The purpose of the project called Preserve the History is to build ties and ensure communication between generations, to spread information about the tragedy of the Holocaust among youth, to remember the names of the Holocaust survivors, to visit Holocaust memorials and Jewish cemeteries in Odessa and Odessa Oblast. Our volunteers clean up the territory and the monuments, plant trees and flowers there.
Some tombstones are weathered, worn, and difficult or impossible to read. We hold memorial ceremonies and keep records of the names if the tombstones are still readable. For this purpose, we have created a card index of the graves.
On April 9, the League of Jewish Volunteers (Lion League), within the framework of the project called Preserve the History, organized a trip to the abandoned Jewish Cemetery dating back to the 15th century situated in Kiliya.
Our volunteers visited the Holocaust memorial first. They lit up candles and commemorated the Holocaust victims. The mayor of Kiliya, some NGOs and media representatives were present during the memorial ceremony.
The hosts told us about the history of Kiliya and local Jews, those dead and a few who are still alive. Our volunteers visited them at home, congratulated them on Passover and gave matzos.
Some volunteers remained at the Memorial and painted the railings and fences there, while the others worked at the cemetery. In a short period of time they managed to do a huge amount of work: painted the cemetery gates, cleaned up the territory and the monuments, planted trees and flowers there.
Before leaving, we held another memorial ceremony at the mass grave.
We would like to thank all our volunteers for their time and energy. You have done a great job – you not only preserve the history, you make the history!
We try to keep Holocaust memorials and Jewish cemeteries as clean, neat, and tidy as possible. This project is very important for each of us because in such a way we express our gratitude and pay tribute to our ancestors.
And a special thanks to Pavel Kozlenko for his initiative, help, vast knowledge and the ability to impart knowledge to others.