European Humanities University (Vilnius/Litauen)
E-Mail: iryna.m.ramanava [at] gmail.com
Updating the Historical Agenda: Actualization of poignant places of memory during the protests in Belarus 2020
The events of 2020s in Belarus surprisingly updated the historical agenda, in fact, two narratives collided: the official one (“pro-Soviet” with the cult of the Great Patriotic War) and the opposing one, which was formed outside the state structures and institutions. This struggle found it spatial embodiment in the important places of memory for each of these narratives: the Museum of the Great Patriotic War for the former, and Kurapaty, the place of mass shootings and burials of victims of Stalinism, for the latter.
The Holocaust became one more memory place that was actualized during the events of 2020 was. Worth to say that this topic has been absent in historical politics before. Now it is the state propaganda who is using the Holocaust to discredit the protest movement. The protest movement’s white-red-white flag was declared as the flag of collaborators with Nazis during World War II. The propaganda emphasizes it in every possible way that the extermination of the Jews took place in Belarus under this flag. That is, the pro-government discourse raised the question about the involvement of Belarusians in the extermination of Jews. Historians and independent experts gave a rather restrained answer to this. So the main discussions are still ahead.