Netanyahu honors 70,000 Jewish victims of Ponary massacre

"95% of Lithuanian Jews were murdered during the Holocaust," Netanyahu said, "we will never be defenseless again."

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August 24, 2018 18:52
1 minute read.
Netanyahu honors 70,000 Jewish victims of Ponary massacre

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his wife Sara Netanyahu attend the commemoration of victims and award ceremony of the Righteous Among the Nations at the Paneriai Memorial in Vilnius, Lithuania August 24, 2018.. (photo credit: INTS KALNINS / REUTERS)

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his wife Sara attended a memorial service held in the Vilnus suburb of Panerriai (formally Ponary) and laid flowers at the monument honoring the 70,000 Jews slain there by the Nazis.

The ceremony was attended by Lithuanian Prime Minister Saulius Skvernelis and his wife Silvija Skvernelė and the chairwoman of the Jewish Community in Lithuania Faina Kukliansky.  

"A crime for which it is impossible to forgive was committed [here]," said Netanyahu, adding that 30,000 non-Jews, Poles and Russians, were murdered as well.

"95% of Lithuanian Jews were murdered during the Holocaust," Netanyahu said, "we will never be defenseless again."

Speaking directly to Jewish survivor of the Vilnus Ghetto and fighter Fania Brancovskaja who was present, the prime minister called her a hero and said: "We will salute you forever."

Brancovskaja fled from the ghetto and later fought in the forests near Vilnus in a group of one hundred Jewish men and women.

Netanyahu saluted the Lithuanian men and women who risked their lives to help Jewish people and awarded a Righteous Among the Nations medal to Birute Slapikiene, the granddaughter of Domas and Marijona Viscous who hid their Jewish neighbor Aharon in their farm.

"I thank the Lithuanian government for taking important steps to commemorate the Holocaust and to preserve the truth," said Netanyahu.



 


  

  


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