Maly Trostenets

About twelve kilometres east of Minsk was a small village called Maly Trostenets. There a camp for Soviet prisoners of war was set up shortly after the Germans attacked the Soviet Union, but from May 1942 the camp became an extermination camp when the nazis started shooting jews from among others. ghetto in Minsk and other nearby ghettos. A small number of gas wagons were also used in the Holocaust process, but most of them were shot. A number of barracks were also set up for prisoners working on the Holocaust process. Next to the camp was a railway which facilitated the transport of Jews from different parts of Belarus to the Trostenets. There were two execution sites in the Trostenets, the largest one was in the forest of Blagovshchina and the smaller one was in another forest area called Shashkovka. In the autumn of 1943, the Nazis began to open the mass graves and cremate the bodies (Aktion 1005) in an attempt to conceal the crimes. In Trostenets, the Nazis cremated the corpses using large ”grills” consisting of railroad rails set up outdoors in Shashkovka. The camp was completely destroyed by the Nazis in late July 1944.

Current status: Demolished with monument (2007).

Location: 53°51'4" N, 27°42'17" E

Get there: Car.

My comment:

Maly Trostenets was in fact an extermination camp on the same criteria as among others. Chelmno but has never received any official status as a Holocaust camp. The six official extermination camps (Chelmno, Belzec, Sobibor, Treblinka, Auschwitz, and Majdanek) are too firmly institutionalized in the traditional history of the group to be expanded by a seventh or eighth. Maly Trostenets is now an integral part of Minsk. When I visited the site in the autumn of 2007 there were certainly monuments but not much more. But since 2015, a new and more informative memorial has been established on the site.

Follow up in books: Arad, Yitzhak: Holocaust in the Soviet union (2009).