Holy words fill our hearts

Belarusian Telegraph Agency (BelTA) Flowers of the Great Victory!

Belarusian Telegraph Agency (BelTA) Flowers of the Great Victory!
Belarusian Telegraph Agency (BelTA) Flowers of the Great Victory! exhibition opens in Vitebsk, after warm reception in Gomel and Mogilev

Dating from the early years of the Great Patriotic War to the present day, 80 photos depict scenes from the heat of battle, work in the rear, the horrors of occupation, the partisan struggle, cities in ruins, the happiness of victory, and gatherings on commemorative occasions in the decades since the war ended.
. Among them is artist and former border guard Anatoly Kovalev, who died last year, aged almost 95. The eyes of each Red Army fighter seem to bore into the observer, gathered for battle in Lepel and Vitebsk.
Tatiana Zabello, who acted as a messenger for the ‘Death to Fascism’ partisan detachment, surveys the black-and-white photos of destroyed Vitebsk, saying, “I remember the day we returned home. Kirov Bridge hadn’t yet been built so, to reach Lenin Street, we had to circle around Blokhin’s Bridge. We’d lived near the site of the new, pyramid shaped shopping centre but the house was bombed to ruins; we escaped through neighbouring buildings.”

Tatiana, with her mother, was sheltered by strangers. Her grandfather and father left the partisan detachment and went to the front, where her grandfather died near Vitebsk. Her father was seriously injured and was told he’d probably only live 12 months, but defied doctors by claiming another 30 years after the war.

Colonel Alexey Ivanov is 90 years old, and still recalls all he sees in the photos. He agrees that such exhibitions are essential for young people, who should know how the country rose from the ashes.

After Vitebsk, the exhibition is to go to Grodno, and then to Minsk, on the eve of Victory Day.

By Olga Kruchenkova
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