The martyrdom of Belorussia

   Inside many facts ignored in the WWII the happened in Belorussia is one of them. As recently with the Chernobil tragedy, the world public opinion thinks that it happened in Ukraine, but the suffering was equal or major in Belorussia.

  Belorussia has the misfortune of being in the way between Germany and Rusia and therefore she has suffered periódivcamente invasions to the length of the centuries. Invasions that were leaving death and devastation, so much on having entered as on having gone out.

   But nothing was so lethal as the caused in the WWII for the Germans.

As Timothy Snyder said in his book " Bloodlands". Vintage books. London 2011 ( Pages 250 y 251 ) :

"There was a Soviet partisan movement, and the Germans did try to suppress it. Yet German policies, in practice, were little more than mass murder. In one Wehrmacht report, 10,431 partisans were reported shot, but only ninety guns were reported taken. That means that almost all of those killed were in fact civil¬ians. As it inflicted its first fifteen thousand mortal casualties, the Special Commando Dirlewanger lost only ninety-two men-many of them, no doubt, to friendly fire and alcoholic accidents. A ratio such as that was possible only when the victims were unarmed civilians. Under the cover of anti-partisan operations, the Germans murdered Belarusian (or Jewish, or Polish, or Russian) civilians in 5,295 different localities in occupied Soviet Belarus. Several hundred of these villages and towns were burned to the ground. All in all, the Germans killed about 350,000 people in their anti-partisan campaign, at the very least ninety percent of them unarmed. The Germans killed half a million Jews in Belarus, including thirty thousand during the anti-partisan operations. It was unclear just how these thirty thousand people were to be counted: as Jews killed in the Final Solution, or as Belarusian civilians killed in anti-partisan reprisals? The Germans themselves often failed to make the distinction, for very practical rea¬sons. As one German commander confided to his diary, "The bandits and Jews burned in houses and bunkers were not counted"(s8).

Of the nine million people who were on the territory of Soviet Belarus in 1941, some 1.6 million were killed by the Germans in actions away from battlefields, including about 700,000 prisoners of war,' 500,000 Jews, and 320,000 people counted as partisans (the vast majority of whom were unarmed civilians). These three general campaigns constituted the three greatest German atrocities in eastern Europe, and together they struck Belarus with the greatest force and malice. Another several hundred thousand inhabitants of Soviet Belarus were killed in action as soldiers of the Red Army.(59)".

  Belorussia suffered in percentage terms more losses in human lives that Russia, Ukraine or Germany.

One Example among 627 :

70 years ago, on March 22, 1943, the Nazis destroyed the Belarusian people Khatyn. Almost the entire population of the town was killed by the soldiers of German troops. Today, the memorial complex in the Vitebsk region, recalls the tragedy and paid tribute to its victims.

The day of the tragedy, a local partisans attacked a Nazi military column. The incident ended with the death of a German officer and drew the ire of the enemy that surrounded the people of Belarus and its people burned alive in a barn. Those who tried to escape were shot. In Khatyn killed 149 people, including 75 minors. The village was virtually wiped off the face of the earth.

Six people survived the slaughter. Three children, Volodya and Sonia Zhelobkovich Yaskevich and Sasha managed to escape the Nazis, while juveniles and Anton Baranovsky Zhelebkovich Victor managed to stay alive in the shed on fire.

Of the adults survived only Iósif Kaminski. Regained consciousness late at night, when the punitive detachments had left the village. Iósif found her son among the corpses of villagers. The youth, who had suffered burn injuries and high grade, died in his hands. The memorial sculpture Khatyn recreated that tragic moment in the life of Joseph Kaminski.

Khatyn was not the only Belarusian village burned by the Nazis. Her tragic fate shared further 627 people. The complex Khatyn memorial honors the memory of the victims of all these peoples.

In every place where there was a house, placed obelisks with bells that ring every hour. There are a total of 26 bells in the memorial for the 26 houses burned by the Nazis in Khatyn.

The opening of the memorial complex Khatyn took place on July 5, 1969. In 2004 it held its reconstruction. The memorial complex Khatyn part of historical and cultural heritage of Belarus.

Link to Khatyn Memorial Web :

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