As you may know, The 9th of May is one of the most important holidays in post-soviet countries. On this day in 1945 ended the Great Patriotic War and World War II. The memory of these wars was immortalized by a variety of monuments, especially in places of fierce hostilities.

I want to tell you not about such majestic memorials as Khatyn or Victory Monument …

… but about one small and no less important local monument.

Brief history

An anti-partisan operation “Cottbus” was proceeded in May – June 1943 in the areas of Begoml, Lepel and Ushachy. During the operation, a number of partisan squads were surrounded by Germany troops in marshland near Postrezhe village in the middle of the Berezinsky reserve.

Photo by

On the 19th June, the siege was breached and nowadays here in the place of breakthrough is a stately monument.

In the late 1970th the village Postrezhe was resettled due to the prohibition of agricultural activities in the protected area of the Berezinsky reserve.

The tradition of 9th May

Every year, on the Victory day local administration organizes a visit to this memorial to lay wreaths. They gather a group of schoolchildren, invite former residents of Postrezhe village and go to the heart of the reserve to honor the memory of partisans.

The path lies along the old forest road that once connected villages Postrezhe and Kraytsy.

When the group arrives the students clean up the territory of the monument and lay flowers and wreaths. The old-timers tell interesting stories about partisans life and fighting. By tradition, they drink 100gramm of vodka to honor of died fathers and grandfathers.

It is worth noting that the monument of an old partisan is kind of unique one. Usually, the main sculpture of the memorial used to be a neat soldier in a raincoat tent and a helmet. But here you can see a formidable elderly man with a thick beard keeping a captured rifle. The real partisan.

This is the only day of a year when in this godforsaken place in the middle of forests and swamps gathers such a big group of people.

Then the group moves to the ex Postrezhe village. Here the bus makes a stop and former locals can walk on the locality where they lived 40-45 years ago.

Now it’s hard to find the exact place where was a particular house and yard placed. Almost everything overgrown with trees. Only two small pieces of ground are still sown by oat for wild animals.

Only apple trees and garden raspberry give out the fact that there was a village. At late summer and autumn, bears are often guests here. Scientific workers had built here two small observation huts. These huts and an alone well are the only man-made things there.

The ex-locals gather around this well to remember their youth and tell what’s new. Suddenly, out of nowhere appear treats and cups of vodka 🙂

It’s magic to see how almost native people meet in their native place after many years of separation. They sing songs and tell funny stories, hug and cry and so on.

This is a wonderful day for this unique place when space fills with human voices and laughing.

Don’t forget to share this post and subscribe to my mailing list!

Berezinsky reserve

Discover direction

berezinsky reserve