• Memorial to the Murdered Psychiatric Patients in Mogilev
A monument in the Belarusian town of Mogilev (Belarusian: Mahilëŭ) - which is situated close to the Russian border at the banks of the Dnieper River - commemorates the 1,200 murdered patients of the local mental hospital. It was dedicated on July 2, 2009. Einsatzkommando 8 (mobile killing squad) murdered the psychiatric patients between September 1941 and January 1942 in the course of the National Socialist »euthanasia« campaign.
Image: Mogilev, 1941, View of the town, Bundesarchiv Koblenz
Mogilev, 1941, View of the town, Bundesarchiv Koblenz

Image: Mogilev, July 2, 2009, The memorial on the day of its inauguration, Gerrit Hohendorf
Mogilev, July 2, 2009, The memorial on the day of its inauguration, Gerrit Hohendorf
The German Wehrmacht occupied Mogilev in July 1941. At the beginning of August 1941, Einsatzkommando 8 (mobile killing squad), which was part of Einsatzgruppe B (mobile killing unit) entered Mogilev under the command of Otto Bradfisch. Shortly after the invasion, German troops arrested Dr. Kliptsan, the Jewish director of the Mogilev mental hospital. The new director, Dr. A.N. Stepanov, was commissioned to make a list of all of the hospital's patients and to classify them as »fit for work« or »unfit for work«. In September 1941, the SS tested a new killing method in the Mogilev mental hospital: nursing personnel led at least five psychiatric patients to a room into which car and lorry exhaust fumes were injected. The patients were asphyxiated with the poisonous gases after suffering mortal agony. This experiment was observed by Arthur Nebe, the commandant of Einsatzgruppe B, and Dr. Albert Widmann, chemist at the Forensics Institute in Berlin. The murder of the patients was also filmed, most probably by Nebe. At the end of September or beginning of October, the first large murder action took place. Einsatzkommando 8 killed over 800 patients by asphyxiating them with exhaust fumes. Jews from the Mogilev ghetto had to bury the corpses in mass graves. At least one further »Aktion« took place in January 1942. The members of Einsatzkommando 8 shot the remaining patients of the mental hospital as well as patients from an agricultural colony for the mentally ill. Around 250 people perished in this »Aktion«. After the building of the mental hospital had been vacated it was converted to a military hospital for the Wehrmacht.
Image: Mogilev, 1941, View of the town, Bundesarchiv Koblenz
Mogilev, 1941, View of the town, Bundesarchiv Koblenz

Image: Mogilev, July 2, 2009, The memorial on the day of its inauguration, Gerrit Hohendorf
Mogilev, July 2, 2009, The memorial on the day of its inauguration, Gerrit Hohendorf
It is no longer possible to establish the exact number of victims from the Mogilev mental hospital murdered by the SS between September 1941 and January 1942. According to estimates based on eyewitness statements, at least 1,200 people fell victim to the National Socialist »euthanasia« campaign in Mogilev, among them many children. At least 60 of the victims were Jewish. They were subjected to a selection and murdered in the first »Aktion«.
The memorial was dedicated on July 2, 2009, on the initiative of the Psychiatric University Clinic in Heidelberg and the Psychiatric Regional Hospital in Mogilev. It was designed by Mogilev artist Alexander Minkov. The memorial in Mogilev is until now the only memorial in the former Soviet Union commemorating the murders of psychiatric patients under German occupation.
Image: Mogilev, 2009, Inscription on the memorial's pedestal, Gerrit Hohendorf
Mogilev, 2009, Inscription on the memorial's pedestal, Gerrit Hohendorf

Name
Pamjatnik ubitym pazientam psichbol'nizy
Address
ul. Surganova 41
212010 Mahilëŭ
Open
The memorial is accessible at all times.