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Archpriest Feodor Povny about Kurapaty memorial

This week we went to Kurapaty near Minsk together with father Fyodor Povny, rector of All Saints parish of Minsk, to reflect on the possible memorial.

When you're at this site, you want to talk quiter. Is it really the effect of this place, it is really a manifestation of some internal memory?

Archpriest Feodor Povnyi, senior priest of All Saints parish:
This is a tragic place. Undoubtedly, burial places are worthy of memory and respect. Respect for human misery obliges us to pay attention to this place. It must be tidied up so that anyone can come here and bow to the dead and pray and reflect on life. It would be well if this area of ​​Minsk is architecturally more beautiful.

I think young people, again, of completely different views, could show themselves here. The Belarusian concept of the word talaka means you take rakes, brooms and clean something together. And now it is just the right time for it.

Archpriest Feodor Povny:
That's right. Begin with small things. Historians do not yet have the official version. And it seems that we must first define the status of the territory at the national and community level. By the way, then different groups, who are against today's authorities, will cease to use this place for their purposes. They speculate on this place.

When the concept of this place is determined, then it will acquire its full sense. And here it should be very clearly understood that if we build a memorial on this shaky ground, it can turn into a big provocation.

I am afraid that we will not know 100% truth about what happened here. You know, there is such a thing, in criminology, like statute of limitations. It's been a very long time since these events happened.

Archpriest Feodor Povny:
The theme of memory of repression victims is in fact true. But it is very thin. Since we live on the preservation of the heritage of the Soviet era. In the end, our Minsk city center, which may be added to the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites. That is, there are some great achievements of that era. And we should always see the other side, its background. It's not to excuse murders; the thing is that these are two parallel processes that are historically indivisible.

Consequently, erecting a memorial to the victims of repressions, we need to have a museum of the achievements of the Soviet era. Only then can we perceive this epoch in its integrity and objectivity.

In your opinion, how can this memorial look like?

Archpriest Feodor Povny:
We should ask people and architects.

And they are already making suggestions.

Archpriest Feodor Povny:
But it should not be a memory imposed from the outside. Because we will still be able to read it ambiguously. Only after we correctly build this chain all the pros and cons, can we create a true national monument, and maybe even a memorial complex.

Archpriest Feodor Povny about Kurapaty memorial