The Malbork Massacre

Enough of this light-hearted banter! Let’s get back to something altogether more disturbing…mass graves.

This story had completely passed me by, as most of them do, but it seems that in the process of constructing a new luxury hotel on a site close to the castle in Malbork a few human bones were unearthed. Never a good sign for any construction project!

Further investigation revealed the remains of around 1,800 people buried in a mass grave, one in ten of whom had been shot in the head. The story goes that these people were from the population of Malbork (as is known today) or Marienburg (as it was know at the time these people died) who were murdered by the Russian troops on their way to Berlin in 1945.

The change from the German town of Marienburg to the Polish town of Malbork happened after WWII. Marienburg had a lively history involving things Teutonic, Prussian and Hanseatic but immediately prior to WWI had been part of Germany Empire between 1871 and WWI and then voted overwhelmingly to remain German after WWI. After the second war nobody was taking votes. Actually, there was nobody left to take votes from as they were all in this grave!

It is strange that the bodies were buried naked without any possessions at all;

“We found no trace of any clothes, shoes, belts, glasses not even dentures or false teeth.”.

This removal of all personal items is something made famous by the piles of hair, glasses and other items at Auschwitz but is clearly more popular than I imagined and not just restricted to German operations. I wonder is it a case of collecting thing that might be valuable or useful, humiliating the victims or covering up by removing any possible evidence? Perhaps all three. One assumes all the belongings are still buried somewhere in Malbork, waiting to be found when the next hotel needs foundations digging. Something for you to think about next time you’re exploring the UNESCO world heritage Teutonic castle!

I know the Russians were lunatics and a long way from home but what make people do things like this? They were on their way to Berlin chasing retreating German troops. Why the need to waste time in Malbork doing this?

I asked my wife about this and she had not heard anything so I don’t know how much exposure this had on Polish news. I think it is safe to assume that the Russians have not come forward and admitted guilt, made an apology or anything like that! One could always start a conspiracy theory that is wasn’t the Russians after all but a plot by Roosevelt, carried out by British secret service in order to develop even better relations with Uncle Joe prior to handing over Poland!

Anyway, there we have it, the latest exposure of mass human suffering on Polish soil. Can there possibly be another country in the world that can claim to have more dirty secrets under its surface than dear old Poland? I very much doubt it.

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45 thoughts on “The Malbork Massacre

  1. Boguslaw says:

    Well, right now we cant be sure that Soviets actually did it. Perhaps they were polish slave labourers killed by Nazis or German civilans killed during battle of Malbork and so on. Apart of innocent victims of Red Army, we should also remember that many of those “victims” (and i dont reffering to Malbork case right now) were simply members of NSDAP, being responsibility for many disgusting things.

  2. guest says:

    A german witness said that it were the Russians.

    h ttp://nachrichten.aol.de/nachrichten-politik/raetsel-um-massengrab-aus-dem-zweiten/artikel/20090109132417579936131

  3. Boguslaw says:

    quite possible, but still, they might have been killed during battle by stray bullet. Such things did happen. Of course, Malbork was one of the first towns of Prussia that had been captured by Soviets, so everything is possible here. We should wait and see what will be the outcome.

  4. guest says:

    Scatts, where did you read that the 1,800 dead was the entire population of Malbork?

  5. scatts says:

    guest, I thought I read it somewhere but looking again it seems I might have badly misread this passage by imagining a “the” before the 1,840.

    “Since the end of the war, 1,840 former residents of Marienburg were classified as missing.”

    I’ve edited now. Thanks.

    Boguslaw, your comments in the “PO working” thread have been dealt with.

  6. MaterialGirl says:

    First of all, the place when Malbork was built originally was of the Prussia – baltic people who attacked Poles, so Konrad Mazowiecki invited Teutonic Knights/Krzyżaków to fight with them. They killed them and next started fight with Poles. They not only killed original Prussian, but was so insolent that about 4 centuries later they stolen their name Prussian!

