The site of the quarters of the German division in Yuratishki Township, Grodno Region

Uratishki

Sculpture, monuments, memorials

Despite the fact that the First World War passed like the wind throughout the Belarusian land a hundred years ago,  its echoes are heard even now. The front of the First World War was in the territory of Belarus for a long time and it has left much curious here, ranging fr om unmarked graves to dilapidated pillboxes. The Belarusian land was actively used by Nazi troops for construction of fortifications at the time. The ruins of them are found in small and large Belarusian locations. The First World War is closely connected with the historical development of many places wh ere it has left its significant mark. So, a monument dedicated to the headquarters of the Infantry Division of the Kaiser Army has survived in Yuratishki village since the First World War. The site of the quarters of the German division in Yuratishki Township has perfectly survived up to now thanks to a massive dark-grey stone with a carved text and a date.

Yuratishki Township, located in Grodno region, has definitely something to tell. Yuratishki was part of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania and was in possession of noble families in the XVI century. It so happened that the territory of Yuratishki was the scene of active hostilities long before the First World War. First, when the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth fought against Russia, the picturesque town was destroyed by fire. During the Northern War, the settlement came to possession of the Swedes. Yuratishki was part of the Russian Empire, Poland, and the BSSR. The small town has suffered a lot due to the fact that the powerful countries could not divide it.

During the First World War, Yuratishki proved to be a slice of the pie for the Germans. The town was near the front at the time. The railway line perfectly functioned there. It could be fully controlled by the Kaiser troops. So it is not surprising that the German commanders chose Yuratishki to quarter their command staff. The Germans wanted to stay forever in that strategically important place, so they installed a grandiose monument in honor of their staying there. It showed that the Kaiser troops considered the surrounding lands to be their own. The point of dislocation of numerous Kaiser Soldiers was in the house of the Radkevich family that owned an estate in Yuratishki at the time. The house was surrounded by a park of stunning beauty; there were a lot of outbuildings. The beautiful park was cut down a short time ago, but the house has perfectly survived. The last owner of the estate was Veronica Radkevich that moved from those places in Vilnius after the death of her spouse.

The site of the quarters of the German division in Yuratishki Township is marked by a massive stone with a sign, and near the local temple, there is the burial place of German soldiers of the period of the First World War consisting of eleven slabs. These monuments can be treated in different ways: they can make some people feel curiosity; others can feel anger, the third – genuine interest. This is our history, the echoes of which can be observed a hundred years later in Yuratishki.

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