Fortress lives and remembers

Brest Fortress celebrates two important events: 55th anniversary of its Defence Museum and 40th anniversary of its Memorial Complex

By Veronica Kozlovskaya

In the post-war years, over 20m people from 140 countries visited the city on the River Bug. From the beginning, Brest Fortress Defence Museum was a serious scientific-research institution. Original exhibitions have originated there, later travelling internationally: Chronicles of Brest Fortress in Photographs and The Defence of the Fortress through the Eyes of the Enemy — Photos and Documents from German Archives.

The Memorial Complex was set up at almost the same time as the museum, with the project headed by Alexander Kibalnikov — a People’s Artist and academic. The creative team was given the whole third floor of the Belarusian Museum of the Great Patriotic War History in which to work. In fact, the memorial is yet to be finished, with only one tenth of the sculptors’ dream realised at Brest Fortress.

Valentin Zankovich, a sculptor, architect and laureate of the Lenin Award, is the only one still living from his team. He explains that more modest plans, with emotional and conceptual meaning, were also planned: small sculptural compositions to be installed at specific battle sites. He was recently entrusted to bring to life one of these plans and, on June 22nd, 2011, a new sculptural composition was unveiled near the Terespol Gates: ‘To the Heroes of the Border, and those Women and Children who Stepped into Immortality with their Courage’.

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