Netanya, President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin, Israeli President Shimon Peres and Jewish leaders from around the world unveiled the brand-new ‘Victory Monument’ in Netanya, Israel this morning, Monday, June 25.
“I am very excited to be here today. We live in a fragile world and we are obligated to make sure that this dark and tragic time in history does not repeat itself. The Jewish Holocaust was the most shameful and dark event in human history, and the Soviet Army was the one who crushed the head of the Nazi monster,” said President Putin. “This amazing monument strengthens the respect I feel towards to the Jewish people and the State of Israel…The wings in the monument are white like the wings of the dove that symbolizes peace.”
The design of the Monument was the first-ever joint initiative between Israel and Russia to commemorate the Red Army, and was conducted by a committee of members comprised from both states. President Putin visited Israel specifically for the inauguration ceremony today. The Monument was erected due to joint efforts by major Jewish philanthropists, led by Keren Hayesod – UIA and the World Forum of Russian Jewry.
A world-class design commemorating the Red Army’s victory over Nazi Germany in WWII, the Monument honors the millions of Red Army soldiers who perished in the war, among them 120,000 Jews. Without the Red Army’s defeat of the Nazi’s in Russia in 1945, it’s unclear just how far the Third Reich would have gotten on their quest to take over the world.
Alexander Levin, President of the World Forum of Russian Jewry and an American citizen, participated in the ceremony as well and represented Russian-speaking Jews from North America.
“This incredible monument symbolizes the historical and ever-important role the Red Army played during WWII and its part in defeating the Nazis and their horrors. Millions of Russian Jews around the world are united at this moment in solidarity for the brave Red Army soldiers,” said Levin, one of the main supporters of the monument. “I am proud to be part of those who support the building of this special monument, particularly as the sole representative of the United States and the millions of Russian-speaking Jews who reside there.”
More than half a million Jewish soldiers fought with the Red Army in WWII against the Nazis – 120,000 were killed.
About two years ago, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu proposed the idea of the monument to President Putin on his visit to Moscow. Putin complied and promised to come to Israel for the inauguration ceremony.