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Belgorod, Russia: Visiting the Battle of Kursk Museum

US and Russian hip hoppers outside the WWII Museum in Belgorod, Russia” width=”625″ height=”353″ /> US and Russian hip hoppers outside the WWII Museum in Belgorod, Russia

From February 16-23rd I was part of a USA hip hop delegation (‘Under the Curtain’) to Russia due to my role as a faculty advisor to the Trinity Chapter of Temple of Hip and the annual Trinity International Hip Hop Festival. Sponsored by the United States Embassy in Moscow, I accompanied Trinity undergraduate student Cam Clarke (Philosophy and Human Rights), three Hartford-based hip hop artists, and one hip hop organizer from World Hip Hop Market. We visited Moscow, Belgorod and Togliatti. Although our days were mostly filled with travel, lectures, and workshops, we did get the chance to tour each city and learn about their respective local histories.

n Belgorod, our Russia NGO organizers scheduled a visit to the city’s famous World War II memorial museum, which celebrates war that unfolded in Kursk, a small village located on the outskirts of Belgorod. This epic tank battle between the Soviet Union and Germany occurred between July and August of 1943 and the museum sets to highlight the heroism of men and women who sacrificed their lives and demonstrated acts of heroism.
he museum opened in 1987 to much national fanfare and features weapons, awards, personal items, and photographs in an effort to humanize the experiences of the foot soldiers of the war. There was the story of the American citizen of German descent who returned to the USSR to join the Red Army. Another story was relayed about women’s role win the war and how it went far beyond serving the role of nurses and medics.
The tour of the museum culminated in the 1,00 square meter diorama of the “Prohorovsky Battle”, the largest one in the world. The detailed painting was truly a sight to behold.

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