To citizens of the Republic of Belarus and the Belarusians of the world
18.12.2007 | 21:23 |

Appeal

Dear compatriots,

Untimely death is a grief and an irreparable loss for not only one's family but for all human community. Yet by time of the bloody brigandage of the bolshevist ChK, GPU, NKVD, MDB there was hardly a family and kinsfolk having not lost a father, a mother, a son, a brother, a sister, adults or grown-ups who had been rooted out by black carrion-crows. And those who survived stayed scared forever. This was such bereavement! The anguish for them hasnt stopped, hasnt exhausted by people until now.

Dates of sorrow and compassion

This year the Belarusian society is to commemorate a sad 70th anniversary. Exactly in 1937 the bloody deluge of the Stalinist repressions reached its peak. Unbidden guests rushed into the urban flats and rural houses. The whole families were taken out to the Siberia and the North, were shot in numerous Kuropatys. The best of all were announced to be the enemies of the people and fell into the hands of the bolsheviks hangmen. Kuzma Chorny, a classic of the Belarusian literature, was impaled. The popular writer Yanka Kupala was driven to the state that trying to prevent coercion he made an attempt of suicide. After horrible tortures and violence the statesman and writer Tsishka Hartny (Zhylunovich) died in Mahileu mental hospital. Violence used against people and their extermination by the chekists had a systematic character. During the only period of the 1920 1950s penal servitude the GULAG swallowed more than 600 thousand Belarusian natives and if considering the other categories of the those officially repressed this number goes above 1.5 million people. It is difficult to imagine that the population of a large European city equal to contemporary Minsk being the most capable for the creative activity and labour had fallen into the clutches and hell of the GULAG! There were enough evidences that the repressions were a real genocide of the Belarusians.

From the very formation of the BSSR and up to 1953 in Belarus there was exterminated the entire conscious, cultural, educated national intelligentsia. If it were not these losses, today we would have been living in quite a different country. Negative attitude of the authorities towards the national values unfortunately had become a tendency and is retained until now.

The society should not fail to pay attention to the dates of black and tragic events. Therefore on November 20, 2006 in Minsk there had been established a public Organizing Committee on a legal basis having a purpose to revive a rite to commemorate the numerous victims thus showing the correlation with the century-old traditions and customs of the Belarusian people to keep the memory of glorious ancestors, prominent figures, saint and sinful, martyrs, that were gathered to their fathers before time.

Yet the 29th of October 1937 is a particular hard and tragic day in the Belarusian history. During the only one night in Minsk the Stalinist mercenaries killed 100 outstanding figures of the creative and scientific intelligentsia, including the people's commissars of education Alyaxander Varonchanka and Alayaxander Charnushevich, people's commissar of finance Ivan Kudzelka, the heads of the Belarusian State University Anany Dziakau, Yazep Karaneusky, Alyaxei Kuchynsky, dean Yauhen Uspensky, professor Stsyapan Marhelau, directors of the Belarusian pedagogical technical school Mikhail Radzeusky, Ihnat Afanasieu together with the teachers, the second secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Belarus Mikola Arabei, a number of high officials of the CC, Council of the people's commissars, Central executive committee, other bodies, 22 writers and public figures: Mikhas Charot, Yanka Nemansky, Platon Halavach, Ales Dudar, Mikhas Zaretsky, Vasil Kaval, Yuly Taubin, Valery Marakou, Vasil Stasheusky, Zyama Pivavarau, Izya Kharyk, Todar Klyashtorny, Anatol Volny, Yurka Lyavonny, famous at that time journalists Victar Voinau, Paval Shastakou Many of the prisoners have been tortured so cruelly that they were dead on their feet that they have being dragged to the execution. And the wives, children and near relatives of those shot were immediately thrown to the concentration camps.

The intellectual elite of our national community extermination on October 29 was executed in the region cities as well, those being Vitsebsk, Gomel, Mahileu. This was one more hard blow to the Belarusian intelligentsia, spiritual culture, language, a cruel display of the peoples and nations genocide.

Memorial Year

We suggest 2007 to be considered as the Memorial Year of the unjustified repressions against the Belarusian people. Our common concern should be to give back a good name to every tortured, killed, attainted Belarusian citizen.

At the same time we think it possible to support the work of the Polish Memorial perpetuating the memory of the innocently killed, and that of the Russian colleagues from the Memorial of Ekaterinburg, Karelia (Russia) Following the example of the Syktyvkar martyrology (Russia) we suggest to visit the mortal remains burial places of those fallen as the martyrs of the Stalinist repressions on the 29th day of every month beginning from 5 p. m. Pronouncing the prayerful words to commemorate their passing away lets following the forefathers habit light the memorial candles. Besides that we are certain to come to their graves on the Radaunitsa and the Dzyady.

We expect the Memorial Year to be supported by city and rural authorities, all the martyrs execution and burial places to be discovered, brought to order, marked with the crosses and memorial tokens followed by the unknown names being possibly revealed and the information about them being handed over to the local museums, historic and cultural establishments.

