The annual event in the forest of the Red Army traditionally opens a series of festive events dedicated to Victory Day. The forest of the Red Army was founded in 1950, and already in 1951, then young war veterans erected a monument in the forest with their own hands. Until 1967, Victory Day celebrations were held in the forest at the highest level, but after the Six Day War and the termination of diplomatic relations with the Soviet Union, official events in the Red Army forest ceased.
In 2018, Keren Kayemeth LeIsrael – Jewish National Fund (KKL-JNF) revived the tradition of celebrating Victory Day in the Red Army forest, and this after making Victory Day a public Israeli holiday in 2017.
This year the event is being held in cooperation between the Euro-Asian Jewish Congress, KKL-JNF and the Russian Embassy in Israel. Due to the restrictions associated with the coronavirus epidemic, a relatively small number of people were invited to the Victory Day celebrations in the forest. Thus, the event was attended by veterans of the Second World War, representatives of the EAJC, KKL-JNF, the embassies of the former USSR countries, clergy, “Nativ” Liaison Office’s staff and others.
Speaking at the event, the Director General of the Euro-Asian Jewish Congress Dr. Haim Ben Yakov said: “It is impossible to speak about the Second World War without considering the events of the Holocaust, which are the integral part of its history. The victory of the allied forces over fascism, a special contribution to which was made by the soldiers of the Red Army, became the salvation of the Jewish people from the threat of total annihilation. At a critical moment, when a generation of witnesses to those terrible events is leaving, it is our duty to preserve the collective memory of the Holocaust and heroism”.
Deputy Chairman of the Board of the Jewish National Fund (KKL-JNF) atty. Amir Shneider, addressing the veterans, noted that the heroic struggle of the allied armies, and first of all the Red Army, will never be forgotten.
“On this day, we pay tribute to you, who liberated the world from the nightmare, and to the millions of soldiers of all allied armies who won the fateful battle for the future of humanity, a difficult battle for human dignity and freedom, which demanded huge sacrifices,” – noted Mr. Shneider.