In May 2016, books containing the names of more than 100,000 Jewish soldiers who died serving in the Soviet armed forces during World War II were given a Jewish burial at Hills of Eternity Memorial Park in Colma, the Bay Area’s necropolis.
On Oct. 1, a monument to those soldiers was unveiled. Created by noted Russian-Jewish sculptor Simon Kogan, the monument commemorates these soldiers who died in battle and were never recognized as Jews by the Soviet government. Their names fill the “Books of Memory,” 11 volumes compiled between 1992 and 2015. Some 100 duplicate copies of those books were put to rest in the World War II veterans’ section of the memorial park last year, in keeping with the Jewish tradition of proper disposal of sacred writings.
The event was made possible with the support of the Russian-speaking community of the Bay Area, the S.F.-based Jewish Community Federation, the Gennady Farber family, private donations and generous funding from the Blavatnik Family Foundation.