Photo by Erica Sherman

More than 200 members of Southern Brooklyn’s Russian Jewish community converged upon Holocaust Memorial Park this past weekend to participate in a somber ceremony of remembrance, marking 70 years since the beginning of the mass killings of Jews in the former Soviet Union by the Nazis and their collaborators during World War II.

Rabbi Moshe Chaim Levin led attendees in prayer and Holocaust survivors lit memorial candles as the area’s Russian Jewry commemorated the lives and mourned the deaths of more than three million Jews, killed in Babi Yar, the Minsk ghetto, and Transnistria, previously thriving cities, states and shtetls, which were turned into blood-soaked mass graveyards by murderous regimes.

Event organizer Bella Gubenko addresses the gathering. Photo by Erica Sherman

Leonid Rozenberg addresses attendees. Photo by Erica Sherman

Speakers in attendance included Assemblyman William Colton; Leonid Rozenberg, president of the American Association of Invalids & Veterans of World War II, and representatives from the offices of Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz and City Comptroller John Liu, who used the pulpit to blast Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and the terrorist group Hamas “for trying to repeat the horrors of Holocaust.”

Photo by Erica Sherman

Additionally, some of the children in attendance won an essay competition about the Holocaust and received checks in the amounts of $100, $200 and $300 from the Council of Jewish Émigrés Community Organizations (COJECO).

Second generation Holocaust survivor Bella Gubenko. Photo by Erica Sherman

Second generation Holocaust survivor and dedicated community activist Bella Gubenko of the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society helped organized and MC the annual event.

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  • BrooklynBus

    Babi Yar Triangle is located a few blocks away from Holocaust Memorial Park at Corbin Place and Oceanview Avenue.

  • NSF

    Some may complain, but events like these need to be held regularly as a reminder that WE SHOULD NEVER FORGET!

    • PostingOnWebsite

      How can we ever forget when there is an endless array of holocaust documentaries, events like this, corny jokes about Hitler and crew on shows like Family Guy, and people talking about it endlessly?

      Holocausts, ethnic genocides, etc. happen all the time. There’s probably one going on somewhere in the world right now. Yet for some reason the one that targeted Jews during WW 2 is the one that receives 95% of the attention when it comes to those kinds of tragedies.

      • http://ericasphotos.tumblr.com/ ES

        And what do you think that reason might be?

      • Howard

         6 millions Jews were killed by Nazis while the whole world was ignorant. If you think this tragedy should not deserve 95% of the attention, then you did not learn anything from history.

        • nolastname

          My father fought in WW2. I in no way consider him ignorant.  He is one of the troops that made it back. I have pictures of dead American soldiers piled up in the middle of a war zone. While it is proper to grieve over the past and memorialize such a devastating loss of life, I don’t feel that men and woman who risked their lives for the liberation have been honored enough.

  • Cybdiver

    Never forget! 
    many of you reading this would not be here to read this if those folks did not survive.

    Young people need to be reminded of the history, so that it should never be allowed to happen again.  I would not be writting this to you today if my grandparents had not gotten away.