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| Home | News | 70th anniversary of the Great Victory

70th anniversary of the Great Victory

14 Apr 2015

Italy hopes for cooperation with Belarus to preserve the memory of the war

Italy hopes for cooperation with Belarus to preserve the memory of the war

GLUBOKOYE DISTRICT, 14 April (BelTA) - Italy hopes for cooperation with Belarus in the matters of preserving the memory of the war, Enzo Orlanducci, Chairman of the ANRP, the Italian national association of former POWs, military internees, veterans of the liberation war and members of their families, said during a commemorative ceremony in the Borok area near Glubokoye where the Italian soldiers and officers were buried, BelTA has learned.

"In such places you want to be quiet and think. 27,000 people who were buried here gave their lives for our freedom. It is very important for me and I am happy to see that the graves are well maintained. 70 years after the end of the war it is important for us to hear the voice of these places. It speaks of peace. The Belarusian nation, who preserves the memory of the war, certainly has a good future. I want to wish all of us that we never see a war again, no barbed wire and people behind it,” said Enzo Orlanducci. He noted that Italy and Belarus have strong ties which can serve as the basis for all-round cooperation, despite the fact that during the Second World War Italians and Belarusians were not always friends.

During a commemorative ceremony in the Borok area near Glubokoye The Italian guest stressed that in the matters of preserving the memory and giving the names to all victims of the war Italy hopes for a response and close cooperation with Belarus where the memory of the victims is held dear.

At the beginning of the Great Patriotic War the Nazis set up a concentration camp for prisoners of war Stalag No. 351 at the Berezvech monastery near the town of Glubokoye. Hundreds of people died there every day from cold and hunger, from hard work. More than 27,000 Soviet and Italian prisoners of war and civilians died in the concentration camp from September 1941-July 1944. Prisoners of the Berezvech camp were buried in a small area called Borok near Glubokoye. Two monuments-obelisks were installed there in 1946. The memorial complex Borok was opened there in 1964.

During a commemorative ceremony in the Borok area near Glubokoye 650,000 soldiers of the Armed Forces of Italy were captured, rounded up and deported to the territories of the Third Reich in the days immediately following the armistice between Italy and allied armed forces. Initially they were considered prisoners of war, but later they were re-designated as "military internees" by the Germans to deny them the rights granted to prisoners of war by the Third Geneva Convention. Finally, from the autumn of 1944 until the end of the war the Nazis branded them as "civilian workers" to subject them to hard labor without protection of the Red Cross. About 40,000 of them never returned home.

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