Academician Akmal Saidov on Victory Park in the capital of Uzbekistan
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The article “Initiator and architect of Victory Park” by Akmal Saidov, the First Deputy Speaker of the Legislative Chamber of the Oliy Majlis, Deputy Chairman of the Inter-Parliamentary Union, Academician of the Academy of Sciences of Uzbekistan was published in the issue of the parliamentary newspaper “Pravda Vostoka”, the full text of which publishes “Dunyo” IA.
Throughout the 76 years since the Second World War people who have seen the atrocities of the same war and stood up against death and danger of fascism with bravery and resoluteness want to pass on to following generation one simple but wise message. This message showered in prayers sounds like this: “Everything can be endured, just so that there is no war! We have seen the war, and we ask God that you do not see it”.
You can still hear them say, “Even though you have a sword hanging over your head, tell the truth. Never separate, for the stray from the herd is eaten by the wolf. When you’re together, no one can beat you. Strength is in unity. Why did we win the war? Because all the nations were united, sharing among themselves the food that was so scarce. And today we need to protect this peaceful life as the apple of our eye. Never be afraid of difficulties, boldly overcome them. That’s when you will benefit others, start to respect yourself. And this is the most important thing”.
Victory Park – the indicator of the New Uzbekistan
The Victory Park memorial complex, built in Tashkent on the initiative of President Shavkat Mirziyoyev, has become the epitome of Uzbek philosophical thought and, one can say, a vivid practical result of a genuine people’s policy. This creative approach is also an important feature of the dynamic reforms in the New Uzbekistan.
First, the heroism of our people, shown on the bloody battlefields of the Second World War and behind the front line, is so great that it is impossible to imagine a Great Victory won in this war against fascism without Uzbekistan and the Uzbek people.
Second, the construction of the unique Victory Park is based on the noble ideas of capturing in the annals of history the incomparable courage and perseverance of the people of Uzbekistan on the battlefields and in the rear, as well as educating the younger generation in the spirit of love and devotion to the Motherland. It is admirable that the President was the initiator, author and main creator of the idea and philosophy of Victory Park to achieve such a majestic and noble goal.
Third, the Head of state noted: “The grandiose memorial complex, built in honor of the 75th anniversary of the Great Victory, is truly unique in its architectural design, spiritual content and historical significance. Its creation was another vivid confirmation of the deep respect and admiration of all our compatriots for the courage and heroism of our people”.
Comparison of perspective that my experience of having visited such parks in over 20 countries allows me to appreciate the individuality and singularity of the park and its unparalleled uniqueness. The Victory Park of New Uzbekistan is absolutely different from the huge memorial complexes of many other countries - Russia, Belarus, Ukraine, Austria, Poland, the United States, Israel.
Fourth, the most important difference between the Victory Park in Tashkent and the memorial complexes of foreign countries is that none of them reproduces on a large scale the true picture that fairly and impartially reflects the courage and steadfastness of the peoples in the rear and on the battlefields of the Second World War.
This is the memory of hundreds of thousands of our compatriots who died in the Second World War, a manifestation of the highest national value and the priority direction of state policy in Uzbekistan - a tribute to the ancestors who returned alive from the fields of fierce battles, those who survived hardships, but never lost their humanity, even in difficult days.
A few words about the Victory Park’s creation process
The people of Uzbekistan undoubtedly made a huge contribution to ensuring the Great Victory in the Second World War. But there was no complete complex that would demonstrate the full scope and glory of this incomparable courage. For the first time on May 9, 2019, the President took the initiative to build a huge park and showed consistency in this regard in order to perpetuate the heroism of our people.
First, as the head of state noted: “And, of course, a Museum of Glory will be built in the park on the basis of the developed modern architectural project. In the formation of this magnificent memorial complex, including the museum’s exposition, we will rely on the suggestions and recommendations of our respected veterans, historical scientists, creative intellectuals and the general public”.
Second, the main idea of the Victory Park concept is reflected in the words of President Shavkat Mirziyoyev: “All of us, first of all our youth should never forget the courage and steadfastness of our brave ancestors, the entire multinational people of Uzbekistan, who valiantly fought against the scourge of fascism”.
Third, the concept of the Victory Park was approved by the decree of the Head of state “On the worthy celebration of the 75th Anniversary of the Victory in World War II” of October 23, 2019.
Fourth, when preparing the artistic and architectural concept of the Victory Park Memorial complex, the provisions of the resolutions of the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan on measures for the preparation and holding of events on the occasion of the Day of Memory and Honors of 2017-2019, as well as the ideas and thoughts reflected in the speeches at the solemn events, were taken into account.
