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Memory of Heart
// 11.05.2011

Killed people live in actions of live ones. This wisdom consoles us.

Vassily Grossman

The first ten-day period of May of this year is rich in holydays and memorial dates: the Holyday of Spring and Labour (May, 1), the Day of the Catastrophe and Heroism (Yom ha-Shoah, May, 2), The Day of Radio (May, 5), the Victory Day (May, 9), the Day of Memory of Warriors Who Perished in Battles for Liberation of Israel (Yom ha-Zikaron, May, 9) and the Day of Independence of Israel (Yom ha-Tzmaut, May, 10). Every called day is precious and important for us. How to have time for recalling and telling these events properly?

In the Jewish philanthropic foundation of “Chesed Sara” on May, 8 there was a holyday meeting for veterans of the war, toilers of the home front and all interesting persons. St. George’s Ribbons decorated and a placard dedicated to the Victory Day an improvised stage. The librarian of the “Chesed” of Svetlana Katsnelson prepared an exhibition of books on the subject of the Great Patriotic War and of Catastrophe of European Jew. Here there were reminiscences of our residents of Nizhny Novgorod who had taken part in the war. The hall was full. In the first rows there were sitting the veterans, a lot of them wore ceremonial dresses with awards.

The director of community programs of T. Beagon opened the program. On behalf of all employers of the “Chesed” she congratulated the assembled persons with the Victory Day. The director of the project of the “Chesed” of “The Museum of History of Nizhny Novgorod Jewish Community” of E. Derechinskaya told of those memorial dates which we have so many in the beginning of May, their interrelation, why it should keep the memory of the World War II. It is required to keep the memory to prevent new wars. They were reciting poems by veterans who had been initiators of creation of the Club of Jewish Culture: by the resident of Nizhny Novgorod of B.A. Dekhtyar and I.I. Beider living now in Jerusalem. The latter was recently 90.

In the “Chesed” they do very much to keep this memory including the project on for immortalizing names of persons perished for the war. The project is accomplished together with the museum of “Yad va-Shem” in Jerusalem together in which all collected information is sent. The project of “Keep My Letters” is done together with the Russian Research and Educational Holocaust Center. They collect, study and publish letters of war and pre-war time. These important documents are evidence of having withstood of our people on the war and home fronts. The Holocaust Center already published 2 volumes of collected letters, among those there are ones of residents of Nizhny Novgorod. However, in the “Chesed” they collected so much material to publish it in an individual volume. There continues the project on collecting documents and video recording reminiscences of front-line soldiers. The project was done in the “Chesed” together with the Blavatnik Family Foundation (USA). 24 interviews had been recorded. In ceremonial atmosphere, they gave to participants of the project DVDs with records of their interviews and their portraits. The President of the community of Eduard M. Chaprak congratulated all. He told of how the Union of Veterans to the synagogue led by later G.Yu. Tsinger had started its activity, offered to stand in all perished persons by one minute of silence. After that, there was a holiday concert…

One after another there appeared singers (Galina Minevich, Oleg Shaposhnikov, Rafael Gaufman, Mark Patsenker, Semen Meltser). They were singing songs loved by all. They were accompanied by the leader of the club of lovers of Jewish song of N. Korneva. There recited his poems V.Ya. Serber. A gift for all there was appearing of the Honored artist of Russia, a soloist of our philharmonic society of Iosif Shtiller who is loved by all. He had played his famous balalaika a potpourri on theme of wartime songs. All appearances of the concert were provoking applause of spectators. The concert was wonderfully good…

Our guests were going away being satisfied and tired a bit. However, veterans of the war had one gift more: a holiday dinner in the restaurant of “Shalom”.

Concerts in the “Chesed” in honor of the Victory Day and meetings of veterans of the Great Patriotic War had become traditional. Be tightening good traditions!

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