June 11, Gomel / Corr. BELTA /. The remains of 70 people were buried in the Chechenkov forest near Gomel at the site of mass executions of civilians during the Great Patriotic War this year – since the resumption of excavations on 18 April. The figure was announced to reporters by Gomel Deputy District Attorney Alexander Shinkarev, BelTA has learned.
The excavations are carried out by soldiers of the investigation squad of the 52nd separate specialized research battalion of the Ministry of Defense. The leadership of the region, the city, the region was informed about the progress of the works today after the reburial ceremony of 489 remains of civilians. These remains were exhumed in 2021. “This year, as of April 18, 70 remains have been collected. Another 50 have been found,” said Alexander Sinkarev.
Experts talk about three squares of execution pits-graves of locals in the forest near Gomel. Some areas were surrounded by barbed wire. The burials are scattered with German dugouts. In one of them they found a stove, a roof made of galvanized sheet metal, it was reinforced with logs. “That is, they dug not for a day, not for a month, but for a long time. If we count the number of dugouts, we will understand that the German guard was here – at least 500 people. “The scale is simply amazing,” said Gomel, the district attorney general.
In some burial pits, the victims were placed in several layers. There are cases where the hands of the dead were wounded behind their backs. This shows that before the execution, people’s hands were tied, said Alexander Shinkarev. Viktor Morozov, Gomel district prosecutor, drew attention to the open jaws of some of the victims: “This means that people were dying of anxiety.”
“Based on the data found, the integrity of the teeth, we can say that they were mostly young women, a few young men, as well as older men,” said Alexander Sinkarev.
According to him, the depth of the pits is quite large. “The Nazis carefully hid the traces of their crimes, hoping that no one would find this place,” he said.
Indeed, there are only a few witnesses so far. So we managed to find a woman whose mother, at the age of 11, ended up in a terrible forest. According to her testimony (and at least a week passed here), there was some kind of concentration camp in this place, many people were detained. They periodically took them out to shoot them. One day there was a commotion, and the girl miraculously managed to escape and escape.
There is also speculation that some sort of human sorting took place in the forest near Gomel. “We did not find a single bone belonging to children here. And they brought them here, including children. Apparently, they took them from here to Krasny Bereg,” said the district attorney general.
During the excavations, the search engines found a German folding shovel, cartridges and bullets for German weapons, a case from a German dagger, a box of lozenges in case of chemical attack, cans of food with German markings from other European countries and a 1940s pfennig and other objects with German inscriptions, engravings.
In one of the pits, they found a button from the uniform of a German officer. “He was in the area of the bones of a human hand. Apparently, at his death, a man grabbed the button of his coat and fell into the grave with that button,” said Alexander Shinkarev, a terrible case. .
Among the items found and belonging to citizens were a ring, most likely an engagement ring, a pendant with a rotten photograph, a latch from a wallet, fragments of a suitcase, plates and an inkwell. “This suggests that people were just pulled out of the house. They said they would be taken somewhere – for resettlement, for the census. But they were taken to the forest and shot,” said Viktor Morozov.
“There is no doubt that these are burials of the Great Patriotic War and this is the work of German punishers,” the district attorney concluded.
As it is noted, the excavations in the Chenkowski forest this year will continue until the end of the search period – until the first frosts. -0-
Photo by Sergey Kholodilina