MINSK, 28 June (BelTA) – Attempts of the West to equate Great Patriotic War veterans with SS troops are inadmissible. Belarusian Minister of Foreign Affairs Vladimir Makei made the statement during a solemn event held on the occasion of Belarus' Independence Day, BelTA has learned. The event gathered representatives of Belarusian organizations and associations of veterans, prisoners of concentration camps, Leningrad siege survivors, foreign diplomats working in Belarus, representatives of Belarus' cultural and academic circles.
Vladimir Makei noted the event had been organized in this format for the first time. He said he hopes it would become traditional.
The official said: “Thanks to those, who are sitting in the first ranks in this hall, we live today, our state exists, and we have an opportunity to celebrate this holiday. We can only imagine what they had to go through, how they went to attack gun emplacements, how they bled, how they protected each other with their own bodies, what they had to endure when they walked for thousands of kilometers to free Europe from the brown plague.”
The Belarusian minister of foreign affairs went on saying: “I'd like foreign diplomats, who live, stay, or work in Belarus, to see the true attitude of the state towards veterans, towards history, towards memory. You see what is going on in the world when these people, who freed Europe from the brown plague, are compared to SS butchers. Those, who freed Europe, are being besmirched as butchers and equated to those, who burned down villages and towns not only in Belarus but in the Soviet Union and across Europe.”
Vladimir Makei added: “They are trying to force a new mindset on us on the basis of horrible things, for instance, those relating to the praise and glorification of Nazism. Certainly, it is absolutely unacceptable for us. And thank god, the veterans are alive, who can talk about those past events they have survived and we – the current generation and future ones – have to remember.”
In his words, this is why Belarus works hard to promote the topic of genocide of the Belarusian nation during the Great Patriotic War of 1941-1945. “Certainly, many in the West don't like it. It is no accident that many Western diplomats are not present here. Why? Because it seems to me that many are ashamed of having been in the ranks of those, who fought against the Soviet Union,” Vladimir Makei stressed. The official remarked that the Wehrmacht also contained French divisions, Belgian, Italian, and Spanish divisions as well as representatives of many other countries. “Certainly, they would love to forget those unpleasant things, to put it mildly, and distort history in a way to equate our veterans with SS butchers. It is absolutely unacceptable for us. We should do everything for such things to not be repeated. The veterans, who are alive and who constantly remind us about that, oblige us to do it.”
Guests of the event organized by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs were invited to watch the theater program “Alps. 1941” prepared by the Belarusian State Academic Theater for Young Audience. A presentation of the exhibition “Motherland. Multiethnic Belarus” by the prominent Belarusian historian and collector Vladimir Likhodedov took place.