Netanyahu, Putin attend dedication of memorial to Leningrad’s fallen

Symbols representing the Jewish State and Leningrad are etched on the 8.5-meter high stele.

By World Israel News Staff

A memorial dedicated to the Russian soldiers who died heroically during the 900-day Nazi siege of Leningrad during World War II is being dedicated today at Jerusalem’s Sacher Park.

Symbols representing the Jewish State and Leningrad are etched on the 8.5-meter high stele monument as well as images portraying the heroism of the besieged Russian fighters. In the center of the stele is a bronze “memorial candle” that will be “lit” every night via built-in electrical lights.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Russian President Vladimir Putin were in attendance at the event, as well as Yuri Kanner, president of the Russian Jewish Congress; Jerusalem Mayor Moshe Lion; St. Petersburg Governor Alexander Beglov; Viktor Vekselberg, chairman of the board of trustees of the Jewish Museum and Tolerance Center in Moscow; Daniel Atar, chairman of Keren Kayemeth LeIsrael-Jewish National Fund; EAJC president Michael Mirilashvili.

The idea to build the monument was initiated by former MK Leon Litinetsky, the Council of World War II Veterans and the Association of Blockade Survivors in Israel, and was funded by the Euro-Asian Jewish Congress (EAJC). The design and construction of the monument were carried out by Israeli architect Kasif and Adam Steel Creations, and Russian architects Anatoly and Lada Chernovs as well as sculptor Vladislav Manachinsky.

“The project of the monument is the world’s first of its size outside of Russia and the former Soviet Union,” Litinetsky said in February, The Jerusalem Post reported.

“The monument was designed to commemorate the heroism of the Red Army fighters and the people of Leningrad against the Nazis, which included 70,000 Jewish fighters who fell during the siege.

“I believe this project will be another significant and historic factor that will contribute towards strengthening the ties between Israel and Russia. The monument will serve as an official venue in Jerusalem, the capital of Israel, for celebrating the victory over the Nazis,” he added.

Netanyahu and Putin signed off on the project in 2017 at an event dedicated to International Holocaust Remembrance Day at the Jewish Museum & Tolerance Center in Moscow.