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03 May 2024, 18:37

Petrishenko: Historical lessons should serve the current generations

MINSK, 3 May (BelTA) – Historical lessons should serve the generations that live now. Deputy Prime Minister of Belarus Igor Petrishenko made the statement after laying a wreath at the WW2 memorial complex Masyukovshchina ahead of Victory Day, BelTA has learned.

There are many tragic pages in the history of Belarus, Igor Petrishenko noted. “However, some of them are so significant that they will never be forgotten and will persist in the memory of everyone. Such as memory about the heroic deed committed by our people during the years of the Great Patriotic War. It is the historic memory that we have to preserve that prompted the need to amend the Constitution. It is Article 15, which clearly stipulates that we have to take good care of the historical memory of those events. We see how many falsifications are being done right now in order to distort history and diminish the heroic deed of the Soviet nation and respectively of the Belarusians. This is why we should get the message across to the young generation,” he stated.

Many concentration camps operated in Belarus’ territory, the deputy prime minister reminded. “These death machines destroyed Belarusians and all those, who were in the territory of the country during the years of the Great Patriotic War. This memorial complex is a vivid example of our remembrance, of our attitude. We honor the deed of the Fatherland defenders. Belarusians celebrate Victory Day, Independence Day, and People’s Unity Day for a reason. We also routinely express respect and pay a tribute to the memory. Guys, who have gathered here today, have undertaken to keep this memorial complex in good order. It is a very great and noble deed. It is important for us from the point of view of patriotic upbringing of the young generation,” Igor Petrishenko believes.

In his words, Belarusians should remember this heroic deed forever and should try to prevent a repeat of those events. “We should not allow a war to happen. This is why historical decisions were made during the 7th Belarusian People’s Congress. I am talking about the adoption of the updated National Security Concept and Military Doctrine. Historical lessons should serve the current generations so that we would not allow a war to happen in our land,” he said.

Students of classes specializing on law education, members of military patriotic clubs from Minsk’s Frunzensky District and Tsentralny District, including members of the search unit Memory, which has been set up to find and ascertain names of Great Patriotic War participants and step up the civic and patriotic education of young Belarusians, took part in the ceremony.

The WW2 memorial complex Masyukovshchina is a monument to prisoners of war and civilians, who died during the Great Patriotic War of 1941-1945 in Stalag 352, one of the largest concentration camps in the territory of the former Soviet Union. The Nazi employed a particularly nasty system of torture and abasement of human dignity in the camp. Over 80,000 soldiers and officers of the Soviet army, who had been captured by the Nazi, and civilians, who were moved from Minsk and nearby villages to this camp, died in Stalag 352 from July 1941 through 3 July 1944.

The memorial is located in a small pine tree park. A staircase leads to the granite monument. The facade of the main wall of the monument bears an inscription: “Contemporaries and descendants, bow your heads. Here lie in eternal rest those, who did not kneel before the enemy.” An Eternal Flame has been lit in memory of the dead. Communal graves are located in the territory of the memorial. Each of them is marked with a black marble slab. A white rotunda is located in the center of the park where a book of remembrance lies under a sheet of glass. It contains last names of about 10,000 former prisoners of Stalag 352. But names of more than 70,000 people, who died in the concentration camp, have not been identified yet.

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