Lutsky: Belarus’ task is to preserve peace and prevent repeat of Ozarichi atrocities
The countries imposing sanctions against Belarus have no moral right to give any advice or manage the republic – as stated by the Deputy Head of the President Administration, Igor Lutsky, during the opening of the renovated memorial complex at the site of the Ozarichi death camp in the Kalinkovichi District
This place is evidence of the most monstrous page in the chronicle of the genocide carried out by the Nazis during the occupation of the region. The death camp, established in March 1944, existed for just one week, but – over that time – fascists forced about fifty thousand people (according to approximate estimates) into it, and killed around twenty thousand of them.
The prisoners were kept without food and water, on the territory fenced by rows of barbed wire and guard towers. The roads to the camp were mined. Those trying to get closer to the fence or make a fire to get at least a little warm were killed immediately. Thousands of people died in hellish conditions.
In addition, the Nazis intended to arrange an epidemic of typhus, hoping thus to delay the offensive of the Red Army troops. As the survivors said, a plane was flying over the camp, spraying a certain substance, and there was nowhere to hide. Getting on the skin, the poison caused unbearable itching: people itched to the wounds, bringing infection into. After their release, many infected prisoners were treated in hospitals.
It took more than six months to finish the large-scale reconstruction of the complex, which has significantly expanded its territory and includes several locations now: the memory tower, epiphany stones, ritual places for laying flowers and wreaths, panels with archival photos taken immediately after the liberation of the camp, and some others. A special monument commemorates the feat of military doctors who managed to stop the spread of typhus.
“In such a place, there is only one desire: to be silent and think about what happened then and what is happening now,” Mr. Lutsky shared his emotions. “They [Western countries] have no moral right to recommend something to us, to manage us somehow, to advise us something. This is what they are doing to the Ukrainian people now, what they are trying to do to us by imposing these sanctions. I am surprised why Austrians and Germans behave this way towards us. Their people should once again look into the past and understand that their present actions are actually a repetition [of what was done then]. These are small steps towards a big war and to a big confrontation, to a big death. After all, every world war lowers the bar of humanity. Our task is to preserve peace and prevent a repeat of what happened here. Meanwhile, the physical and moral destruction of our people took place at this place. We managed to stand ground and survive then, and we will overcome it today. They should understand this and not interfere in our life. We know how to build it, we know how to raise children. We will never betray the memory of those who died here, and the glory of those victorious soldiers will always live in our hearts and the hearts of our children.”