Opening of new building of Great Patriotic War Museum
Attempts to adjust history to match specific political goals and attempts to steal the Great Victory are inadmissible. Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko made the statement at the opening of the new premises of the Belarusian State Museum of Great Patriotic War History on 2 July. President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin also attended the event.
The heads of state got acquainted with the expositions of the museum. The Presidents were told about the history of its creation and the main milestones of the war, including about the heroism of the defenders of the Brest fortress, the partisan movement, the tragedy of Khatyn and the suffering of the prisoners of the death camps. The museum's collection covers the time period from 1920 through 1950. The new exposition focuses on Belarus' history during World War Two and the Great Patriotic War, the contribution of the Belarusian nation to the Great Victory and to the fight against Nazism in Belarusian lands and far abroad.
Aleksandr Lukashenko underlined that Belarus has always been against attempts to distort the truth about the war and became the first country in the world to create a Great Patriotic War Museum.
“Our people sincerely loathe transparent lies about the war. They loathe various wannabe historians, who make traitors look like heroes and make conquerors look like liberators. We loathe those, who are as lost to shame as to adjust the history to match specific political goals and steal the Great Victory from our nation. We have rebuffed and will decisively rebuff such pillagers in defense of the most important historical legacy,” the Belarusian leader stressed.
The President reminded that the Belarusian people paid a very dear price for the victory. Despite that the Belarusians remained an unconquered people. "Belarus was among the first to take the main strike of the Nazis. Fearless defenders of the Brest fortress and Mogilev, heroes of the Minsk underground and Belarusian partisans: they all understood that the truth was on their side and bravely fought against the enemy. Belarus became the land of partisan fighting. Already in 1943 (well before the opening of the second front) almost 60% of Belarus' territory was controlled by partisans,” the head of state said.
“Only thanks to the unity of the multinational Soviet people, who rose up to defend the common fatherland as one, we managed to destroy the powerful foe that had been unstoppable until then. Instead of simply driving away the aggressor we freed the entire mankind from the threat of enslavement by the Nazi,” Aleksandr Lukashenko noted. “It was the defeat of the Nazi troops on the Eastern Front that determined the outcome of World War Two and the entire world order afterwards.”
“One would assume that Western nations should appreciate the contribution of our nations to the Great Victory, however, instead of gratitude we get high-handed dictate and sanctions. And, unfortunately, it is also true!” the Belarusian leader noted.
Aleksandr Lukashenko reminded about the thorny and difficult way of the army from Brest to Moscow and then from Moscow to Berlin, about sorrow and losses, particularly during retreat. “But still there was no cynical nationwide treason and calculated shameful cowardice like in a number of European countries that had surrendered to the fascists without fighting,” the head of state stressed.
Aleksandr Lukashenko thanked the veterans for the great feat and also thanked those who helped create the museum. “We will do everything we can so that new generations would never forget about the true heroes of the Great Patriotic War,” the Belarusian leader assured.
The Presidents of Belarus and Russia wrote in the book of distinguished guests of the museum.
Later the leaders of the two countries held a bilateral meeting.
Aleksandr Lukashenko said that the visit of Vladimir Putin to Belarus for these holidays is symbolic. "It symbolizes our unity. It says that we were together and we will always be,” the Belarusian President said.
“As I said once when I was criticized by some people: do not worry. If need arises, we will stand shoulder to shoulder and will defend ourselves, we will fight back together as we once did,” the President of Belarus said.
Aleksandr Lukashenko thanked Vladimir Putin for the visit and for the assistance and support provided to the country and to the economy. "We do not forget about this. I think that both Russia and Belarus are gradually overcoming the consequences of the global crisis. We will stand up on our feet and I am sure we will be even stronger economically," the Belarusian leader said.
For his part, the Russian President congratulated the Belarusian head of state and all Belarusian people on the 70th anniversary of Belarus' liberation from the Nazi invaders.
The Presidents also laid wreaths at the Victory Monument in Minsk.