Aleksandr Lukashenko partakes in time capsule laying ceremony at Trostenets Memorial
The sacred and moral duty of the living people before those killed and the bounden duty before the coming generations is to prevent the rehabilitation of the Nazis and their associates, Belarusian President Aleksandr Lukashenko said at the ceremony of laying a time capsule at the Trostenets Memorial on 8 June.
“It should seem that the genocide should have been stuck in the memory of the mankind for ever and give lifelong immunity against the Fascism virus. Unfortunately it did not happen. Today the Fascism starts raising its head again. Some political forces try to whitewash the Nazism, use the Nazi emblems, symbols and slogans. They try to rewrite the history of World War II in their vested interests,” the head of state said.
“Certain foreign politicians convince us that it is the right to freedom, the right to liberty and the exercise in democracy. We do not accept such democracy,” the Belarusian leader emphasized.
Aleksandr Lukashenko is convinced that the countries which disregard the lessons of history, which take a relaxed attitude towards the manifestations of racial and ethnic intolerance, propaganda of the ideas of the superiority of one nation over the others are doomed to the repetition of the tragedy, but this time on their land and in their homes.
“We must preserve and pass to our descendants the memory of the victims of the Second World War which atrocities should never repeat. Our sacred motto is No one is Buried in Oblivion, Nothing is Forgotten. That is why we have taken a decision to create this memorial in Trostenets,” the head of state said.
“The memorial should become a site of pan-European significance, revealing the antihuman essence of the Nazi policy against the peaceful population of Europe. It should serve as a tribute to the memory of the generations that came through all the ordeals of the 20th century, a Mecca for people who value humanism and peaceful future,” the President remarked.
Aleksandr Lukashenko underlined that the Trostenets concentration camp was the biggest place of mass killings in the Soviet Union alongside with the Auschwitz, Majdanek and Treblinka extermination camps. The Nazis killed here over 200,000 people of various religious denominations and nationalities, Slavs, Jews, Gypsies, many others. “In 1944 the troops that liberated Belarus from the Nazi invasion saw the ash of still warm furnaces and were stricken by the inhuman crimes committed in Trostenets over the years. On the area of more than 100 hectares the Nazis set up a real death factory. Our partisans and underground fighters, prisoners of war and civilians were tortured and killed behind the barbed wire. Thousands of Jews were herded here from the Minsk ghetto and West-European countries,” the head of state noted.
“Belarus that lost every third resident during the war will never forget these horrible pages of history,” the Belarusian leader stressed.
According to the President, historians and architects developed a large-scale concept of the memorial. State funds will be allocated for the construction project. The international community expressed a wish to make a contribution to the perpetuation of the Nazi victims. “Today, on the eve of the celebration of the 70th anniversary of Belarus’ liberation from the Nazi invasion, we launch the construction of the memorial and lay a time capsule with a message for our future generations,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said.
The time capsule at the site of the memorial says that the memorial should serve as a reminder to the future generations about the tragic events that should never repeat. The memorial will be a symbol of pain and grief for the people of different nationalities and religious denominations, a warning against the revival of psychic ideas of the superiority of one nation over the others.
The head of state addressed the relatives of the Trostenets prisoners that came from all over Belarus as well as from Austria, Germany, Israel, Poland, Czechia, the USA and other countries: “Together with the Belarusian people I share your grief and the loss of your fathers, mothers, brothers and sisters, grandfathers and great-grandfathers.”
The President thanked foreign guests and diplomats who saw it as their moral and human duty to pay tribute to the people killed in Trostenets.
“In these minutes of common grief we mentally address the cherished memory of everyone who fell victim to the Nazi crimes, silent shadows of women, old people and children who invisibly surround us here. And we are solid in saying: “Nevermore!”. This fanatic craziness should never repeat. The ideas of xenophobia, dominance and ethnic intolerance should never triumph,” the Belarusian leader said.
“We will do everything to keep mutual respect, tolerance and concord on the Belarusian land, with the principles of humanity and goodwill prevailing. Cherish peace in your homes and the good in your hearts, only then we will never see such things repeating,” Aleksandr Lukashenko believes.
The ceremony was also attended by President of the World Jewish Congress Ronald Lauder. “Today we have gathered together not only to recall the past and to pay tribute to the victims of the most horrible crime in the history of the mankind, but also to pay attention to the present day and to ask ourselves whether we have learned the lessons of the past,” he said.
Ronald Lauder remarked that Europe witnesses numerous tragic events when people fall victim to extremism which is gaining momentum these days. “The main lesson that all of us must learn today is that it is necessary to fight against any manifestations of racism, anti-Semitism, xenophobia and intolerance,” the President of the World Jewish Congress is convinced.
Partaking in the ceremony of laying a time capsule was also the student of a Minsk school whose great-grandmother and her little son died in the Trostenets extermination camp.
Belarus shows the whole world an example of cherishing genuine values, the President said as he met with veterans after the ceremony.
Aleksandr Lukashenko wished war veterans many years of life and stressed that to a large extent it is they, not monuments, who pass the memory of the war and the postwar years to the young generation. “No matter how much we talk about our victories, grief and misfortune, the human memory is arranged to forget things with time. When the last one of you leaves us, it will be a big problem. I am afraid that memorials will not refill your absence,” the head of state remarked. “You promised me some 5-10 years ago that you will live. This is the main thing. The youth will remember while you, who witnessed the war and saw the postwar period, are alive,” the Belarusian leader emphasized.
Aleksandr Lukashenko said that he does his utmost to initiate the construction of monuments and memorials, including the new building of the GreatPatrioticWarMuseum “for the people who come to this world after us to remember these horrible years.”
The President also talked about the events in Europe where traditional values are sometimes denied and questioned, where centuries-long traditions are destroyed. “Never mind me, I have never been understood in Europe. Some enlightenment, however, happens, as I saw it in Ukraine yesterday. People who live and work in Europe are concerned with what is going on there. I am proud of my people who are a stronghold of these values,” Aleksandr Lukashenko remarked.
“Today they honor us for the fact that we have remained those people who should live on this land and show an example of how to live and build relations with others. We demonstrate the true values to the entire Europe, the whole world and aim to keep these values,” Aleksandr Lukashenko stressed.
According to the head of state, many people value Belarus for this and are even eager to move here. “A huge resettlement is underway, and these are not only refugees but also rich and middle-class people. It is thanks to the peace we have today,” the President said.
“Time will come and we will be rich materially because we are rich spiritually,” the Belarusian leader is convinced.