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17 March 2009 - "Nikolai Ilyuchik of Belarus has built a memorial to six men shot near the town of Bogdanovka during the Holocaust. Defying municipal threats, Ilyuchik erected the monument from metal and concrete in his own yard, from where his sons built a path to the site of the killing, about a kilometre away. Lacking historical records, he questioned elderly villagers and found out some information on the victims' identity, whose families were deported to a ghetto. 800,000 Belarusian Jews lost their lives during the war, many of them in mass shootings. Most memorials do not denote the Jewish identity of the victims." Story with photo. "Before the Nazis invaded the Soviet Union in June 1941, five Jewish families lived in Bogdanovka, then a village of 1,000 people 150 miles (250 kilometers) southwest of the capital, Minsk...six men who were shot -- two blacksmiths, two farmers, a trader and a rabbi...Their families were rounded up and sent to a ghetto. Ilyuchik was unable to determine whether any of the women or children had survived. But two teenage boys who managed to escape the Nazis were saved by Ilyuchik's grandfather, who hid them in his barn for about six months. They later joined partisan forces fighting with the Red Army, where they became friends with Ilyuchik's father." [April 2009]
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