A monument is being erected to those deported to forced labor in Sashalom

Hungarian version of the article: Emlékművet állítanak a kényszermunkára elhurcoltaknak Sashalmon

Written by: Pestbuda.hu

December 16, 2021 at 9:00 AM

A monument is erected for those deported from Sashalom to forced labor, Malenkij robot, in the 16th district Sashalmi promenade. From here they set out in January 1945 and were deported from the district to the internment camps of the Soviet Union. The first piece of the sculpture group consisting of 5 + 1 stations will be inaugurated on the day of the event.

A public memorial is erected by the German Nationality local council (NÖ) of Sashalom for those deported from the area in January 1945 for forced labor. The statue will be erected on the Sahalmi promenade, as 137 deportees from the district left for the internment camps of the Soviet Union, the German Nationality local council informed us. The monument is  made by sculptor R. Mária Törley.  

Every year since 2002, the German Nationality local council commemorates the victims of the Malenkij robot. “In the first decade, we invited the survivors to talk and commemorate together, we also invited them to our other events to meet with citizens of German descent in the district, especially schoolchildren. Then, when they were so depleted that there were only two left, they described, told posterity what had happened to them, and we supported book publishing and extraordinary history lessons in addition to commemorations. Today, survivors are running out and only books and documentaries bring the dark age to life , ”the organization told us.

One of the survivors ’request was to erect a memorial at the place from which they were taken, bearing the names of all 137 victims.

Caption: Each historical chapter will appear on reliefs (Visual Design: German Nationality)

About 32,000 Hungarian Germans were deported from Hungary to the Soviet Union, they were taken to the mines of the Donetsk Basin, to the reconstruction of the Caucasus, to the Ural camps. The people of Budapest and those living in the vicinity of Budapest were deported in the 3rd stage of the deportation, between 14 and 31 January, 1945, most of them from Csepel, Pesthidegkút, Pestszenterzsébet, Pestszentlőrinc, Rákoscsaba and Sashalom. Due to lack of food, hard physical work, minus 20 degrees Celsius, and poor living conditions, 20 to 30 percent of them lost their lives in the first year. The others spent years in inhumane conditions in the Soviet Union and few returned home.

The monument discusses the most important historical events of the coexistence of Germans and Hungarians in Hungary. It consists of 5 + 1 stations, the historical chapters will appear on one of the reliefs. The stations are placed at a sufficient distance from each other and at a different angle to guide you through the story in an almost open leaflet-like way. The layout was designed by the district architect.

Thematic order of the reliefs: 1. State Foundation; 2. Installations; 3. Reformation and Dualism; 4. Eviction (Deportation, Malenkij Robot); 5. Rock (A rosemary bush is planted at the foot of the rock, which the Germans say is a symbol of human decency); 5 + 1. German customs and traditions established in Hungary (A little further from the other tables, but still related to it)

The Sashalmi promenade houses the monument (Photo: mapio.net)

On 19 January, 2022, the day of the abduction, relief No. 4 will be replaced. The statue shows two railway wagons, one going to Germany with the displaced, the other taking the victims to camps in the Soviet Union for forced labor. The list of victims deported from the district is engraved on the lower part of the relief so that the flowers of the commemoration can be placed underneath. The other elements of the memorial will be added to the area later.

In Budapest, the Malenkij Robot Memorial was erected by the Hungarian National Museum in 2017 at the Ferencváros railway station, Trains full of deportees to the Soviet Union, entitled “The Pots of Hell..  Malenkij Robot” - Forced Labor in the Soviet Union.

Kristóf Szatmáry, the Member of Parliament of the district, took up the issue of establishing the Sashalom memorial site. The workwas helped by Dr. Tamás Stark, Dr. Zsuzsa Hantó and Dr. Bognár Zalán.

Cover photo: Negative relief depicting the moments of deportation before casting (Photo: German National Government)

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