On the morning of March 22, 1943, a small motorcade was traveling from Pleschenitsy to Minsk. Two trucks with soldiers of the 118th guard police battalion, accompanied a passenger car, the main passenger of which was captain Hans Völke, commander of the 1st squadron of this battalion. At 13 kilometers north of Logoysk convoy was in a guerrilla ambush, resulting in Wielkie and his four attendants were shot. The ordinary attack had far-reaching consequences. The killed captain was the Olympic champion in 1936, and his death caused the Germans a real fury. As a revenge was the destruction of the nearest to the place of ambush village Khatyn and 149 of its inhabitants.
Then the events developed swiftly. Arrived reinforcements for the start shot 26 people who harvested the forest near the place of the ambush, mostly women and the elderly. Then, on the orders of Major Kerner and under the direct supervision of Gregory Vasyury, the entire population of Khatyn – 149 people (75 of them under the age of 16) – was collected in a barn, after which it was set on fire. Those who tried to escape from the fire were shot on the spot. Three Khatyn children run away at the beginning of the violence, two more (Viktor Zhelobkovich and Anton Baranovsky) survived, because the punishers mistook them for the dead. Izhil Kaminsky, a 56-year-old blacksmith, who later became the main witness of the charge, also survived.
Memorial Complex “Khatyn”
The authors reconstructed the historical layout of Khatyn, including the right direction of three village streets and the exact location of all destroyed 26 houses and 4 wells. The place of burning Khatyn citizens was marked by a black granite tombstone, stylized for the fallen roof of the barn. A memorial crown made of white marble is erected above the common grave. And between them – the figure of an old man with a child in his arms.
Each burnt house is indicated. The black earth is in the place where the house stood. A tablet with the names of those who lived in the house and the bell on the top. An open wicket which invites you to enter the house that is not exist.
By December 1968, the memorial complex “Khatyn” was ready. However, it was decided to expand the monument. There were “Cemetery villages”, three birches and eternal fire, a wall of memory with the names of death camps and places of mass destruction of people, “tree of life”, on the branches of which 433 burned together with the inhabitants Belarusian villages. The official opening of the complex took place on July 5, 1969.
Minsk Airport Transfer is a official partner of State Memorial Complex “Khatyn”. Visit main page os our website to book a transfer from Minsk airport or Minsk city to Memorial Complex “Khatyn”.