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Published: Monday, 6/20/2011

Holocaust Memorial Center in Mich. to honor Russian, American World War II vets


FARMINGTON HILLS, Mich. — The Holocaust Memorial Center in suburban Detroit is raising money to build a memorial for Russian and American World War II veterans that will feature an amphitheater, a survivor garden and a German boxcar from the war.

The planned monument, to be built on a grassy area behind the Holocaust center in Farmington Hills, is a cooperative project of the Michigan Association of Russian Speaking Jewry in America and the Jewish War Veterans of Michigan.

The goal is to bring American and Russian Jews together and honor people with connections to Michigan who fought to end the Holocaust.

“This will be the very first time that American Jews and Russian Jews will be on the same monument (in the U.S.),” Stephen Goldman, executive director of the memorial center, told The Detroit News.

The Holocaust Memorial Center hosted a fundraiser Sunday for the five-year, $5 million plan. The event drew about 40 people and featured speeches from Soviet veteran Yakov Sigal and American veteran Albert Zack.

“The Holocaust center is a very appropriate place for the acknowledgement of the contribution of the Jewish war personnel,” said Zack, 90 and of Farmington Hills. “The message that I want it to send is that Jewish men and women have fought with courage and honor in any conflict in which their country called them to.”

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