    If you really was in Foreign Legion you should perfectly know, that soldiers are taught to kill (not how it is saying “to protect homeland” and this type fairy tales to diminish war crimes). After all military drill to slake the brain for making from different people an obedient group which don’t philosophy and is losing individuality to better operate them and to make sth like tight wedge.

    If they have good soldier’s pay, they less robber, perhaps less rape too (can buy prostitute).

    Red Army was very poor. They were wearing rag clothes. Farther to west they have less discipline and their officers more turn a blind eye to bad things they do. They stolen every thing they can.
    There’s even a joke about it. Hard times said Russian soldier taking off the clock from the tower. (In Russian language clock and time define 1 word “cisy”.

    So they could be German, they could be Russian, certainly they were murderers!

    P.S. British are not saint too. So many centuries of imperialism and exploitations of colony was also connected with blood.

    But that’s all effects of people’s greed, lust for power, feeling better than sb else.

  7. Jacek Wesołowski says:

    Scatts, there’s a theory saying these people didn’t die all at the same time, they were just buried together. Collateral damage and deseases are named as possible causes. Both could result in a lot of people dying all over the town. Someone then would gather all bodies in one place and bury them together. Apparently, after robbing them, which was less of a lunacy, and more of a sign of greed. Those who were shot in the head could have been executed, but maybe they were wounded and someone just finished them off, particularly duirng intense fighting. Not that I mean to excuse anyone, but the practice was widespread on all three sides at the time.

    After all the years, it’s a guesswork. It’s probably best to wait until someone more qualified looks into this.

  8. Ania says:

    Yep, another terrible massacre on the Polish soil, but possibly not as bad as the Jersey orphanage story that kept happening long after the war was over.

    http://www.france24.com/en/20080321-report-jersey-island-abuse-orphanage-haut-garenne-local-authorities

    It was all over the news. Apparently socialites were paying to have sex with the children, and some of the children were beaten to death, apart from usual penalties of starving and being locked away.

    Now, why do I say that – so you can see that weird things can happen in The Holy West as well.

    I will not, for my part, be at all surprised if the dead people are proven to be victims of the Red Army, or SS punishing traitors, of typhus epidemic – hence they were buried naked.

    Scatts, dear, that’s not all that have happened during the last war. War destroys the society with it’s restraints. In Lodz after the war, in the fifties, two men wanted money from their elderly mother, and because she wouldn’t comply, they poured a big old fashioned kettle of hot water into her throat. Nasty way to go.

    You Brits are lucky that there is the Channel, and that there is not much point of raiding Britain – all of your money comes from the sacking of India and drug trafficking in China, and slave trade with the US. Going that far for both of your car factories is a waste of time. Unless of course you’re an ordinary citizen – then getting paid by Brits with Indian money makes economic sense.

    So, just a small memento: when you are next time wondering how to bring about the new, the modern, the change, for example to change the constitution and the definition of death, marriage, sex, you name it – you are bringing down the society with it’s restraints.
    And you can be eaten.

    http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/news/article1117270.ece

  9. Boguslaw says:

    Ania, and apart of all that, are you all right?

  10. island1 says:

    Jacek: CSI Malbork, Tuesday nights, 7 pm.

    Ania: I think you may have misread the register of Scatts’ closing remarks, he wasn’t suggesting that Poland had anything to be ashamed of in this (or at least that’s certainly not how it sounded to me).

  11. Ania says:

    Reveal ALL DIRTY SECRETS!!!
    And no, I was sober at the time.

  12. island1 says:

    Ania: Doesn’t mean the dirty secrets are Polish, just that it’s a place where the dirty secrets of many nations may be hidden.

  13. guest says:

    I like Indian food.

  14. Ania says:

    Sure, Island, but I am also replying to the previous posts, about there not being any progress until the Polish constitution can be changed.

    That mass grave was made about the time when the national socialist party of Germany decided to bring about more change. (I’ve just learnt that the party and the teaching were originated in Czech, and everyone were seriously impressed, like the Austrian painter with the moustache, with the novelty). I know I don’t want to be in a pit like that because somebody wants major changes.
    And you are aware what has Russia been doing with the oil money, right?
    Until it ran short.