We propose the National Academy of Sciences of Belarus, Belarusian state university, other scientific and educational institutions of the country address to the tragic events of the Belarusian Rebirth, mention the Inbelkult and violence against more than 100 scientists on the edge of the 1920 1930s, against the prominent national figures among them being Usevalad Ihnatousky, Vatslau Lastousky, Uladzimir Picheta, Yazep Lyosik, Stsapan Nekrashevich, Arkadz Smolich, brothers Maxim and Hauryla Haretskys. The scholars are to make their contribution to the Memorial Year.

The memory calls for justice and perpetuation of the heritage of the Belarusian scientists, educators, cultural figures subjected to repressions with not only words but deeds also, that being a continuation of their suddenly interrupted cause. Today all the higher and secondary technical educative institutions are made Russian-language and the Belarusian parents making a majority have to send their children to Russian schools for the only reason that Belarusian-language education and profession is practically impossible. Therefore the Organizing Committee declares its resolute support of the NGO F. Skaryna Society of the Belarusian language application to the government, President Administration and the President to open in Minsk the multiple-discipline Belarusian university.

We suggest that all parties and public associations together with the authorities if they will or if not, then without them take upon themselves the initiative of the particular events devoted to the Memorial Year development and realization.

We call upon the professional creative unions to join this humane social initiative the more so since the prominent figures of national culture repressed by the blood-thirsty regime were standing at their beginnings.

We call upon the countrys youth organizations members to fulfill their duty. They all independently of their occupation and ideological line should liven up their activity related to the rebirth and commemoration of the communo-bolshevist martyrs.

We address the same appeal also to the pupils, students organizations, to young pathfinders, investigators, as well as to the teachers, historians, students of local lore.

We believe that the priests of all confessions practically abolished during the Soviet period will work out and realize in the Memorial Year the programme of the church services, liturgies, prayers for the innocent victims of the mass repressions, minding the example of the Orthodox patriarch Tikhon who condemned the bolshevist criminals saying the following: Stop, madmen, stop your carnages. As what you are doing is the Satanic affair indeed and you are to be subject to the blazing inferno With power given us by God I anathematize you!

Addressing different generations of the Belarusian people and the Belarusians living abroad the Organizing Committee calls upon to collect the archive materials, books of reminiscences, manuscripts, snapshots, letters, documents, private belongings of the former prisoners of the communist regime. All these things can be used by the subject databank medium creation, as well as by the memorial museum in Minsk organizing.

For the Memorial Day

We appeal to the legislative and executive powers of the country, to the leader of the country with a petition to make the 29th of October the Memorial Day of the Stalinist repression victims and commemorate it annually in proper way.

We propose the leader of the country Alyaxander Lukashenka to issue a decree to the executive bodies to put the black ribbons to the state flags and low them on that day.

We suggest that the community of the country supported by the indifferent local authorities throughout the cities, towns and villages would hold the mourning and solemn meetings, requiem concerts, exhibitions, other events dated for the Memorial Day with the local amateur groups and professional cultural workers, poets, musicians participating.

We call upon the honest people of the country on that Memorial Day to organize on a legal basis the mourning meetings, processions, to visit the execution and burial places of the mass repressions victims, light the candles, lay the flowers on their graves and decorate them with the red, black and white ribbons.

To emphasize the peculiarity of the moment the people of the Republic of Belarus and the Belarusians abroad on that mourning Memorial Day are to wear the ribbons of the mentioned colours.

The believers of the country are urged to order the requiem masses at the Orthodox and Catholic churches, prayer houses, mosques for to pray for the tortured compatriots souls.

We call upon the competent authorities the Committee of the State Security (KGB), Ministry of Internal Affairs and the Office of Public Prosecutor to revise the cases of the not yet rehabilitated victims of the terror, including the former prisoners of war, and the people being employed on the temporary occupied territory in 1941 1944, foreign citizens, make public the names of those killed in the Kuropaty, to publish the lists of the Polish army officers shot in 1940.

We suggest that the state authorities would consider the issue of the possible reparations to the heirs of the repressed citizens of Belarus and Russia being the USSR assignee.

 

We expect that all the governmental bodies and public organizations of the country, all the people of the Republic of Belarus and the Belarusians abroad will manifest their solidarity, mutual respect and spend this Memorial Year and Day in an amicable way with hearty feelings and dignity.

 

On behalf of the Organizing Committee on the Stalinist repression victims commemoration

 

Co-chairmen:

Radzim Haretsky, geologist, academician

Ihar Kuznyatsou, historian

Vasil Yakavenka, writer

 

Please, send the materials and documents denoted by the Appeal and the information on the actions and events related to the Memorial Year to the address of the working group to Koval Iryna: 220064, Minsk-64, postbox 128. Contact telephones: 8-029-613 60 87, 8-029-505 6385.

E-mail: office@dyjaryush. org. by

Secretariat: 8-029-634 50 78, 8-029-276 37 06.

Minsk

February 11, 2007