The Russian President shared with the two rabbis that “we are categorically against consigning to oblivion crimes of this kind, which have no statute of limitations.”

 Rabbis and Putin (photo credit: Kremlin)
Rabbis and Putin (photo credit: Kremlin)


Russian President Vladimir Putin met on Thursday with Chief Rabbi of Russia Berel Lazar and Alexander Barada, president of the Federation of Jewish Communities of Russia, in honor of International Holocaust Remembrance Day. According to a transcript of the meeting published on the Kremlin’s website, Lazar hinted during the meeting about the war with Ukraine and tried to promote peace. “We are ready to do everything [needed] to find peaceful solutions,” Lazar said. He continued: “Because people who suffer are bad for everyone, everyone suffers when people around us suffer. We are all children of the one [and only] God and our desire is for all children to live in brotherhood, mutual understanding, and in friendship so that people respect each other.”

Lazar quoted from the Talmud and said that “whoever saves a single life is considered by scripture to have saved the whole world,” and added that “we value the life of every person.

Therefore, I repeat once again: we, as a Jewish community, not only in Russia, but all over the world, are ready to do everything [needed] in order to find peaceful solutions.” He concluded by stating that “maybe our people understand more than anyone what suffering is, so we are ready to do everything so that there really is only peace in the world, and people live a good life.”

“Every year, when we remember these events, we say: Never again,” Lazar said of the Holocaust. He thanked the President and said “thank you so much for everything you have done and are doing [for the Jewish people]. Moreover, today, Jews feel really comfortable in Russia and thank God for what is happening in our country nowadays.”

Putin said that “victims of the Holocaust,” were “heroes of the resistance,” and added that “of all the Jews exterminated by the Nazis, the majority were citizens of the Soviet Union, and this is our common pain.”

 Putin and rabbis (credit: Kremlin)
Putin and rabbis (credit: Kremlin)


Putin’s response to the rabbis

The Russian President shared with the two rabbis that “we are categorically against consigning to oblivion crimes of this kind, which have no statute of limitations.” He added that Russia is “pursuing such a policy so that nothing like this in the history of mankind will ever happen again.”

Putin added that he is aware of the fact that Israel sees “significance,” in the “role of the Red Army in the victory over Nazism, over fascism, and we highly appreciate that.” He said that “Jewish organizations around the world,” support the work of his government in finding those who were part of the Nazi genocide. As for International Holocaust Remembrance Day, Putin said that “I know that you have a whole range of events related to this date, and, of course, I will ask you to convey my best wishes to everyone who will take part in the implementation of the program that you have outlined for tomorrow.”

Rabbi Lazar thanked the President and shared that for the Jewish nation, “the Holocaust and everything that happened during World War II are tragic events.” Lazar shared with the President that his family is a family of Holocaust survivors: “My father miraculously survived the Holocaust, they managed to leave on the last ship. My mother survived the Holocaust because some righteous people hid her during the war,” Lazar said.

As reported by The Jerusalem Post