    So – my plan to conserve culture in a jar for today, is to cook krupnik. And kick my brother out of bed now. Is he thinking he can sleep till midday or something?!

  15. scatts says:

    Island is right, of course. I was attaching no blame to Poland for this.

    If I were to try and do so it could only be for the way that 1,800 dead people in a mass grave seems to be only slightly more news worthy than the latest car crash on the road to Poznan. Still, that sort of makes my point, things like this happen so often that everyone is bored of them by now – “Oh yeah, another mass grave…ho hum.”. Were 1,800 dead people to be found in Leamington Spa, for example, it would be seriously headline news.

    Still, somehow or other, Ania has managed to convince herself that I’m some Brit who loves slagging Poland and that the best way to “teach me a lesson” is to rattle on about anything British (or channel islands?!?!) as well as highlighting rather strange happenings in Lodz.

    If there was a ‘confused’ icon, I’d use one here!

  16. Ania says:

    There, there, Scatts. In this instance, I do not think that it was a plot by Roosevelt or the British Secret Service. And this was the bit that prompted my post. Not that you said something about Poland, but about everything being the ‘fault’ of your Service.

    I seems from digging in the web that the top layer of people were shot in the heads, while the bottom layers were not. And also nobody has any clue, there are no witnesses, no documents, no gossip.

    So – you know how we Polish like the legends of Germans burying their advanced technology sites and loot on our territory? Well, I think that could be that case, or at least it pleases me to entertain this thought.

    The people were labourers on some project in the castle Marienburg, and when the war was lot, they had to be killed to keep a secret. Or died from something else. So the top layer people were told to bury them in a mass grave, hiding all evidence, and then shot themselves. There was no fighting, maybe? All for the protection of secret treasure or some pagan relic – you know how the Nazis were interested in paganism.

    And those who covered them with earth, could be soldiers cleared to know such secrets. They might even still live. But won’t tell.

    Or they took poison like in the Massada, I don’t know…

  17. Jubal says:

    Scatts, color me confused as well; Ania’s reaction was quite irrational.

    Regarding Red Army’s behaviour; from what I know, after entering the ‘German’ territory, they were allowed almost all, as far as I know, including random shootings, rape and pillage.

    Part of my family comes from a city of Racibórz in Upper Silesia (in German: Ratibor); part of them identifies themselves as Poles, part as Germans, part as Silesians. From what I’ve heard from these that lived there in ’45, after ‘liberating’ Ratibor, the RA took most of the male population to the town square and ordered them shoot (the male population at this moment included mostly post-pubescent teens and old people). Almost all women in suitable age were raped. The house of my grandparents was stripped clean of all things of value to the soldiers, only the books, piano, some old tools and a crude fork were left, similarly to the other houses in the neighbourhood.

    And that was modus operandi of RA, not an isolated accident.

  18. ge'ez says:

    There can be change for the better.

    And just because somebody is gay doesn’t mean he is going to run rampant in society cannibalizing and molesting other folks.

    Why not just blame Russian heterosexuals?

    Russian serial killer and cannibal Nikolai Dzhurmongaliev made it his mission to rid the world of prostitutes and managed to eliminate 47 women before he was caught. The Russian made a habit of preparing ethnic dishes out of his victims and serving them to his friends.

  19. jean-paul pierre says:

    And if shit must be thrown about:

    John Wayne Gacy

    Richard Kuklinski

    Ted Kaczynski

    … who did their best to carry Polish traditions to America!

  20. killer kowalski says:

    It’s the Russians and their stinkin’ vodka:

    http://www.mayhem.net/Crime/ukraine.html

  21. rossija says:

    it is all GERMAN fault. if they hadn’t attacked Poland there wouldn’t have been this massacre.

  22. Jubal says:

    Is that only me seeing this or the discussion quality degenerated somehow?

