The memorial complex "Trostenets" in Minsk
Sculpture, monuments, memorials
The great Patriotic war has left many scars on the Belarusian land. The place where the concentration camp "Trostenets" was located during the occupation remains an open wound.
History grades this place the fourth one in the number of victims after Auschwitz, Treblinka and Majdanek. More than 200 thousand people were killed – the unfortunate statistic, a kind of a symbol of the camp. Here the Nazis killed people fr om many European countries deliberately and methodically, not only POWs, but also civilians.
The camp included three centres of mass destruction: the tract Blagovshchina – it was used for execution, the camp itself located near the village of Maly Trostenets; the tract Shashkovka, where they burned people. The Nazi death machine was working massively, without any pity.
Practical methods of the Nazis to implement their genocide programs were cynical and well developed, raised to the habitual routine: they shot people next to the ditch to bury them immediately and then compacted by car tracks.
When, after the liberation of the territory, excavations began, 34 mass graves were found, some of them were 50 meters long. And the human remains in them were under a thick layer of ash, measuring in meters.
Gradually the Nazis "practiced the skills and techniques of burning". The destruction of the people was delivered almost on an industrial level: people were picked up in cars to the hole that had been dug previously, with a kind of crematorium arranged on the bottom of it. That system operated on a daily basis.
The perpetuation of the memory of the victims
A memorial sign was installed on the site of the concentration camp from the 70-ies of the last century. But the monument with the unprecedented strength of emotional impact was built in the XXI century, after the decree of the President of the Republic of Belarus. The decree supposed the installation of a memorial at the site of the concentration camp "Trostenets".
A commemorative capsule was laid in the foundation of the building in June 2014, and the first part of the monument was opened for viewing a year later.
It is called the "Gate of memory" (sculptor K. Kostyuchenko). These are symbolic gate leaves of 10 m height, which show emaciated prisoners of the concentration camp, their bodies entangled in barbed wire – the symbol of the inability to escape death. Expressive sculptural decision – broken lines and rough surface, the direction of the monument to the sky – all these symbolize martyrdom.
A memory road leads to the gate; there are plates on both sides of it. They list all the places in Belarus wh ere the invaders did the excesses.
Spruces are planted imitating wreaths on a large area; they plan to install pillars, similar to those which served as a fence for the camp, with a barbed wire fixed on them.
The architects intend to place memorial symbols in all areas associated with burials, to connect them with a kind of memory tape, noting the names of all the victims of the invaders’ inhuman cruelty. A complex will be constructed on the site of the pit-oven as well. It is supposed to look like two black crossed beams over a pit; the bottom to be planted with flowers in memory of the burned people.
The construction of the monument resonated in the hearts of many caring people from all over the world. Both large enterprises and individual citizens of different countries, social, religious and cultural institutions donated money for it.
The construction of the memorial will come to an end, but people's memory will be eternal. People are sure to go to it, they will feel the compassion, humanity, so that nothing similar to what this earth remembers and stores repeat again.