With No Right to Forget

On the anniversary of “Minsk Nuremberg”, an exhibition of declassified documents opened in the Museum of the History of the Great Patriotic War
“They are Sued by Belarus” — articles with such a heading were published in the Byelorussian newspapers in January 1946. Every day they highlighted details of the lawsuit against the Nazis who had committed crimes in Belarus during the war. The judicial proceedings were held from 15 to 29 January 1946 in the District Officers’ House where the Military Tribunal was holding its sittings. The National Archive stores dozens of files with records of the interrogation, minutes and photographs. Many of them can be seen at the exhibition that has opened in the Museum of the History of the Great Patriotic War.

The tribunal sentenced to death 14 persons on trial, among whom there were police chiefs, town majors and division commanders. On January 30, 1946 the war criminals were publicly hanged on Minsk race course. Thousands of Minsk citizens were present at the execution of sentence over the fascist executioners.

According to Elena Mazanik who testified upon the trial (photos and fragments of her speech are also presented at the exhibition), as early as in the first months of the occupation the German started executing peaceful citizens in the central streets of Minsk, in its central park, on “Dynamo” stadium and even on cemeteries... To say nothing of the burned villages, destroyed ghettos and the prisoners of war who died of hunger being not allowed to eat even food scraps of the German officers’ meals.

In 1947 these and many other facts revealed during the proceedings were published as a separate book. The archivists are going to prepare another volume of the proceedings of “Minsk Nuremberg”.

Viktor Korbut
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