Who was Boris Romanchenko? Holocaust survivor, 96, killed at home by Russian missile
A Holocaust survivor, 96, was killed by Russian shelling last week when his home in Ukraine's Kharkiv came under attack amid the ongoing war. Boris Romanchenko had survived as many as four Nazi death camps, of Buchenwald, Peenemuende, Dora and Bergen-Belsen but ultimately died as a war victim.
Who was Boris Romanchenko?
Boris had reportedly served as vice president of the Buchenwald-Dora International Committee, a survivors’ organization. In a series on tweets, the organization wrote on Twitter, "As we learned from his loved ones, our friend Boris Romanchenko, who survived the Nazi camps #Buchenwald , #Peenemünde , #Dora and #BergenBelsen , was killed last Friday in a bomb blast at his home in #Харькове. We are deeply saddened."
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
Sharing a picture, the organization wrote, "In 2012, Boris Romanchenko (second from right in the photo) read the Buchenwald oath "Creating a new world where peace and freedom reign" during the celebration of the anniversary of the liberation of the Buchenwald concentration camp." It wrote in another tweet, " According to his granddaughter, he lived in a multi-story building that was hit by a bullet. Boris Romantschenko campaigned intensively for the memory of the Nazi crimes and was Vice President of the Buchenwald-Dora International Committee."
В 2012 году Борис Романченко (второй справа на фото) зачитал клятву Бухенвальда "Создание нового мира, где господствуют мир и свобода" во время празднования годовщины освобождения концлагеря Бухенвальд. pic.twitter.com/CjUPVVp0de— Stift. Gedenkstätten Buchenwald und Mittelbau-Dora (@Buchenwald_Dora) March 21, 2022
2/2— Stift. Gedenkstätten Buchenwald und Mittelbau-Dora (@Buchenwald_Dora) March 21, 2022
Nach Mitteilung seiner Enkelin wohnte er in einem mehrstöckigen Gebäude, das von einem Geschoss getroffen wurde. Boris Romantschenko hatte sich intensiv für die Erinnerung an die NS-Verbrechen eingesetzt und war Vizepräsident des Internationalen Komitees Buchenwald-Dora.
In a Telegram post, mayor of Lviv, Ukraine, mourned Romanchenko after the news of his death surfaced. "He was killed by a Russian missile in his apartment during a ‘denazification operation,'” Mayor Andriy Sadovy wrote. “The new fascists continue the work of Hitler.”
Last month, a Russian airstrike reportedly impacted the Babyn Yar Holocaust Memorial Site in Ukraine. “Just now, a powerful barrage is underway,” Andriy Yermak, the head of Ukrainian President Zelensky’s office, had said in a statement. “A missile hit the place where Babyn Yar memorial complex is located,” Yermak said. “Once again, these barbarians are murdering the victims of Holocaust!”
“Putin seeks to distort and manipulate the Holocaust to justify an illegal invasion of a sovereign democratic country is utterly abhorrent,” the memorial’s Advisory Board Chair Natan Sharansky said in a statement. “It is symbolic that he starts attacking Kyiv by bombing the site of the Babyn Yar, the biggest of Nazi massacre.”
Meanwhile, thousands of Mariupol residents are being “forcibly” moved to cities in the Russian interior, the Mariupol City Council claimed. The civilians were taken into "filtration" camps, which the city’s mayor compared with Nazi concentration camps. Russian forces allegedly transported them to remote cities in Russia after seizing their documents and phones.
A press release claimed that the Ukrainian military “retreated from crowded places” to avoid enemy bombing raids. “What the occupiers are doing today is familiar to the older generation, who saw the horrific events of World War II, when the Nazis forcibly captured people,” the press release from Mariupol Mayor Vadym Boichenko said. “It is hard to imagine that in the 21st century people can be forcibly taken to another country. Russian troops are not only destroying our peaceful Mariupol, they have gone even further and started driving away Mariupol residents. All war crimes by Russia must get the most severe punishment.”