GOMEL, 14 January (BelTA) – A memorial to villages and their residents burned during the Great Patriotic War will be unveiled at the site of the burned village of Ola in Svetlogorsk District in 2020, in the run-up to the 75th anniversary of the Victory in the war, BelTA learned from the Gomel Oblast administration.
The village of Ola was burned down during a Nazi punitive operation on 14 January 76 years ago. A total of 1,758 people from local villages, including 950 children, were burned alive that day, almost twelve times as many as in the village of Khatyn that stands as a symbol of countless victims, sufferings and courage of Belarusian people during the Great Patriotic War. Ola has never been rebuilt and has remained a mass grave in the thick of the forest.
The same fate befell 1,126 villages in Gomel Oblast. An initiative was put forward to commemorate the victims with a large-scale memorial complex at the site of the former village of Ola. The design of the memorial has already been created. The Gomel Oblast administration is currently looking for sources of financing. It is mulling over opening a bank account for donations, so that everyone willing could contribute to the project. The Gomel television and radio company with support of the Svetlogorsk District administration is working on a video about the history of Ola.
An event of the nationwide patriotic campaign To the Glory of the Shared Victory will take place at the site of the formed village of Ola on 14 January. A capsule with soil from all mass graves in the district will be handed over during a commemorative meeting. Taking part in the event will be school students, representatives of enterprises, local authorities, public associations, veteran organizations, and the Federation of Trade Unions.
All in all, there are 17 war mass graves in Svetlogorsk District. The sites and memorials are kept in order thanks to efforts of local enterprises, organizations, and schools.
Another event of the campaign will take place at the Mound Of Glory memorial complex in the city of Mozyr.
Capsules with information about the victims and soil from all districts and regions of Belarus will then be placed into the crypt of the All Saints Church in Minsk.