Updated at 17:39,28-11-2020

German organization set to raise €1 million for Trastsyanets memorial


The Association for International Education and Exchange (IBB Dortmund) plans to raise €1 million for the construction of a memorial to the people killed by the Nazis in the Trastsyanets death camp outside Minsk, Viktar Balakiraw, director of IBB Minsk, told reporters on Monday.

He said that the city governments of Berlin, Cologne, Dusseldorf, Hamburg, Bremen and Frankfurt am Main had already donated €25,000 each. A German foundation has promised to donate €150,000 more.

As much as €200,000 is to come from the German War Graves Commission. IBB Dortmund plans to ask the German foreign ministry to allocate the remaining €500,000, said Mr. Balakiraw.

Two designs have been proposed for a Trastsyanets memorial. One, developed by the city government-controlled company, envisages the construction of a memorial at the site of the death camp. The other proposed memorial, designed by prominent architect Leanid Levin, would be built in the vicinity of the site.

The latter would begin with a parking lot leading to a white-colored area filled with what would look like suitcases left behind by their owners. Behind the area would be a red-colored path, with trees running along each side. It would also be lined by 1940s-style railroad cars, with the names of the victims printed inside them. The avenue would lead to an irregular-shaped area that would symbolize the paradoxical nature of war through a multitude of objects put upside down.

Another avenue would lead to an empty, circular black-colored area that would symbolize an abyss.

The Trastsyanets camp was the largest death camp in the territory of Belarus during the 1941-1944 Nazi occupation of the country. More than 206,000 people are believed to have been slain in the camp. //BelaPAN