Maly Trostenets was the biggest death camp on the territory of Belorussia. It was built by fascists in the vicinity of Minsk. Peaceful civilians, prisoners of war, ethnic Jews from Poland, Austria, Germany and Chekoslovakia were killed there.
The concentration camp was built in autumn 1941. The name of "Trostenets" embraces some places of people mass destruction:
the tract of Blagovschina - a place for mass shootings;
the camp itself - close to the village of Trostenets, 10 km away from Minsk on the Mogilev motorway;
the tract of Shashkovka - a place for mass burnings of people.
Prisoners mass shootings occured in the tract of Blagovschina. People were killed close to long ditches prepared in advance. Corpses were then buried and rammed by caterpillar tractors.
In autumn 1943, when the outcome of the war was clear, fascists started destroying the evidence and the traces of their crimes. A special SS crew had to excavate, find and burn about 100 thousand corpses in the period of November through December 1943 in the tract of Blagovschina. For doing that the labour of Minsk prisoners was used. Together with that the inhabitants of the nearby villages were commanded to bring a couple of thousand of cubic meters of firewood to a certain place.
34 pits (graves) were found in Jule 1944 by a regional Minsk commission which aided the Emergency State Commission in its investigation of crimes committed by German fascists in Blagovschina. When some graves were partially excavated, there were found burnt people's bones at the depth of 3 meters and a layer of ashes 50 cm to 1 meter thick.
150 thousand people are buried in the grave pits of the tract of Blagovschina.
A furnace for burning corpses of killed people was built by fascists in autumn 1943 just 500 meters away from the village of Maly Trostenets. It looked like a pit, dug in the ground with a sloping approach zone. There were 6 rails 10 meters long placed parallel on the bottom of the pit and iron bars on top. The place where the furnace stood was surrounded by barbed wire and was guarded. A special way for automobiles was paved. The victims were brought there either in closed lorries, equipped for killing people with gas ("mobile gas chambers") or in cars with small open trailers. The furnace functioned around the clock.
50 thousand people were burned in the furnace in the tract of Shashkovka.
6500 prisoners were first killed and then burned in a barn at the end of June 1944, some days before the liberation of Minsk by the Red Army. These were people from a prison in Volodarskaia street and from a camp in Shirokaia street in Minsk.
More than 206500 civilians were tortured, killed and burned by fascists in Trostenets.