JERUSALEM, January 23. /TASS/. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stressed on Thursday at the ceremony of unveiling the Memorial Candle monument dedicated to residents and defenders of besieged Leningrad that the Jewish state would always remember that Auschwitz had been liberated by the Red Army.
"It was the Red Army that liberated Auschwitz, and we will always remember that," he said at the ceremony attended by Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Israeli counterpart Reuven Rivlin.
Netanyahu noted that the monument honoring the feat of Leningrad residents "speaks a universal language — the language of love for one’s motherland, the language of sacrifice, constant struggle and victory." "Together with the period of death that lasted 900 days, the world saw that bravery and heroism were gaining the upper hand," he proclaimed at the ceremony, which was broadcast by Israel’s major TV channels.
The prime minister noted that nowadays, "in contrast to what happened during the Holocaust, the Jewish people have a strong state." "We must stand together to protect our security and our future," he went on.
Netanyahu recalled that, in 2018, he arrived in Moscow for Victory Day celebrations and joined the Immortal Regiment march in the Russian capital.
For his part, Israeli President Reuven Rivlin noted that "standing here in Jerusalem in mid-January, it is difficult to imagine the bitter frost in Leningrad in January 1942." "People who survived the siege say that was the coldest winter the city had seen," he added.
"The Germans expected the city to surrender, but that did not suit Leningrad’s residents," Rivlin stressed. "Perhaps, it is no coincidence that January 27, the day when the Leningrad siege was lifted, is a symbolic date in our common history. On January 27, 1945, Red Army soldiers liberated the Auschwitz concentration camp."
Earlier in the day, Putin and Netanyahu unveiled the Memorial Candle monument in downtown Jerusalem dedicated to heroism of defenders and residents of besieged Leningrad during the Soviet Union’s Great Patriotic War against Nazi Germany. It was designed by Russian and Israeli architects. The monument was installed at the initiative of war veterans, Leningrad siege survivors and compatriots living in Israel and the St. Petersburg authorities.