Memorial Complex "Khatyn"

Memorial Complex "Khatyn"


village Khatyn

The Memorial Complex Khatyn is a memorial to the hundreds of Belarusian villages destroyed by the Nazis during World War II and the huge contribution of the Belarusian people, which suffered innumerable sacrifices in the name of victory. The authors of the monument is a team of architects: U. Gradov, B. Zankovich, L. Levin and sculptor S. Selikhanov. The whole country helped with constrгction. Granite was brought from the quarries of Ukraine, the white marble from Russia. The grand opening of the Memorial Complex "Khatyn" took place on July 5, 1969.

The area of the complex is about 50 hectares. In the center of the memorial's composition is the six-meter bronze sculpture "Undefeated Man" with a dead child in his arms. Near the sculpture there are granite slabs which symbolize the roof of the barn, where the villagers were burned. There is a Wreath of Memory on the mass grave of white marble. The mandate from the dead to alive is written there:

"Good people, remember: we loved life and our homeland and all of you. We were burned alive in the fire. We have a wish: let the grief and the sorrow  turn into courage and strength, so that you could establish peace and quiet on this land. So that never in a whirlwind of fire soul would die! "

On the reverse side of the Wreath of Memory there is the answer to the dead:

"Dear, we bow our heads in great sorrow standing before you. You have not obeyed the Nazi murderers in that black days. You accepted the death but the flame of your love for your Homeland will never fade. The memory of you is immortal as eternal the earth and the sun over it! ".

A former street of the village lined with gray, ash-coloured concrete slabs. On the places where the houses once stood 26 symbolic concrete log cabins and 26 obelisks resembling burned chimneys. In front of each burned house there is an open gate as a symbol of the hospitality of the villagers. On chimneys there are bronze plates with the names of those who was born and lived here. A sad ringing bell is on top of each obelisk. The bells ring simultaneously every 30 seconds.

The complex includes the Cemetery of Villages, there are 185 graves, each of them represents one of the Belarusian villages burnt with its population. The grave of each village represents a symbolic site of fire, a pedestal with flame in the center  - a symbol of the fact that the village was burned. The village's soil is kept in the funeral urn. The name of the village and the name of the district is written on the grave.

Another element of the memorial complex is symbolic trees of life, the names of 433 Belarusian villages that were destroyed by the Nazis but were reestablished after the war are listed in alphabetical order on the branches.

The monument "Memory Wall" includes the memorial plates with the names of more than 260 death camps and places of mass extermination of people on the territory of Belarus. Eternal Flame burns on the territory of the memorial. On the square memorial pedestal three birches grow in three corners. Eternal Flame is in the fourth corner - in memory of every fourth perished citizen of Belarus.

The Memorial Сomplex "Khatyn" is included in the state list of historical and cultural heritage.

Khatyn tragedy occurred on March 22, 1943. In the morning in 6 km from Khatyn guerrillas had fired the Nazis convoy and during attack German officer was killed. Angry fascists rushed into the village and surrounded it. The whole population - the elderly, women and children were taken from their houses into the shed. The only adult witness of the Khatyn tragedy, 56-year-old village smith Joseph Kaminsky, burnt and wounded regained consciousness late at night when the Nazis were already gone. He had to go through yet another tragedy: he founded his wounded son among the corpses of fellow villagers. The boy was fatally shot in the belly, received severe burns. He died in the arms of his father. This tragic moment of Joseph Kaminsky life is reflected in the only one sculpture of the memorial complex "Khatyn" - "Undefeated Man".

State Memorial Complex "Khatyn" is open for visitors around the clock. Documentary and photo exhibition is open from 10.00 to 16.30. Day off - Monday.

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