MINSK, 27 January (BelTA) - The International Day of Commemoration in Memory of the Victims of the Holocaust, which is marked on 27 January, is firmly established among the most important memorable dates proclaimed by the UN, Belarusian Minister of Foreign Affairs Sergei Aleinik said in an address which was read out during a commemorative ceremony in Vitebsk to award certificates and medals of the Righteous Among the Nations of the World timed to the International Day of Commemoration in Memory of the Victims of the Holocaust, BelTA has learned.
"Today's event testifies to the historically inseparable and friendly relations between the peoples of Belarus and Israel. This is a consistent contribution of the Belarusian state to international efforts to keep the memory of the victims of the Holocaust alive," Sergei Aleinik noted. “Belarus always honors the memory of people, relatives, friends, acquaintances and strangers who became victims of inhumane theories of the racial superiority of one people over others."
The minister stressed that Belarus knows firsthand the price of war, having lost a third of its population in it. The death of every citizen who became a victim of the Holocaust or the genocide of the Belarusian people and other Nazi atrocities resonates with pain in the heart of every Belarusian.
This memorable date once again emphasizes the close connection between the fates of people of various ethnic backgrounds who suffered the war. In the most difficult years - during the Great Patriotic War - millions of Belarusians, including hundreds of thousands of Jewish people, were subjected to inhumane trials, became martyrs and heroes.
"We are infinitely proud of our compatriots who, risking and sacrificing a lot, extended a helping hand to neighbors or completely unfamiliar people of Jewish background during the terrible war," the minister said. “We are grateful that the Yad Vashem memorial complex acknowledged and commemorated these heroic acts. Hundreds of Belarusians bear the title of Righteous Among the Nations."
He considers it symbolic that the Israeli side, continuing its painstaking work to document examples of heroism, will again present awards to the descendants of the Belarusians, whose feats in the name of humanity will now be marked by this high title and international recognition.
"Our common task is to preserve the historical memory and confirm the exceptional importance of the indisputable truth about the inadmissibility of rewriting the results of World War II. This will help people, especially the younger generation, to build a better understanding of the true causes and nature of wars and to prevent them from happening in the future,” Sergei Aleinik said.
The head of the ministry noted that the president has declared the current 2023 the Year of Peace and Creation in Belarus. "Belarus will continue to advocate the restoration and strengthening of the indivisible and interconnected architecture of global and regional security, which allows guaranteeing everyone the right to life and freedom of creative work," the minister said.
"Let me once again express my unwavering respect and tribute to the memory of all those who experienced, directly or indirectly, the tragedy of the Holocaust. Let our future generations live happily, in peace and goodwill," the Belarusian minister of foreign affairs concluded.