Results 1 to 6 of 6

Maly Trostenets extermination camp, Minsk

Article about: On my recent trip to Belarus I took the opportunity to visit Maly Trostenets extermination camp in the outskirts of Minsk. The camp was initially established during the summer of 1941 in a s

  1. #1

    Default Maly Trostenets extermination camp, Minsk

    On my recent trip to Belarus I took the opportunity to visit Maly Trostenets extermination camp in the outskirts of Minsk. The camp was initially established during the summer of 1941 in a soviet collective farm to house POW's captured during the initial period of operation Barbarossa. The purpose of the camp changed on 10 may 1942 when with the arrival of jews from Austria, Germany and Czechoslovakia it became a Vernichtungslager and continued to act as such until October 1943 when most of the Jews from the Minsk ghetto had been killed there.

    Administered by Unterscharführer Heinrich Eiche the camp was visited early after opening and whilst used as a POW camp by Heinrich Himmler.

    There were no killing facilities on site inmates being killed on arrival by being shot or placed in 'gas vans' for the short journey from the rail head to the camp. Original estimates by the Soviet authorities give a killed figure of 200, 000 - 500,000 however historians such as Yad Vashem now give a figure of about 65000.

    On the approach of Soviet forces in June 1944 the victims were dug up and incinerated by the remaining inmates and local villagers who were then killed themselves and the camp was destroyed under sonderaktion 1005 to hide evidence. In subsequent investigation the Soviets found the locations of 34 grave pits.

    Little remains of the camp today apart from a avenue of poplar trees planted either side of the camps main access drive and the foundations of some camp buildings.

    Memorial depicting entry gates.
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	IMG_2195.JPG 
Views:	0 
Size:	274.3 KB 
ID:	994113

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	IMG_2191.jpg 
Views:	1 
Size:	142.0 KB 
ID:	994114

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	IMG_2193.jpg 
Views:	0 
Size:	180.3 KB 
ID:	994115

    Sentry box, original gate and box for removing ashes.
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	IMG_2055.jpg 
Views:	1 
Size:	116.1 KB 
ID:	994116

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	IMG_2186.jpg 
Views:	0 
Size:	121.2 KB 
ID:	994117

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	IMG_2053.jpg 
Views:	0 
Size:	88.7 KB 
ID:	994118

    Cover from crematorium oven.
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	IMG_2054.jpg 
Views:	0 
Size:	116.6 KB 
ID:	994119

    Original photo's of the camp, camp gates and members of the Soviet investigation committee.

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	mt1.jpg 
Views:	56 
Size:	11.7 KB 
ID:	994121

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	mt2.jpg 
Views:	56 
Size:	8.8 KB 
ID:	994120

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	mt3.jpg 
Views:	56 
Size:	11.0 KB 
ID:	994122



    Memorial on the site where final prisoners and witnesses involved in exhumation of bodies and destruction of camp were shot placed in a barn just outside the camp gates and burnt.

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	IMG_0939 (1).JPG 
Views:	0 
Size:	190.2 KB 
ID:	994137

    Remains of building where prisoners belongings were sorted.

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	IMG_0933 (1).JPG 
Views:	0 
Size:	175.8 KB 
ID:	994136

    Memorial from 1970,s

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	IMG_0941 (1).JPG 
Views:	0 
Size:	117.5 KB 
ID:	994138

    Another view of camp buildings.

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	IMG_0930.JPG 
Views:	0 
Size:	153.2 KB 
ID:	994135

    The line of Poplars planted by the Germans.The two plinths indicate the position of the camp gates.
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	IMG_0936.JPG 
Views:	0 
Size:	233.9 KB 
ID:	994162
    Last edited by robin morley; 08-31-2016 at 06:13 PM.

  2. #2

    Default

    thank you Robin good pics.

  3. #3

    Default

    Boggles the mind. I highly recommend the documentary "Engineering Evil" made in cooperation with the US Holocaust Museum in Washington DC.
    One of the best I have seen. 2 hours. Just on the AMC channel last night.

  4. #4
    ?

    Default

    Well presented Robin, thank you.

    Благовщина and Шашковка (Blagovshchina and Shashkovka), two forests located near to the camp, were used as killing sites - many victims were killed at these locations prior to even reaching the camp and its mobile extermination facilities - this is one of the main reasons for the difficulties when addressing estimated numbers of victims and patently, why figures are so far apart. Every single record of the camp is also said to have been destroyed.

    The dozens of pits mentioned earlier varied in size, with some as long as 50 metres in length and several metres deep.

    Typically, few of the perpetrators were punished for their crimes post war but several overseers of the Sonderkommando, including Otto Drews and Max Krahner, were sentenced to life imprisonment by a Hamburg court in 1968. Heinrich Eiche fled to Argentina and vanished, never to be found.

    Carl
    Experienced guide and published author leading detailed study trips to the former KZ sites of Nazi Germany. Contact for further details.

    www.concentrationcamptours.com

    www.concentrationcampmoney.com


    "maka akaŋl oyate maŋi pi ki le, tuweŋi wíyópeya oki hi sni"

  5. #5

    Default

    Interesting info. I would, though, be more inclined to lean towards the Yad Vashem figures rather than the Soviet. Locals always seem to over estimate. The Yad Vashem researchers are extremely precise and diligent in their tireless work to document the atrocities. The true death tolls will likely never be known exactly, but it still doesnt lessen the horror and outrage that took place with, apparently, the full cooperation of the local population. So many of the uncaptured perpetrators with blood on their hands went to their graves with, hopefully, a heavy conscious.
    William

    "Much that once was, is lost. For none now live who remember it."

  6. #6

    Default

    Thank you Robin for this informative thread and fine pictures. A truly terrible camp amongst so many others just like it. Leon.
    "Always do sober what you said you'd do drunk. That will teach you to keep your mouth shut." Ernest Hemingway

Similar Threads

  1. Photo's Brest, Minsk, Vitebsk

    In German photographs & Postcards
    08-07-2016, 01:39 PM
  2. Deutsche Heldengräber Stahlhelm bei Minsk Ostfront

    In German helmets on e-bay just added
    10-15-2015, 07:50 PM
  3. Deutsche Heldengrab Stahlhelm bei Minsk Ostfront

    In German helmets on e-bay just added
    12-14-2014, 07:50 PM
  4. Map Of The Extermination Camps

    In Konzentrationslagers
    02-07-2014, 12:56 AM

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •