PM announces memorial for Red Army’s victory over Nazis

Israeli-Russian panel to consider designs for memorial in Netanya.

Binyamin Netanyahu (photo credit: Associated Press)
Binyamin Netanyahu
(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 II.
Netanyahu announced plans to build such a memorial during a February meeting in Moscow with Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin.
During that 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.”
The memorial 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 prize.
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.