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Holocaust Discourse Raises Controversy in Belarus
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During her speech on 12 June 2016 in New York, Belarusian Nobel laureate in literature Sviatlana Alexievich criticised Poles for actively murdering Jews during World War II. The Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs immediately reacted with a protest note demanding...
22 July 2016
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Searching for Ancestors in Belarus

Louis Mayer, one of the founders of the Hollywood studio Metro-Golden-Mayer and the ‘inventor’ of the Oscar award was born in Minsk. Isaac Asimov, Marc Chagall and Leon Bakst were born and grew up in Belarus. Fifteen Nobel Prize laureates,...

10 May 2016
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Victory Day: Between Remembrance and Militant Memory

9 May 2016 in Minsk started with a procession “Belarus Remembers,” which marched through the heart of the city, carrying pictures of the veterans. Too frail to walk over longer distances, they joined the procession at the Victory Square for...

17 December 2015
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Journal of Belarusian Studies 2015: History of the Belarus-Poland-Lithuania Borderland

The 2015 issue of the Journal of Belarusian Studies released today is almost entirely about history. It focuses on the Belarusian-Polish-Lithuanian borderland and the period stretching from the uprising of 1863 to the inter-war period of the 20th...

3 August 2015
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Monuments Reveal Conflicted National Identity of Belarusians – Belarus Photo Digest

Since 1991, two opposing conceptions of Belarusian national identity have coexisted side by side. One glorifies Belarus’s Soviet past, cultural ties to Russia, and victory in the Second World War (WWII) as the nation's founding moment. Until recently, this...

10 November 2014
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Russia Monopolises WWII Victory at the Expense of Belarusians and Ukrainians

On 25 October, Norway celebrated the anniversary of its liberation by the Soviets from German occupation in 1944. In commemoration of this important day, Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg hosted Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov in Norway. Neither Belarusian nor Ukrainian...

11 September 2014
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An Insider’s Guide to Minsk: Beyond Mainstream Sightseeing

Minsk attracts more and more foreign visitors. Tourism clearly develops. The Ice Hockey World Championship in May of 2014 marked a big mile stone here. It brought numerous first time guests to Minsk. Many guides provide a standard list...

5 September 2013
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Getting to Know Belarus: An American’s Year in Minsk

A country where parachuting teddy bears and clapping in public are illegal? Where one in eight people is employed by the military or the police? Where nobody speaks English at all? Why would anyone want to go there? These...

16 July 2013
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‘Soviet Identity’ and War Myths in Belarus

On 3 July, Belarus’ national holiday commemorating “Freedom and Independence,” President Aliaksandr Lukashenka informed war veterans that Belarusian independence was achieved by the “generation of victors” who sacrificed their lives to free the country from foreign occupation.Of...

11 April 2013
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Belarusian Historians Struggle to Find Their Place

On 10 April, in an interview for Radio Svaboda Belarusian historian and a former lecturer at the European Humanities University Aleś Smalianchuk stated that Belarus did not have its own historical policy. His interview followed several politically-motivated dismissals...