  23. domingo says:

    It’s just not fair. Looking into circumstances over our general and PM death is ‘suspicious’, ‘pointless’ and ‘stupid’, because we may piss off the Russians (or Brits, Germans and God know who else), while examination of these victims would be absolutely OK – something is not right here. Besides, no one even cries – “forget the past and move on!”.
    Apparently, getting to know about our own history is narrow-minded, whereas investigating the German victims is sooo progressive, modern and enlightened.

  24. Ania says:

    Ge’ez: sure, it if somebody is gay it doesn’t mean they are cannibal. The point is somewhere else – if everybody can do what they want to, then some people, not all, can behave like those rapists and killers in the New Orleans stadium. People went there for shelter, but there was no police, so some monkeys started doing what they wanted to do. So we need to have some rules in place, and not ever change them. Taking into account that some people break them – but at least everyone knows what’s the bottom line.

    And the last war was an example of an all out.

    And if you read the German articles, for example linked to this forum,

    http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=148025

    you will find that German public feels that the 1800 victims were Germans killed by Poles. And you know, I can’t honestly say that nobody has ever killed a German civilian, because I suppose someone had. Only I am not sure about this particular example. The victims were buried under Dom Polski, and organization of Polish culture in German Marienburg. I could think that they just might be Poles.

  25. scatts says:

    “Is that only me seeing this or the discussion quality degenerated somehow?”

    It did for a while back there but I think we’re back on track now!

    I had a sneaking suspicion that Germans would think these were Germans killed by Poles and Poles would think these were Poles killed by Germans/Russkies!

    I think they are all Teutonic knights killed by Stanisław the Niegrzeczny!

  26. ge'ez says:

    Ania, all countries I know of have laws against cannibalism, rape and murder.

    Do you want to institute laws against homosexuality and give the police search warrants to prevent any such suspected activity? OR do you just think that homosexual marriage leads to cannibalism?

    I’m responding to your ” you are bringing down the society with it’s restraints. And you can be eaten.” and your link to :

    http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/news/article1117270.ece

  27. Ania says:

    ge’ez – if I don’t want to change the definitions of marriage, death, etc, does it mean to you that you will get a search warrant to allow me to look in you pants??? I bloody don’t want to!!!

    If I don’t want to lose propriety rights to some object, does it mean that you will be persecuted???

    For God’s sake – why you Lefties always have to use this Rhetorics?

    Tell you what – the religion of tolerance means that people are judged on being or not being gay, the second level is gay friendly, that is supportive, then there are levels of unacceptable mohair hell.

    What it means is that people are encouraged to make statements on their sexuality. No THAT is what is unacceptable. It’s my damn business who do I lay down with. And making a name out of your sexuality is what? – Prostitution.

    If you are Polish, then let me know of what laws exactly do we have AGAINST homosexuals? Did we jail anyone? Not in my High School, at least. Because I see no reason for there being laws FOR homosexuals. You have to work just as much as I do.

    Can you already see that the religion of tolerance is the same as the religion of socialism? New, better world? And those who utter against, will be held to account, at firs, then shamed, then sent off to Gulags…

    And, naturally, you are making the error that is not so common – there is no gay marriage. Matrimonium comes from Matrona, and means the breeding of children. Disce, puer, Latine.

  28. ge'ez says:

    Ania, I have little idea what you are writing about anymore.

    Why would I get a search warrant to allow you to look in my pants? And so on, to the extent that it’s impossible even to reposte.

    And please spare me the reductionist tripe about “you lefties.”

    Lefties judge people on if they are gay, gay being preferable?

    Wow!

    Prostitution?

    I’m neither Polish nor gay and don’t consider myself a leftist. And by the way, I do profess to be Roman Catholic although my guess is that you’d try to deny me that claim, too. I’ll let gays respond as to whether they feel there are laws in Poland that deny them rights heterosexuals have. Just because a gay is not jailed for his/her sexual actions doesn’t mean they are afforded equal rights. Ah, to you that means laws for gays. To me it means laws for all.

