The Kabylyatskaya mountain near Vorsha is the second place in Belarus, recognized as a place of Stalinist terror. Just like in many other forests, innocent people were killed here.
Ivan Hil was one of the victims executed here. His relatives thought that he died of appendicitis in 1942. It was only during the perestroika that they learned that the man was shot by the NKVD in 1937.
“He was put in charge of a working brigade in this village. Someone from the region came and said: you need to stack the hay. As an experienced man, he said it was too early for that, as the hay had not dried up yet. But they did as the man in charge told them,” the granddaughter of Ivan, Larysa Areshyna, said.
The hay, of course, rotted. And all the blame was not on the city head, but on the brigadier Ivan Hil. He was executed, and his brothers were sent to build the White Sea Canal.
Back in the early 90’s it was the local school that tended Kabylyatskaya mountain. Today, this sacred duty lies with activists.
“Today, only public activists and relatives of those shot are doing this. They put up the tablets with the names of the dead, they put up crosses,” said activist Ihar Kazmerchak.
The place itself was discovered back in 1982, when the remains of the tortured were found during the construction of the branch railway. Currently, the master plan provides for the construction of a road through the sacred place. The attitude of the authorities is shocking.
“They once wrote a letter to us in response to our request that they do not have any proof that people were shot here. Last year, we managed to achieve through correspondence the agreement that if roads are built here, they will be investigated by archaeologists,” said activist Ihar Kazmerchak.
However, Ihar Kazmerchak added, there are six such places in the vicinity of Vorsha. At the last roundtable, local activists decided to organize a club of relatives of the deceased and launch an information campaign to disseminate information on repression in the Vorsha district.
Vitaut Siuchyk; photo – Volha Vitsebskaya