A memorial rally “Day of Genocide Remembrance”, authorized by the city authorities took place in Kutrapaty. It was dedicated to the anniversary of the discovery of the truth about mass shootings in the area during the Stalin times. Thirty years ago the newspaper “Litaratura i Mastatstva” (Literature and Art) published an article by Zyanon Paznyak and Yauhen Shmyhaliou called “Kurapaty — the Road of Death” with a terrible truth about what really happened there.
At about 14:00, there was over a hundred people at the rally.
For several days there has been a protest against the opening of a restaurant “Let’s go and eat” near Kurapaty. Activists first asked the authorities to interfere with the situation, and then decided to act independently. They are trying to block the arrival of cars with products on the territory of the restaurant.
“There will not be a business here, even if we are imprisoned,” Pavel Sevyarynets said.
“Kurapaty was the second tectonic shift in the society after the Charnobyl disaster,” says philologist and city activist Lyavon Barshcheuski.
“It was a genocide. People were killed because of their nationality. They killed the Belarusians. We must remember this. After all, it [the genocide — Belsat.eu] has not been stopped — our language and culture are being destroyed,” said Siarhey Papkou, the vice-chair of the BPF.
The organizers of the rally included a record of Zyanon Paznyak’s appeal. The head of the BPF called the restaurant, which is planned for opening next to the Kurapaty, “a brothel-type institution.” The chairman of the party also expressed the opinion that the restaurant will be insured, and then set on fire,”transferring the blame for arson to nationalists”.
“Our leadership is indifferent and still lives in Soviet times, that’s why this restaurant is being built here,” says an elderly woman who came to Kurapaty to lay flowers on the symbolic grave of her relatives repressed in the Stalin’s times.
Pavel Belavus from the ‘symbal.by’ recalled that in 2018 they are marking the 30th anniversary of the founding of the BPF party, as well as the collection of donations for the construction of the sidewalk in Kurapaty – “Paving Blocks of Memory”.
More information on the opening of Kurapaty can be found in one of the series of the documentary cycle “Witnesses”. In the second half of the program, presenter Vyachaslau Rakitsky talks with Anatol Vyartsinsky, then editor-in-chief of the newspaper “Litaratura i Mastatstva” (Literature and Art).
According to various estimates, NKVD punishers killed from 30,000 to 250,000 people in Kurapaty from 1937 to 1941.
Photos – Iryna Arakhouskaya