Fabijan Šantyr: “The national revival will never die”

Kanstancin Kasiak. Originally published in Belarusian by Budzma

The Spanish radio network Cadena SER recently published hitherto unknown documents from the archives of the Granada police headquarters relating to the circumstances of the arrest and execution in 1936 of the playwright and poet Federico García Lorca. These documents are the first official admission of the Franco regime’s culpability in the poet’s death. Despite the fact that many prominent Falangists, among them the founder of the movement himself – José Antonio Primo de Rivera, respected his work, Lorca was shot for his leftwing views and support of the republican government. The place of his burial is still unknown.

Fabijan ŠantyrIn the 1930s many Belarusian writers shared a fate similar to Lorca’s. The only difference is that they were shot not by conservative Falangists, but by red Bolsheviks who killed not only their “class enemies”, but their leftwing supporters as well. Spaniards often regard Federico García Lorca as a symbol of Franco’s terror; for Belarusians there is a man who could equally well symbolize the Bolsheviks’ reign of terror – Fabijan Šantyr, one of their first victims in Belarus. Lorca’s life has been well researched and only the newly revealed circumstances of his death can cause any kind of sensation now. Šantyr, however, is still virtually unknown to his compatriots. The poet himself is a sensation.

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