Return it?

A new wave of persecution of the Belarusian opposition has given rise to a new wave of political exile from Belarus. Examples Ales Mikhalevich and Natalia Radina — the latest and most indicative of this wave.

March 25, made a brief speech at the grave of President BNR Basil Zakharkov on Olshansky cemetery in Prague, Ales Mikhalevich optimistically said that emigration is not going to be a politician, and wished all present following the anniversary of the Act of March 25 meeting in Minsk as a public holiday.

Of course, if a person wants to be a real politician and have an impact on the situation of their fellow citizens, then in exile for the sake of the many opportunities there. In this sense, in the homeland — a prison "works" in the policy is not less than his political activity on the loose.

But as the "work" on immigration policy — it is not clear. In the case histories of bright return to the policy of the people who were forced to emigrate (eg, Juan Perón returned to the presidency of Argentina after 18 years in exile), but in our part of the world — it is very rare.

In fact, come to a head just returning to Lithuania Valdas Adamkus and Vaira Vika-Freiberga, Latvia. Still, it was a different situation than the one in which is now was Mikhalevich or 15 years earlier, Zenon Pozniak. Adamkus and Vika-Freiberga fled their country in 1944, when he was 18 years old and she — 7. They have become presidents of their countries do not like immigrants, someone remembered that in the homeland as politicians, but rather as people of the West, to the unity with which sought and Lithuania, and Latvia.

Thomas Hendrik Ilves, who was also the president of Estonia, immigrants, at least in the technical sense, was not. He was born in Stockholm, the son of refugees from Estonia.

Closer to the model of the successful return of emigrants to politics in our part of the world is Polish Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski, who emigrated from the country in 1981 (he was then the only secondary-school students), and returned in 1992.

Political Emigration from Belarus, which was founded Zenon Pozniak and Sergey Navumchyk in 1996 — she hopes that can come back to the country where she had left both supporters and enemies, but remained common memory of the social context in which it was former political battles and clashes between the supporters and opponents.

What if time goes forward, dying old fans and enemies, new born, and slowly but steadily changing the social context? Is it possible to return?

I have the exact answer to this issue I do not know.

But I am reminded in this connection my semiannual life in New York City 20 years ago, when I was collecting material for a book about the Belarusian wave of immigration after the Second World War. Many of the emigrants of that wave was telling me that same anecdote: In the early 1950s in the United States of young Belarusians belief that they would soon return home, it was so strong that they zhenyachysya with American, loyally warned his fiancee that in a few years, they will have to move to Belarus.

I talked with these emigrants almost half a century after, as they left Belarus. They were all living in America, in America, they were not only children and grandchildren, but sometimes great-grandchildren. A context that these emigrants left in Belarus, to anyone other than them — and me, befitting a researcher and author of a book about them — was not fun.

Some of them returned to Belarus in the early 1990s. But — only as a nostalgic tourists.

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