Khatyn memorial, in the Minsk region of Belarus, remains one of the most haunting memorials of World War 2 in all of Europe.
Khatyn memorial is a tribute to almost three million Belarusians who died during World War 2.
Until 1943, Khatyn was a usual Belarusian village to the north east of Minsk. But on March 22, 1943, after a skirmish nearby in which a German officer was killed, the occupying German forces encircled the village.
All the inhabitants were rounded up and taken to a barn, which was then set on fire. Some 149 people, including 75 children, died. Only one adult, 56-year-old Joseph Kaminsky, survived the attack. He found his injured son but was unable to save him.
After the war, a memorial to all those who died across Belarus was built on the site of the former village. A handful of soil from each of the 185 burned and never rebuilt was brought to Khatyn to create a symbolic graveyard. Khatyn became the 186th village, the site of this symbolic graveyard.
As a haunting reminder of the horrors of war, it has become one of the most important places in Belarus.