MIL OSI Translation. Region: Russian Federation –
A special multimedia section has been published on the Internet portal of the Russian Ministry of Defense “Criminal unconsciousness: what the Poles are erasing from history”, based on documents from the funds of the Central Archives of the War Department. Archival materials confirm the presence in the Polish city of Trzchanka, on the site of the demolished memorial, of a Soviet military mass grave, as well as the fact of the official transfer of the memorial to the local authorities. Also, the published documents testify to the bloody battles for the city and its surroundings in January 1945, about the exploits of the heroes – soldiers and commanders of the Red Army who died here.
In 2017, the administration of the Polish city of Trzchanka in a barbaric manner, in violation of legal norms and international agreements, demolished the memorial erected after the end of World War II over the mass grave of the Red Army tankers who died during the liberation of this city from the Nazi invaders.
In 1945, at the initiative of the first military commandant of the city, Major B. Rubtsov, a monument-mausoleum was erected on the site of the fraternal burial of Red Army soldiers who died during the liberation of the city and the surrounding area in winter battles in the Polish town of Tshchanka (German – Schenlanke). It was opened in September 1945 with the official transfer of the erected memorial to the Polish administration of the city. Moreover, in addition to the actual burial site and the tank monument, it included the surrounding area, turned into a lighted park with benches, a children’s sandbox and a pool with a fountain.
The remains of 56 Soviet soldiers and officers who died during the liberation of these lands were buried under the memorial. The names of 16 of them have been established. The descendants of three heroes have been found so far.
In early September 2017, the Polish city administration removed this mausoleum from the list of war graves, considering that there were no remains of Soviet soldiers in this place. Since that time, the Russian side and part of the local community have been in litigation with the administration of Trzchanka over the legality of its barbaric actions.
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A section of the page of the passport card of a military burial (No. 2/32/11) on the territory of the Polish city of Trzczanka, signed in 2012 by a representative of the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation and the Polish Council for the Protection of the Memory of Struggle and Martyrdom, patronizing the burial, is opened. The pages of the passport contain detailed data on the mass burial of Soviet servicemen in Trzchanka with a list of names that could be established, with a detailed description of the memorial and a map-diagram of its location.
The description of the mass grave says that it “is made in the form of an architectural composition of 12 round concrete columns, located on a stepped granite pedestal, on which a triangular roof is installed. On the facade of the roof there is an image of a hammer and sickle and an inscription in Russian: “Eternal glory to the heroes who fell in battles with the German invaders for the freedom and independence of our Motherland!” The aesthetic beauty of the memorial and the adjacent territory can be judged by the photo image given in the passport and the words: “Grass, bushes and trees are planted on the grave.”
In addition, the passport says that “the inventory and certification of the burial were carried out in May 2011”.
Here are also published in Polish pages of the inventory of the military burial in Trzczanka of the Red Army soldiers who died “in the Polish area”, which also contains a list of the established names of the dead servicemen.
The scale and monumentality of this memorial complex is confirmed by a detailed plan-scheme: along the pediment it reached 70, and in depth it exceeded 93 meters!
As can be seen from the published documents, the territory of the memorial was by no means a concrete grave with a monument. Its architect created a green, ennobled city park in a city destroyed by the war.
Subsequent documents of the section tell about the bloody battles of the rapidly advancing troops of the Red Army with the fiercely defending units of the Wehrmacht, deployed here in the winter of 1945.
The city of Schönlanke (the former German name of the Polish city of Trzchanka) was liberated by the troops of the 1st Belorussian Front under the command of Marshal of the Soviet Union Georgy Zhukov on January 28, 1945 during the Warsaw-Poznan front-line offensive operation – part of the large-scale Vistula-Oder strategic offensive operation of four Soviet fronts … The city was a well-fortified stronghold and was part of Hitler’s so-called “Pomeranian Wall” – a deeply echeloned defensive line consisting of long-term firing points located on high hills covered with forests. This line was intended to stop the advance of Soviet troops in front of German territories. But on January 28, the irresistibly advancing units of the 2nd Guards Tank Army destroyed this next “Hitler’s hope”: the notorious “Pomeranian shaft” by tank guards broke through at once in the Schönlanke area …
According to information from the combat log of the 2nd Guards Tank Army, its units with an instant throw captured the crossing of the Netze River and advanced in the direction of Schönlanke. The enormous importance of this city in the ongoing operation is confirmed by the following entry from the journal: “2 Guards. TA (…) January 27, 1945 continues to develop the offensive in the direction of Schönlanke, Schloppe, Berlinchen, Berwalde with the task by the end of January 30, 1945 to reach the Oder River with the main forces and capture the ferries on the western bank … “.
The description of the situation on January 28 clearly indicates that the tankers were forced to fight in the conditions of dense urban development: “The enemy in the Schönlanke area offered stubborn resistance in small groups throughout the day, mainly from stone buildings.”
