On the 80th Anniversary of the horrific tragedy of Khatyn


- The tragedy of Khatyn is not just an occasional episode of the war, it is a symbol of the greatest tragedy, the pain of the Belarusian people -

On this day 80 years ago – on March 22, 1943 – Khatyn, a quiet friendly Belarusian village, was wiped off the face of the Earth. Almost all of its inhabitants, 149 people, of which 75 were children, were brutally killed by the punitive forces.

Nazi soldiers and their collaborators roused the sick from their beds with rifle butts. All people — young and old, women and kids — were driven from their houses out into the shed, which was then covered with straw and set on fire. The trapped people managed to break down the front doors, but in trying to escape, were ruthlessly killed by machine gun fire. The youngest Khatyn resident was only 7 weeks old. 

From the memoirs of the only adult who survived the tragedy, “The Unconquered Man” Joseph Kaminsky: “And they took me to that shed … My daughter, son and wife were there. There were so many people, it was impossible to move. … They set the shed on fire from above, the roof was on fire, fire was pouring down on people, these people were choking, so squeezed that it was no longer possible to breathe… Then the doors swung open, but people did not come out. What happened? People were saying that the Nazis were shooting. I told my son: “Over the heads, over the heads!”. The son jumped out too. He ran about five meters — they shot him. “Get up, they’ve already gone!” I said. I began to pull him out, and he already had his guts out … He only asked if his mother was alive … God forbid anyone who lives on earth so that they do not see or hear such grief”.

The tragedy of Khatyn is one of a thousand facts testifying to the purposeful policy of genocide of Nazi Germany in relation to the population of Belarus. Khatyn embodies over 9,000 villages of Belarus, many of which were burned down along with the people and have never revived.

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