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Notes by a Jew from Vienna Deported to a Camp in the Minsk District

On May 6, 1942, we left the collection camp (in Vienna)... (at the) railway station we learned... that we were being taken to Minsk. We traveled by passenger coach as far as Wolkowisk, where we had to... change over into cattle vans... We arrived in Minsk on May 11 (at the) station we were met by SS and Police... For the transport of the sick, of persons who went out of their mind during the journey, the aged and infirm (about 200 in number in our transport) box-cars stood waiting – great, gray, closed motor-vans – into which the people were thrown one on top of the other in confusion... 81 persons fit for work were picked from among the arrivals and taken to the camp of the Security Police and SD in Mali-Trostinez (12 kms. from Minsk). The camp consisted of a few rotting old barns and stables. That is where we were housed... When new people arrived, others who were not 100 percent fit for work were taken out. We were told that some of these were sent to hospital and others to other estates to work there. (Only) the best workers were to stay on our estate, Mali-Trostinez, so that our camp would be an example to others... The highest complement in the camp was about 600 Jews and 300 Russian prisoners... On July 28, 1942, the news reached us in the camp of a " Grossaktion in the Ghetto." It involved at that time about 8,000 Russian and 5,000 German, Austrian and Czech Jews, who had been in the Minsk Ghetto from November 1941... The transports ceased at the end of 1942... (in the meantime) we learned that there were no "other estates" in the vicinity of Minsk and that it was to "Estate 16" that all the people were taken... "Estate 16" is about 4-5 kms. from Mali-Trostinez on the main road to Mogilev, (it contains mass graves) of thousands of persons who were shot or (murdered) in the gas vans....*

Source: J. Moser, Die Judenverfolgung in OEsterreich 1938-1945 ("Persecution of the Jews in Austria, 1938-1945"), Vienna, 1966, pp. 35-36.

Source: Yad Vashem