- Museum "Territory of Terror" |
- Museum |
- https://www.territoryterror.org.ua/en/museum/complex/Museum Complex
During the construction, workers found the remains of 4 people on the territory of the ‘Territory of Terror’ museum complex. The skeletons belonged to men aged from 20 to 40 years. Their clothes, shoes and personal belongings were partially preserved. The causes of deaths are still unknown. Taking into consideration the disposition of the remains and the absence of evidence of violent death, we can presume that it was a sanitary landfill. Badges, buttons, and German Pfennigs were found among the remains, due to which it has been possible to identify their owners, German servicemen.
The largest number of personal possessions was found among the remains of a Luftwaffe construction battalion serviceman. He was wearing a fliegerbluse; buttons, uniform trousers with braces and a shirt were left of it. A wedding ring was found on his finger bone; the date of ‘11.2.40’ and the initials of ‘G. V.’ were engraved on it. Besides, a badge was found on his neck together with a metal locket with a name of a famous German song, ‘Denn wir fahren gegen Engelland’ (‘Because We are Sailing against England’). Souvenirs of that kind were really popular among pilots and sailors during the time of the Battle of Britain (1940). In this regard, a following find is interesting. A pendant in the form of a small Scottish Terrier dog was in his pocket. It can be a stylized image of the dog named Molch, which belonged to Major Hubertus Hitschhold, a Knight’s Cross recipient; it became the emblem of Sturzkampfgeschwader 2 Immelmann, a Dive bomber-wing armed with Ju-87s. This wing took active part in the Battle of Britain.
A complex of finds allows us to make an assumption that this serviceman was drafted into the Air Force not later than 1940; he took part in the arrangement of Luftwaffe airfields in France in the period of the Battle of Britain. Shortly before these events, on February 11th, 1940, during the Phoney War, he had got married. Perhaps, in France, he served at the airfield, where StG II Immelmann wing was based, and received the dog-shaped pendant as a keepsake from its pilots.
Only buttons and a badge were found among the remains of another serviceman of Luftwaffen baubataillon. It is significant that the construction battalions of the German Air Force were manned mainly with POWs and hiwis (Hilfswilliger – willing to aid; Ost-Hilfswilligen – Eastern voluntary aids); Germans were a small part of the staff. These units built and arranged objects for the Air Force’s needs (caserns, airfields etc).
The metal of the badges deteriorated because of a long exposure to an aggressive medium, and it became impossible to decipher all the information in some cases. For this reason, the only things we know for sure about the badges are that their owners were Wehrmacht servicemen (training regiments). The only personal belongings which lasted are buttons and a signet with the Latin letter ‘B’.
The personal belongings, the badges, and the remains were handed to the representatives of the Volksbund Deutsche organization to be reburied in the German military cemetery in the village of Potelych.
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