There have been multiple reports of Russia launching indiscriminate airstrikes and artillery shelling attacks that have hit predominately civilian and residential areas in Ukraine, killing many innocent Ukrainians.
One alleged victim of a reported Russian airstrike was a 96-year-old Jewish Ukrainian man named Boris Romanchenko who is purported to have survived internment in four separate Nazi concentration camps during World War II, the Washington Examiner reported.
That veritable hero was finally done in by a Russian airstrike that destroyed the multistory apartment building where he resided in the besieged Ukrainian city of Kharkiv.
Survived the worst atrocities the Nazis could muster
The Buchenwald Memorial Institute reported on Romanchenko’s death in a series of tweets after being informed of his passing by the elderly Holocaust survivor’s family.
Как мы узнали от его близких, наш друг Борис Романченко, который пережил нацистские лагеря #Buchenwald, #Peenemünde, #Dora и #BergenBelsen, был убит в прошлую пятницу в результате взрыва бомбы в своем доме в #Харькове. Мы глубоко встревожены. pic.twitter.com/hgJeL6gkGT
— Stift. Gedenkstätten Buchenwald und Mittelbau-Dora (@Buchenwald_Dora) March 21, 2022
According to the Institute, Romanchenko had survived being imprisoned in the Nazi concentration camps at Buchenwald, Peenemünde, Dora, and Bergen-Belsen.
The Institute further noted that “Boris Romanchenko worked intensively on the memory of Nazi crimes and was vice-president of the Buchenwald-Dora International Committee,” and had played a key role in a 2012 ceremony commemorating the liberation of the Buchenwald camp.
Efforts underway to evacuate Holocaust survivors from Ukraine
Romanchenko’s death from a Russian airstrike, especially after having survived the absolute worst atrocities humans can inflict upon one another, is an absolute tragedy and one that grassroots activists and organizers are working hard to prevent in Ukraine, according to the Associated Press.
There are multiple groups, some based in the United States, that are making a concerted effort to locate Holocaust survivors in Ukraine and arrange safe passage for them out of the conflict zone, if not the invaded nation entirely.
Sadly, but also somewhat understandably, the typically young activists and organizers are having trouble convincing the skeptical elderly Holocaust survivors to trust them, while others are simply too afraid to leave the relative perceived safety of their homes.
That said, there have been some successful efforts in aiding the evacuation of those elderly survivors and those that do accept the assistance are provided with ample support to ease the transition.
Hopefully, such efforts will be continued and expanded and there will be few additional victims killed by Russia of those who heroically survived the horrific Holocaust so many decades ago.