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07 April 2021, 11:04

BISR analyst: It is inadmissible to cross red lines in interpretation of history for political goals

Igor Valakhanovich. An archive photo
Igor Valakhanovich. An archive photo

MINSK, 7 April (BelTA) - When interpreting history for the sake of short-term political goals, one should not cross the universally recognized red lines, analyst, Candidate of Historical Sciences Igor Valakhanovich wrote in his article on the website of the Belarusian Institute of Strategic Research (BISR), BelTA has learned.

According to the expert, the topic of historical past interpretations is not just important today, it has acquired a special meaning.

“In the period of the current political turbulence, contemporary events are increasingly freely, and sometimes even irresponsibly, being compared with some historical events. Spatial and temporal analogies are used as a tool to denounce political opponents by comparing them to historical anti-heroes. Very often such processes are skillfully camouflaged by new-fashioned scientific and methodological approaches. Back in the 1990s, a new trend began to develop in Belarusian historical science to study the problems of education and activity of anti-Soviet armed underground structures on the territory of Belarus during World War II and in the postwar period. On the one hand, scientific works based on the analysis of various archival sources were published. On the other hand, there were publications striving to ‘build a new Belarusian identity', based to a greater extent on the reanimation of political myths created by the Belarusian political emigrant structures during the Cold War. The interest in studies within the new methodology is actively supported by the modern political structures of the Belarusian emigration and, above all, by the Rada of the Belarusian People's Republic. The participants of the anti-Soviet underground, which operated on the territory of Belarus in the postwar period, are being heroized,” Igor Valakhanovich said.

The BISR analyst gives an example of a free interpretation of history and, as a consequence, false conclusions as a result.

“The terrible Nazi crimes on the Belarusian land are no longer denied. Responsibility for them is placed not only on the occupying German authorities, but also on their accomplices who directly participated in the punitive actions. Direct attempts to rehabilitate Nazi collaborators are also not undertaken. At the same time, the statements about the existence of some ‘Belarusian national conspiracy' during the war are more and more actively voiced. It turns out that its participants, who served in the military and police formations and occupation administration, actually risked their lives to protect the civilian population from Nazi repression. Such participants in the "resistance," many of whom, as is said, died at the hands of the Nazis or Bolsheviks, should have a chance for rehabilitation,” the candidate of historical sciences said.

“Once again I would like to repeat that each generation has its ‘own' history, its ‘own' vision of the past. At the same time, there are generally recognized well-established principles - red lines, which cannot be ignored, let alone crossed. The evolutionary continuity of the generational perception of the past based on objective scientific research should be ensured. One such principle is the criminalization of fascism in all its incarnations and manifestations. Another axiom condemns any form of extremism. Such approaches were enshrined in the course of summing up the results of the Second World War and found their legal consolidation in the decisions of the Yalta and Berlin conferences, as well as the verdicts of international tribunals on war criminals in Nuremberg and Tokyo,” Igor Valakhanovich said.

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