During the working visit to the Republic of Poland, President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy joined the appeal of the Nationwide Congress of Jewish Religious Communities to the Holocaust Remembrance Center “Yad Vashem” on conferring the honorary title of the Righteous Among the Nations to Metropolitan Andrey Sheptytsky.
“Today, we will mark the 75th anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz-Birkenau Nazi concentration camp. Being here on the International Holocaust Remembrance Day is very important to me. The Holocaust tragedy has left wounds in the hearts of Ukrainians forever. We will never forget that out of six million of Shoah Victims (disaster of European Jewry - ed.), one in four was from Ukraine. We will never forget the horrific crimes that took place in Babyn Yar when the Nazis executed more than 150,000 innocents,” Volodymyr Zelenskyy said in a statement after talks with Polish President Andrzej Duda in Oświęcim.
The President of Ukraine mentioned the commander of the T-34 tank Igor Pobirchenko, who together with the crew first broke the gates of the Auschwitz concentration camp, and the soldiers of the shock battalion of the 100th Lviv Division, who entered the camp under the leadership of Poltava citizen Anatoly Shapi2 and Anatoly Shapi2 divisions of the First Ukrainian Front liberated the camp.
Volodymyr Zelenskyy stressed that almost 9 million Ukrainians - military and civilians killed in the Second World War in the fight against Hitler's regime - would never be forgotten.
The Head of State also noted that the honorary title of the Righteous Among the Nations was officially conferred to more than 2.5 thousand Ukrainians, although there were many more people who saved Jews at risk of their own lives.
“These are people of a great heart and of the same great courage. I cannot but mention the Sheptytsky family, which not only saved more than 160 Jews, but also openly demanded the Nazi leaders to stop their persecution. Recently, Chief Rabbi of Kyiv Moshe Reuven Azman urged the Holocaust Remembrance Center “Yad Vashem” to confer the honorary title of the Righteous Among the Nations to Metropolitan Andrey Sheptytsky. I join this appeal for the restoration of historical justice,” the President of Ukraine emphasized.