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Romanchenko was born in 1926 near the Ukrainian city of Sumy. In 1942, when he was 16 years old, he was forced to work as forced labor in the German city of Dortmund. Romanchenko was not Jewish, but was deported as part of the Nazis’ strategies of intimidation against the Ukrainian population. After a failed escape attempt, he ends up in the notorious Buchenwald concentration camp.
Romanchenko also escaped from Camp Peenemünde – where he was forced to make V2 missiles – and Camp Mittelbau-Dora and Bergen-Belsen.
Romanchenko died last Friday after his home in the Ukrainian city of Kharkiv was bombed. The foundation describes Romanchenko as a “good friend”. He is said to have always worked to educate others about the horrors of the Nazi era. In addition, he held the position of Vice-President of the International Committee “Buchenwald Dora”.
The “Buchenwald Memorial” manages the memorial sites at the former camp sites in Buchenwald and Mittelbau-Dora. The Foundation is also committed to educating people as much as possible about the Holocaust and the Nazi era. “We are deeply saddened by the death of Romanchenko,” the foundation said. According to the organization, about 42 thousand victims of Nazi crimes still live in Ukraine.
“This is what they call the ‘de-Nazification process,’” said Andrey Yermak, chief of staff of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. He was referring to Russian President Vladimir Putin, who claimed that one of the motives for invading Ukraine was to “cleanse the country of neo-Nazis.” He sees the cruelty of Russia.”
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