Memorial Complex
Belarus, Molodechno

Located in Molodechno, "Stalag-342" was one of the largest concentration camps. In total, 260 death camps operated on the territory of small Belarus during the years of World War II. Their characteristic feature was the extremely harsh living conditions of prisoners, including civilians. In relation to the Soviet people, as the fascist Field Marshal Keitel stated, the concept of "knightly war" does not exist, "we are talking about destroying the worldview." The camp was located in the north-east of the city. “Stalag 342” consisted of three death camps and thirteen branches at railway stations of Belarus. The prisoners lived in barracks in unbearable living conditions. These were: prisoners of war, civilians of all ages, including adolescents, women and the elderly. The barracks were crowded with people. Most prisoners lived outdoors for several days. They were fed once a day. 100 grams of bread mixed with sawdust and 1 liter of liquid soup from foods unsuitable for food. That's the whole diet per person. It often happened that prisoners did not receive food for several days. There was not enough water. Exhausted people looked like skeletons, while the camp itself resembled a large cemetery. Prisoners who went crazy with hunger committed suicide. At night, tormented and hungry people lay together in groups, covering themselves with everything that they could find in order to warm themselves. However, this did not help them. In the morning, many prisoners were found dead. The vast majority of prisoners died in the winter. The unsanitary conditions of the Molodechno death camp led to constant outbreaks of typhoid and other diseases. Hard physical work weakened already exhausted people. Hunger, disease, cold and humiliation led to the deaths of thousands of Soviet people. 350-400 people died every day in the camp. All prisoners were tortured and shot. Mass execution was carried out at night. Then the corpses were dumped into the pits of 150, 200, 300 people. 221 mass grave was in the cemetery, located at a distance of 150 - 200 meters from the camp. Unfortunately, they were destroyed in the postwar years. On 73 graves there were crosses with inscriptions on the number of buried prisoners.
"Stalag-342" operated until July 1944, when Molodechno was liberated from Nazi invaders. Here 33150 Soviet prisoners of war ended their life. Leningrad and Moscow, Novosibirsk and Kuibyshev, Odessa and Kiev, Bashkiria and Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan - this is not a complete list of regions from which these people were called up to the Red Army. Among those destroyed in this concentration camp were representatives of various union republics of the former USSR.
On July 5, 1995, the official status of the death camp "Stalag-342" was established - a concentration camp. At the same time, thanks to the initiative and perseverance of the veteran of the Great Patriotic War, the honorary citizen of the city A.I. Mazanik, who passed away in February 2006, the memorial complex itself was also created. It is deeply symbolic that it was built according to the project of the architect Leonid Levin, one of the authors of the Khatyn memorial. According to the author, stones symbolize graves. Each of them has its own number. Around the memorial is a fence of barbed wire - a symbol of a concentration camp. Black flowers stand in memory of the dead. The staircase is the path to eternity, and the pit is a symbolic burial place.
Thanks to Alexander Mazanik, a veteran of the Great Patriotic War, executive secretary of the Molodechno branch of the Belarusian Society for the Protection of Monuments of History and Culture, a committee was formed for the reburial of the remains. According to him, more than 60 thousand people died in the concentration camp, and this is 2 times more than official data. Search work continues.
Every year on April 11, on the International Day for the Liberation of Prisoners of Fascist Concentration Camps, memory rallies are held near the Stalag 342 memorial.