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The Children of War memorial is to be unveiled in Lychkovo settlement
The Novgorod Region's administration said the program of the celebration includes a liturgy at a church, a public prayer at the burial of the children from blockaded Leningrad, a solemn meeting near the Lychkovo railway station, and the opening of the exhibition of documentary materials about the tragic death of hundreds of children at Lychkovo and about the history of the perpetuation of their memory. A salute will be given in Lychkovo in the evening in memory of the children. According to archives information, Nazi aircraft bombed a train consisting of 12 cars at the Novgorod station of Lychkovo in August 1941. In these railway cars children of the preschool age were being evacuated from Leningrad, besieged by the Nazis, to the east of the country. As a result of the bombardment, the train was completely destroyed, and several hundreds of children, whose names remain unknown, perished. The children's remains were buried in a mass grave at the rural cemetery. A modest memorial sign was placed on the burial after the end of the Great Patriotic War against Nazism of 1941-1945. For nearly 60 years the local women from among the witnesses of the bloody bombardment looked after the Leningrad children's grave. A monument made by Moscow sculptor Alexander Burganov who is well known in Russia was installed at the Lychkovo cemetery in fall 2003. The sculptor placed a figure of a child, raised in the air by an explosion, on an approximately 3-meter pedestal. Toys were lying at the child's feet, and the flame of an explosion was imitated in the background of the composition. At the pedestal of the bronze sculptural composition the author placed a plate with the laconic inscription "To all killed children. 1941-1945." In 2004 sculptor from Volgograd (former Stalingrad) Viktor Fetisov began to work on a memorial complex right in the place of the children's death, near the railway station. The complex consists of a monument on which a bronze figure of a girl with a toy in her hand is placed into a huge granite boulder weighing about 13 tons and approximately 3.5 meters high. A black granite cube with the inscription To the Leningrad Children who died during the Great Patriotic War will be placed near the monument. The building of the monuments in Lychkovo was financed mainly from voluntary donations from organizations and individuals - the inhabitants of most of the regions of the country, from the Pacific Ocean to the Baltic Sea. Listed among the donators were small children who transferred their small sums of money to Lychkovo. The St. Petersburg schoolchildren laid out a park at the place of the children's death.
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