Israeli embassy opens monument to Uzbeks who assisted Holocaust refugees

Most of the 5,000-10,000 Jews living in Uzbekistan today are descendants of Holocaust refugees.

The new monument at Tashkent's Victory Park honoring Uzbeks who assisted Jewish refugees from the Holocaust (photo credit: ISRAELI EMBASSY IN TASHKENT)
The new monument at Tashkent's Victory Park honoring Uzbeks who assisted Jewish refugees from the Holocaust
(photo credit: ISRAELI EMBASSY IN TASHKENT)

The Israeli Embassy in Tashkent, Uzbekistan inaugurated a monument to honor Uzbeks who assisted Jewish refugees from Europe during the Holocaust on Thursday.

The monument was created by architect and sculptor Professor Marina Borodina and initiated by Central Asian researcher Dr. Zev Levin.

The monument stands in Tashkent's Victory Park, which is dedicated to the victory against Nazi Germany in World War II.

The embassy noted that most of the 5,000-10,000 Jews living in Uzbekistan today are descendants of Holocaust refugees.

Israeli ambassador's remarks

Israeli Ambassador to Uzbekistan Zehavit Ben Hillel expressed gratitude toward the Uzbek Foreign Ministry and the employees of Victory Park.

The inauguration ceremony for the new monument at Tashkent's Victory Park honoring Uzbeks who assisted Jewish refugees from the Holocaust (credit: ISRAELI EMBASSY IN TASHKENT)The inauguration ceremony for the new monument at Tashkent's Victory Park honoring Uzbeks who assisted Jewish refugees from the Holocaust (credit: ISRAELI EMBASSY IN TASHKENT)

"Even today, some 80 years after the arrival of refugees in Uzbekistan, and 30 years since the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries, it is important to mention these events, which perpetuate Uzbek tolerance and openness," he said.

The dedication on the monument reads in Hebrew, Russian, English and Uzbek:

"Between 1941-1942, during a difficult period of war and shortages, more than 1.5 million refugees and evacuees were brought to Uzbekistan. Among them were several hundred thousand Jewish refugees who came here destitute. Thanks to the hospitality of the people of Uzbekistan, who shared their food with them and gave them refuge here, they found shelter and refuge here. The Jewish people and the State of Israel remember this gesture and are grateful for it."

Uzbek-Israeli cooperation

This announcement comes as relations continue to improve between Uzbekistan and Israel.

Earlier this month, Uzbek Ambassador to Israel Feruza Makhmudova told The Jerusalem Post about several projects that Uzbekistan and Israel are cooperating on in the fields of agriculture, labor migration, the environment and tourism and touted the upcoming Israeli-Uzbek Chamber of Commerce.

Zachy Hennessey contributed to this report.