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Address to Belarusian people on occasion of 75th anniversary of Khatyn tragedy

22 March 2018

Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko has addressed the Belarusian people on the occasion of the 75th anniversary of the Khatyn tragedy.

“The Great Patriotic War left a heavy legacy to the Belarusian people - a memory of the terrible tragedies of people who witnessed and suffered monstrous crimes of the fascism. Today we pay tribute to the memory of the residents of Khatyn village that was burnt by the Nazis 75 years ago,” the address runs.

The life of a small village irreversibly changed on 22 March 1943. Suffering from the numerous defeats, the invaders carried out a death sentence to the civilian population. “Punishers did not spare old people, women and babies. A total of 149 people died in the fire,” the President said.

“We will never forget the fear and helplessness of the children who sought protection from adults not understanding why their lives should be taken away. We cannot forgive the grief of a father who survived but lost his son and the tears of a boy who managed to survive under the body of his murdered mother,” said the Belarusian leader.

“Remembering Khatyn, we think about thousands of brutally destroyed villages. Mourning the victims of these terrible events, we mourn for every third inhabitant of Belarus who died during World War II. This pain will stay in our hearts forever as a memory about cruel crimes against humanity. There is no justification for them,” said the head of state.

The President stated that the Belarusians paid a high price for the freedom of the native land. “We will cherish the memory of those terrible years and pass it to our children as immunity against any military aggression and nationalistic hostility,” Alexander Lukashenko said.

In his words, the world starts forgetting these lessons. Military threats, terrorist acts, interfaith and ethnic conflicts fill the pages of the history of the 21stcentury with new innumerable victims. “The modern face of evil, hidden sometimes behind a mask of good intentions, is as ugly as that of Nazism. The ideas of superpower and superiority of nations find regular followers and lead to new ills,” the statement says.

“We, the Belarusians, the bearers of the genetic memory of the inhuman suffering of the people who withstood in the Great Patriotic War, say to everybody: “Let the mournful ringing of Khatyn's bells warns everyone against the repetition of this terrible tragedy. Let their brassy crying reach the corners of the Earth where it has been forgotten that life is a gift from above and the peace is the greatest value. We must always remember this,” said the President.

Tags: Speeches
© 2018, The Press Service of the President of the Republic of Belarus