A number of memorial events took place in Minsk on October 29, 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.
The Night Of Executed Poets started at 20.00 in Kurapaty, a Stalin-era mass execution site. The participants were reading poems by the Belarusian authors killed by Stalinists.
“For several centuries, our national spirit have been destroyed in the most barbaric way, especially in Stalin’s time – they were killing prominent Belarusians: writers, scientists, rural intelligentsia. Black yawning holes were to have swallowed us. But against all odds, we have our own country, our own language. We are alive! But each of us should take on part of the work of the executed. The time will come, and we will follow the trail of Stalin’s crimes and put monuments there.
Kurapaty is a symbol of our memory. Today we need these backbones to live through these grave times when materiality and fear defeated spirit,” Belarusian writer and Nobel Prize holder Svetlana Alexievich addressed them in a letter.