The village of Khatyn can no longer be found on the maps of Belarus, in the spring of 1943 it was destroyed by the Nazis together with all the inhabitants. 149 people were killed, including 75 children. The memorial complex "Khatyn" was created in memory of those killed during the World War II on the site of the burned village.
In the morning of March 22, 1943 a small convoy was driving to Minsk from Pleshchenitsy to Minsk. Two trucks packed with soldiers of the 118th security police battalion accompanied a car, the main passenger of which was captain Hans Velke, the commander of the 1st company of this battalion. 13 kilometers to the North from the city Logoysk a convoy caught in a guerrilla ambush, and Hans Velke and his four attendants were shot and killed. An accidental attack had far-reaching consequences. The killed commander was the Olympic champion of 1936 and a friend of Hitler, and his death caused real rage in among German citizens. The revenge was the destruction of the nearest to the ambush site village of Khatyn and 149 of its inhabitants.
All the villagers were driven into a huge shed, closed on a bolt, covered with straw and set on fire. When the door collapsed under pressure of people, the Nazi opened fire from machine guns.
Those who tried to escape from the fire were shot on the spot. Three children managed to escape at the very beginning of the massacre, two more survived because the punishers mistook them for the dead. Survived and one adult 56-year-old blacksmith Joseph Kaminsky later became the main witness of the prosecution.
In the center of the complex there is a bronze sculpture "Unconquered man", the height of which is more than six meters. And Joseph Kaminsky was a prototype for this sculpture. It is a symbol of a man who rose alive from the fire, carried out the body of a dead boy and carries it through the years, cursing the Nazi as the main evil on Earth. This is a collective image of the Belarusian peasant. He, burnt, wounded, got out of the burning shed and among corpses of fellow villagers found the mutilated body of the son.
Khatyn became a monument to all the villages of Belarus burned during the great Patriotic war. The terrible fate of the destruction was shared by more than 9,000 villages of Belarus.