17 June 2021, Thursday, 20:13
Sim Sim, Charter 97!

'If Person Is Committed To Good And Justice, Fate Will Reward Them With Valuable Treasure'

'If Person Is Committed To Good And Justice, Fate Will Reward Them With Valuable Treasure'

Writer Natalka Babina sent her sincere letter to 75 political prisoners in Brest.

Famous Belarusian writer Natalka Babina sent her sincere letter with three personal stories to 75 political prisoners in Brest, nn.by reports.

"Since I am afraid that the letters will not be handed over to them, I am making this letter open," she writes.

- Dear ...!

My name is Natalka Babina, I am a writer. And I come from the village of Zakazanka, which is located 17 km from Brest (maybe you know such a village?) Recently, with a pain in my heart, I walked past the place where you are now, and decided to write to you.

In one of my novels, called The Fish City, written in 2007, the action takes place in Brest, and part of the action is happening directly in the pre-trial detention center where you are now. The main character of the novel, Alka Babyliova, gets there and spends some time there. What is the novel about? By and large, about the fact that the good always wins, about the struggle between humanity and meanness, about solidarity and friendship. In my novel, it is precisely being behind bars that helps the main character find a valuable treasure, a treasure left by her ancestors, and she gets help in this also from the staff of the remand prison and its boss, who treat her not only in accordance with the law, but also humanely. The way people should treat each other, if they are humans.

Now, when many good people are behind bars, various facts from the history of prisons in Brest involuntarily come to mind.

So, you probably know that the prison in the building where you are now was there back in the times under Poland. My grandmother, Pelaheya Karnalyuk, said that the prisoners then had the opportunity to lean out of the windows, and communicate with passers-by. They often asked for something to eat. My grandmother often came to Brest from Zakazanka to sell sorrel or cottage cheese. There were no bridges then, but there was a ferry opposite the prison. My grandmother's family did not live well, and for lunch she could only afford a piece of bread. So, she took with her a piece of bread to dine, and certainly one more piece: when she passed from the ferry to the market, which was then located where the market is now behind the TSUM store, she gave this piece to the inmates.

Another such case was told to me by our fellow countryman from the village of Krytyshyn, Ivanava district, Uladzimir Leanyuk. In 1950 he was in school, in the tenth grade. He was arrested for handwriting leaflets. For three days he was held in Pinsk, was not fed, and then he was transported to Brest, to a prison, where now the pre-trial detention center is. So, Uladzimir said that when he was put there, the warden brought him dinner. Seeing how the hungry young man quickly ate everything, he sighed and added a portion to him, and added more until he was full ... While the boy was in prison, his family was exiled from Krytyshyn to Kazakhstan. Therefore, only an elderly woman, a "hireling" visited him - that is, she was hired to work in their family. She came, brought some simple food that she could bring - bread, potatoes, sometimes one or two eggs or a small piece of bacon - stroked the teenager on the head and said to him: "Dear kid, hold on, don't give up". Uladzimir passed all the challenges, went free, and became a famous public figure.

Interesting incidents from prison life were described by the honorary citizen of Brest Vasil Laskovich in his book From the Tribe of the Unconquered. In the 30s, as a twenty-year-old guy, he also happened to be in jail. He writes, for example, about a warden called Horsehead. This Horsehead was a cruel man.

And the prisoners agreed among themselves: if the Horsehead or other guards began to beat someone, the person shouted with all his might: "Don't beat! Don't beat!" and everyone who heard it immediately joined this cry. Soon the whole prison was screaming, and the scream was heard outside. These facts got into the press of different countries, and in this way the prisoners managed to achieve that the beatings in the prison stopped. Later Vasil became a lawyer, held high posts in Brest and, as I already wrote, received the title of an honorary citizen of the city of Brest.

Recently, I spoke with the mother of a guy who is now also behind bars. And she mentioned something that struck me. The guy wrote from prison: "Mom, I used to think: why am I here? And now I think: for what purpose am I here?" What a deep thought! Sooner or later we all think about the question: for what purpose are we here in this world? Sooner or later, we all have to answer this question at the trial - whether earthly or heavenly, which is also called the Last Judgment. The moment of truth comes for everyone - for the prisoner, and for the warden, and for the boss, and for the subordinate.

I believe that if a person is committed to goodness and justice, then they will go through all the trials with dignity, and fate will reward them with a valuable treasure, as the heroine of my novel has been rewarded. I wrote my novel in Belarusian, and later it was translated into Russian, Ukrainian, Polish, and English. It was published in different countries, and had great success. Today, people in many countries read news about those who are in jail in Belarus. I know that many people have written to you, I don’t know if you have received all these letters. But in any case, I think you will be able to read or hear all these warm words when you are released.

With great respect to you, with wishes of fortitude, optimism and quick release, sincerely yours, embrace

Natalka Babina

P.S. I am enclosing an envelope in the letter, I will be glad if you answer me. If you or your family need help, please write about it, I will try to help.