Younger generations should remember the lessons of the Great Patriotic War, Gomel Mayor Piotr Kirichenko stressed as he took part in an event to mark the 76th anniversary of the liberation of Gomel from the Nazi invaders, BelTA has learned.
Taking part in the event at the Eternal Flame were senior officials of the city of Gomel and Gomel Oblast, war and labor veterans, members of the underground and partisan movement, military units, representatives of companies and public associations, and the youth.
“We are moving further from the times of the Great Patriotic War, but we should remember its lessons, learn from the older generation to take care of our country,” Piotr Kirichenko said. Terror and violence were reigning in Gomel during the occupation, he recalled. “The current generations of Gomel residents have a hard time imagining what a curfew or a Jewish ghetto is. According to the most conservative estimates, around 150,000 people fell victim to the Nazi regime in Gomel. Think of it: it would take us 3.5 months to commemorate each victim with a minute of silence,” he stressed. Piotr Kirichenko thanked the veterans for freedom and peace. He also thanked people who helped rebuild the city.
Aleksei Pimonov, a participant of the Great Patriotic War and a scout of a partisan brigade, pointed out that the city that was almost completely destroyed during the war has transformed and become very beautiful. He encouraged the youth to protect their Motherland and the peace.
Participants of the event laid flowers and wreaths at the Tomb of the Fallen Defenders of the city and honored their memory with a minute of silence. The event included a military parade featuring military units of the Gomel garrison and female cadets.
The events marking the 76th anniversary of the liberation of Gomel from the Nazi invades are taking place all over Gomel Oblast. The program of the events includes meetings, reenactments, exhibitions, lessons, memory watches, meetings with veterans, patriotic campaigns, and other activities.
Belarus' liberation from the Nazi invaders started in autumn 1943. On 23 September, Komarin (Gomel Oblast) became the first district capital to be liberated in the Belarusian territory. By the end of September, the occupants were driven from Khotimsk, Klimovichi, Kostyukovichi, Mstislavl, and Krichev. On 26 November, the forces of the 1st Belorussian Front under the command of General Konstantin Rokossovsky took control of Gomel.