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Prime minister says hearts of Russians ache at memory of Holocaust

January 26, 21:29 UTC+3 MOSCOW

"This tragedy affected us all, no matter what our religion is", Dmitry Medvedev said

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© Alexander Afanasiev/Russian government's press service/TASS, archiive

MOSCOW, January 26. /TASS/. The tragedy of Holocaust showed the world how dangerous anti-Semitism can be, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said on Thursday while visiting the Jewish Museum and Tolerance Center in Moscow ahead of the International Holocaust Remembrance Day. According to the prime minister, Russians’ hearts ache at the memory of the Holocaust.

Medvedev pointed out that on January 27, 1945, Soviet troops had liberated the Auschwitz concentration camp so this is why the International Holocaust Remembrance Day is celebrated on this day.

"The Holocaust is one of the most horrible crimes carried out by the Nazis. As many as 6,000,000 Jews were killed in the Nazi factories of death. According to various estimates, 2,700,00 Jews were eliminated on the territory of the Soviet Union alone. This is the reason why we share the pain of the Jewish people, this tragedy affected us all, no matter what our religion is," Medvedev said after a tour of the museum. "We should not forget what happened then in order to prevent this tragedy from repeating itself," he added.

The Russian prime minister also said that two months ago he had visited the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial Center in Jerusalem and had been greatly impressed. "The important thing is that this Moscow museum aims at preserving the true memory of those horrific events," Medvedev stressed.

He also said that the Holocaust had shown the world how dangerous anti-Semitism and chauvinism could be, how easy civilized humans could cross the line and turn into monsters. "Unfortunately, ethnic and religious xenophobia is now taking a new form turning into terrorism which spreads the same deadly ideology and the same desire to kill and destroy," the Russian prime minister said.

Medvedev added that a while ago Russia’s government had approved a special state program for the implementation of the ethnic policy aimed at ensuring consent in society. "Your museum and the Federation of Jewish Communities do much to help our people learn tolerance. This is not only one of the largest Jewish museums but also one of those that employ cutting-edge technology and at the same time evoke high emotional intensity," Medvedev said. He added that it was very important to bring kids and young people to the museum, and praised the museum’s educational programs. 

The wrenching of history 

The tragedy of Holocaust shows the importance of rebuffing the purported attempts to wrench history and remembering the exploits of liberators from Nazism, Dmitry Medvedev said:

"Holocaust was the biggest crime against humanity, a bloody embodiment of racist theories."

"This wasn’t a tragedy of the Jewish people only but rather a global catastrophe, the pain for the whole humankind," the telegram said. "That’s why it’s so important today to rebuff toughly the purported wrenching of history and the attempts to whitewash murderers and criminals."

"We know truth about the victims of Nazism and liberators and keep it alive," Medvedev said.

He thanked the Russian Jewish Congress for contribution to the maintenance of memories about the victims about Holocaust.

"You are doing much to consolidate inter-ethnic peace and concord; you offer care and attention to the former prisoners of Nazi camps and to the people who liberated them - the veterans of World War II," Medvedev said adding that the RJC activities deserved the highest possible assessment, assistance and gratitude.

‘Holocaust. The Untold Stories’ commemorative party devoted to Holocaust Remembrance Day and the 72nd anniversary since liberation of the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp by units of the Red Army was hosted by the Novaya Opera theater in Moscow.

The UN established the International Holocaust Remembrance Day on November 1, 2005. Israel, Canada, Australia, Russia, Ukraine and the U.S. were initiators of a resolution of the UN General Assembly on appointing the date.

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