Russian Lawmaker: No Free Transit for Survivors

Putin Ally Says 'We Don't Owe' Holocaust Victims

By JTA

Published November 04, 2012.
  • Print
  • Share Share

A local Russian lawmaker from President Vladimir Putin’s ruling party reportedly opposed making public transportation free for Holocaust survivors.

Andrei Yershov of the Smolensk city council in western Russia admitted to making the explosive comments during a free-ranging council debate Oct. 16, AFP reported.

A recording of that meeting – a tape that has gone viral in recent days in Russia – shows Yershov wanting to know early on in the debate “why is it that we owe anything” to the prisoners. “Why? For the simple reason that they were not finished off,” the local city council member asked during the rowdy session.

According to Russian law, any Russian who was held in a concentration camp up to the age of 18 is entitled to a range of benefits, including free transport.

Those affected are chiefly the victims of the Nazi persecution of Jews in World War II.

The controversy spread when the tape was posted on the website of the country’s Komsomolskaya Pravda daily.

Smolensk region Governor Alexei Ostrovsky said on Friday that “the fact that Yershov should not remain a representative of the people was not even subject to debate,” AFP reported.

But the lawmaker mounted a stiff defense of his case by saying that he would not resign until the local legislature offered free transport “to all the children of World War II” – and not just the concentration camp survivors.

Putin’s ruling party officials in Moscow condemned the lawmaker’s comments.


The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • You wouldn't think that a Soviet-Jewish immigrant would find much in common with Gabriel Garcia Marquez. But the famed novelist once helped one man find his first love. http://jd.fo/f3JiS
  • Can you relate?
  • The Forverts' "Bintel Brief" advice column ran for more than 65 years. Now it's getting a second life — as a cartoon.
  • Half of this Hillel's members believe Jesus was the Messiah.
  • Vinyl isn't just for hipsters and hippies. Israeli photographer Eilan Paz documents the most astonishing record collections from around the world:http://jd.fo/g3IyM
  • Could Spider-Man be Jewish? Andrew Garfield thinks so.
  • Most tasteless video ever? A new video shows Jesus Christ dying at Auschwitz.
  • "It’s the smell that hits me first — musty, almost sweet, emanating from the green felt that cradles each piece of silver cutlery in its own place." Only one week left to submit! Tell us the story of your family's Jewish heirloom.
  • Mazel tov to Chelsea Clinton and Marc Mezvinsky!
  • If it's true, it's pretty terrifying news.
  • “My mom went to cook at the White House and all I got was this tiny piece of leftover raspberry ganache."
  • Planning on catching "Fading Gigolo" this weekend? Read our review.
  • A new initiative will spend $300 million a year towards strengthening Israel's relationship with the Diaspora. http://jd.fo/q3Iaj Is this money spent wisely?
  • Lusia Horowitz left pre-state Israel to fight fascism in Spain — and wound up being captured by the Nazis and sent to die at Auschwitz. Share her remarkable story — told in her letters.
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.