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26 Sep 2017

Monument to mark mass ghetto escape unveiled in Novogrudok

Monument to mark mass ghetto escape unveiled in NovogrudokNOVOGRUDOK, 26 September (BelTA) – A monument has been unveiled at the site of the former ghetto in Novogrudok to cherish the memory of camp prisoners, among whom were the members of the Kushner family, BelTA has learned.

The development of the memorial complex at the site of the former ghetto in Novogrudok continues. A museum of the Jewish resistance has been opened there. On 26 September 1943 hundreds of concentration camp prisoners used the underground tunnel they were secretly digging for several months to break away. Among the survivors was the great-grandfather of Jared Kushner, the son-in-law of US President Donald Trump.

A new monument to mark the event, which is considered to be the most famous ghetto escape in Europe, was opened on 26 September 2017. The monument is dedicated to a 12-year-old Jewish girl who managed to get out of the camp before the escape, but was caught by the police and shot. The monument was erected with the financial help of local businessman Sergei Koval.

Monument to mark mass ghetto escape unveiled in NovogrudokThe monument was designed from a pre-war photograph of the girl. The photo was brought to Novogrudok by a professor of the University of Cambridge. Her grandmother was from the area. Her parents lived in Baranovichi and moved to London in the 1930s. “We lost touch with the relatives from Belarus. Many of them died. The fate of the girl and the monument dedicated to her can become a linking thread for the generations, the memory about those horrible events,” the professor said during the opening ceremony. Taking part in the ceremony were also relatives of the ghetto prisoners from different countries, diplomats and ghetto survivors.

“The Novogrudok land remembers a lot of events. Some 45,000 residents of the region died during the war. These were the people who wanted to live and create. We must keep the memory about them,” noted Chairman of the Novogrudok District Executive Committee Anatoly Markevich. The local authorities plan to continue the development of the museum and the area of the former ghetto.

Monument to mark mass ghetto escape unveiled in NovogrudokNovogrudok has been closing cooperating with the Kushner family on the matter. The foreign partners are also taking part in the development of the museum. The Kushner family plans to allocate more than $36,000 for the construction of the Memory Wall. The wall will be about 15 meters long and up to three meters high. The wall will be inaugurated on 26 September 2018 to mark the 75th anniversary of the ghetto escape. The first tranche of $9,000 has already reached Belarus.

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Great Patriotic War monuments in Belarus