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Events - Viktor Pleschkewitsch

Viktor Pleschkewitsch dead

On Monday, May 7th, 2007 Viktor Pleschkewitsch died in the Grodno hospital.

Viktor was born on May 1st, 1930 in Drchtscha, Minsk Oblast. When he was 4 years old, together with his brothers and sisters, was sent to an orphanage.

When the Second World War broke out the orphanage wasn`t evacuated and the children were left to fend for themselves. They remained in German-controlled terrain.

His story starts in the very harsh winter of 1944.

German aerial attacks had hit the orphanage, windows were completely destroyed as well as parts of the roof and leaving the home without heating. During that winter, 150 of the 360 children died of hunger and cold.

Viktor and his brother tried to survive.

They tried to steal some rations from a German transport sledge and were caught. The two brothers, 13 and 14 years old were put up against a wall to be shot.

The guns were already aimed, when a superior officer cancelled the order. They had no value dead and were therefore deported to Germany in order to be used as labour the production of war materials.

Thus both brothers arrived at Kahla, at the "REIMAHG".

Due to his steadily decreasing physical condition, Viktor was put to work on the railway and had to link together the wagons. During the hard winter 1944/45 he lost his gloves and suffered frostbite in all of his fingers.

After the liberation by the Americans, followed by the Red Army, Viktor worked as an interpreter.

Later he returned with his brother to Belarus. They had somehow both survived.

We invited him to come to Kahla and enabled him to fulfil a long-held wish: to visit once again the site were he had worked some 60 years before.

He was received with open arms. The respect and the enduring friendship that people gave him was, for Viktor, an overwhelming feeling he had never known before.

Viktor won over everyone`s heart, being modest and always friendly, and despite harsh and terrible experiences he had endured, never complained.

We will never forget Viktor. His kindness and singing talent will always remain in our memory.

Goodbye, Viktor