According to the deputy head of the investigative team for the investigation of the criminal case on the genocide of the Belarusian people, Sergei Shikunets, now three investigators from the Office of the Prosecutor General of the republic are working in the State Archive of Russia. During the two years of the investigation, many significant amendments were made to the history of the Great Patriotic War. The research team identified more than 1,300 previously unknown rural settlements that suffered during the Nazi occupation at the hands of the punishers.
“Of these, at least 30 are towns and villages that shared the tragic fate of Khatyn,” says Sergei Shikunets. “That is, at least 216 of those towns were completely destroyed and could not be revived.”
In total, at least 10.5 thousand villages were affected on the territory of the republic. And this figure will grow, say the researchers. “The variety of documents we are working with is enormous. The results of the investigation indicate that the scale of the tragedy is much larger than previously thought. For example, before the initiation of a criminal case, as of April 2021, it was believed that 490 places of forced detention of the population. To date, it has been verified that there are more than 580. We have also established more than a hundred places of mass destruction and burial of civilians”, said the official of the Office of the Attorney General of the Nation. Belarus emphasizes.
In the most massive places of alleged crimes, search activities have been organized, the so-called excavations. “This year there will be 36 places of alleged civilian burials,” Shikunets added.
Belarus has developed a system for transferring new knowledge to society. In the areas where research is carried out, museums have been organized where researchers transfer the results of their findings. They are available to schoolchildren who wish to learn about their country’s past. “New textbooks for grades 9-11 are also being prepared for publication, which will include new data on the true scale of the genocide and the role of the 118th Ukrainian battalion, which set fire to Khatyn,” the researcher concluded.
If in Belarus the cases are combined into a single case about the genocide of the Belarusian people, then in Russia investigators turn to the courts of the specific region where the fact of genocide was recorded. And more than a dozen decisions have already been made on the recognition of this crime, commented on the state of affairs in our country, the director of the Historical Memory Foundation, member of the Surveillance Council of the Union State Historians Association. Alexander Dyukov. The Foundation actively cooperates with Belarusian historians, and thanks to this, a large-scale project “No statute of limitations” was implemented: 6 volumes were published, each of which is devoted to the crimes of the Nazis in a particular region. from Belarus. . In addition to documents, German and Soviet, there you can see lists of destroyed villages, punitive operations, places of detention.
“In Russia, information about Nazi crimes in school textbooks is still not sufficiently presented,” Alexander Dyukov highlighted the most important problem. “Some of them do not mention the Khatyn village, a symbol of Nazi crimes in the occupied territories. There is no such problem in Belarusian textbooks.”
March 22 unites two tragic dates: in 1933 the first Dachau concentration camp was founded and in 1943 the Nazis burned down the Belarusian town of Khatyn. Currently, in Russia and Belarus, the criminal actions of the German occupiers have received a legal assessment: the genocide of the Soviet people during the Great Patriotic War has been recognized in court.