Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko's speech at the nationwide commemorative rally timed to the 78th anniversary of the Khatyn tragedy
Dear Belarusians and visitors to Belarus!
The tragedy of Khatyn and thousands of villages and towns that suffered the same fate is an unstoppable pain in the heart of Belarusians, all Soviet people. Today we, representatives of different generations, religious communities, philosophical and political views, have come together to honor the memory of the innocent and defend the truth about that war.
This truth is merciless, this memory is hard. Just think about it: the invaders and their accomplices in the police burned down 9,200 Belarusian villages. More than 5,000 of them were burned together with their residents. We know where it all starts: with the ideas of racial, genetic or any other superiority of some peoples over others, with the division of people into the supreme and the secondary. It is really frightening that today these theories have supporters all over the world. Thank God, the fascist ideology is rejected by Belarusians whose genetic memory has become a real national immunity.
This memory is full of pain and suffering, it contains a tragic historical experience. It is a fact: the Second World War was not just a war, it became a consistent extermination of our Slavic peoples.
At this memorable event on the eve of another anniversary of the Khatyn tragedy, I would like to address those who are deliberately trying to revive the symbols of Nazism. Even if these are just a few (as they say, the family has its black sheep), unfortunately, there are such people in contemporary Belarus.
I appeal to everyone who is convinced that fascism ‘brought civilization to our land'; who calls killers heroes; who worships the white-red-white flags under which Belarusian people fell victim to the genocide. We have come to grips with this problem, and we will show the whole world what genocide is about and we will prove that those who are trying to teach us how to live have no right to do so. To all of you, misguided and intoxicated, I say: “Come and see!” Go to Khatyn, Borki, Ola, Dalva, Usakino, Shunevka, Ozarichi, to the memorials Trostenets, Yama, Krasny Bereg”.
Look at it through the eyes of a child who survived under the body of their murdered mother, through the eyes of children thrown into a well to die, through the eyes of a shot pregnant woman who never had a chance to know the happiness of motherhood, through the eyes of a father who found his dead son in the ashes, through the eyes of the hanged helpless old people.
Come and listen to the Khatyn bell and you will hear children's cries, mothers' lament and a bitter paternal grief of millions of Belarusians. Belarusians who experienced inhuman suffering, but who were not conquered and defeated. We should always remember this and no matter what disaster befalls us (COVID pandemic or other diseases), we should not be shy to come here on the great holidays, on the bright Victory Day to pay tribute to those who died for us. Had they not died, there would not have been us.
Let these voices from the past remind each generation of how fragile the world is, how valuable human life is and how easy it is to lose it all. As long as this bell rings, Belarus will remember it.
We will never forget the terrible pages of the history of the Great Patriotic War. We will never forgive the cruelty, inhumanity and atrocities of the enemy on our land. We remember this, and this is our strength.
Eternal memory to the killed, tortured and torn to pieces. Let us bow our heads and honor their memory with a moment of silence.