Odessa Harbour

Odessa was occupied by German and Romanian forces on 16 October 1941. The following day, all remaining Jewish men were ordered to register. Between 3,000 – 4,000 men signed up and were first taken to a prison where they were tortured and then taken down to the port where they were murdered by Einsatzkommando 11b and Romanian security forces. During the massacre, thousands of wounded Soviet sailors who were left behind in the city after the others were evacuated were also murdered. The bodies were then submerged in gasoline and set on fire.

Current status: Monument (2009).

Location: 46°25'39.66"N 30°43'40.11"E

Get there: Tram.

My comment:

Odessa is not only a city but it is also the name of a mythical network that helped Nazi war criminals. Odessa, in this case, is an abbreviation of, Organisation der ehemaligen SSAngehörigen, and has nothing whatsoever to do with the city of Odessa. According to myth, the network consisted of the former. SS men who helped their former comrades with money, fake papers and escape from justice. But its existence and efforts are greatly exaggerated, much thanks to the Frederick Forsyth bestseller from 1972, The ODESSA File. The book was also filmed in 1974 with Jon Voight and Maximillian Schell in the leading roles. The famous ” Nazi hunter” Simon Wiesenthal strongly argued that ODESSA was an existing network that really justified its name and reputation.

But ODESSA’s existence can not be verified, rather, ODESSA has in a way been named for all the smaller (real or not) networks that existed and helped Nazis (and others) flee the post-war era Europe. But with the help of popular media, the myth has lived on about a Nazi network lurking in the wings ready to help and lay the foundation for a Fourth Reich. But the myth of ODESSA has also been exploited by Nazi sympathizers to intimidate and give a semblance of being backed by something big. Many times, in fact, the rumor of something can be as effective as something real, you just have to keep it alive. Was there anyone who made sure to keep the myth of ODESSA alive, it was Wiesenthal, better marketing could hardly be obtained.

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