The International Day of Holocaust Remembrance was proclaimed by the United Nations in 2005 and was set for January 27, the day of the liberation of the Aushvits-Birkenau concentration camp. Moldova’s Jewish community was one the longest-suffering during World War II and during the period of Nazi occupation. Over 300,000 Bessarabian Jews were killed during the Holocaust by German and Romanian fascists in mass massacres and ghettoes within the country’s territory.
On Friday January, 26 United Nations adopted Resolution that condemned any attempts of Holocaust denial. Conference in Iran on evaluation of the nature and scales of Holocaust held in the end of 2006 became the reason for UN resolution. Over 70 countries are the authors of the Resolution, Republic of Moldova among them.
The Association of Jewish Organizations and Communities organized an exhibition dedicated to Anne Frank at the National Museum of Nature and Ethnography of Moldova. A special edition of the Jewish TV program “Jewish Tuning Fork” was dedicated to this tragic event in the history of our people.
A week of Holocaust remembrance took place in the KJJC.
The program included the publication of articles in the mass-media, concert-hall viewings of the films “Pianist” by Roman Polansky and “Life Is Beautiful” by Roberto Benigni, and special excursions for schoolchildren to the Museum of Bessarabian Jewry.
‘I have seen this film already, but every time it provokes so many emotions and feelings,” confessed 17 year-old Inna. “I recall the stories I heard from my grandma about the horrible period of the Holocaust. When I see these films and documents in the Museum I can’t stop feeling fear, hatred and pain.”
The culmination of the week came on January 28 when over 250 people came to see the joint program of the KJJC and Jewish Library named after Yitzik Manger in the Theater Hall of the Campus. In foye guests could get acquainted with an exhibition of books dedicated to Holocaust from the funds of the Jewish Library and exposition of materials from Museum of Moldova Jews.
Their opinion and relation to the Shoah (as Holocaust is called in Hebrew) expressed Bella Goldenberg, the 1st secretary of Israeli Embassy in Moldova and Ukraine, Yakov Tikhman, chair of the Association of Jewish Organizations and Communities, Shabs Roif, chair of the Association of former ghetto and concentration camps prisoners, Ilya Shats, KJJC Director. National TV channel showed the report about this event in the evening news.
It was a two-hour story in the form of poetry and music, scenes from plays and theater performances telling about the horrors of the Holocaust, not only for Jewish people but for humanity as a whole.
Voices of the KJJC children’s choir and sounds of violin (KJJC group “Fidlers” and klezmer music band “Freigish” from the Jewish Library), pantomime by the dancing group of the Jewish Library, performance by professional actors from the local theater created an atmosphere of transforming the data and information on emotional and spiritual level.
“We, I mean Jewish people, blamed them and were indignant; we cried and believed in the victory of justice,” said one of the spectators. “But there was no justice. We just survived and must remember it.”