Does Kurapaty need a memorial? Public discussion in Belarus

Does Kurapaty need a memorial? Public discussion in Belarus

Kurapaty should become a national memorial, said participants of the debate, which was held on the initiative of the newspaper SB - Belarus Today.

Taking part in the discussion were journalists, historians and scientists.

This small place near Minsk gained tragic fame. Kurapaty is a place of mass executions, which were carried out in the late 1930s.

The first excavations began here in 1988. But the exact number of victims has not been established until now.

Alexander Kovalenya, Academician-Secretary of the Department of Humanities and Arts National Academy of Sciences:
This is the greatest tragedy of those years. Repressions were aimed in large part against the governing bodies and also against the national intelligentsia. Extensive damage was done to our culture and science.

A national memorial should appear in Kurapaty as a symbol of the shared memory and grief.

Viktor Shadursky, Dean of the Faculty of International Relations of the Belarusian State University, doctor of historical sciences:
Of course, we need a national monument, built by the state and some additional voluntary contributions. It must be very talented, humanly universal. We do not need to focus on some religious denominations here. We can sometimes move away from traditional forms, given that the memorial is already being visited by foreign guests.

We need to perpetuate this memory.

Khatyn is a place of memory, of sorrow. And Kurapaty can be exactly the same place.

The place is holy, I think. The memorial must be present there.

From time to time, hype is raised around this historical site.

Attempts are made to speculate about events of those days and the fact that there are a lot of white spots in this story. The round table participants think it's time to dot the “i”’s in this story.

Pavel Yakubovich, editor in chief of SB - Belarus Today newspaper:
Current Belarusian leadership or public security organs have nothing to do with the outrages and tragedies of those years. There must be a place in the country where everyone could remember this grief of the entire people. Instead of shouting, protesting and setting individual crosses for yourself.