Putin to inaugurate Israel's Red Army monument

Netanya is making hurried preparations for Russian president's visit to inaugurate a World War II memorial.

June 24, 2012 18:14
Red army monument in Netanya

Red army monument in Netanya 390. (photo credit: REUTERS)


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Russian President Vladmir Putin is slated to inaugurate the monument in Netanya Monday, commemorating the Red Army's triumph over Nazi Germany.

A large number of Red Army veterans like Shlomo Fishman live in the coastal city.

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"The veterans' dream was that here in Netanya, in Israel, the monument for the heroic Red Army, with which we fought against Nazi Germany, will be built," Fishman says.

Artist Chen Winkler said his team worked at breakneck speed to construct the $1 million, 15-meter high wings in time for Putin's visit.

"An experience of creation, which I can say that for me as an artist (is) an asset that will remain for generations to come," says Winkler. "Such a statue -- my grandchildren and great grand children will be able to come here and learn and to connect to our history. Our privileges today (exist) thanks to what had happened then."

Israel estimates that over 500,000 Jews fought in the Red Army.

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