Our July 3rd celebration never fades in significance, reflecting such an important facet of our life

Pleasant point of view

Our July 3rd celebration never fades in significance, reflecting such an important facet of our life. Belarus paid a high price during the Great Patriotic War, to preserve its place among the family of other USSR republics. People showed true courage and heroism in resisting the merciless enemy and, ultimately, defeating the Nazism.

Photo: Vitaliy Gil

All honour to the victors! In this respect, July 3rd marks our eternal gratitude towards those who liberated Belarus from the Fascist invaders in July 1944. However, July 3rd also marks our Independence Day, as well as being the anniversary of Belarus’ liberation. The Day of the Republic is our country’s major state holiday.

On the eve of the great holiday, on July 2nd, the head office of SB-Belarus Segodnya Media Holding was attended by diplomats and military attachés from embassies accredited to Belarus. I was honoured to attend, telling the audience about Belarus magazine and its role in communicating with foreign readers. In my opinion, everything was interesting for both sides. Canadian diplomat Craig Fowler shared his impressions of Belarus, having newly arrived from Moscow and having watched Alexander Lukashenko’s speech on television, as well as a festive concert dedicated to Independence Day, in the evening in Minsk. Mr. Fowler was amazed by the solemnity and beauty of the moment, noting that Canada lacks a long and distinguished history, like Belarus. His objective viewpoint was certainly pleasing.

People in Belarus cherish and will always commemorate the memory of the Great Patriotic War victims, as was proven by the recent ceremony held to mark the unveiling of the Trostenets Memorial Complex, near Minsk. The largest death camp on the occupied territory of the former Soviet Union was located near the Belarusian village of Maly Trostenets, being the final destination of over 200,000 people: among them war prisoners, partisans, old people, women and children. Various nationalities and confessions were brought in huge numbers: not only our compatriots but those from such European countries as Poland, Germany, Austria and Czechoslovakia. It was a dire conveyor of death. There were about 250 camps for Soviet war prisoners, as well as 350 detention facilities for the civil population and 186 Jewish ghettos within Belarusian territory.

Undoubtedly, the Trostenets memorial is a symbol of our condemnation of the Nazis’ inhumane policy towards peaceful Europeans. The memorial complex is still being constructed, and architects face the challenge of commemorating victims, while preserving the historical truth and creating a full picture of the torture endured, providing evidence of the terrible tragedy, which unfolded at the centre of Europe, on Belarusian land. Read For the Sake of Kindness and Mercy  and In Commemoration of Tragedies to learn more.

Of course, other materials in the issue also deserve attention.

By Victor Kharkov
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