People were killed simply because they were Belarusians: book on genocide presented in Lida
A year has passed since a criminal case was initiated by the Prosecutor General's Office on the genocide of the Belarusian people during the Great Patriotic War and post-war years. Since then, a search for eyewitnesses has been conducted. The analytical materials and documents collected over this time have laid the basis for a book – presented in Lida.
“I edited this book. When my colleague and I started reading it, we got acquainted with a huge number of authentic documents and testimonies of living eyewitnesses," Larisa Yazykovich, the Editor–in-Chief of the Belarus Publishing House, shared her impressions. “All materials are perfectly systematised, while illustrations are vivid, and the statistics – which we never stop to correct – is exact. For example, in 2019, we were convinced that the data we had then was final, but new facts are now being clarified, and new information is being added. As a historian and a candidate of historical sciences, this is very interesting to me. However, it is extremely difficult to study such information, since – when reading the documents and stories describing horrifying murders of children, women and the elderly – it is simply impossible to fall asleep.”
According to Ms. Yazykovich, the second edition of the book has been released: 1,500 copies. The first one had the same circulation and sold out in just a month. Since the publication enjoys demand, its third edition is possible. Moreover, the Prosecutor General's Office has developed a conceptual programme for further work over the book. As supposed, each Belarusian region will have its own publication revealing the atrocities of fascists on its territory. Books are planned to be published about the places of forced detention of prisoners, burned villages and extermination of the Jewish population.
Among those present at the book presentation was a prosecutor of the Lida District, Stanislav Dmukhovsky. He stressed, “The publication of this book was preceded by a whole year of collecting materials by the Belarusian Prosecutor General's Office, and the Lida District Prosecutor's Office also made its contribution by sharing some fragments of the facts. When we interrogated witnesses and victims, we could not but think that the events of those dashing times of war should be never repeated on our land. This is terrible: people were killed simply for being Belarusians. Blood was taken from Belarusian children for transfusion to wounded German soldiers, because the former were considered just expendable – not people. The Prosecutor's Office is currently continuing to search for witnesses and victims, while the circumstances of the events taken place during the Great Patriotic War on the territory of our district and in subsequent years are being clarified. Unfortunately, we have to admit that – even after the Lida District was liberated – the war against peaceful Belarusians did not stop: various gangs terrified the local population for many years.”