It is important to note that, based on the record of the same journal, the 12th Guards Tank Corps, which was part of the army, from August to December 1944 was under the operational control of the 8th Guards Army under the command of the hero of the Battle of Stalingrad, Colonel General Vasily Chuikov. Guardsmen-Chuikovtsy, who went through the “Stalingrad school” of brutal urban battles, passed on their combat experience to the soldiers and commanders of the 12th tank.
The published combat journal of the 47th Guards Tank Brigade describes the fierce battles for the city and the losses of the advancing Soviet troops. For example, two battalions of the brigade burst into Schönlank and in the area of churches was met with heavy fire from the faust patrons. During the day of city battles alone, 20 guardsmen were killed, 30 were injured; 10 tanks were lost during the fighting. Tankers in these battles destroyed 6 guns, 9 armored personnel carriers, 5 vehicles, 17 grenade launchers armed with faust cartridges, and up to two companies of enemy soldiers and officers.
According to the magazine, by the evening of January 28, the guardsmen of the 47th tank completed their assigned combat mission: the city of Schönlanke was liberated.
A significant part of the documents published on the Internet portal of the military department are devoted to the heroism, courage and dedication of the soldiers and officers of the Red Army who heroically fought in the battles for this Polish city and surroundings.
In the posthumous submission to the Order of the Patriotic War of the II degree for the tank commander of the guard, Lieutenant Leonid Scheer, it is indicated that the crew of the guards tanker, “following the tank in the closing of the brigade throughout the battles from the Vistula River to the city of Shenlanke, ensured the protection of the brigade’s rear and the timely delivery of ammunition and fuels and lubricants combat vehicles. On January 28, 1945, having found himself with the rear of the brigade in a difficult combat situation, Comrade. Scheer? risking his life, under enemy fire, he personally supervised the evacuation of wrecked wheeled vehicles from the battlefield. Fulfilling this important task, Comrade. Sheer was killed. “
From other documents, visitors to the section learn about the loader of the tank of the 1st tank battalion of the 50th Guards Tank Uman Brigade of the Guards Senior Sergeant Kali Belyaev, who was also awarded the Order of the Patriotic War, II degree. While in reconnaissance as part of the crew of the guard lieutenant Massaev, he destroyed two enemy tanks and suppressed the fire of the artillery battery. “After being wounded, he continued to load the cannon, thus ensuring the success of the crew. Personally, in that battle, he destroyed 30 German Faust throwers, ”reads the award list. Before these battles, he had already been wounded twice: once in 1942 and once in 1943. According to the list of irrecoverable losses of sergeants and privates of the 50th Guards Tank Brigade of the Guard, Senior Sergeant Kali Belyaev went missing on January 27 in a battle for the city.
Among those killed in the battles for Shenlanke is the junior mechanic-driver of the tank guard Sergeant Fyodor Volodin. In the posthumous submission of the tanker to the Order of the Patriotic War, II degree, it is indicated that, as the head of the battalion’s radio station, he took all possible measures to ensure uninterrupted communication. At the moment when the radio station was defeated, he continued to participate in the battle in the place of the radio operator-machine gunner. “The crew in which Comrade Volodin, many times went into attacks and destroyed a large number of Germans, “- appears in the award list of the guardsman. And further: “In the battle of Schönlanke, Comrade. Volodin died a heroic death, while showing heroism and courage. “
Interesting examples of courage and heroic actions in the battles of the guard senior sergeant Pyotr Knyazev, described in the published award list. As the cook of a tank battalion, he, “following the battle formations with the kitchen, more than once with a rifle in his hands went to repel the attack of the enemy’s submachine gunners.” At the same time, the chef-guardsman destroyed up to 20 machine gunners and took two prisoners. Knyazev did not forget about his direct work: “the personnel provided hot food, personally delivered hot food to the battle tanks.”
The section ends with a report from the commandant of the city of Schönlanke dated March 3, 1945, which describes three fascist concentration camps discovered here by Soviet troops: “one for Soviet citizens, one for prisoners of war Russian soldiers and officers, and one for prisoners of war of other states.”
In the camp for civilians, up to 1,300 people, including women and children, were held in damp and cold wooden barracks. The prisoners’ food “consisted exclusively of vegetables: rutabagas, carrots, cabbage, beets. The soup was cooked once a week. The quality of the food is poor. Bread was given out at 200 grams per adult and 100 grams per child ”.
In the camp of Russian prisoners of war, up to 100 people were kept behind barbed wire on an area 200 by 200 meters in five small barracks. Moreover, as evidenced by the report, “when our tanks entered the city, the prisoners of war killed the guards, and they themselves entered active units.”
Foreign prisoners of war were kept in different conditions. The report states that this camp “was not fenced with barbed wire,” the prisoners were housed in one large house with bars on the windows. In this camp-house “there were 44 French and 6 Belgians who were free to walk around the city without security, some of them worked in private shoemakers and loading shops.”
The archival documents included in the exposition of the multimedia project have been declassified and published within the framework of the federal project “No statute of limitations”, implemented on behalf of the President of the Russian Federation.
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EDITOR’S NOTE: This article is a translation. Apologies should the grammar and / or sentence structure not be perfect.