“To the place of execution drove columns”: the defense Ministry declassified documents on the release of Vilnius
On the day of the 75th anniversary of the complete liberation of Vilnius from Nazi invaders, the Ministry of defense of the Russian Federation published a number of previously classified documents. They reveal the details of persistent battles for the capital of the Lithuanian SSR. In addition, an act on the activities of the “Base” object in the vicinity of Vilnius was published, in which more than 200 thousand people were killed in three years. The Nazis drove and took people to this place under the guise of moving to a new place of residence and work, and then shot. Along with civilians there were killed tens of thousands of prisoners of war of the red army and officers brought from camps and prisons, according to declassified documents.
“To the place of execution drove columns”: the defense Ministry declassified documents on the release of Vilnius The Ministry of defence has published a number of previously classified documents from the Central archive of the Ministry. The liberation of the city and most of the Lithuanian SSR became possible thanks to the successful implementation of the military operation “Bagration”.
For the 75th anniversary of the release of the Ministry of defense has declassified materials about the battle of Minsk during the great Patriotic war The Russian defense Ministry published archival documents on the battles for the capital of the Belarusian SSR. On the website of Department copies of fighting are placed…
“Parts of the 5th army after six days of hard fighting completely captured Vilnius… According to preliminary data, in the battles for the mastery of Vilnius from 7 to 13 July, our troops destroyed: 7000 soldiers and officers of the enemy, 121 guns, 11 tanks and self-propelled guns, 132 machine guns, 1600 rifles and machine guns, 900 cars, 150 motorcycles, 18 radio stations, 120 horses, two ammunition depots, two railway echelons,” — reported in the headquarters of the 3rd Belarusian front on July 14, 1944.
In addition, it is noted that more than 5,200 people were taken prisoner, 156 guns, 28 tanks and self-propelled guns, 48 mortars, 291 machine guns, 7000 firearms, 1,100 vehicles, 100 motorcycles, 500 horses, 56 ammunition depots, 97 warehouses with military equipment and food, six railway echelons were captured.
The Nazis were not going to surrender Vilnius. Adolf Hitler declared the city a “fortress”. By his order in the capital of the Lithuanian SSR were concentrated to 15 thousand soldiers of the Wehrmacht and SS.
“For the liberation of Vilnius, the Soviet command has created a powerful group of up to 80 thousand people,” — said in an interview with RT military historian Yuri Knutov.
Street fighting for the capital of the Lithuanian SSR lasted several days. Trying to help the encircled garrison, the German command on the morning of July 9, attempted to relieve the city of parachute troops and combat cargo 30 aircraft of the Junkers Ju 88, however, these forces were destroyed by Soviet units.
Support of the advancing forces of the red army was provided by the 1st air army, whose planes destroyed the railway echelons, manpower and equipment of the enemy with their assault and bombing actions.
“1st air army in the afternoon of 12 July a massive blow to the bombers and attack aircraft were destroyed manpower and equipment of the enemy in the North-Western part of Vilnius and led the exploration to the turn of the Kaunas — Grenoble. During the day, 244 air missions were made, 136 of them for assault and bombing actions,” one of the published documents says.
In commemoration of the victory of the compound and part of the most distinguished in the battles for the liberation of the capital of the Lithuanian SSR were presented for the award and naming them Vilensky. “Moscow on behalf of the Motherland salutes the valiant troops of the 3rd Belarusian front, who seized the capital of Soviet Lithuania — the city of Vilnius — with 24 artillery volleys of 324 guns… Eternal glory to the heroes who died in the battles for freedom and independence of our country,” — said in the text of the order of the Supreme commander of the USSR Joseph Stalin.
August 5, 1944 by decree of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR participated in the liberation of Vilnius compounds and parts were awarded orders. ?? Order of the Supreme Commander No. 111 of 13 July 1944
During the occupation since June 24, 1941, more than 200 thousand people were killed at the “Base” facility in the village of Panara, a few kilometers from Vilnius. These data were recorded on the basis of statements and testimony of local residents, as well as inspection of the place of mass and organized extermination of citizens of the USSR.
“In the n/p of Panara there was for three years a specially created organization for mass executions and killings of Soviet citizens, led by the Vilna Gestapo… The place of mass murder of the Soviet citizens with a total area of more than 40 hectares is enclosed by a fence in two meters high from a barbed wire”, — it is told in documents.
It is reported that from the moment of the organization of this object “Base” was strictly protected, and all persons who incidentally appeared near it were arrested and shot.
“The Soviet people were driven to the place of execution by columns of several thousand on foot, brought in hundreds of cars with a full load, as well as trains by rail from Vilna and other regions of the Lithuanian SSR. Most of the civilian population of the Gestapo drove and brought to Panary under the guise of moving to a new place of residence and work. The families walked and rode with personal belongings,” reads the statement on actions of the Nazis.
“On the way to the place of execution people were subjected to cruel mockery. Old, sick, children, exhausted and lagging behind the column were beaten with stakes, dragged on the ground and some were shot, children were taken by the legs and killed on trees. The columns were Jews, poles, Belarusians, Lithuanians and Russians,” the document says.
Along with civilians, tens of thousands of prisoners of war of the red army and officers were shot in Panar, who were brought there from camps and prisons.
“Executions were carried out in the daytime in batches of ten people without interruption until the complete destruction of the entire column. On the “Base” there were ready seven huge round holes, the depth of which is five meters, the diameter of the lower part — 14 meters, the top — 25 meters, four smaller pits and seven moats… Along with the dead were buried and still living people. The pit with the dead top was filled with bleach,” according to declassified papers.
In November 1943, for concealment of traces of crimes of the Gestapo set up a special team on the excavation and burning of corpses. Moreover, the composition of this team has changed several times: everything that was previously in the subdivision people were shot. The last mass shooting in Panar Occurred on July 3-4, 1944.
The historical documents provide evidence of how grateful residents met their liberators — soldiers of the red Army, who after the liberation of Vilnius moved to the crossing of the Neman river. Until victory in great Patriotic war, remained still 300 days.
“The Vilnius operation was carefully thought out and perfectly implemented. On July 13, 1944 the city was completely cleared of Nazi occupiers. Residents of Vilnius happily welcomed their liberators. And today’s publication of documents is a reminder that it was the Red army that liberated Lithuania from the Nazi yoke»