HomeMalyj|Trostenez - Maly|Trascjanec (English)

Malyj|Trostenez - Maly|Trascjanec (English)

The digital indexing of an extermination site 

Maly Trascjanec near Minsk is probably the largest Holocaust extermination site on the territory of the former Soviet Union. Between 1942 and 1944, the German occupiers and their accomplices murdered many thousands of Jews, civilian hostages, inmates of the Minsk prisons, including underground fighters, suspected partisans and resistance fighters, as well as sick prisoners in the clearing of Blahaǔščyna, in the Maly Trascjanec camp and in the adjacent forest area called Šaškoǔka. 

Funded by the Foundation Remembrance, Responsibility and Future students from Belarus, Austria and Germany have been working on the transnational digital indexing and contextualisation of the Malyj Trostenez/Maly Trascjanec extermination site since January 2021 as part of the Youth Remembers (Jugend erinnert) programme. 

This website brings together the first results of the trinational cooperation in this project in the form of six digital exhibitions (Omeka) and two digital tours (DigiWalk).  

The exhibitions and DigiWalks were created in 2021/22, at a time when the Covid-19 pandemic made any direct cooperation between the three project groups and also a joint research trip to Minsk impossible. Not only are the project results digital, but also the joint work took place under completely new and unfamiliar conditions for all participants.  

The project group has responded to these challenges by expanding its digital programme from a series of planned walks to a comprehensive and integrated assemblage of digital exhibitions, which are understood as extensions and detailed contextualisations of the by necessity didactically very abbreviated walks. 

At the same time, it enables users to engage with the history of Malyj Trostenez/Maly Trascjanec both virtually and directly on site. Restrictions on freedom of travel and mobility also pose new questions for historical culture.  

Against this background, students from Minsk, Vienna and Osnabrück, under the direction of Dr Aliaksandr Dalhouski (Leonid Levin History Workshop, Minsk), Prof Dr Christoph Rass (University of Osnabrück) and Prof Dr Kerstin von Lingen & Prof Dr Claudia Theune (both from the University of Vienna), researched, discussed, conceived and finally implemented their perspectives on the extermination site of Malyj Trostenez/Maly Trascjanec in courses, joint workshops and working groups over more than a year.  

In the first edition of our collection, the result consists of six online exhibitions on aspects of history and commemoration, on perpetrators and victims in the context of the Shoah, the war of extermination and the occupation. Furthermore, this page contains links to the first two digital tours of the Malyj Trostenez/Maly Trascjanec memorial site in German and Belarusian, which can be downloaded and used free of charge with the DigiWalk app. Further tours and exhibitions will follow.  


  • In the exhibition Maly Trascjanec: Transformations of an Extermination Site, the Osnabrück students Peter Kamp, Tatjana Rykov, Rukia Soubbotina und Charlotte Vöhl take an analytical look at the transformation processes of the site and its surroundings over time. In the two time periods from 1941 to 1944 and 1944 to the present, the students were able to identify and decipher numerous layers of the transformation of the area. The overall picture provides a comprehensive explanation of the present-day appearance of Maly Trascjanec. 


  • In the exhibition Maly Trascjanec: the Culture of Remembrance, the Osnabrück students Michelle Ostermaier, Kristin Waßmann and Ron Wilke deal with questions of the culture of remembrance and presence of the site and the acts committed there. The students precisely trace the various phases of the Soviet and post-Soviet periods as well as the growing interest in making the site of violence visible. They also make it explicitly clear which processes were necessary in order to allow the memorial site with its various manifestations to emerge in its current form. 


  • For their exhibition Maly Trascjanec: the Perpetrators,the Osnabrück students Nils Kaschubat, Johanna Schweppe, Paulin Wandschneider and Frank Wobig researched hundreds of pages of source material from post-war trial files in which the perpetrators of the murders in Maly Trascjanec were tried. Based on the biographies and descriptions of the trial backgrounds and outcomes, they provide a picture of the milieus and contexts of origin from which the men came and critically question how "normal" their lives were. 


  • The Viennese students Claudia Adebayo, Judith Alberth, Sarah Appl, Tina Baumann, Max Berghof, Francesco Bisaccia, Julia Greithanner, Jürgen Gruber, Melissa Gruber, Peter Hinterndorfer, Lena Hummer, Maximilian Karner, Max Neuhold, Lisa Reicher and Astrid Striessnig created the exhibition Path of Remembrance I. Disenfranchisement in Vienna and Deportation to the East. In the three parts of the exhibition, the students answer questions about the implementation of "Aryanisation" via the establishment of "collection camps" in Vienna from the perspective of the persecuted, follow their path via the deportation transports and finally address the deportation goals. 


  • The exhibition Path of Remembrance II. Persecution and Extermination in Maly Trascjanec by the Viennese students Arlo Newton Kleewein, Raphael Günter Kräuter, Johannes Mayer, Ruben Elias Oppenrieder, Anna Schantl, Konstantin Schischka, Stefan Schranz, Viktoria Schwammel and Teresa Unger deals with the places of persecution and extermination in Minsk and Maly Trascjanec. The authors also focus on the different groups of victims and a critical examination of archaeological finds and material traces on site. 