Practical suggestions and recommendations from leading museums and cultural institutions, relevant ministries and organizations, and the general scientific and creative community were also used in the development of the concept. In addition, the experience of a number of foreign countries was studied, in particular, such parks and squares, monuments, and memorial complexes created by them.
When implementing the Victory Park concept, special attention is paid to:
to ensure that the Victory Park in its essence serves to perpetuate the courage and perseverance, the high humane qualities of our people, clearly manifested during the war, as well as to consolidate the names of our heroes-great-grandfathers, valiant traditions and values of our people;
demonstrating how precious and sacred the memory of a person is in our country;
to reflect the true historical memory through impressive artistic and monumental techniques, innovative solutions, so that they serve to educate the younger generation in the spirit of love and devotion to the Motherland.
The Head of State again and again considered and returned to the projects. And now the plan of the park is completed-from complex compositions to the smallest details of the complex. In other words, a unique architectural ensemble has been created, vividly reflecting the images of those turbulent years. Then, 14.7 hectares of land were allocated in the Almazar district of Tashkent and large-scale construction and improvement works were carried out in a short time.
It was not easy to complete the construction of this huge historical complex, especially in the conditions of quarantine imposed due to the coronavirus pandemic. But despite all the difficulties, skilled builders and architects, engineers, specialists in various fields, artists and sculptors, our wonderful young people worked tirelessly day and night, knowing that this task is a good deed.
Hereby, the opening of the Victory Park took place in Tashkent as part of the celebration of May 9, 2020 - the Day of Memory and Honors - and the 75th anniversary of the Victory in World War II. Today is the first anniversary of the complex.
Victory Park - a unique memorial complex
The visual features of the memorial are reflective of the traditions of the participant and represent the experience of participant nations in the war and the creation of the memorial. The Victory Park is the only historical and artistic monument of its kind in the world in terms of its scale, philosophical approach and architectural solution.
Every memorial object and device in the park, museum exhibits call on the people, especially young people, to always remember the terrible and tragic consequences of the war. In this sense the park serves multiple functions that include functions of educational institution that warns of up-and-coming generations of terrible consequences of the war and a timely reminder to appreciate peace and peaceful life at hand, value hard-gained liberty, and be ready to defend the motherland just like our ancestors.
In Victory Park, residents and guests of the capital will be able to honor the memory of the victims. At the same time, there are all the opportunities for meaningful recreation of visitors, holding mass cultural events, creative meetings, literary evenings. The territory of the park zone is made to a specific plan, which allows local residents and foreign tourists to enjoy walking in the fresh air.
It is noteworthy that along with such a magnificent and creative work, significant results have been achieved in a deeper study of the huge contribution of the people of Uzbekistan to the Great Victory. Based on the recommendations of the President, large-scale scientific research and serious analytical research were carried out in a short time.
Based on new historical data and carefully designed projects, monuments have been erected in the Victory Park:
• “Eternal feat”;
• “Ode to Resilience”;
• “Grief and sorrow”;
• “Hand of Mercy”;
• Museum of Glory.
Primary feature of the park is that every exposition was made with tireless efforts of people behind the war line, bravery of men and women on the front line, and hard work of every citizen to contribute to the war effort.
In this regard, it should be noted that each monument in the Victory Park memorial complex has its own unique philosophical, historical, artistic and architectural solution.
“Ode to Resilience” - monument to all mothers of Uzbekistan
First of all, with rightly due note of appreciation to the idea and initiative of the head of state, who infinitely loves his people, deeply understands their history and aspirations, in the very center of Victory Park today stands the majestic monument “Ode to Resilience”, dedicated to the Mother Country, to all the mothers of Uzbekistan. When creating the monument, it is not based on abstract artistic images, but on real historical events.
Zulfiya Zakirova, who lived in the Zangiata district of the Tashkent region, lost five sons in the Second World War - Isokjon, Akhmadjon, Mahamadjon, Vakhobjon, Yusufjon. Four of her daughters-in-law were widowed, and five of her grandchildren were orphaned. Following in the footsteps of Zulfiya Zakirova, her daughters-in-law also remained loyal to their family and never remarried.
According to the honored worker of culture of the Republic of Uzbekistan, writer Alinazar Egamnazarov, there are only three families in the world, in each of which five children fought in World War II and not one returned. One each in Belarus and the United States, and the third - the family of Zulfiya Zakirova, from the village of Khanabad, Zangiata district, Tashkent region.
