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  Friday, August 7, 2020
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Russia's President Vladimir Putin is visiting Israel
Today, he spent close on two hours at the Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial, and laid a wreath in the Memory Hall, where Holocaust victims are commemorated in a mourning ceremony tonight. Aaron Schneider, Yad Vashem history researcher, was with President Putin as guide. The exposition has a vast store of heart-rending mementoes of Jewish plight in ghettos, and labor and death camps. It offers pathetic material remembrances of desperate attempts to survive in the nazi hell, Mr. Schneider said to the President. Mr. Putin's tour started with an exposition dedicated to one of the death camps the Soviet Army liberated in 1944. The President saw an arrangement of victims' family snapshots, marriage certificates and other papers found in the camp. He went on to a next room to see archive newsreels of books burned on the stake in Berlin, and world classics miraculously rescued from the fire. The room dedicated to the Warsaw ghetto re-creates its main street, and offers a display of photographs. Movie footages of the time are shown there to mournful music for visitors to feel the authentic air. From there, Mr. Putin came over to the room dedicated to Jews exterminated in German-occupied parts of the Soviet Union. The next room commemorates Jewish guerrillas of World War II. The Names Hall was the last the Russian President visited. Inscribed there are the names of all Jews killed or victimized in the Holocaust. The President went on to the Children's Memorial, after which he made an entry in the Visitors' Book. "We mourn all Holocaust victims. Tragedies as that are never to repeat. I thank all who cherish its memory and help the generations to come never to forget it," Mr. Putin wrote.
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