September 17. National Unity Day


Why this holiday is so important for the country

We celebrate the new state holiday established by the Decree of the President of the Republic of Belarus on September 17. This is a direct reference to the historical milestone of the unification of the Belarusian lands in 1939. The modern context is no less significant: in order to defend the right to continue to develop as an independent state in a complex and contradictory modern world, society must be united.

We need to value our history, traditions and the national foundation that has been strengthened for centuries in the people's struggle for unity and state independence.


September 17, 1939 is the beginning of the reunification of Western Belarus and the BSSR. This day was rightfully called an act of historical justice in relation to our people, divided against their will in 1921 under the terms of the Riga Treaty, when part of the Belarusian lands with a population of about 4 million people with a few strokes went into the possession of Poland. In those difficult geopolitical conditions, Belarus could not defend its own interests. In fact, Belarusians have become a "divided" family, resulting in  torn fates, relationships, and lands. According to the agreement, the Polish side had to ensure the sovereignty of the annexed Belarusian lands. However, it turned out differently - the policy of Polonization and national-cultural oppression began to be actively pursued. Any attempt at national self-determination of Belarusians led to repression. In response to this policy, an underground and partisan struggle unfolded, with young people playing an important role in it. In the context of the outbreak of World War II, the Red Army crossed the Soviet-Polish border on September 17, 1939 and took the population of Western Belarus under its protection. By September 25, 1939, the Red Army completely scoured the invaders from Western Belarus. The People's Assembly of Western Belarus took place on October 28-30, 1939. It adopted the Declaration of the Establishment of Soviet Power throughout the territory of Western Belarus. On November 2, 1939, the Extraordinary Session of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR and on November 14, the Extraordinary Session of the Supreme Soviet of the BSSR adopted laws on the annexation of Western Belarus to the USSR and its annexation to the BSSR. The Great Patriotic War brought a serious impact to these events – we paid for the unity of the Belarusian people with the blood of our ancestors. Therefore, the celebration of the Day of National Unity calls on us to remember with what difficulty our ancestors achieved unity, independence and the right to be called a people, and how they gained respect and recognition in the international arena.

National Unity Day serves not only as a reminder of the historical past, but also serves as a kind of message to the future. The preservation of historical memory is of the utmost importance for the present and the future. The answers to many modern questions can be found in history. Especially today, when we see attempts to disorient society, impose artificial stereotypes, and disrupt the unity of our people. To resist this, there must be mutual understanding and agreement between people. Modern youth and students are faced with an important and responsible task - to preserve and increase the achievements that have become the foundation for sovereign Belarus. The appearance of the national holiday of National Unity Day symbolizes the continuity of generations and acts as a kind of starting point for new good deeds and useful achievements, for moving forward.

Our strength lies in the unity of the country and the people!