International Day of the liberation of the Nazi concentration camps.


On the International Day of the liberation of the Nazi concentration camps, the laying of flowers at the National  Historical and Memorial Reserve Babyn Yar from the President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko, the Kyiv City State Administration, the State Service of Ukraine for War Veterans and the participants of the anti-terrorist operation took place. The ceremony was attended by an active non-governmental organization - former prisoners of Nazi concentration camps, ghettos, WWII veterans, servicemen, schoolchildren, employees of the Preserve.

Those present paid tribute with a minute of silence and put flowers on the Monument to the victims of Nazism, a monument to Soviet citizens and prisoners of war soldiers and officers of the Soviet Army who were shot dead by German fascists in Babyn Yar, and a memorial sign to those who perished in former concentration camp "Syretsky".

Photo documentary exhibition "Moloch of war - Nazi concentration camps" was opened in the administrative building of the National historical-memorial reserve "Babyn Yar" (Kyiv, Melnikov Street, 48 / B).

In 1933, Nazis came to power in Germany. They immediately began to establish a system of isolation and the destruction of their political opponents, unreliable and "harmful" groups of the population.

By order of the then head of police in Munich, the future Reichsführer SS Henry Himmler, the first concentration camp in Nazi Germany was formed on March 22, 1933, in Dachau. Subsequently, there were built other concentration camps - Sachsenhausen (1936), Papenburg (1936), Buchenwald (1937), Mauthausen (1938), Flossenburg (1938), Neuengamme (1938), and the women's concentration camp Ravensbruck (1938).

In Germany, there were about 400 concentration camps with numerous subsidiaries. The largest ones were Mauthausen, Buchenwald, Dachau. In Ukraine, classical samples of concentration camps were Yanivsky (in Lviv) and Syretsky (near Kyiv).

According to the archival institutions of the Federal Republic of Germany, published in 1965, 1 634 camps and their external teams (branches) functioned on the territory of the Third Reich and the territories occupied by it.

Ukrainian nationalists were considered by Nazis as a particularly dangerous category of prisoners. Most of them were held at the concentration camp Auschwitz, Sachsenhausen, Buchenwald, and, in part, Ebensee.


The frantic persecution of Nazi members of the OUN began after the proclamation of the Act of restoration of the Ukrainian state on June 30, 1941.

Since September 15, 1941 members of the OUN were massively arrested in Lviv, Drohobych, Sambir, Stryi, Stanislav and other cities of Western Ukraine. One of the first was arrested  Stepan Bandera - the head of the OUN. On January 24, 1942, the leading members of the OUN were transferred to the Sachsenhausen concentration camp.

The female concentration camp was in Ravensbrück, founded in 1938. From this year only women were kept there. Due to a significant number of French women, the concentration camp received the secret name "L'enfer des Femmes" ("Women's Hell"). Ukrainian women and girls, students and graduates from universities in Western Europe, participants of the Ukrainian underground also got into Ravensbrück. After a six-month stay in the prison on Łącki in Lviv, the wife of the first head of the OUN Security Service (1941-1942) Mykola Lebid - Daria Gnatkivska-Lebid - got into  Ravensbrück.

In 1945, 46,000 female prisoners from whole over Europe were confined here. Officially, according to the documents of the administration, 2,503 Ukrainian women were registered at the concentration camp. They were underground members from Kolomyia, Lviv and other cities of Western Ukraine. From the memories of former prisoners, there were much more Ukrainian women  - from 3 to 7 thousand. Forced labour of prison concentration camps was widely used by well-known German enterprises: "IG Farben", "Siemens", "Hermann-Göring-Werke", " IG Metall", "Volkswagen",  "BMW" and others.

Concentration camp "Uman Pit". In the summer of 1941, the Nazis set up a concentration camp in the western part of Uman. It was one of the first in the former USSR. At that site before the war there was a turkey farm, and later a clay quarry. Its depth reached 7 meters, the width was 300 meters, and the length - about 1 km. The Germans brought there Soviet prisoners of war and kept them in the open air. That's why the people called this territory the Uman pit.

