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27 Jan 2017

Mir Castle museum looking for relatives of Mir ghetto escapees

Mir Castle museum looking for relatives of Mir ghetto escapeesGRODNO, 27 January (BelTA) – The Mir Castle Complex Museum is looking for relatives of the prisoners who escaped from the Mir ghetto in 1942, BelTA learned from the directorate of the museum.

In 1942 the Nazis arranged the ghetto for local residents in Mir Castle. It existed for three and a half months. As many as 850 people were its prisoners. The castle area was fenced with barbed wire, and a checkpoint was installed. The prisoners were forced to labor (mostly cleared the rubble after the bombings). Two hundred people managed to escape from the ghetto, which became possible thanks to a 20-year-old Jewish man who was a translator for the Nazi police.

“We are now trying to find those who broke out from the ghetto in August 1942. It is clear that many are no longer alive. So we hope to locate their relatives. We have information about the four escapees. Their photos are now available on the stand “Surviving Prisoners,” said Anait Arzumanian, public relations specialist at the Mir Castle Complex Museum.

Mir Castle museum looking for relatives of Mir ghetto escapeesThe administration of the museum submitted an application to the TV show “Zhdi Menya” (Wait for Me). The episode about the Mir ghetto is to be aired in spring. The museum plans to organize an event to mark the 75th anniversary of the ghetto prisoners’ escape in August 2017. The museum hopes the search will produce some positive results by then.

As many as 2,900 Jews were killed in the town of Mir during World War Two. The museum keeps the Book of Memory which has the names of Mir residents that were killed by the Nazis. The lists were found by museum workers in the Baranovichi archival depository in 2008. The lists are available on the website of the museum.

The Week of Memory campaign is currently running in the museum to mark International Holocaust Remembrance Day (27 January). Visitors are invited to have free guided tours of the Northern Building of the museum, including the expositions Wars of the 20th Century and Jewish Ghetto in Mir Castle. The expositions display photographs and other artifacts telling about those who were killed by the Nazis and also those who were lucky to survive the holocaust. The Week of Memory in Mir Castle will run till 29 January.

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