Excursion – The memorial complex Khatyn
By city: Khatyn
Duration of excursion – 4 hours
Kilometrage of the route: 140 km.
Memorial complex “Khatyn” – a memorial to the hundreds of Belarusian villages destroyed by the Nazis during World War II and the immense contribution of the Belarusian people, brought innumerable sacrifices in the name of victory. The authors – a team of architects: J. Grad, B. Zankovich, L. Levin and sculptor S. People’s Artist of the Byelorussian SSR Selikhanov. Build Memorial helped the whole country. Granite was brought from the quarries of Ukraine, the white marble from Russia. The grand opening of the memorial complex “Khatyn” was held July 5, 1969.
The complex covers an area of about 50 hectares. In the center of the memorial composition is six-meter bronze sculpture “undefeated man” with a dead child in her arms. Near stocked granite slabs, symbolizing the roof of the barn, where the villagers were burned. On the common grave of white marble – Crown memory.
The complex is unique in the world “Cemetery of villages” – 185 graves, each of which represents one of the unregenerate Belarusian villages burnt together with the population. Grave of each village is a symbolic ashes, which is located in the center of the pedestal as a tongue of flame – a symbol of the fact that the village was burned. The funeral urn kept the land of the village. At the grave written name of the village and the name of the area in which the village stood.
Another element of the memorial complex – “the symbolic tree of life”, in which the branches are listed in alphabetical order of the names of 433 Belarusian villages that were destroyed by the Nazis together with the residents, but recovered after the war. The memorial element of “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. On the territory of the memorial it is also “Eternal Flame”. On the square memorial pedestal in three corners are three birches. Instead, the fourth eternal flame burns – in the memory of every fourth inhabitant of Belarus perished.
Memorial complex “Khatyn” is included in the state list of historical and cultural heritage.