  • The third Viennese exhibition Path of Remembrance III. Commemoration of Maly Trascjanec already reveals its content in its name. The students Nils Braune, Katharina Burger, Franziska Schappacher, Antonia Titze, Pia Maria Ebner, Bastian Kammerer, Florian Sprenger, Romy Stumpe, Marlene Berger, Verena Radner, Sophie Charlotte Wenkel, Florian Christoph Hladky, Paul Kathrein, Jana Viktorija Sobek and Astrid Wenz divided their exhibition into four parts: in the first part, they critically examine the so-called "Seiler Report". For the second part of the exhibition, students from the University of Vienna conducted interviews with the descendants of victims. The third section of the exhibition is dedicated to post-war judiciary in relation to the crimes committed in Maly Trascjanec, before the (Austrian) culture of remembrance in relation to Maly Trascjanec is addressed in the fourth part. 




As part of the project team in Minsk, Maria Ivanova, Darya Ilyankova and Natalya Holubeva studied the culture of remembrance and the memorial landscape, researched sources and materials and collaborated on all project results. They have tested exhibitions and tours and are supervising the translation of all materials into Belarusian and Russian.    

In the Osnabrück project team, Annika Heyen supervised the students and coordinated and managed the editorial and technical teams for Omeka and DigiWalk. Tatjana Rykov, Rukia Soubbotina, Lucia Hartwig, Lara-Jasmin Tammen, Joscha Hollmann and Frank Wobig worked on editing and technology issues in Osnabrück. 

In the Vienna project team, Judith Alberth and Franziska Lamp led the editorial work and accompanied the students. 

Tatjana Rykov and Rukia Soubbotina took over the translation of Russian-language sources and literature. 

Siarhei Paulavitski and Evgeny Yuriev were responsible for the translation of the digital tours.   

This project became possible not only through the funding of the Foundation Remembrance, Responsibility and Future in the “Jugend erinnert” [Youth remembers] programme. Important support was provided by the University of Vienna and the University of Osnabrück as well as the Minsk History Workshop and the IBB Minsk and Dortmund with their scientific, administrative and technical infrastructures.  

The project team would like to thank all institutions, archives and private individuals who provided us with source material and advised and supported us with their expertise. 

  • Paul Kohl 
  • Waltraud Barton  
  • Michael Nowak 
  • Dr Monika Sommer 
  • Dr Claudia Kuretsidis-Haider 
  • Dr Winfried Garscha 
  • Siarhei Andrushkevich 
  • Dr Astrid Sahm 
  • Darija Fabijanic 
  • Alina Dzeravianka 
  • Konstantin Kostyuchenko 
  • Aloisia Wörgetter 
  • Daniel Sanwald 
  • David Taukin 
  • Jana Bondar 
  • Andrei Shauliuha 
  • Harald Baer 
  • Susanne Benzig 
  • PD Dr Frank Wolff 
  • Petra Lehmeyer 
  • Alexander Silaen 
  • Markus Tiesmeyer 
  • Prof Dr Lale Yildirim 
  • Dr Yuliya von Saal 


    • Dokumentationsarchiv des österreichischen Widerstandes, Wien (Documentation Centre of the Austrian Resistance, Vienna) 
    • Latvijas Nacionalais Arhivs, Riga 
    • Vienna Wiesenthal Institute for Holocaust Studies  
    • Jewish Community Vienna 
    • Hauptstaatsarchiv Hamburg (Hamburg Main State Archives) 
    • United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, Washington DC 
    • Arolsen Archives, Bad Arolsen 
    • Bundesarchiv 
    • Stiftung Denkmal für die ermordeten Juden Europas, Berlin (Foundation Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe, Berlin) 
    • Haus der Geschichte Österreichs (House of Austrian History) 
    • Staatsarchiv Ludwigsburg (Ludwigsburg State Archives) 
    • Landeshauptarchiv Koblenz (Koblenz National Archives)  
    • dekoder.org 
    • Österreichische Nationalbibliothek, Bildarchiv, Wien (Austrian National Library, Picture Archives, Vienna) 
    • Yad Vashem Photo Collections, Jerusalem 
    • YIVO Institute for Jewish Research, New York 
    • Jewish Museum Prague 
    • Topographie der Shoah, Wien (Topography of the Shoah, Vienna) 
    • Minskproekt
    • NS-Dokumentationszentrum der Stadt Köln (NS Documentation Centre of the City of Cologne) 
    • Historisches Archiv Wiener Philharmoniker (Historical Archive of the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra) 
    • United States Geological Survey 
    • Nationalfonds der Republik Österreich für Opfer des Nationalsozialismus (National Fund of the Republic of Austria for Victims of National Socialism) 
    • Austrian Federal Chancellery 
    • City of Vienna 
    • Belarusian Museum of the Great Patriotic War, Minsk 
    • Federal Ministry for European and International Affairs, Vienna 
    • Embassy of the Republic of Austria in Belarus, Minsk 
    • Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany in Belarus, Minsk 
    • State Archives of the Russian Federation, Moscow 
    • Aerial Photograph Database Dr Carls GmbH 
    • S. Fischer Publishing House 
    • Luckenwalde Museum of Local History 
    • Düsseldorf Memorial and Remembrance Centre 
    • Art.Vision gGmbH 


        For the project 

        Digital indexing of the Maly Trascjanec extermination site  

        Dr Aliaksandr Dalhouski, Minsk History Workshop 

        Prof Dr Christoph Rass, University of Osnabrück 

        Prof Dr Claudia Theune, University of Vienna 

        Prof Dr Kersin von Lingen, University of Vienna