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| Home | News | Photo | Day of National Memory of the Victims of the Great Patriotic War in Belarus

Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko

Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko
22 Jun 2020

The feat of soldiers of the Brest Fortress was the first step of the Soviet people on the way to Victory, Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko said as he spoke at an event held in Brest Fortress on 22 June to mark the Day of National Memory of the Victims of the Great Patriotic War.

According to the head of state, today Belarus and other countries remember the tragic date of the beginning of the Great Patriotic War, its first victims and first heroes.

Speaking about the beginning of the war, the president stressed that civilians of the borderline and Soviet soldiers met the morning of 22 June, 1941 under the rattle of shells and the whistling of bullets, but they behaved boldly and selflessly, and therefore went down in history as true patriots who stood to die for their native land.

Aleksandr Lukashenko noted that the Nazis planned to spend no more than eight hours to seize the Brest Fortress, but its garrison held the line for about a month. “It is longer than the enslaved countries have opposed Hitler until now,” said the Belarusian leader. “In the battle to take the citadel, the enemy lost three times more soldiers and officers than for the entire Polish campaign. The German command had to give the order to stop the assault by the evening of 22 June. This was the first retreat of the army absolutely invincible until that day.

According to the president, Belarus will always remember the heroism of those who defended the Brest Fortress. “They embody the strength of spirit of people who did not submit. When the last defenders of the fortress were dying but not surrender,ing the enemy was psychologically defeated. It was the first step of the Soviet people on the way to the greatest Victory of the new time,” he stressed.

According to Aleksandr Lukashenko, the Brest Fortress had become an insurmountable obstacle for the fascists, who never reached Moscow in six weeks, as planned. “That day the invaders repeated an unexplored historical lesson: the people living on these lands will give their lives but will not become slaves. It is very consonant with our time. More than thirty nationalities fought here. They all fulfilled their sacred duty. They defended their Motherland, although they were born thousands of kilometers away from Brest,” the head of state said.

He stressed that the feat of the Brest garrison became a symbol of the indestructibility of brotherly peoples and the common heritage of the former Soviet republics. “Unfortunately, not all citizens of these now independent states see themselves as heirs to that heroic history. It is a great pity. The descendants of traitors have their own truth and their own victory, which they intend to win today primarily on the ideological front. The losers and the defeated need revenge. Their initiatives have already become part of the state policy of individual countries. I am deeply convinced however that the people's memory will win in our days as well,” he said.

In his words, 9 May confirms this fact every year. “We see that even in the countries where Victory Day is forbidden, people carry flowers to the monuments of Soviet soldiers and continue celebrating this holiday. The memory of the heroes who saved many countries from slavery and genocide is the basis of national pride of all those who consider themselves heirs to the victors, the Victory,” the president stressed.

Aleksandr Lukashenko stressed the importance of preserving the memory of the events of the war so that such events would not be repeated in history. “As soon as we forget it, we will again plunge into chaos, rift, destabilize the country, we will create a new war. That is why we came here early today, so that what was here would never happen again. This is not just an ordinary ritual. It is a memory so that we and our children would never have to face such problems,” he said.

Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko
Brest Fortress. Courage monument
Brest Fortress
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Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko
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