(photo credit: Associated Press)
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu announced the appointment of a joint Israeli-
Russian panel to consider proposals from international designers for a memorial
in Netanya commemorating the Red Army’s victory over Germany in World War
Netanyahu announced plans to build such a memorial during a February
meeting in Moscow with Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin.
meeting, Netanyahu said the gesture was in honor of the 65th anniversary this
year of the victory over the Third Reich. His announcement was made amid a
growing concern in Russia that its role and enormous sacrifice in the victory
over Nazism have been underplayed.
Approximately 25 million Soviets were
killed during WWII, including some 11 million Red Army soldiers. The number of
Jews who fought in the Red Army has been put at around 500,000, of which nearly
200,000 are believed to have been killed.
In setting up the committee,
Netanyahu said the memorial “will express the great appreciation that we feel
for the Russian people, who fought so bravely against the Nazis and played a
decisive role in the Allied victory in World War II.
Many Jewish Red Army
veterans currently live among us, here in Israel. The memorial on the shores of
Netanya will also symbolize their contribution and heroism.”
will be built by Keren Hayesod, and the committee – which met Thursday –
announced that it will issue a call in the Israeli and Russian media for design
proposals for the memorial. The winning design will earn a $20,000
The 10-member panel includes officials from the Prime Minister’s
Office, the Foreign Ministry, Keren Hayesod and the Council of Higher Education
as well as Netanya Mayor Miriam Feirberg, Russian Ambassador Petr Stegny and a
representative from the Russian Culture Ministry.