Međunarodna organizacija antifašista - FIR PDF Print E-mail

FASCIST MASS CRIMES AT THE END OF THE WAR

The FIR and its member federations remind in these days not only of the liberation of their countries from the fascist occupation, but also of the innumerable victims, whom German fascism has been responsible for in the last days of its rule.

 

 

With the approach of the allied forces, the concentration camps and detention centers were also cleared. Thousands of prisoners were either sent on death marches to the still unoccupied territories or cruelly murdered during the evacuation. Prisoners and forced laborers from many countries fell victim to them. We remember three of these massacres:

In the Easter days of 1945, from March 7 to April 12, 1945, about 300 people were murdered in a forest glade in the Bittermark near Dortmund, in Rombergpark and on the railway grounds between Hörde and Berghofen. Those killed were forced laborers from France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Yugoslavia, Poland and the Soviet Union, as well as German resistance fighters who were taken from the Hörder Gestapo cellar and the Steinwache to Rombergpark and Bittermark and murdered there.

In northern Hesse, the Gestapo murdered 28 prisoners of the Breitenau “Work Education Camp” on April 30, 1945, just a few days before the arrival of American troops. They were first dragged to Kassel, where they were to be killed in a cemetery. Fearing the approach of the Allies, however, they were brought back and executed at open pits in the Fulda hills. Among those murdered were 16 Soviet, 10 French and 2 Dutch prisoners.

The following day, the Kassel Gestapo murdered forced laborers of a construction convoy at Kassel's Wilhelmshöhe railway station, who were accused of looting because they had organized food from an open freight car. The forced laborers were led in groups of six to eight men to the adjacent allotment garden area. The Italians and a Soviet forced laborer were led to the edge of a bomb crater and shot from behind. After 78 had been murdered, the surviving construction workers had to shovel up the bomb craters with the dead inside

In early April 1945, the subcamps of Mittelbau-Dora concentration camp near the front and a subcamp of Neuengamme concentration camp in Hannover-Stöcken were evacuated before the approaching of Allied troops. The camp guards of the SS and Wehrmacht drove the prisoners from the camps into the Altmark region. In the evening of April 13, marching columns reached Gardelegen, where the prisoners were driven into the field barn of the Isenschnibbe estate. Afterwards the guards set the barn on fire after they had previously tried to kill the prisoners with machine gun fire. 1016 people were brutally murdered. The victims of the massacre came from Poland, the Soviet Union, France, Hungary, Belgium, Germany, Italy, the former Czechoslovakia and Yugoslavia, the Netherlands, Spain and Mexico. Only out of 305 murdered persons have been identified by name.

Such mass murders at the end of the war completed the horrible balance of Nazi rule. FIR and its member federations will not forget these crimes against humanity and remember the victims of the fascist barbarism.