A ceremony to honour Belarusians, as Righteous Among the Nations, took place in Sharkovshchina, near Vitebsk, on Tuesday.

Israel’s Ambassador to Belarus Alon Shoham took part in the ceremony to award certificates of merit and medals to representatives of five families, whose ancestors saved Jews from elimination during the Second World War.

Descendants of the saved Jews came to Sharkovshchina to once again thank the people, who had risked their lives so that others could live. The Sharkovshchina ghetto was established in October-November 1941. The precise number of prisoners is unknown but estimated at 1,600 people. The Nazi started liquidating the ghetto on the morning of 18 July 1942 by firing assault rifles and machine guns and throwing grenades. Some prisoners managed to escape. The Nazis were looking for the survivors for a long time. Local residents sheltered some of the escaped Jews at a great risk to their own families.