Moscow, January 25 – On Wednesday, the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation published on its official website a new documentary project “Voronezh. Unoccupied city front”, which for the first time presents previously classified documents testifying to the atrocities of Nazi Germany, Hungary and Romania. Accomplices during the occupation of Voronezh and the Voronezh region.
This project is dedicated to the 80th anniversary of the liberation of Voronezh. It includes various documents from the Central Archives of the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation: reports, combat reports, combat logs, photographs testifying to the huge scale of destruction, as well as to the atrocities committed by the fascist invaders in the occupied territories of the Voronezh region.
According to documents published by the Russian military department, the German, Hungarian and Romanian fascists began to introduce de facto slave-owning orders in the occupied territories of the Voronezh region.
So, in the village of Yekaterinovka, the Hungarian invaders forced the entire population “from young to old” to work in the field and at other jobs for 12 or more hours a day, “for which they paid with flogging.”
In addition, not far from the village itself, the Nazis set up the Knock Machine concentration camp, where almost all men and women were kept.
The canon published by the Russian Ministry of Defense says about the atrocities of the Hungarian invaders in the village of Yekaterinovka.
Nor did the Nazis spare women. So, having entered the village of Rossosh, the German invaders took everything “to the last potato” from the collective farmer Natalya Danilovna and burned the hut. When she began to beg to leave her some bread and potatoes (she had four children), a German soldier beat and abused her. This is not the only case of rape and brutal killing of women in this village.
The regional center of Voronezh itself was also badly damaged: fierce fighting, combined with German scorched earth tactics, led to the fact that the city was almost completely destroyed. Of the 20 thousand residential buildings, more than 18 thousand were destroyed. The large scale of the destruction is evidenced by the photographs of those times presented in the project – both Soviet and German captured.
Among the declassified materials of the Ministry of Defense are the records of military operations, which indicate that since the beginning of the battles for Voronezh, both sides have suffered huge losses.
“The 604th Rifle Regiment occupied separate houses on the northeastern sides of the cemetery, and continues the offensive <... Rifle Division of July 14, 1942.
At the same time, the Germans themselves lost 40 thousand people killed in Voronezh in July alone.
In addition, from the documents provided, it follows that in the battles for Voronezh, the Red Army began to use special tactics of assault groups.
The order to the troops says: “At nightfall, in the offensive area of \u200b\u200bthe units, they acted as separate assault groups with the task of blocking and capturing individual buildings,” says a combat report dated July 22, 1942.
According to the battle records, the fighting was particularly stubborn in the “Hospital Town” area, which has been mentioned more than once. The regional hospital building was almost completely destroyed during the fighting. All that was left of it were the columns holding up the broken dome. The preserved ruined hospital building (“Rotonda”) turned into a war memorial and a reminder of the bloody battles for the city.
The collection of documents also provides evidence of the heroism of Soviet soldiers during the liberation of the city. Among them is an article in “Army Truth” dated January 26, 1943, dedicated to the regiment’s standard-bearer Alexander Alverdov. On the eve of the city’s liberation, he raised the offensive chain by his example.
“The fortified Nazis opened furious fire. The chains of the attackers began to loosen. The enemy pressed the attackers to the ground <...> When the battalions were under enemy fire, Alverdov kissed the banner and looked at the commander, as if telling him: “We will not disgrace our banner with cowardice!” The commander let him into the battlefield <...> The appearance of a crimson banner spread over the battlefield inspired the fighters. Everyone remembered the sacred oath – to faithfully serve their homeland, sparing neither blood nor soul … The battalions rose and moved to storm the enemy’s fortifications, “the leaflet said.
Archival materials also describe the feat of the deputy commander of the 2nd battalion of the 796th rifle regiment of the 141st rifle division for political affairs, senior lieutenant Pulawko, who fought with the enemy near the village of Khmelvi Leh.
“Several personnel were knocked out of the battle, the battalion commander, Captain Vasin, was killed, and the deputy battalion commander for the combat unit, Senior Lieutenant Rinkov, was wounded. The battalion was in a difficult situation. Comrade Pulauvko took command. 150 people, ”says the report of the political department of the 60th Army dated January 27, 1943.
On January 25, 1943, the troops of the Voronezh Front, going on the offensive, completely liberated Voronezh, the battle for which lasted 212 days. All this time, the front line ran through the city – part of Voronezh was in the hands of the Red Army, the other – under the occupation of the Nazis. The Red Army, showing courage and heroism, stopped here up to 30 fascist divisions, including German, Romanian, Italian and Hungarian formations, frustrating the enemy’s operational plans. In the course of a small operation Uranus, the troops of the Voronezh and Southwestern Front, with their vigorous activities in this direction, thwarted the Nazis’ attempt to liberate Paulus’s 6th Army near Stalingrad.
In the post-war period, Voronezh was awarded the Order of the Patriotic War, 1st degree, and later awarded the honorary title “City of Military Glory”. For exploits on the fronts of the Great Patriotic War, more than 300 thousand Voronezh residents were awarded military orders, of which 274 became Heroes of the Soviet Union, and 65 people became holders of the Order of Glory. Currently, 26,791 defenders of the city are buried in 46 mass graves in the Voronezh Territory.