About the memorial complex "Khatyn"
The Central Committee of the Communist Party of Belarus made a decision in January 1966 to build a memorial complex Khatyn in memory of the hundred of Belorussian villages, destroyed by Nazis during the years of the Second World War, and also in memory of the great tribute and numerous lives sacrificed for the victory by Belorussians.
In March 1967 a tender for preparing the material for the complex was announced. The group of the following architects won it: Y. Gradov, V. Zankovich, L. Levin and sculptor S. Selikhanov — people's artist of the BSSR.
"We were absorbed in work, — Leonid Levin remembers, — we came up with the idea of putting bases of frameworks at the place of houses and of making obelisks in the form of chimneys, but something was still missing. The field overgrown with grass which was witness to the tragedy kept dead silence. And suddenly in this pinching silence a lark sang. Sound! We must have sound here!" And so the idea for bells was born.
The whole country contributed to the collecting of building material. Granite was brought from open pits in Ukraine. White marble was brought from Russia. The first part of the complex was opened in 1968.
The final opening ceremony was held on June 5, 1969.
The solemn-mourning ceremony started in Minsk. Representatives of all districts gathered in Victory Square. There were veterans of the Great Patriotic War, Russian, Ukranian, Georgian, Moldavian and other delegations. There were foreign guests as well.
A torch was lit from the Eternal Fire and then it was brought to the cup placed on an armoured troop-carrier. It was later escorted to Khatyn.
I.I. Kaminsky and A. P. Zhelobkovich (witnesses to the tragedy) gave speeches at the mass meeting where many thousands of people were present.
© 2005 SMC "Khatyn", http://www.khatyn.by/