The day before, the Russian Jewish Congress unveiled a memorial to 176 Gypsies — the Stalin’s Constitution Kolkhoz residents — who were shot by the Nazis in Alexandrovka, Smolensk Region, in April 1942. This is the first such monument in Russia, erected by Jews in memory of Gypsies, who, according to Hitler’s doctrine, were also subject to liquidation on the basis of nationality.
The ceremony was attended by the RJC President Yuri Kanner, Minister of Culture of the International Romani Union Roman Grokholsky, the representatives of Smolensk region administration, local authorities, Gypsy and Jewish organizations, artists of the “Romen” theater. The leader of Moldova’s Roma Community, Baron Artur Cerari was expected at the opening, but he didn’t manage to attend. On his initiative, a memorial to Jews, the Holocaust victims, is being made in Moldova.
The monument in Alexandrovka is a granite slab with all the victims’ names. It was erected under the “To Return Dignity” memorial program dedicated to commemorating the Holocaust victims in Russia. The names of the dead Roma were discovered with the assistance of the Nikolai Bessonov’s Foundation for the History and Culture of the Roma. The project was also supported by the International Romani Union and the administration of Mikhnovsky rural settlement of Smolensky district.