Posted: 04.05.2023 18:00:00

Belarus’ PM: we will never abandon our past

Belarusians will strive to ensure that next generations receive objective information on the events of the Great Patriotic War that took place on the Belarusian land – as stated by Prime Minister Roman Golovchenko as he was laying flowers at the Blagovshchina memorial complex as part of the Belarus Remembers. We Remember Everyone campaign

In his talk with journalists, the PM noted that, by the example of Belarus’ neighbours, people in the country notice that denigrators appear if we start speaking less about the exploits of Belarusians during the Great Patriotic War, visiting memorial sites less and telling children about these events less.

“They denigrate the feat of the Soviet soldier, pour dirt on the marshals of Victory, question all the achievements of our peoples. I am sure that absolutely understandable forces are behind some of these ‘researchers’; these are representatives of the so-called ‘soft power’. Some of them pursue other interests, in particular clumsy attempts to classify traitors and collaborators as fighters for national liberation, and so on,” Mr. Golovchenko said, adding that all these attempts are aimed at tearing Belarusians away from the past.

“A concept – that is already common – is well known: mankurts. This word was invented or promoted by the Soviet writer Chingiz Aitmatov. He used it to describe a person who becomes a weak-willed and obedient slave to his master, who had taken away his memory and robbed him of an idea of who he really is and where his roots are. All these attempts are somehow trying to bring us closer to this state. Of course, we will never allow this to be done, and we will firmly and confidently do what we have always done,” he noted.

Mr. Golovchenko expressed confidence that new memorials will be erected in Belarus, “Someone might say that there are a lot of them, but what their number could be compared to? What about our 10,600 burned villages? Over the time of the investigation into the case of the genocide of the Belarusian people, more than 1,400 of them have been identified. I am sure there will be even more. If a monument is erected on the site of each of them, is it much or not? I think this is how it should be. I believe our next generation will complete the work we have started.”

The PM Minister stressed that life itself does not allow Belarusians to forget about the Great Patriotic War, “Literally this spring, during the repair of a road near Bobruisk, the remains of a Red Army soldier who died in the first days of the war during the defence of Bobruisk were found. His medallion was preserved, so we managed to identify his relatives: the man was born in the Crimea, and he sent his last letter from Bobruisk to his family on June 21st.”

Mr. Golovchenko added that new remains are discovered every year in Belarus, “So we will strive to ensure that our children and the next generation in general get objective information on the terrible events that took place on the Belarusian land: on the courage and heroism of Belarusian people and, unfortunately, on the betrayal as well. To do this, we make appropriate changes to the educational curricula, materials and programmes.”

At the same time, the PM explained, “Our young people will figure out what is what. I am sure that each of them will make their own discoveries in this difficult issue on the example of their family history. Meanwhile, we will never succumb to what we are being pushed to do: to abandon our past, forget, forgive and grieve. We really grieve for the victims, but those who promote this agenda should grieve the most. We grieve, but we also take pride.”

Mr. Golovchenko added that Belarus not only preserves its memorials and small monuments in proper condition, but also opens new memory sites: i.e. the Khatyn Museum.