WWII Holocaust survivor killed in Ukraine’s Kharkiv

Mar 22, 2022: After surviving the Nazi Buchenwald concentration camp during World War II, the Dora-Mittelbau concentration camp in the same war, and then the Bergen-Belsen camp, Boris Romanchenko, was killed by Russian shelling in Kharkiv.

Last week, Romanchenko, a 96-year-old Holocaust survivor, was killed when shelling hit his ordinary flat in the war-ravaged Ukrainian city of Kharkiv.

Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second largest city, has been under heavy fire from Russian artillery throughout the invasion, which Russian President Vladimir Putin calls a “special military operation” necessary to disarm and “denazify” its neighbour.

The memorial for the Buchenwald survivors said in a statement on Monday, “It is with horror that we report the violent death of Boris Romanchenko in the war in Ukraine, The multi-storey apartment building where Romanchenko lived was shelled and caught on fire,”

Romanchenko was born on Jan. 20, 1926, in Bondari, near the city of Sumy according to the statement from the Buchenwald memorial.

After being deported to Dortmund in 1942,  he had to do forced mining labour. After an unsuccessful escape attempt, he was sent to the Buchenwald concentration camp in 1943, where more than 53,000 people were killed during World War II.

He was then sent to Peenemünde on the Baltic Sea island of Usedom, where he worked as a forced labourer on the V2 rocket programme, the Dora-Mittelbau concentration camp and the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp.

Romanchenko had served for many years as the vice president of the Buchenwald-Dora International Committee, devoting himself to documenting the Nazi crimes.

Ukraine’s foreign and defence ministries condemned the death. “Putin managed to ‘accomplish’ what even Hitler couldn’t,” Ukraine’s Defence Ministry said on its Twitter account.

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