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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,...

23 March 2016
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Belarus 110 Years Later

In 1905 his grandmother Ida left the village of Novy Svierzhan, about 60 km (46 miles) to the southwest of Minsk. At the age of 13 she set out to travel with her family to the United States of...

14 March 2016
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Jewish Belarus

Judaism in Belarus dates back to the 9th century. The Jewish community has made hugely significant contributions to every stratum of life in these lands. But by the end of World War II (the Soviet Union’s ‘Great Patriotic War’),...

21 January 2014
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Honouring Jewish Heritage and Fighting Anti-Semitism in Belarus

Eastern Europe is central to Jewish history, but the region today lacks Jewish heritage sites. Very few landmarks commemorate the millions of Jews exterminated there during WWII, or their role in local culture and society before the Holocaust. A new...

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...

15 July 2013
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Mahiloŭ Region – the Homeland of Lukashenka

On 6 July Aliaksandr Lukashenka visited a celebration in his village of origin Aleksandryja in Mahilioŭ region. There he admitted that he very much looked forward to visiting his native land during his pressing schedule. “I travelled around the...

8 May 2013
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People of the Swamps Fight the Flooding

This April, the region of Paliessie in southern Belarus experienced annual flood caused by major local rivers. The flood was the largest in decades. Yet Paliessie is famous not only for floods that turn towns and villages into islands. The...

2 February 2012
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Belarus of Jews and Muslims

Each year on Holocaust memorial day, Belarus has its own tragedy to recall. In the early 20th century, Jews made up 43 per cent of the population in Minsk and equally high rates were found in provincial centers. Yiddish...