Letters from foreign officials on occasion of 75th anniversary of Khatyn tragedy
Numerous letters from prominent foreign public figures, politicians, political parties, public organizations, Belarusian Diaspora associations, ordinary citizens have been sent to Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko and the Belarusian nation on the occasion of the 75th anniversary of the Khatyn tragedy.
So far, the letters have come from Russia, Poland, Hungary, Germany, the United States, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Bulgaria, Georgia, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and other countries.
In his letter to Aleksandr Lukashenko, State Secretary of the Belarus-Russia Union State Grigory Rapota noted that Russians and millions of people on the planet share the grief and memory with the Belarusian people. “The terrible destiny of Khatyn is the eternal evidence that there is nothing more devastating than war and armed conflicts. I am convinced that anyone who has ever visited the Khatyn memorial will never forget. Hundreds of burned villages, the people who died in them, dead silence and mournful sounds of bells will remain in their hearts forever,” he said.
CSTO Secretary General Yuri Khachaturov said that the horrific crimes against humanity in Khatyn became a symbol of the brutality of the war, the suffering of the Belarusian nation who incurred huge losses in the fight against Nazism, liberating Europe from the Brown Plague. We will continue to defend the Great Victory, resolutely oppose any attempts to glorify Nazism, fight against the manifestations of neo-Nazism and falsification of history by progressively developing the collective security system in the CSTO region, which guarantees the peace for our citizens, a brighter future for our children and grandchildren,” Yuri Khachaturov said in his letter.
According to Chairman of the Federal National Cultural Autonomy of Belarusians in Russia Sergei Kandybovich, Khatyn is not just one of the Belarusian villages burned down by the Nazis. It is a dark symbol of the greatest crime on Earth, which is a mass killing of civilians. It is a warning to the future that the aggressive human nature has not been overcome.
In his letter to the president, Professor Edgar Weiler, the head of the Germany-Belarus friendship society, recalled his visit to the Khatyn Memorial. In his words, the memorial reminds him about all the numerous victims Belarus suffered during the Second World War. “The positive experience which can be shared today is that Belarus and Germany have become friends and have learned from the lessons of the past. I am glad that after 75 years of the tragedy our nations have found answers to many questions and have been successfully developing their political, public, economic, sports, and cultural cooperation,” the professor said.
Chairman of the Hungarian Workers’ Party Gyula Thurmer stressed in his address to the Belarusian head of state: “On this day we bow low before the heroism and victims of the Belarusian people. We will never forget about them.” In his words, the Khatyn tragedy should serve as an eternal reminder so that the world should never fall victim to the evil ideas again.
The tragedies in Khatyn, Lidice (Czechia), Oradour-sur-Glane (France), and Distomo (Greece) will always remind us about the horrors of Nazism, noted Vojtech Filip, Chairman of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Bohemia and Moravia. “We pay tribute to all those who sacrificed their lives for the sake of our freedom,” he said.
American scientist and essay writer, professor at Radford University Grigory Ioffe welcomed Belarus’ efforts to keep memory of the Khatyn tragedy and the WW2, in general. “As a person who is engaged in the comprehensive research on Belarus, being of the Belarusian-Jewish roots, I cannot think easily about what happened in Khatyn 75 years ago,” the scientist said. “I express solidarity with the Belarusian nation, with the government’s efforts to raise the international awareness and to fight ethnic intolerance. I hope that these efforts will help prevent the tragic events of those years from happening again and will keep the memory of the victims in people’s hearts,” Grigory Ioffe stated.
The great number of villages that were burnt down and lives lost underscore the heroism of the Belarusians and their determination to achieve peace and freedom by all means, Robert Madej, head of the group of friendship with Belarus’ National Assembly at the National Council of Slovakia, noted in a letter addressed to the Belarus President. “We highly respect the sacrifices that your nation made in such a hard time for humanity,” he underlined.