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An elderly man who survived Nazi forced labor and multiple concentration camps was killed by Putin-Russia’s attack upon the city of Kharkiv, Ukraine, at age 96.

Russian attack on Kharkiv kills Holocaust survivor, 96
Boris Romanchenko died after rocket hit building where he lived in Ukrainian city

By Philip Oltermann in Berlin, Mon 21 Mar 2022 18.11 GMT

A 96-year-old man who survived a string of Nazi concentration camps including Buchenwald and Bergen-Belsen has been killed by an explosion during the Russian assault on the Ukrainian city of Kharkiv [1], a spokesperson for the Buchenwald concentration camp memorial foundation has confirmed.

“We are shocked to confirm the violent death of Boris Romanchenko, whose niece informed us on Monday morning that he died last Friday after a bomb or rocket hit the multistorey building where he lived in Kharkiv and his apartment was burned out,” a spokesperson told the Guardian.

According to regional emergency services, more than 500 people have been killed in Kharkiv since Russia launched its invasion of Ukraine [2] on 24 February.

Born in 1926 to a farming family in the village of Bondari outside the city of Sumy in north-eastern Ukraine, Romanchenko was taken as a prisoner of war after the German Nazi regime launched Operation Barbarossa against the Soviet Union in 1941.

“The war had completely surprised us, I wasn’t able to flee,” he recalled in an interview in April 2004.

In 1942, he was deported to Dortmund, in Germany’s industrial Ruhr valley, to work as forced labourer in a mine. After attempting to escape, he was seized just as he was about to board an east-bound train and was then deported to Buchenwald concentration camp in January 1943.

Romanchenko was later moved to Peenemünde on the Baltic Sea island of Usedom, where he was made to work on the V2 rocket programme, as well as Mittelbau-Dora and Bergen-Belsen concentration camps.

He attended several commemorative events at the camp’s former site and had been invited to attend an event marking the Buchenwald liberation this year.

In 2015, he read out the “Oath of Buchenwald”, a survivors’ pledge dating back to the camp’s liberation, in Russian.

“Our goal is to build a new world of peace and freedom,” he read.
[1] https://www.theguardian.com/world/2022/feb/28/ukraine-several-killed-by-russian-rocket-strikes-in-civilian-areas-of-kharkiv
[2] https://www.theguardian.com/world/ukraine
Ukraine, Holocaust, Russia, Nazism, Europe, news
Open Licence: “Courtesy of Guardian News & Media Ltd”: “Up to 500 words in a personal blog along with a link back to theguardian.com”. https://www.theguardian.com/world/2022/mar/21/russian-attack-on-kharkiv-kills-holocaust-survivor-96

It’s unclear if he was Jewish or ethnic Ukrainian:
The use of slave and forced labour in Nazi Germany (German: Zwangsarbeit) and throughout German-occupied Europe during World War II took place on an unprecedented scale.[2] It was a vital part of the German economic exploitation of conquered territories. It also contributed to the mass extermination of populations in occupied Europe. The Germans abducted approximately 12 million people from almost twenty European countries; about two thirds came from Central Europe and Eastern Europe.[1] Many workers died as a result of their living conditions – extreme mistreatment, severe malnutrition, and worse tortures were the main causes of death…. At its peak the forced labourers constituted 20% of the German work force. Counting deaths and turnover, about 15 million men and women were forced labourers at one point during the war.[4]

Besides Jews, the harshest deportation and forced labor policies were applied to the populations of Belarus, Ukraine, and Russia. By the end of the war, half of Belarus’ population had been killed or deported.[5][6]

The defeat of Nazi Germany in 1945 freed approximately 11 million foreigners (categorized as “displaced persons”), most of whom were forced labourers and POWs. In wartime, the German forces had brought into the Reich 6.5 million civilians in addition to Soviet POWs for unfree labour in factories.[1] Returning them home was a high priority for the Allies. However, in the case of citizens of the USSR, returning often meant suspicion of collaboration or the Gulag. The United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration (UNRRA), Red Cross, and military operations provided food, clothing, shelter, and assistance in returning home. In all, 5.2 million foreign workers and POWs were repatriated to the Soviet Union, 1.6 million to Poland, 1.5 million to France, and 900,000 to Italy, along with 300,000 to 400,000 each to Yugoslavia, Czechoslovakia, the Netherlands, Hungary, and Belgium.[7]…https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Forced_labour_under_German_rule_during_World_War_II