REMEMBERING THE FORTITUDE AND SACRIFICE OF PRISONERS OF SOBIBOR EXTERMINATION CAMP

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The heroic fortitude and supreme sacrifice of the Soviet people were recalled and reiterated with awe and reverence by distinguished speakers, drawn from all political parties, and parliamentarians at a function, dedicated to the 75th anniversary of the uprising of selected Jewish prisoners from the SOBIBOR Concentration Camp, organised at the Russian Centre of Science and Culture (RCSC) in New Delhi on October 11, 2018. Glowing tributes were paid to the great Russian heroes.

A Seminar and Photo Exhibition “SOBIBOR: Breakthrough to Immortality”, which constituted the programme, was addressed by Mr. Binoy Viswam, M.P. (Rajya Sabha), Mr. Evgeny Bezeka, First Secretary (Political), Embassy of the Russian Federation in India, Mr. Shiv Shakti Bakshi, National Convener, Party Journals and Publications Department, Bharatiya Janata Party, Major Dalbir Singh, National Secretary, All-Indian Congress Committee and Co-President, International Organisation “Assembly of the Peoples of Eurasia”, and Mr. J.P. Agarwal, former M.P. (Lok Sabha) and former President of Delhi Pradesh Congress Committee (DPCC). Mr. Fedor Rozovskiy, Director, RCSC, was present at the function.

Following the welcome remarks by Mr. Vasilii Shagap, Chief Coordinator (Culture & Information, RCSC), in his objective explanation on the genesis of World War II, Mr. Evgeny Bezeka made an overall review on the Western diplomacy which opened the doors to the fascist aggression in Europe and in its sequence the formation of the Allied forces to meet the Axis force. The terrible situation encountered by Czechoslovakia at the hands of Hitler was specifically underscored against the background of the political scenario gathering momentum then. Great importance was given in Mr. Bezeka’s observation to the Munich Pact engineered by Hitler, and the conviction of anti-fascist forces in the West on the genuine Soviet stand.

Mr. Binoy Viswam brought into focus the terrible torture perpetrated by Nazi forces on the Soviet people, particularly women and children both during the Great Patriotic War which is shockingly heart-breaking which has no parallel in world history. The incredible valour shown by the Jewish prisoners in the notorious German concentration camps and their indomitable sacrifice towards their escape and liberation of the country from the enemy will ever be remembered by humanity, he noted. Mr. Viswam underlined the significance of SOBIBOR in this context with great emphasis.       

Shiv Shakti Bakshi, paying rich homage to the courageous prisoners in the SOBIBOR Concentration Camp with commendable heroic and patriotic sprit in their historic uprising. This was not just their escape only, but signalled the amazing liberation of humanity from the clutch-hold of the brutal fascist forces. He wanted the young generation to imbibe the very spirit with which the Soviet people fought against a mighty force, which should aptly be a lesson to be cherished for years to come. He saluted the brave Russian people with great respect.

Major Dalbir Singh in his impressive observation on the agonising situation encountered by the prisoners in the SOBIBOR Concentration Camp in the zenith of the Great Patriotic War, made his brilliant intrinsic interpretation of the intricate environment existing in such camps run by fascist forces to torture their prisoners in the most inhuman fashion never heard of in human history. The monumental unflinching determination displayed by the Soviet people in general and the prisoners in particular deserves much more than mere gratitude. Drawing professional experience of war as a soldier himself, Major Dalbir Singh made a strong appeal to the present generation to imbibe the lively message left by SOBIBOR.

Mr. J.P. Agarwal, giving a big salute to the heroic deeds of  the Russian people, gratefully remembered the meaningful and instrumental help and support provided by the Russian Government both in times of peace and crisis to India. More than anything whatsoever, peace, development and prosperity are the paramount factors, and the need of the hour, and in this context, Indo-Russian friendship and cooperation is extremely significant, relevant and pragmatic, Mr. Agarwal stressed.

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