«Jewish Observer»
July 2002
5762 Av

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Hardly had the newspapers published a sent-by-us material about opening a monument to killed Jews of Ivankov, Kiev region, when stunning news arrived. The night June 13 through 14 unknown vandals crushed a monument's stele. It bore an inscription about the tragedy which had occurred 60 years ago in the tract Berezina Maslyakova near a small settlement in Polesje: fascists had killed 360 elderly women and children.

Workers of the communal service were the first to see a crushed monument. Every morning they go round the territory of a park of Glory to remove traces of night parties (in such sacred place!?). But what they saw that morning was shocking. The stele was broken in three parts. Representatives of law-enforcement agencies established later there had been four fragments but one of them had disappeared.

30 minutes past the district militia department received the information, investigators started working. They proceed their work at present but the guilty are not yet found.

If is difficult so far to judge about the results, but we can surely assert this is hardly a manifestation of anti-Semitism. It is enough to recollect how warmly inhabitants of the regional center welcomed May 9 an opening of the monument. A sea of flowers was laid to its foot. Not only the elderly who remember the past and sacredly cherish memory about it carried flowers. The young also paid tribute, and no one organized them for this. This was done wholeheartedly. Vandals obviously do not have such feelings. They, most likely, have not even read the words on the stone. Their main aim in life is to leave a pogrom after themselves. They do not care what is in their way - a monument, recreation place or any building necessary to look after the park, in which it is possible to dislodge a door with a kick. This could, possibly, be accompanied with corresponding shouts taken from another TV hit.

It is painful to write about this, painful to realize life is not just. A narrow-minded creature destroyed in a jump (footprints are discovered on the monument) the work of tens of people, result of hard labour, idea that had been embodied in marble owing to sponsorship of people not indifferent to human memory.

I am firmly convinced such deeds do not pass completely for those who commit them. If even it doesn't come to a court, then there is also ordeal to punish anybody who infringes on the sacred.

The monument will be restored. And it will stand forever!


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