Forgot your password? Register
Online lecture “Escape of Soviet officers from the 20th block of the Mauthausen concentration camp on February 2, 1945”

Online lecture “Escape of Soviet officers from the 20th block of the Mauthausen concentration camp on February 2, 1945”


"The feat that the prisoners of block 20 performed was not repeated by any soldier of any army in the world," the director of the film "Block 20. Hare hunting" Vyacheslav Serkez.

On February 3, 2021, an online lecture "Escape of Soviet officers from the 20th block of the Mauthausen concentration camp on February 2, 1945" was held by A.V. Konopatchenkov, Candidate of Historical Sciences, Chairman of the Board of the Society of Former Russian Prisoners of the Mauthausen Concentration Camp (OBRUM), member of the International Mauthausen Committee, Acting Director of the St. Demetrius School of Sisters of Mercy.

A.V. Konopatchenkov told the audience about the Mauthausen concentration camp, located on the territory of Austria. Mauthausen was for a long time a concentration camp of the third category, where the conditions of detention were the most severe.

In the summer of 1944, a special "block No. 20" was created in the concentration camp, the prisoners of Mauthausen immediately called it the "death block". With the exception of a small number of Yugoslav partisans, the "block No. 20" contained only captured soldiers and officers of the Red Army. It was about those who could not be broken, those who in the previous camps gathered underground groups and prepared escapes. The average duration of the prisoners' stay in the territory of the twentieth block was only a couple of weeks, very rarely - several months: every day 20-30 people died there.

"However, even in such a desperate situation, the prisoners fought against Nazism. On the night of February 2, 1945, a group of prisoners revolted. Despite the cold, the deep snow cover, the lack of any weapons and necessary supplies, the physical and psychological exhaustion and the betrayal of one of the comrades, a group of prisoners (numbering more than 400 people) managed to get rid of the guards and escape. After the escape began a fierce persecution of the fugitives, that went down in history as "Mühlviertel rabbit hunt". The local population and units of the SS, Wehrmacht and Hitler Youth chased and brutally killed almost all of the escapees. 11 former prisoners miraculously managed to survive ", – said A. B. Konopelchenko.

According to the lecturer, the attitude towards prisoners in our society is not always correct. Since the forties and fifties, prisoners, unfortunately, are perceived as traitors, but this is not the case at all.

The heroes who made a mass escape from one of the most brutal Nazi concentration camps truly deserve to be remembered, but, unfortunately, this is a page of our history that few people know about, and that is why the coverage of this topic is especially important and necessary in our time.

After the lecture, all participants were given the opportunity to ask questions, and various topics were actively discussed, including the prospects for future scientific research and the filming of a feature film about the fate of the prisoners of the twentieth barrack.

Artist Pyotr Grigoriev stressed the importance of spreading information about the revolt in the art community. Elena Skvortsova, Executive Director of the regional public organization "Society for Friendship with Austria", noted the special significance of the theme of the event.

The daughter of one of the escaped prisoners, Natalia Mikhailovna Rybchinskaya, also attended the event and sincerely thanked the organizers of the event for preserving the memory of her father's heroic deed.

The event was organized by the Regional public Organization "Society for Friendship with Austria" with the support of the Russian-Austrian Civil Society Forum "Sochi Dialogue" and the State Budget Professional Educational Institution of the Moscow Department of Health "St. Demetrius School of Sisters of Mercy".