Object lesson#21: Khatyn badges

Seventy-two years ago this week, on 22 March 1943, auxiliary police of the German-controlled Schutzmannschaft Battalion 118 massacred the inhabitants of the Belorussian village of Khatyn. This week’s objects are two badges which I bought at Khatyn when I visited it in 1987, while a student in Minsk. When the Germans burnt down Belorussian villages, all that normally remained of the houses was the chimneys. At the Khatyn memorial complex, bell towers represent the chimneys, and the bells ring every 30 seconds to recall the dead.

khatyn2

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