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Rebels at Sobibor death camp will be awarded, Russian Jewish congress hopes

October 15, 2013, 0:00 UTC+3

The Russian Defence Ministry considers the awarding of three former inmates of the Nazi extermination camp Sobibor

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MOSCOW, October 14 (Itar-Tass) - The awarding with high state medals of participants in the only successful rebellion of the Jews in the history of World War Two in 1943 at the Sibibor death camp, which was situated near the Polish city of Lublin, will be fair, head of the Russian Jewish Congress Yuri Kanner told the participants in the evening at the Memorial Synagogue in Moscow in commemoration of those events taking place exactly 70 years ago.

The Russian Defence Ministry considers the awarding of three former inmates of the Nazi extermination camp Sobibor. Two of them Arkady Vaispapir and Semyon Rozenfeld live in Ukraine and Israel. The third one Aleksey Vaitsen lives in the Russian city of Ryazan. “Seventy years passed. Those people, who are obviously the heroes, are not awarded with any governmental medals. Probably, this is because they were in captivity, as we have no tradition to award the prisoners of war,” Kanner said.

He said with hope, “All of us together will be able to live so that those crimes which were committed will not recur after all and the heroism of those people, who saved themselves and saved other people, will be marked somehow.”

The Russian Jewish Congress believes that participant of the rebellion in Sobibor Aleksander Pechersky should be awarded with the title of Hero of Russia posthumously. “Probably, memorial plaques will be placed in Russia and streets will be named after him,” Kanner assumed.

“The actions of Aleksander Pechersky and other participants in the rebellion set an example of Jewish resistance,” German Ambassador in Russia Ulrich Brandenburg said. “They show that even in inhumane conditions they kept fighting for freedom and for dignity against unlawfulness. As a representative of Germany, I praise the valour of the rebels,” he said, Brandenburg is convinced that “today our duty is to counteract decisively to a possible return of horrors, and for this purpose we should cherish the living memory about human crimes, those perished and survived.”

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