Belarus SIG #Belarus (Belarus) Nazi Concentration Camp Maly Trostenets Memorial Opens #belarus
Jan Meisels Allen
One of Nazi concentration camps, almost forgotten, Maly Trostenets, also
known as Maly Troscianiec in Polish and Maly Trastsyanets in Belarusian,
about 12 kilometers south-east of Minsk, within the former Soviet Union was
virtually unknown during the Soviet era. It was originally set up in the
1940s by Nazi Germany to incarcerate Soviet prisoners of war. It was turned
into an extermination camp between July 1942 and October 1943. Between
Spring 1942-Summer 1944 200,000 people were murdered at the camp, making it
one of the largest extermination camps created by the Nazis. In 1943-1944
when the Red Army was approaching, the Nazis decided to destroy the evidence
and burned the bodies. Only 17 people survived. It is the fourth largest
Nazi extermination camp after Auschwitz, Majdanek and Treblinka. Jews from
Europe, mainly >from Belarus, Poland, Austria, and Czechoslovakia were the
largest group among the victims, including 22,000 German Jews and 30,000
Jews >from nearby Minsk. They were murdered and buried in the nearby
For the first time the German President traveled to Belarus, along with the
presidents of Austria and Belarus, the Polish presidential chancellery State
Secretary, Czech parliament's deputy speaker, World Jewish Congress
representative, and the President of Belarus attended the memorial's
opening. As Soviet narrative victims of Maly Trosents, were incorrectly
referred to as "Soviet civilians, partisans, resistance fighters," as the
Soviet culture of remembrance excludes the Holocaust. Holocaust crimes that
took place east of Auschwitz have been hardly recognized.
There are two memorials at Trostenets. In 2015 the "Gate of Remembrance"
was inaugurated. This is the path which the victims walked to their deaths.
The second memorial is at the killing field. Historians and architects
combined forces to combine the two memorials so that today there is one.
A video of the memorial is available at:
_tysyach_evreev/ The narrative is Belarusian.
To read more see:
Jan Meisels Allen
Chairperson, IAJGS Public Records Access Monitoring Committee