On the Day of Remembrance and Honor in 2019, the head of state proposed to erect a majestic monument in honor of Zulfiya Zakirova, her heroic sons and daughters-in-law and call it “Ode to Resilience” The general public strongly supported this initiative.
The monument “Ode to Resilience” is a symbol of immeasurable love and patience, loyalty and steadfastness of an Uzbek woman. As the head of state emphasized: “This is a monument to all mothers in Uzbekistan. The memorial will become a place of pilgrimage for all our people. Having visited this place, young people will understand what values are in our nation’s blood and will strive to live appreciating them”.
Monument “Eternal Feat” - the triumph of historical justice
Before talking about the majestic monument “Eternal Feat” located in the upper part of the Museum of Glory, we considered it necessary to note one more quality of its initiator and creator - the President of our country: generosity and extensive knowledge.
Everyone remembers that in our country the name of the great Hero of World War II Sabir Rakhimov was unfairly forgotten: they stopped showing a film dedicated to his memory, the name was removed from the names of the district and the metro station, even his monument was liquidated. Of course, this is a manifestation of disrespect and injustice to the memory of our compatriot.
President Shavkat Mirziyoyev has corrected this unfortunate mistake of the recent past. Historical justice triumphed and the name of Sabir Rakhimov returned to our country.
The monument to Major General Sabir Rakhimov occupies the central place of the “Eternal Feat” monument. Around it, in different positions, there are 14 monuments of fighters-heroes. The monument is created in the shape of a circle, so the images of the heroes are visible from all sides.
The panorama of Victory Park is clearly visible from the upper platform of the Museum of Glory. On the winding circular road of the summit, where the monument is located, marble boards are installed. The names of 301 heroes of the Soviet Union from Uzbekistan and other worthy sons and daughters, awarded with military orders and medals, are engraved on them.
The Eternal Feat Monument in the image of heroic military leaders such as Sabir Rakhimov and other brave warriors of Uzbekistan reveals the true essence of the Victory Park philosophy. Visiting this magnificent complex, we bow our heads to the exploits of our fathers and grandfathers.
The installation “Grief and sorrow”" is a symbol of grief, kindness and vigilance
The installation “Grief and sorrow” is another manifestation of the architectural and philosophical solution of the initiative of the head of our state. If you look closely, it is created in the shape of an eye.
Hundreds of tombstones are erected in memory of people of different nationalities and faiths - Muslims, Christians, Jews who died during the Second World War, the number of dead soldiers by year is carved: from 1941 to 1945. This means that war does not choose religion, nationality, so all of humanity must fight together against any evil.
This area of the park displays pre-war period photos where people are seen showered in serence tranquility filled with endless love of life, dreams and aspirations. And the water surface on the approach to the monument means the lake of sorrowful tears.
State Museum of Glory-celebration of courage, perseverance and patriotism
It should be noted that the total area of the State Museum of Glory is 3800 square meters. The most modern multimedia technologies and innovative equipment are used in its creation. The exhibits of the museum tell about the generosity, steadfastness of the Uzbek People, about their contribution to the Victory in the Second World War.
The five sections - spacious halls-contain extensive information about the feats of the Uzbek people performed on the battlefields and the steadfastness shown in the rear. This area displays the achievements in the fields of science and art of those people who had to be evacuated to Uzbekistan due to ongoing war across the western border of the time. One can find information on results of scientific research carried out at the time, innovation in healthcare, renowned works of art, biographies of local scientists, writers, and artists.
No one will be left indifferent to the historical scenes of the Victory celebration: tears of joy, Victory Parade, meetings of soldiers with flowers and songs. In addition, the Museum of Glory has works by writers and poets, artists and sculptors dedicated to the theme of war.
It contains exhibits that tell about the ongoing work to perpetuate the worthy contribution of our people to the Great Victory over fascism. Each historical exhibit of the museum is a witness of the iron will of the people of Uzbekistan, a firm belief in Victory.
According to the director of the Museum of Glory, Lieutenant Colonel Mukhtorjon Shokov, since the opening of the Victory Park complex, that is, during the year, the museum has been visited by more than 180 thousand people. Among them, in addition to the population of the capital, are tourists from the Republic of Karakalpakstan, regions, and guests from foreign countries.
In comparison to regular number of 30-40 thousand visits per year fors such a park, figures mentioned above take a significant shade, especially considering the fact those numbers were recorded during the pandemic. This goes a long way to highlight the importance of this park to the citizens of Uzbekistan and global community. Attention is also drawn to the fact that the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Uzbekistan recently awarded the Museum of Glory the status of a museum of the highest category.
