March 22nd, 1943, 74 years ago
Organized, systematic murder of the Soviet citizens of Belarus by the Wehrmacht Heer, Waffen-SS, Einatzgruppen, and local collaborators
Schutzmannschaft Battalion 118, a unit of local collaborators from Ukraine, the Ukrainian Auxiliary Police (Ukrainische Hilfspolizei), razed the village of Khatyn and murdered all 156 inhabitants in response to the death of Hans-Otto Woellke, a Waffen-SS commander.
The 14th Waffen Grenadier Division of the SS Galicia (1st Ukrainian), another Ukrainian collaborator unit, the 29th Waffen Grenadier Division of the SS RONA (1st Russian), and the 36th Waffen Grenadier Division of the SS “SS-Sturmbrigade Dirlewanger” are other notorious collaborator units known to have pariticipated in the mass murder of Soviet civilians in Belarus.
The Soviet Union created a memorial for the village of Khatyn. The Khatyn Memorial represents not just Khatyn but many villages of the more than two million murdered Soviet citizens from Hitler Germany’s occupation of Belarus.
Photo: The Unbowed Man by Sergei Selikhanov at the Khatyn Memorial site. The sculpture depicts Yuzif Kaminsky, the only adult to survive the massacre, holding his dead son Adam.