Terror night for Belarusian culture: Victims remembrance still unofficial

Today, October 29, is the unofficial day of remembrance of the Soviet repression in Belarus.

On the night of 29-30 October 1937, Stalin’s secret police (NKVD) killed more than 130 representatives of Belarusian national elite in the present-day KGB prison. Belarusian poets, writers, scientists were killed one by one. Ten years ago, historians appealed to the leadership of Belarus to make it the day of remembrance of victims of political repressions, but the then KGB chairman turned the appeal down.

There is still no access to the archives containing information about repressions in Belarus. The Soviet authorities could have executed even about 350,000 persons in 1920-1950-ies in the territory of Belarus.

“According to my information, shootings were carried out in more than 38 settlements, there are over 110 execution sites, three of them are located in Minsk,” historian Ihar Kuznyatsou told Belsat.

In addition to Kurapaty, Loshytsa Yar and Chelyuskinites Park in Minsk, we know about execution sites at Chernihiv highway near Homiel and Khaisy near Vitsebsk. The sad past of Kabylyaki (Orsha district) got out even earlier – in 1982. And an official commission recognized that it was a Stalin-era mass execution site.

“During the construction of a railway line, the grave of 50 people was found. There were characteristic holes in the skulls,” historian Ihar Stankevich said.

Several commemoration meetings are to take place today in the Belarusian capital. The Press Club will hold the briefing ‘The Problem of Honouring Memory of Soviet Victims of Repressions in Belarus’. The solidarity movement Together invites you to take part in the Memory Path event. As part of it, the activists are expected to attend Western Cemetery, where a monument to Leanid Marakou, a well-known repressions historian, will be opened.

And those who have free time only in the evening, may show up at a rally near the KGB building at 19.00 or join The Night Of Executed Poets in Kurapaty at 20.00. The participants will be reading poems by the Belarusian authors killed by Stalinists.

On October 28, an authorized event took place in Minsk. About 200 persons gathered at the Luch factory and marched to Kurapaty, a Stalin-era mass execution site.


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