History 30/12/19 What happened to those who burned down Khatyn
Despite the fact that the tragedy of the Belarusian village of Khatyn very widely known and became a household name, details of this event for a long time was unknown. In Soviet times, guilty of burning the villagers called exclusively German punitive. And sometimes even done correctly indicated the Dirlewanger battalion.
In the post has information that is guilty of the crime of Ukrainian nationalists, which received a name “Bandera”.
the Tragedy of Khatyn
the Village of Khatyn was destroyed not in any of the major counterinsurgency operations as most of the other villages. However, punitive actions against the partisans were carried out regularly. In March 1943, a battalion of special forces of the SS Dirlewanger was engaged in a sweep against guerrillas in Logoisk district. In this part of Belarus there were six partisan brigades, which caused a lot of problems to the German occupation authorities.
In the framework of this action the battalion Dirlewanger was burned several villages. But in regard to Katyn, the protagonist wasn’t them.
not Far from the Katyn ambushed the partisan brigade “Dyadi Vasi” has got a group of 118 (Ukrainian) battalion of auxiliary police. Killing a commander of one of the companies of the battalion, German Hans welke. In Germany he was well known as a champion of the Olympic games in 1936.
as a result of the 118th battalion on 22 March 1943 during the battle, drove the guerrillas from Katyn, and the village itself was burned together with the residents. To the aid of policemen was sent reinforcements from the special SS battalion Dirlewanger.
the Battalion Dirlewanger
the Battalion Dirlewanger was the most unique part of the Waffen SS, and all the armed forces of the Third Reich. It is based on a team of fifteen hundred people, recruited from those convicted of poaching. The poachers were given the opportunity to claimupit blame military service. And since all of them were good shots and knew the woods, some of them had a very good unit to combat the guerrillas.
they Acted extremely well, the loss was minimal. And was notable for extreme cruelty. Though averted in my team at first did not take murderers, rapists, robbers, but the former poachers was no better than hardened criminals. Not only did they kill partisans in the course of its shares, but burned villages, killed the local inhabitants, sparing neither children nor the elderly.
Since the poachers themselves were a little, the Dirlewanger added on arrival to Belarus one more company, recruited from POWs of Russian and Belarusian nationality, and a platoon of Ukrainians.
When the 118th battalion requested reinforcements to help him were sent to the Ukrainian platoon and part of the German company. Just in Katyn was about a hundred SS men and Ukrainian platoon had a little more than fifty soldiers in its composition, then, apparently, before the fifty was the Germans. However, the participation of the Germans in the campaign there is no evidence anywhere mentions only Russian and Ukrainian names.
Zhukov writes in the book “Hunters of partisans. Brigade Dirlewanger”, for a battalion, then a regiment Dirlewanger action in Katyn was commonplace for them known and more ambitious crimes.
Ukrainian platoon of the Dirlewanger battalion in August 1943 in full force, led by commander Ivan Melnichenko defected to the partisans. Melnichenko almost a year he commanded a platoon in the brigade for them. Chkalova, but in 1944 deserted. After the war he was arrested and shot during the escape.
the 118th police battalion
according to modern Ukrainian nationalists, the 118th battalion of the auxiliary police had no direct relationship to the UPA*. Technically it is, that fundamentally changes nothing.
Auxiliary police (Schutzmannschaft) were formed by the Germans in the occupied territories of the local residents or voennoplennys. The task of these units was to maintain order, protection of prisoners of war and concentration camps, the struggle with the guerrillas.
the basis of the Ukrainian police battalions was marching units of the OUN*, Kiev and Bukovina Smoking, Squads of Ukrainian nationalist battalions “Nachtigall” and “Roland”. In particular, the core of the 118th battalion was Bukovina hut.
However, we should not think that the 118th battalion, as well as others, consisted entirely of Ukrainians. Its membership included representatives of different nationalities. Among those who were in Katyn meet Russian and Belarusian names.
the Battalion formed in the summer of 1942 in Kiev, at the end of the same year transferred to Belarus, where he remained until the Soviet offensive (operation Bagration) 1944.
the Battalion was originally established to fight the guerrillas, and in that capacity was actively used, taking part in all conducted counterinsurgency operations. Khatyn was not the only one in the history of the battalion, so in a month was shot by the villagers of Kosovo. Later, in the framework of a major operation against the Belarusian partisans “Cottbus”, the 118th battalion massacred villagers Vilejka, Harvesting and Makove. The list of crimes of the battalion is large enough and hardly known until the end.
the fate of the policemen
After the summer of 1944 Belarus was liberated, the 118th police battalion was deployed in East Prussia. There he received a new number (62nd) and together with other Ukrainian, Belorussian and Cossack battalions became part of the police ziglinga (Schutzmannschaft-Brigade Siegling). In August 1944, the brigade was deployed to the 30th SS Grenadier division (30.Waffen-Grenadier-Division der SS), also referred to as 2-I’m Russian.
From East Prussia, the division was transferred to France, where she participated in the fighting on the Rhine with the French army.
But the remnants of the 118th battalion in this already did not participate. In France, the Germans tried to useAMB Ukrainian policemen to fight the guerrillas. However, the whole battalion in full force defected to the French Resistance. And soon fought with the Germans and the 2nd battalion of Ukrainian Taras Shevchenko, consisting of the 13th polupricepy Foreign Legion.
After the war, most soldiers remained to serve in the French Foreign Legion. The Soviet authorities they were betrayed, they all subsequently died a natural death.
Among the survivors of policemen of the 118th battalion, after the war, many managed to hide his involvement in war crimes and live in the USSR. But gradually they were identified and condemned. Not all received the highest measure.
Of the main leaders of the action the platoon commander Vasyl Meleshko, was sentenced to death only in 1975, and the head of the battalion headquarters Gregory Vasyura 1986. Initially, they both managed to hide their involvement in war crimes and was sentenced for collaborating with the Germans. To expose them it took a lot of years.
Last policeman 118th battalion died in 2015 in Canada.
* — an organization banned in Russia
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