Former Israeli Prime minister Menachem Begin is being commemorated with a statue in Belarus, the country of his birth, i24 News reported Monday.
Begin, born in the town of Brest, was twice exiled from the city before leaving for good; once, during World War I, when the residents of the city were forced out, and again with the outbreak of World War II, during which he helped students escape and immigrate to Israel.
The statue marks the centenary of his birth and was placed in the town square next to the Jewish school Begin attended as a boy. The square was also the site where hundreds of Jews were rounded up by the Nazis before they were executed on the river Bug, among them his father.
The Belarussian mail service also published a set of stamps with portraits of Zionist leaders born in the country. Among them are: Prime Ministers Begin and Yitzhak Shamir, Presidents Chaim Weizmann, Zalman Shazar, and Shimon Peres.
Only seven people, out of 33,000 Jews in the town, survived the Holocaust. Begin himself was known to remark: “I will never return to Brest, but Brest will forever be with me.”