The Halls of the Museum of Fame are enriched with important historical artifacts. On the second floor, separate exhibitions of the Ministries of Defense, Emergencies, the State Security Service, the National Guard, and the State Customs Committee are organized dedicated to the period of World War II.
The most modern architectural monument
Victory Park is considered the most modern architectural monument for a reason. We have described just a few of the main monuments of this magnificent complex. In fact, there are a lot of such beautiful, unique and impressive structures.
In particular, on both sides of the main road leading to Victory Park, there are 10 bas-reliefs. They are like a kind of book that tells about the courage and resilience of the Uzbek people in 1941-1945. Each of its pages eloquently describes different events.
One of the bas-reliefs depicts different types of bread from seven regions of Uzbekistan. According to the tradition of our people, seeing off their sons to military service, they were given a bite of a cake so that they would return safe and sound. The image of such cakes on the walls and the numbers (the number of soldiers killed) remind of our non-returning compatriots ...
The territory of “war” consists of symbolic trenches, trenches, military equipment, terrible battle scenes have been recreated. Tanks, special anti-tank metal devices, flying and shot down planes personify the image of war. Everyone who passes through the parts of the trench left under three tanks will feel how terrible the war is.
Another of the exciting monuments of the complex is the "Concentration Camp" installation. It tells about the tragic fate of 101 Uzbek soldiers who bravely fought in the battles near Smolensk in 1942, captured and thrown into the Amersfoort concentration camp (Holland).
At the entrance to the Museum of Glory, there are various bas-reliefs depicting scenes of the Second World War on the walls on both sides. Notable bas-reliefs include “Seeing Off”, “War”, “Behind the Lines” display parents, seeing off their children to the war, challenges of contributing the war effort behind the front lines and the enormous contribution of Uzbekistan to the Victory. Their total length is 44 meters.
The “Meeting” bas-relief is 10.5 meters long and is located on the right side of the corridor. Depicts joyful mothers, women and children on Victory Day, happy moments of meeting fathers, husbands and sons.
The “Hand of Mercy” monument is a symbolic expression of generosity and humanity, qualities inherent in the Uzbek people. They are depicted with the number 200,000 and the images of three babies in an open palm.
During the difficult years of the war, thousands of Uzbek women responded to the call to provide maternal care to the evacuated children, giving shelter to hundreds of thousands of children. Thus, Uzbekistan has become a second homeland for many.
The multi-figure composition “Victory” is erected on the site on the right side of the Museum of Glory. It is established in honor of a very important event - the day of the end of the Second World War and the long-awaited Victory over fascism. The heroes of the monument are five soldiers who celebrate the victory with joy and pride. One of the fighters holds a weapon in his hand, the other-a flag fluttering in the wind. Another soldier is cheerfully tossed up by his fellow soldiers. All this means that the Motherland is in safe hands and no enemy can defeat a country that has such glorious sons who can protect it.
The composition-fountain “Order of Victory” is considered a particularly picturesque place in the complex. As you know, in the turning point of 1943, there was a need for the establishment of a military order of the highest degree to reward the military commanders who showed themselves on the battlefields. Thus, by the decree of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR of November 8, 1943, the Order of Victory of the highest degree was established. If you look at Victory Park from a bird’s eye view, you can see a fountain in the shape of this order.
Victory Park: national, regional and international significance Victory Park, created in Tashkent on the initiative of the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan, has:
national significance, expressed in the restoration and perpetuation of worthy names of heroes-ancestors. This is an artistic education of the younger generation in the spirit of patriotism, which also calls for never forgetting the consequences of war;
regional significance lies in the fact that certain fragments of the common history of the Central Asian countries have been restored in the Victory Park. These historical scenes serve as a reminder of the great contribution of the Uzbeks and other fraternal peoples in the former USSR to the Victory over fascism in World War II;
international significance is expressed by the high recognition of the international community of the humane policy of Uzbekistan aimed at expanding and strengthening cooperation and friendship between the peoples of the world. And the creation of the Victory Park in Tashkent has become an inseparable continuation of activities in this direction.
Currently, the citizens of Uzbekistan are in the process of developing a New Uzbekistan under the guidance of our leader. Future we want to build which can happen only a new worldview and endless transformation demands every citizen to show highest level of commitment to the ideologies of democratic society, active citizenship, creative activity. For as the President said: “Our most important task remains to preserve peace, to develop cooperation with the international community, first of all with neighboring countries”.
May 6, 2021