Sacred memory of war
Single Victory for All: Kazakhstan-Belarus, devoted to 70th anniversary of Great Patriotic War Victory, released by Petrus Brovka Belarusian Encyclopaedia Publishing House
The edition has been prepared jointly with Kazakhstan’s Embassy to Belarus. The Publishing House’s Director, Vladimir Andrievich, explains, “The book tells of those from Kazakhstan who fought in Belarus during the Great Patriotic War. We have not offered a complete description of their military service but have tried to present some historical pages relating to Kazakh soldiers — including 83 who were awarded the title of USSR Hero for having shed their blood and lost life fighting for Belarus. That war was а tragic event in Soviet history but managed to demonstrate the eternal brotherhood of nations, true friendship, unity and patriotism of nationalities and nations.”
The book contains biographical references and photos of the 83 Kazakhs and those born in Kazakhstan who received the USSR Hero award. It throws light on Kazakh participation in the partisan movement and their supreme bravery during Belarus’ liberation in 1943-1944. Readers can learn how Belarus cherishes the memory of those Kazakh soldiers, through sculptures, monuments, obelisks, collective graves, cemeteries and streets named after heroes.
The Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Kazakhstan to Belarus, H.E. Mr. Ergali Bulegenov, notes in the book’s foreword: ‘Belarusian and Kazakh nations made an invaluable contribution to the Victory over Fascism. From the very first days of the war, Kazakhstan fulfilled its sacred duty, supplementing the active army. Mobilisation in our republic was realised in the shortest possible time, with over 1.7 million Kazakhs taking part in the fight against Hitler’s Germany. During the war years, over 20 divisions and shooting brigades were established on Kazakh territory, in addition to almost 50 regiments and battalions. Over 500 Kazakh soldiers were awarded the title of USSR Hero for their heroism on battlefields and 83 received the title for fighting for Belarus’ liberation’.
In Belarus and Kazakhstan alike, memories of that war are cherished and honoured. Belarus intends never to forget soldiers and officers from fraternal Kazakhstan, whose fates were closely connected with the lands of Belarus. Streets are named after them and memorials and plaques have been unveiled. Their graves are kept in good order, being visited by relatives and official Kazakh delegation members.
Mr. Bulegenov states, “We are endlessly thankful to the Belarusian nation and leadership for the entrenchment of Kazakhs’ deeds and those of all Red Army liberators. Our shared memory of the war extends to reverence for all those Belarusians, Kazakhs and representatives of other nations who died; they are an endless source of unbreakable friendship for the nations of Kazakhstan and Belarus.”
By Veniamin Verlikhov