya Balka from another mass grave, in Aleinikov Street. According to data from archives, it is here that the remains of nearly 10,000 Jews, mainly women and children, were buried. It is at this place where a monument, which has not survived to this day, was erected immediately after the war to commemorate the slain Jews.

The procession will conclude at the pedestal of the memorial complex in Zmievskaya Balka. A mourning ceremony will be held here, Jewish and Christian Orthodox prayers will be said.

The mourning event is expected to be attended by Rostov region governor Vasily Golubev, FJCR and local Jewish community representatives, deputy head of Russia's federal agency for ethnic affairs Andrey Mezhenko, representatives from the Russian presidential administration, Rostov region government and legislative assembly, Rostov-on-Don administration, veterans', public and youth organizations, around 30 ethnic diasporas, and diplomats.

"Thank God, residents of modern-day Russia are aware how horrible and dangerous the consequences of ethnic hatred can get, and understand that an important step to preserve peace in the future is to remember tragedies of the past. Perpetuating the memory about Holocaust victims is our moral duty, we will continue honoring the memory of the innocent victims of war in most caring and reverent way," FJCR President Alexander Boroda told journalists.

Zmievskaya Balka was a village that is now part of the city of Rostov-on-Don, where on August 11-12, 1942 the Nazi killed some 27,000 people, most of whom (between 15,000 and 18,000, according to an Emergency State Commission report) were Jews. Also executed here were Soviet prisoners-of-war, anti-fascist resistance fighters, and seriously ill patients from Rostov hospitals.