Re: Death March 31/1/1945 from Konigsberg to the Baltic sea #holocaust


pinardpr@...
 

Dear Ephraim!

I read about this death march in an article in Der Spiegel in 2020 published on the anniversary of the atrocity itself. I'll try to send you a link to it in a separate post. The title was: "Der fast vergessene Massenmord am Bernsteinstrand" (in English: "The Almost Forgotten Mass Murder on the Amber Beach."

The main massacre took place at the beach of Palmnicken in what was then Germany, now Yantarny, Kaliningrad Oblast, Russia. Palmnicken was and Yantarny is an important place for harvesting amber -- Bernstein in German, yantar in Russian and other Slavic languages.

The event appears to have been another truly horrific atrocity, a death march of starving prisoners in freezing temperatures far below zero through an East Prussian winter, an area traditionally known for its cold climate.

The text of the article, which also includes a photo gallery, mentions the memoirs of a survivor named Maria Salz, later Blitz, from Krakow, Poland and also the text of an eyewitness, a then 16-year-old Hitler Youth named Martin Bergau. Bergau's writing about the murders apparently led to them being discovered by a broader group of people in the first place. Bergau's book is called (without the diacritics): "Todesmarsch zur Bernsteinkueste: Das Massaker an Juden im ostpreussischen Palmnicken 1945. Zeitzeugen erinnern sich." ("Death March to the Amber Coast: The Massacre of Jews in East Prussian Palmnicken 1945. Eye Witnesses remember."

The Spiegel article also mentions a Leonid Plitman and identifies him as the head of the Kehila of Kaliningrad (which was Koenigsberg before 1945). 

I hope this helps you with some sources. I'll try posting the link to the article for you now.

Rick Pinard, Prague

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