Belarus Memorial to Mark Newly Discovered Site of Holocaust-Era Mass Graves

( In the Brest region of Belarus, work has begun on erecting a memorial to commemorate local Jews who lost their lives during World War II.

Moderate estimates hold that more than 3,000 Jewish civilians were murdered at the hands of Nazi forces and their sympathizers in the western Belarus region. The new monument will stand on the very site where their lives were taken, near the village of Smolyarka.

According to Boris Bruk, chairman of the Jewish community of Brest, the Lazarus Family of England donated the necessary funds for the monument's creation. In addition, the Arslanov Family contributed money towards clearing and landscaping the site. Halina and Alik Arslanov, local business owners, spearheaded the 2006 excavation that led to the discovery of four mass graves at the site.

Made of black granite by craftspeople in Minsk, the monument will feature text written in three languages - Hebrew, Belorussian, and English. The inauguration ceremony is slated to take place on Oct. 12, the date more than six decades ago when residents of Berez-Kartuzskiy and the Brest ghetto were murdered.

Led by Chabad-Lubavitch Rabbi Chaim Rabinowitz, the city's chief rabbi, the Jewish community of Brest is a member of the Association of Jewish Communities of Belarus, an affiliate of the Federation of Jewish Communities of the former Soviet Union.



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