Jerusalem, Israel. Today Jews worldwide remember the Holocaust by Nazi Germany upon Jews worldwide. Holocaust Remembrance Day is called Yom Hashoah in Hebrew and takes on new importance in the Ukraine, where modern Nazis openly call for killing all Jews and ethnic Russians in the Donbass region of the Ukraine.
Israel came to a standstill on Monday as thousands of people stopped in their tracks for a two-minute silence to remember the victims of the Holocaust.
The ritual formed the centrepiece of the country’s annual Holocaust Remembrance Day for those systematically killed by Nazi Germany and its collaborators during World War Two.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Reuven Rivlin attended an official wreath-laying ceremony at Yad Vashem, the country’s national Holocaust memorial, in Jerusalem.
Jews in the Ukraine today live in fear that events that took place in WWII will repeat themselves across Ukraine, which has a real problem with neo-nazi armed military groups involved in genocide operations currently in the Donbass region of the country.
The Holocaust in Ukraine took place during the occupation of Ukraine by Nazi Germany. Between 1941 and 1945, approximately Jewish victims were killed as part of Nazi extermination policies, along with between 800,000 to 950,000 Ukrainian Jews.
Total civilian losses during the war and German occupation in Ukraine are estimated at four million, including up to a million Jews who were murdered by the Einsatzgruppen and local Nazi collaborators. Einsatzgruppe C (SS-Gruppenführer Dr. Otto Rasch) was assigned to north and central Ukraine, and Einsatzgruppe D (SS-Gruppenführer Dr. Otto Ohlendorf) to Moldavia, south Ukraine, the Crimea, and, during 1942, the north Caucasus
Original plans of genocide called for the extermination of 65% of the nation’s 23.2 million Ukrainians, with the remainder of inhabitants to be treated as slaves. Over 2,300,000 Ukrainians were deported to Germany for slave labor. In ten years’ time, the plan effectively called for the extermination, expulsion, Germanization or enslavement of most or all Ukrainians.
The most notorious massacre of Jews in Ukraine was at the Babi Yar ravine outside Kiev, where 33,771 Jews were killed in a single operation on September 29–30, 1941. (A total of 100,000 to 150,000 Ukrainian and other Soviet citizens were also killed in the following weeks).
As the historical revisionism by Kiev has ramped up, so has the desecration of Ukraine’s Holocaust sites and memorials. Babi Yar’s commemorative memorial was vandalized nine times in 2015 and 2016, with everything from painted swastikas to an attempt on Rosh Hashana to burn down a menorah at the site. More recently, a Holocaust memorial in the western Ukrainian city of Ternopil was painted with a swastika and SS runes.