    So, all leftists today (prolly including liberals in terms of your understanding of the term) are Soviet communists who send off dissenters to the Gulag? What country is this happening in?

    Finally, some folks are more concerned about the legal definition of and rights afforded by marriage and not so much so the correct Latin terminology.

  29. Ania says:

    OOO, i’VE HEAT UP THE DISCUSSION!

    to tell you the truth, Latin is more than only One Church – and much as I’d like to profess it as you do, I am only aspiring… I am Bad Catholic… And Latin is also the Classical, pagan Latin.

    And yes, Lefties are bringing the society down. You can’t even go to a hospital without being sure that you won’t be euthanated in Belgium, I think it was.

    So if you are not Lefty, why defend that? And now you are not saying that I want to institute rights against homosexuals? Good, I don’t! Let’s just keep it private!

    And this is happening in Britain. Read the newspapers sometimes.

  30. ge'ez says:

    Gawd.

  31. pinolona says:

    hello? what exactly is happening in Britain? Euthanasia is certainly not legal here, and I don’t believe it is in Belgium either. You might like to apologise to the Swiss and the Belgians for mixing their nations up…
    Ania, if I am correct in assuming from your last comment that you live in Britain, I suggest you start to read a publication other than the Daily Mail.

  32. Ania says:

    Right, I apologise to the Swiss.

    No, I don’t read the Daily mail. I read the Telegraph. Last year there was a story like this – child agency workers took the children away from a family, the guy was a professional, the woman was depressed and treated with it, but she was non-aggressive. The agency decided to move the children to a house, even though the father was still there to care for them! While the taking was happering, the father struck a worker in the defense of his own offspring. He was sued and lost. Had to apologise. What a monster.

    Well – is that not the new? not new rules?

  33. Jubal says:

    Ania,

    Could you be so nice and refrain from copying typical behavioral patterns of the Asylum24* site regular? Your deranged rants and misplaced whining do not add anything of value to the discussion.

    Sincerely
    Jubal

    *) The regulars call it ‘salon24’, for entirely mysterious reasons.

  34. some dude says:

    I have facts for those who think and arguments for those who reason. Before I launch into my main topic, I want to make a few matters crystal-clear: (1) Polandian faces moral disaster in its neighborhood, political disaster in its country, and an impending world catastrophe with a blank and smiling countenance, and (2) as a result of that, this is where the rubber hits the road. Now that you know where I stand on those issues, I can safely say that Polandian’s convictions have merged with mercantalism in several interesting ways. Both spring from the same kind of reality-denying mentality. Both break down age-old institutions and customs. And both canonize illogical proletariats as nomological emblems of propriety.

    Polandian doesn’t use words for communication or for exchanging information. It uses them to disarm, to hypnotize, to mislead, and to deceive. The destructive power of Polandian’s metanarratives is their appeal to the out-of-touch, the imprudent, the domineering, and the haughty. I could write pages on the subject, but the following should suffice. If we are to develop an alternative community, a cohesive and comprehensive underground with a charter to make Polandian pay for its crimes against humanity, then we must be guided by a healthy and progressive ideology, not by the maladroit and resentful ideologies that Polandian promotes. To conclude, even maverick Internet news and opinion sites are beginning to proclaim that some of Polandian’s ultimata raise important questions about future social interactions and their relationship to civil liberties.

  35. Jacek Wesołowski says:

    I feel obliged to stress a dire fact that other commenters have so consistently omitted, either on purpose or by criminal negligence. Resistance is useless if less than 1 ohm. I repeat: resistance is useless if less than 1 ohm. You’ve been warned.

  36. scatts says:

    some dude, what was the original word that was replaced by “Polandian” in your text?

    Jacek, right on man!

  37. MaterialGirl says:

    Yesterday TVN showed it. It did NKWD, but german newspapers are writing that it did Poles.

  38. MaterialGirl says:

    Every war is bad.

    Some polinesian (or so) tribes were fighting, so women to stop these fights decided to kill every new born boys.

