Belarusian media chiefs pay homage at Khatyn war memorial


The heads of the national media outlets laid flowers at the monument “The Unconquered Man” in the Khatyn Memorial near Minsk on 6 May, BelTA has learned.

The event was attended BelTA's Director General Irina Akulovich, Director – Editor-in-Chief of the Belarus Segodnya Publishing House Dmitry Zhuk, Chairman of the National State Television and Radio Company Ivan Eismont, Director General of the STV TV channel Igor Lutsky, Chairman of the Board of the Second National TV Channel (ONT TV channel) Marat Markov,Director of the National Branch (Office) of the Interstate Television and Radio Company Mir Vladimir Pertsov.

“Punitive operations, destroyed cities, burned villages – we remember all this from the stories of our family members. Our children must also know and remember the events of that time. This would be the best gratitude to the generation of heroes. We lay flowers today in memory of all those who died during the war, who fought for us,” Irina Akulovich said.

The place for the flower ceremony was chosen for a reason: Khatyn is a symbol of the Belarusian tragedy, Dmitry Zhuk said. “On the one hand, it is a dark and heavy place. On the other hand, it is full of light. Khatyn is a symbol of the Belarusian tragedy, a symbol of the time when entire villages were wiped out along with children, women and elderly. The scorched-earth policy cost our people a lot. The memory of those times is sacred. Today it depends only on us whether our children and grandchildren will remember the heroic deed, the tragedy that took place on our land more than 75 years ago,” he said.

Ivan Eismont stressed that the current generation should honor and preserve the memory of the war. “The war veterans are still alive, although there are fewer of them every year. I hope they are happy to see that people still remember their feat. We must honor this memory, because the Great Patriotic War is one of the greatest tragedies of the 20th century,” Ivan Eismont said.

The war has left a scar on the hearts of the Belarusians, Igor Lutsky said. Khatyn is a landmark place for the country. A visit there should be a tradition for every family, he added.

Vladimir Pertsov emphasized the intention of some people to change the history. “I believe that all people who are trying to rewrite the history and downplay the appalling crimes committed during the war should visit the Khatyn Memorial. It may not be the largest village that was burned down during the war. But it has the monuments with names of other populated areas that are gone forever. These names stand not just for some geographical locations – they stand for hundreds and thousands of brutally killed people. Khatyn shows that without the victory in the war, we would not exist as a country and a nation. This is the best lesson for our children and us. It is a vaccine against distorting the history,” he said.

The Nazis destroyed the village of Khatyn together with its residents in the spring of 1943 killing 149 people, including 75 children. The decision to set up a memorial there was made in 1966. The idea was put forward by First Secretary of the Communist Party of BSSR Piotr Masherov. The team of architects that included Yuri Gradov, Valentin Zankovich, Leonid Levin and sculptor Sergei Selikhanov (People's Artist of Belarus) won the contest for the best design of the future memorial. The official ceremony to unveil the Khatyn Memorial took place on 5 July 1969. It is on the list of historical and cultural heritage of Belarus.

Photos by Oksana Manchuk

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