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Translated by Ollie Richardson & Angelina Siard


Cute small benches? White, neat, made out of concrete. Whoever remembers the desks at school will immediately remember how they sat at similar desks at school.

And this is their purpose. These small benches are also supposed to represent a school class. Only not an ordinary class, but of the dead.

Also a river of blood flows from it. Children’s blood.

It is a memorial in the village Krasny Bereg in the Gomel region. There, during the war, was one of the most terrible concentration camps of World War II. Here Germans gathered our Belarusian children aged between 4-15 years old from the neighboring areas of the Gomel region. They were collected in order to drain their blood. The children’s blood was intended for transfusion to wounded Germans in hospitals. It was considered that children’s blood was healthier and more pure than adults’, and they drained it from as many children as they could.

Generally blood was taken from the veins, but here, in Krasny Bereg, a new — “scientific” — blood sucking method was approved. Children were suspended under the armpits, and their chests squeezed. In order so that blood didn’t clot, a special injection was given. The skin on the soles of the feet was cut off — or deep cuts were made in them. All blood drained into hermetic trays.

And then – everything, bloodless waste material. The bodies of the children were taken away and burned.

Almost 2000 children came to this terrible place. The majority died. Those who were stronger and survived were sold in slavery to Germany. Only 9 people survived.

On the blackboard of this “dead class” is a reproduced letter of one of the girls who found themselves in hell of slave life. The mind refuses to perceive how horrible these simple words that this girl, one of many-many thousands, wrote.

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Oh yes, there is also a map of children’s concentration camps on the territory of Belarus, because Krasny Bereg was not the only one. There were 14.

Last week [note that the article is from 2016 – ed] on TV the Pope’s visit to Auschwitz was shown, how he walks there, demonstratively bows, and the crowd of photographers around click their cameras.

There are no reporters on Krasy Bereg, only rare tourists. It is unlikely that the Pope has ever heard about Krasy Bereg. Our pain is painful only for us.

It is good that such memorials are done. Because the elderly who remember war die, and soon there won’t be anyone to describe what happened during war on our land. it mustn’t be forgotten. If such tragedies are forgotten, they can be repeated.

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