    Is that solution?

    In my opinion: women should stay women. We don’t need to take over men’s behaviour, (unfortunately some women are thinking they will be more liberated taking us theirselves stupid things men do). We R made from their ribs,;-) but the same way we are the subsequent (last) product of human evolution, so probably better. :-)

    I think the real and wise women has in her blood “save all the life you can”.

  39. Sylwia says:

    Actually Poles bought Malbork from the Teutonic Knights, so it should be ours even at times when it’s on someone else’s territory. ;-)

    Jubal is right. Red Army soldiers were told to loot and rape. It was their normal army pay. Germans looted too. However, I’d like to notice that for centuries looting was a normal practice in European armies. Have you ever heard of War Prizes gained by British soldiers during the Napoleonic Wars? It’s just that in countries like Poland one sees the source of those fortune closer.

  40. MaterialGirl says:

    That grave was discovered in 80s, but they quickly covered up, so that not irritate The Russian Big brother.

  41. MaterialGirl says:

    Authentic story from the end of WW II my mother heard from the woman – my mom colleague.
    The Russian soldier stole her watch.
    She went to the Russian officer and complained about that.
    He said to her: “If he wouldn’t posses that watch I will kill you”.
    The soldier had the watch, so the officer took out the gun and shoot soldier.
    I’ve asked my mom “hadn’t she regret that”?
    My mum answered: “Yes, if she could predict that situation, she would not complained, although in that time watch was very expensive”.

  42. MaterialGirl says:

    Jubal,

    that’s sth for you:

    http://wyborcza.pl/1,75480,6038850,Zgwalcone_przez_Armie_Czerwona.html

    it’s about Max Färberböck’s last film “Anonima. Kobieta w Berlinie”/ Anonymus. Eine Frau in Berlin/ Anonymous. The woman in Berlin.

    I like especially this sentence:
    Nam się wydaje, że żaden inny kraj (Niemcy) na świecie nie przepracował swojej historii tak jak my. O winie za Holocaust potrafimy mówić zawsze i wszędzie. Ale to całe analizowanie przeszłości odbywa się w sferze abstrakcji. Żałujemy, ale nic przy tym nie czujemy. Hańby naszej historii pojedynczy Niemiec nie bierze sobie do serca.

    Free translation:
    “It’s seeming to us (Germans) that none of the other countries in the world hadn’t overworked so much its history like we. We can speak about the Holocaust guilt always and everywhere. But this whole analysing of the past is taking place in the abstraction’s sphere. We regret it (or rather feel sorry about it, regret is too strong word in that case), but we don’t feel anything with this. (Average) Single German doesn’t take to his heart dishonour of our (german) history.

    Very few Germans can say sth like this!

  43. Peter says:

    Malbork Massacre: World War II Mass Grave Unearthed in Poland…

    Malbork (MARIENBURG) will no longer be just the location of the magnificent castle of the Teutonic knights. It will be the place where some 1,800 or more defenseless German women, children and old men
    were murdered by either the Russians or
    Poles. It other words, it will be another
    Katyn or Auschwitz committed this time against the
    Germans by our Allies supposedly fighting for freedom and self-determination. What
    the Russians, Poles and Czechs did in reality was to kill
    thousands of innocent German civilians and
    take their land in the name of ‘a terrible revenge’ not liberation.

  44. MaterialGirl says:

    Peter,

    tyle lat po wojnie, a ty frontem do mnie?! ;-) So many years after war, and you are still front to me?

    Don’t storm my teutonic drop of blood! It’ s enough that Scatts is twisting/twirling a rope/halter on his neck – saying that this all made Teutonic knights.

    See in yourself, how many of anger, hatred is inside of you, how many of compassion and pain how many of victim how many of executioner and if after you start blame yourself for all these world devils which torture mankind from beginning, you will be on the right way.

  45. scatts says:

    I found an article about this in the NY Times today. It has some pictures and a bit more information than has been posted here before:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/02/27/world/europe/27poland.html?_r=1&hp

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