The first prisoners of war were the soldiers of the 6th and 12th Soviet Army. According to the German command, on August 14, 1941, about 50 thousand Soviet soldiers have captured in the Uman pit. On the outskirts of the city, in Sukhiy Yar, more than 13,000 Umani Jews were shot. Dozen of thousand Umans were taken to forced labour in Germany. Later, people from everywhere were led to the concentration camp. The terms of living the prisoners of the Uman pit were terrible. During several days people were not fed at all, there was no water. Prisoners drunk water from all the puddles. Began to eat clay. Every morning, the Nazis threw the bodies of dead prisoners at the edge of the pit and trained themselves in firing with machine guns and pistols, using bodies as targets.

Darnytsky concentration camp (in German sources - Kyiv-East, Kyiv-Ost (from September 1941); Stalag 339 Kyiv-Darnitsa, d. Stalag 339 Kiew-Darniza (since January 1942) - a concentration camp created by German occupation power in the Darnytsia forest of Kyiv during the Second World War (1941-1943), was intended for the prisoners of war of the Red Army to be there in it.  300 thousand people came through the camp, 68 thousand of them died in it.

The Syrets concentration camp is one of the concentration camps that were created by the Nazis in Kyiv during the occupation of the city in 1941-1943. It was intended for prisoners arrested by the Gestapo. It was located in the historical area of ​​Syrets,  on the site of the territory that was used for summer camps of the Kyiv military district. According to German sources, from July 1942 until the spring of 1943 he functioned as an external branch of the concentration camp Sachsenhausen, known as "Kyiv-West".

The Extraordinary State Commission to Investigate German-Fascist Crimes Committed on Soviet Territory has determined the number of deaths in the camp - 25 thousand people.

Yaniv concentration camp - concentration camp and death camp, organized by the Nazis in September 1941 on the outskirts of the city of Lviv.  Acted until June 1944. Here, between 140 and 200 thousand Jews, Poles, and Ukrainians were destroyed.

During torture and executions, music has always been played. The orchestra consisted of prisoners, they always played the same melody - "Tango of Death". Among the orchestras, there was Professor of the Lviv State Conservatory Shtrix, opera conductor Mund and other well-known Jewish musicians. During the executions by hangings, the orchestra was ordered to perform tango, during fierce torture - foxtrot, and sometimes in the evening orchestra were forced to play under the windows of the camp chief for several hours in a row.

On the eve of the liberation of Lviv by the Soviet Army, the Germans made a circle of 40 people from the orchestra. The camp guard surrounded the musicians with a dense ring and ordered to play. At first, the conductor of the Mund Orchestra was killed; then, at the command of the commandant, each orchestra went out to the centre of the circle, put his instrument on the ground, undressed naked, and then was shot in the head.

The photo of the orchestra was one of the indictments in the Nuremberg trial.

Buchenwald was a concentration camp near Weimar (Germany). It began to function on July 19, 1937, as a camp for criminals, but soon authority began to send there political prisoners. In June 1938, the first group of prisoners arrived in Buchenwald, which consisted entirely of Jews. In the summer of 1938, 2200 Austrian Jews from Dachau were transferred to Buchenwald. In 1938, after the "Crystal night", the number of imprisoned Jews more than doubled. By the spring of 1939, most Jews were released, but they were deprived of their property and forced to leave Germany. Since the beginning of the Second World War, the influx of prisoners has increased. Soviet prisoners of war, as a rule, were destroyed immediately upon arrival. Since the beginning of 1942 in Buchenwald, there were created enterprises that produced military products. On October 6, 1944, the number of prisoners reached a maximum  (89,143).

From the end of 1944, retreating from the occupied territories east of Germany, the Germans began to evacuate camps located there, and thousands of prisoners, including many Jews, were transferred to Buchenwald, where they were massacred. In early April 1945, SS soldiers took out several thousand Jews from the camp. However, the mass evacuation, scheduled for April 5, 1945, did not succeed.

A lot of medical experiments were carried out over the prisoners, as a result of which most died of painful death. Prisoners were infected with typhus, tuberculosis and other dangerous diseases in order to test the effect of vaccines against the pathogens of these diseases. The disease has turned very quickly to the epidemic due to overcrowding, lack of hygiene, poor nutrition, and also because these diseases were not treated.

In total, about a quarter of a million prisoners from across the European countries passed through the camp. The number of victims is about 56,000, including 11,000 Jews.

The past should never be forgotten.  Through the difficult path has been come the "generation of war". The main thing is that it does not happen again. "It must not happen again" - echoes in our hearts.