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February 5, 2017 11:54 am

Efforts Underway to Protect Mass Jewish Graves in Ukraine From Robbers Seeking Gold Fillings, Skulls to Peddle in City Markets

avatar by Ruthie Blum

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The location of a mass grave in Pikov, Ukraine. Photo: Yad Vashem.

The location of a mass grave in Pikov, Ukraine. Photo: Yad Vashem.

More than seven decades after the Holocaust ended, as grave-robbers continue to desecrate mass burial sites of Jews in Ukraine to uncover gold fillings, jewelry and skulls to sell openly in urban flea-markets, efforts are underway to put a stop to the phenomenon and preserve the sites, the Hebrew news site nrg reported on Sunday.

According to the report, Mikhail Yehudanin — president of the European Forum of Russian-speaking Jewry — and Dr. Dmitry Shiglik — a Ukrainian-born businessman in the US who serves as president of the American Forum of Russian-Speaking Jewry — are working to enlist the aid of Jews on both continents in the struggle to protect the many mass graves in Ukraine where thousands of Jews murdered by the Nazis were simply discarded. The effort also involves trying to bring perpetrators, the vast majority of whom have never been apprehended, to justice.

According to nrg, the digging up of Jewish graves by robbers in search of marketable items has been going on across eastern Europe since the conclusion of WWII. About a year ago, for example, mass graves at the Nazi extermination camp Sobibór were discovered to have been looted.

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