The President of Belarus, Aleksandr Lukashenko, addressed his compatriots on the 75th anniversary of the Khatyn tragedy on March 22 , the President’s official web site reports.
In his address, Lukashenko recalled the atrocities that Belarus suffered during the Great Patriotic war. “We remember thousands of brutally destroyed villages. We mourn over the victims of these terrible acts, and we mourn over every third resident of Belarus, who was killed during World War Two.” The president underlined that Nazis’ crimes against humanity cannot be excused.
Lukashenko promised to preserve the memory about the terrible events of the Great Patriotic War and to pass it on to the following generations. He believes that this memory will “provide immunity against any military aggression and nationalist hostility.”
The President also emphasized that humanity is forgeting the lessons of World War Two. “Military threats, terrorist attacks, sectarianism, and inter-ethnic conflicts fill the pages of 21st century history with more numerous victims. The modern face of evil, sometimes hidden under the mask of good intensions, is as ugly as that of Nazism.” According to Lukashenko, especially dangerous are “superpower and national superiority ideas.”
“Let the mournful toll of Khatyn sound and warn us against repeating the terrible tragedy. Let this metal cry reach all the places on Earth where people today forget that life is a gift from above, and that peace is the greatest value. We must always remember this!” Lukashenko said.
The Belorussian village of Khatyn was destroyed on March 22, 1943 by a punitive detachment that mostly consisted of Ukrainian nationalists. All the villagers were herded into a wooden barn, which was then burnt. Those who escaped the burning structure were shot. In total, 149 people, including 75 children, were killed.
In the three years of occupation, the Nazis destroyed approximately 209 cities and towns, and 9,200 villages in Belarus. Over 5,200 of these were destroyed together with all or part of the residents during punitive operations. In the occupation period, 2,230,000 people in Belarus were killed; this is every fourth resident of the republic.
Source: Rossa Primavera News Agency