Karbyshev Dmitry Ivanovich - Lieutenant-General of the engineering troops, ancestral Siberian Cossack, Hero of the Soviet Union. Just before the start of the Great Patriotic War, he was on the western border in the city of Grodno (Belarus), where he was sent to assist defensive construction. Therefore, it so happened that from the first days of the war, in the summer of 1941, Karbyshev was in the thick of things. On August 8, 1941, when he tried to break out of his entourage, he received a concussion and was captured by the Nazis.
In the Nazi dungeons, General Karbyshev spent three and a half years. A few years did not know anything about the capture and further fate of the general in Moscow, in his “personal file”, in the same year 1941 a note was made: “He went missing”.
Having been captured by the fascists, General Karbyshev began his camp journey from a distribution camp near the Polish city of Ostrov Mazowiecki. In this camp, prisoners were interrogated, rewritten and distributed. Having stayed in this camp until the autumn of 1941, the general managed to get sick with a severe form of dysentery and was sent to another camp, located here in Poland, near the town of Zamoć. In the new camp, the conditions of detention of prisoners of war were better, there was a roof over your head and almost normal food. Translating Karbysheva into this camp of "superior comfort", the Germans, according to some German historians, were almost certain that after the experience they had experienced, the general would agree to cooperate. The hopes of the fascists were not justified, and in the spring of 1942, Karbyshev was transferred to a purely officer concentration camp Hammelburg (Bavaria). This camp contained only Soviet prisoners of war. The camp command was carried out constant, intensive work on the inclination of the Soviet officers, by all available means, on the side of the fascists. For these purposes, in the camp, even a certain appearance of humane treatment of prisoners was observed, which in the early years of the war brought quite good results to the Germans. But Karbysheva did not touch this humanity in any way.
It was here that his famous motto appeared: “There is no greater victory than victory over oneself! The main thing - do not fall before the enemy on his knees. "
In the winter of 1943, Soviet intelligence officers learned that the commander of one of the fascist infantry units, Colonel Pelit, was urgently recalled from the front and was appointed commandant of the Hammelburg camp. No special significance was attached to this information. As it turned out later, it was Pelitu who was assigned to conduct personal work with the captive Lieutenant-General of the engineering troops DI Karbyshev. Colonel Pelit once studied in St. Petersburg, was fluent in Russian and, together with Captain Karbyshev, served in Brest.
Arriving at the camp, Pelit set about fulfilling his mission. The first thing he decided to gain confidence in Karbyshev and try to position the Soviet general to himself. From the very first meeting with the general, he began to play the role of a simple, old warrior, not interested in politics at all, sympathizing with the well-deserved Soviet general. Scattered in courtesies, Pelit told his guest of honor, as he himself called Karbyshev, that, according to the information that came to him, the German command decided to give the general complete freedom and even allow him to go abroad to a neutral country, if he has such a desire paints described the delights of life that are waiting for the general if he is a little more loyal. But Karbyshev quickly got to know his former colleague.
Pelit’s mission failed, Karbyshev was adamant. The German command, realizing that things were not so simple with this Soviet general, decided to apply extreme harsh measures to it. By order of the Gestapo Command, the general was taken to Berlin.
In Berlin, Karbyshev was placed in a solitary cell, in which he lost track of time, they were not shared at night and day, the cell had no windows, and there was a bright, constantly blinking lamp in it all the time. It was the usual Gestapo prison reception. Before starting “work” with a man, he was brought to a state of complete apathy to what was happening.
After spending a few weeks in the cell, the general was called in for questioning. During the interrogation, he was not met by a bloodthirsty Gestapo investigator, but by the famous German fortifier, Professor Heinz Raubenheimer.
Raubenheimer politely greeted the prisoner and read out to him the terms of the “cooperation” offered to the general by the German command. The general was offered complete freedom and material security. The agreement also said that Karbyshev would be given full access to all the book-depositories and libraries of Germany. Guaranteed modern laboratory and any number, he needed helpers. Permission was given to leave for the area of the fronts, except for the east, to check the calculations in the field. All the ranks of the Nazi army will treat Karbyshev as a lieutenant general of the engineering troops of the German Reich.
“My beliefs do not fall out with the teeth, from a lack of vitamins in the diet of camp food. I am a soldier and remain faithful to my duty. And he forbids me to cooperate with a country that is at war with my homeland, ”was the answer of Karbyshev to the German professor.
The Nazis did not expect such stubbornness. Karbyshev was created even more stringent, intolerable conditions. In the cell, the lamp was replaced with a more powerful one; now there was no rest for the eyes, even if they were closed, so they began to fester, causing pain. Began to give highly salty food, denying water. Almost not allowed to sleep. This went on for six months, from time to time the Germans came again with the offer of “cooperation”, each time receiving a negative answer.
Realizing the futility of these measures, the Germans transferred Karbyshev to Flossenbürg concentration camp. This camp was notable for its cruel treatment of prisoners and hard labor. The prisoners worked in granite quarries, under the supervision of SS men, armed with pistols and whips. Any careless, in the opinion of the overseers, the action of the prisoner led to severe beatings with whips or a shot to the back of the head.
For half a year Dmitry Ivanovich spent the hard labor in Flossenbürg. In August 1943, he was imprisoned by the Gestapo in Nuremberg.
Then followed the most terrible fascist camps Sachsenhausen, Auschwitz, Mauthausen. Through all the horrors of these camps passed the Soviet general Karbyshev.
Dmitry Ivanovich Karbyshev died in the dungeons of the fascist Mauthausen concentration camp, three months before the entry of Soviet troops into Berlin, he was 65 years old.
About the death of General Karbyshev, first became known after the war. In the 1946 year, February 13, a major of the Canadian army, Seddon De Saint-Claire, who was treated at a hospital near London, told the Soviet repatriation representatives in England important details that shed light on the heroic death of a Soviet general.
He told the Soviet officers that he was feeling his quick demise and, therefore, not wanting the facts about the heroic death of the Soviet general that went to the grave with him, he summoned them to pass on the information known to him. And he spoke to no one about anyone other than General Karbyshev, with whom he was imprisoned, in the fascist camp of Mauthausen.
According to a Canadian officer on one of the February nights, the Germans drove a party of prisoners of war to the camp, about a thousand people, among whom were General Karbyshev and the Major himself. “On the street, there was a 12-degree frost, the prisoners were dressed extremely badly, the Germans drove everyone into the shower room and ordered to undress and began to water people with icy water. It lasted for quite a long time, people could not stand their hearts because of the cold, they fell dead to the floor, everything turned blue. Survivors, in the same underwear, with wooden pads on their feet, the Nazis drove into the yard. In the courtyard, the execution continued, now people were pouring water from fire extinguishers to those who tried to dodge the streams of icy water, the Nazis smashed their heads with iron batons. Hundreds of people fell, frozen or with smashed heads, I saw General Karbyshev fall as well, ”said the Canadian major.
“Out of a thousand prisoners, seventy people survived, and only by luck, tired Germans did not finish off the survivors, postponing this matter until the morning. And at night, the fascists left the camp in panic and haste, as it turned out the Allied forces were very close to him. With my story I am fulfilling my little duty to the memory of a great man ”- this is how a Canadian officer finished his story.
16 August Lt. Gen. Dmitry Karbyshev was awarded the title Hero of the Soviet Union, posthumously.
28 February 1948 was a monument and memorial plaque of General Karbyshev opened on the territory of the former Nazi concentration camp Mauthausen.
In Russia, the streets and boulevards of many cities, military groups and ships bear his name. A small planet 1959-Karbyshev makes its way between Jupiter and Mars in a solar orbit.