Khatyn was a village located 50 km away from Minsk. Nowadays, on this place, it is a memorial that is dedicated to people who died during the Great Patriotic War. This place has huge importance for Belarusians. I will tell you a sad history of the village Khatyn, where almost the whole population was massacred by a battalion that was formed by the Nazis. In addition, I will tell you about the memorial complex that you can visit during your travel in Belarus.
Before 1942, Khatyn was an ordinary village. In 1943, Belarusian partisans killed the German officer. After this, the village was sieged by the enemies. They closed all the people from the village in one shed, and they burnt everybody including old people, women, and children. One hundred fourty-nine people were burnt in the shed on that day, out of which 75 were innocent children. Only one old man, who was 56 years old, saved himself - Joseph Kaminski. He tried to save his child as well, but he could not. Despite the fact that the history of Khatyn is not lonely, as during World War II, 628 other villages were burnt, exactly Khatyn became a symbol of the tragedy of Belarusian people.
In 1969, Belarusians decided to make a memorial on the place where once was the village of Khatyn. The memorial keeps the face of the village, and there is a 6-meter bronze sculpture in the center of the memorial complex. It is a figure of a man, who holds the dead son in his arms. The sculpture is dedicated to Joseph Kaminski and his dead son. You can also see the black shed where all these people were burnt. Nearby, there is also a cemetery where you can see several symbolical wreaths. The complex also includes 26 monuments of the houses that were burnt and a memorial square. On this territory, three birch trees are growing which symbolizes life, and there is an eternal fire that represents the memory of all dead people.
It is one of the most famous places among tourists as well. Each year, the number of visitors increases. When you walk through this memorial complex, your heart is full of sadness as this place tells you a sad history of the village Khatyn. When I saw this place, I wanted to cry out: “NO for the war and NO for the violence!” However, there is such a special and sad silence on this place that you also want to silently express a sincere sorrow towards all people who were killed in this war. So, while being in Belarus, try to visit Khatyn to feel everything by yourself and know more about its history. It is a place that no one can leave without emotions.
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