JERUSALEM (EJP)---Nine Righteous Among the Nations from Belarus accompanied by two of the Jews they rescued, visited Yad Vashem, the Holocaust Memorial Institute in Jerusalem on Monday
The group toured the Holocaust History Museum and later gathered in the Garden of the Righteous Among the Nations, where their names are engraved on the Wall of Honor.
Among the Righteous are a mother and daughter who took care of children whose parents were murdered, hid Jews who had escaped from the Minsk Ghetto in their home, and provided false papers for Jews who had escaped and forwarded them onto the partisans.
The group of Righteous is visiting Israel at the initiative of the Israel's ambassador to Belarus Edie Shapira.
On the eve of the German invasion of the Soviet Union in June 1941, the number of Jews in Belarus stood at close to one million, including more than 65,000 refugees who had escaped from Poland to Belarus. Most were murdered in the Shoah.
Most of the local population was indifferent to the fate of their Jewish neighbors while others collaborated with the Germans. Only a small number evinced compassion toward the Jews and assisted the persecuted.
Yad Vashem has thus far recognized some 600 people from Belarus who risked their lives to rescue Jews as Righteous Among the Nations.