15. März 1948
IV. Barysaw – Sloboda
|GEO & MIL INFO|
|Camp 7401/12, affiliated to Main Camp 7401 Moscow|
15 Mar 48. Transfer to camp 401/12 Barysaw (69 km east of Minsk. Population 45000). About 150 men are ready to leave. Of us 13 officers, only a part goes along: Benno von Knobelsdorff, Werner Gräser, Günter Heuer, Hans Sölheim, Rolf Hillebrand and myself. Staying behind: Max Siefert, Herbert Wolfslast, Fritz Schäfer, Prötzel (an older Bavarian captain). We wait in the large hall of the Cultural Palace. Many have laid down on the tiled floor. I stand upright and talk to a comrade who stays behind, a hunky Swabian. There the Russian clothing administrator sees me and notices that I am still wearing a winter combat jacket over my coat. That also counts as a coat. But no one is allowed to have two coats, so I have to hand in the jacket literally at the last minute. I wish I hadn’t stood but sat down too!
We are loaded, i.e. stuck into a freight wagon and locked in. But the train is still a long way from leaving. We have been standing for several hours. It is night and severely freezing weather. To warm our ice-cold feet, we constantly stamp our feet on the ground, making it thud. The guards outside scold us, but we don’t mind. I’m also freezing in my thin coat and atone for the stupidity of building myself up full size in the hall. Finally the train starts moving.
The way from Borissow station (pronounced Barísuv) to the camp is not far and leads through a part of the city where there are mostly wooden houses.
The camp is a former road maintenance depot on the Rollbahn Minsk-Smolensk-Moscow). Now surrounded by a barbed wire fence. The 2-storey building on the road houses the Russian camp commandant’s office. The former vehicle hall serves as our accommodation. The rather large hall is equipped with numerous pallet racks and serves as crew quarters. For the officers, two rooms are divided off with boards on the long side. They are on top of each other. I lie with 9 comrades in the upper room, which is reached by a small wooden staircase. There is a water karzer in the camp, but its use was forbidden by the political commissar some time ago. In the middle of the courtyard there is a tiny log cabin surrounded by a barbed wire fence. At the moment, two men are under arrest there for poor work performance. - One of the local guards is said to have already shot six men. (Fear mongering?)
Identifying the Camp Location with the Help of Maps
The modern railway map shows the long siding to the main Moscow–Berlin line, still existing in 2019, crossing the P53 Minsk–Smolensk–Moscow trunk road (red dot), 3.4 km walk from Barysaw station; to the west of it, also still in 2019, a troop training ground.
The siding existed in 1944 already.
In 1936 the siding did not yet exist, but the location of the road maintenance depot and thus the later camp is probably the “farmstead” signature (red dot)!
Situation 2016: Across the centre of the picture runs the former “autobahn”; beyond it in the background, where there are now trees and housing estates, was the camp. On the left, not visible, is still the railway track. (Google Maps)
January February March April May June July August September October November December Eine Art Bilanz Gedankensplitter und Betrachtungen Personen Orte Abkürzungen Stichwort-Index Organigramme Literatur Galerie:Fotos,Karten,Dokumente
Personen-Index Namen,Anschriften Personal I.R.477 1940–44 Übersichtskarte (Orte,Wege) Orts-Index Vormarsch-Weg Codenamen der Operationen im Sommer 1942 Mil.Rangordnung 257.Inf.Div. MG-Komp.eines Inf.Batl. Kgf.-Lagerorganisation Kriegstagebücher Allgemeines Zu einzelnen Zeitabschnitten Linkliste Rotkreuzkarte Originalmanuskript Briefe von Kompanie-Angehörigen
- Orte des Gewahrsams p. 239; for the preceding number 7, cf. kriegsgraeber-ukraine.info
- Carell 1978 p.80-81, location not given
- OpenRailwayMap online
- Map NN 35-6 Borisov 1:250.000 bei Perry-Castañeda Library Map Collection - UT Library Online - University of Texas Libraries, The University of Texas at Austin.
- Map N-35-69-B (and N-35-70-A) 1:50.000 at MAPSTER