KONOTOP Jews Past and Present


But that gravestone became the monument to all those who were killed. I couldn’t find another one. I saw another stone full of silence. It was also a monument on an old grave maybe from some cemetery, which was destroyed by people and time. It was without a note. I saw the monument to all who were killed during the war on the territory of the aviation base. A great dinner was prepared for us. Outside that house looked like a man with flabby shoulders and blind eyes, but inside it was full of light and love. I had been in Konotop two times, but at the same time I felt that I had always been there. I felt myself as if I were at home, although I didn't know the language and was not acquainted with the people in an unfamiliar city.

The air around me was full of love. I experienced everything in my life: sorrow, merriment, and fear of the unknown disturbed me also. In that cemetery my ancestors were in peace. In those ditches of death were killed my relatives. And that loss was mine, too. My parents, who belonged to the Zionist youth of the beginning of the century, left their houses and their families. They created the State of Israel for me. This was my own personal happiness. I didn't choose it. It chose me. It fell upon me from the hands of the sky. I thought I could have been born in Konotop, because I saw myself looking at the faces which were around me. Because I saw love there.

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Righteous of the World, Tetera, Melania Alexyevna.

On 26 June 2000, the decision of the special commission of the “Righteous of the World” of the Institute of Yad Vashem. The decision of Yad Vashem, our countryman, Melania Alexyevna Tetera, as a sign of deepest gratitude for the health and for the help to Jewish people during the years of the Second World War, given the honorable title, “Righteous of the World” posthumously. In the period of the occupation of Konotop by German fascistic forces, she saved the life of two boys born of Jewish women. The mother of those Jewish children was shot by the fascists.


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