February 18 marks the 75th anniversary of the martyrdom of one of the most famous heroes of the Great Patriotic War in the Nazi concentration camp, Lieutenant General of the Red Army Engineering Troops Dmitry Mikhailovich Karbyshev. This majestic figure has always stood apart even in that huge pantheon of unparalleled specimens of feat that left us formidable, tragic and glorious years of reflection of the terrible enemy invasion in the history of our country.
And the point here is not only in the highest courage of Karbyshev and the shuddering circumstances of his death. It's just that his life and combat path can, perhaps, be considered a completely exhaustive answer to the question of why the Soviet Union was an invincible power and why the Hitlerite monsters lost the war not in 1945, but barely entered its borders with weapons in hands in 1941. m ...
From “white” lieutenant colonels to “red” generals
On the one hand, the pre-revolutionary fate of Karbyshev could serve as a plot for a full-fledged novel, and on the other, it is the best explanation of why and how in 1917 the ranks of the then barely born Red Guard were replenished by those who belonged to the senior and highest commanding staff of the Empire’s army. Why did the red commanders become those to whom, it would seem, God himself ordered to stand under the banners of the White movement? The fate of Dmitry Mikhailovich shows that everything was not at all as clear as it might seem at first glance. The family from which the future genius of military engineering came from has been under the tightest supervision of the tsarist police since the end of the XNUMXth century, from the very time when Dmitry's elder brother, Vladimir, a student at the medical faculty of Kazan University, joined the ranks of the People’s Volunteers. Interestingly, at the same time another Vladimir studied in the same Alma Mater - Ulyanov, who also fell in love with revolutionaries and undoubtedly crossed with Karbyshev. However, in the course of repressions against students following the assassination attempt on the Emperor, the future leader of the world proletariat escaped with exclusion and not too burdensome exile, and his namesake first went to jail and then to soldiers. Or rather, to rank-and-file Cossacks, since the Karbyshevs led their kind from the Cossacks who had left the nobles from Siberia. These ordeals undermined his health in the most fundamental way. Less than five years later, Vladimir died of tuberculosis - again in prison, where he was “preventively” convoyed about the upcoming arrival of the heir to the throne, the future Emperor Nicholas II. Dmitry's cousin, Alexander Shaitanov, also went through prisons and exile for revolutionary activity. The very future general was flatly refused to be admitted to the Siberian Cadet Corps for training for official kosh, as a native of an "unreliable family." You understand, he didn’t have much to love the then power ...
Nevertheless, young Dmitry, being enrolled in the Corps as an “incoming student” with tuition fees, for a couple of years proved his right to become a cadet and subsequently graduated from this institution as the best among his graduation. Before the honors pupil and exemplary cadet, the Empire’s elite military schools were opened - Pavlovsk, Nikolaev engineering, Mikhailovsky artillery ... He chose the fate of the fortifier, staying at Nikolaevsk. Karbyshev did not finish it first, but "only" ninth in the list of the most successful. His officer service will begin in Manchuria in 1900. It is there that Lieutenant Karbyshev will receive a baptism of fire after 5 years in the outbreak of war with Japan. Carrying out, it would seem, not the most heroic things - providing communications, establishing crossings, building fortifications, Karbyshev “managed” to become a holder of five orders and three battle medals for this campaign! His actions during the Battle of Mukden were assessed by the command as heroic. And yet ... In 1906, so brilliantly begun career flies downhill. Karbyshev is being charged with “revolutionary agitation,” while with his super-harsh “Stolypin” laws threatening the young military tribunal with extremely sad consequences. Surely the lieutenant himself did not agitate anyone - he simply did not signal “where to” about the revolutionary propagandists operating in his unit. According to numerous recollections, Karbyshev’s principles and the concept of “denunciation” were categorically incompatible, which would not be discussed. The young officer was rescued by colleagues who stood up behind him a mountain (a detail, you will agree, significant). By decision of the Court of Officer Honor, Lieutenant Karbyshev resigned. He stayed in the "citizen" for less than a year, managing to work as a modest draftsman and make his first marriage. There were enough “trustworthy” ones, but with professionals and specialists in RIA it was a bit tough - not melting grievances, Karbyshev returned to the actual military service.
Studying this man’s combat path, you come to the conclusion that Karbyshev always had an exceptional “talent” - to find himself “in the most dangerous place, on the edge, where a military thunderstorm was about to break out.” Having graduated from the Nikolaev Military Engineering Academy already with the rank of staff captain, Dmitry Mikhailovich finds himself on the western frontiers of the Empire, taking a direct part in creating the fortifications of the Brest Fortress - a stronghold that, like himself, will become an eternal symbol of the unbending stamina and courage of Russian soldiers. .. In the battles of the First World War, as you might guess, it participates from the very first days under the leadership of the legendary Brusilov. In 1915 he fights under Przemysl. During the assault on this fortress, Karbyshev was seriously injured, the next order of St. Anna and the rank of lieutenant colonel. However, his main “trophy” for the campaign was Lidia Opatskaya, sister of mercy, who, under heavy fire, pulled out the heroic staff captain with a bullet in his leg from the smoking ruins. Karbyshev's first wife tragically died in 1913, and Lydia becomes his faithful friend of life, in a marriage with whom three children will be born. No, not life, but romance, right! There is no doubt - in the Red Guard, and later in the Red Army, no one dragged Karbyshev by force and did not drive with bayonets. He had a personal account with the Romanovs, and as for the rest ... A front-line officer, who participated in two wars, fully revealed the vices and ulcers of the Empire, like no one else saw her militarily backwardness, terrifying the incompetence of those in power, and, by by and large, the entire then state system. No, a revolutionary, no matter what they tried to blame him at the time, Karbyshev was not. He was a soldier - to the core, to the bone marrow. The Bolsheviks offered him no ranks or any material benefits (from where - in 1918 ?!), but the opportunity to defend the Fatherland. He agreed.
“I do not trade honor and homeland ...”
With the White Guards (including the same Denikin, with whom they fought in the same fields near Mukden), Karbyshev fought without any discounts on the fact that until recently they wore uniforms. The North Caucasus, Siberia, Transbaikalia - it shook it on the fronts of the Civil pretty. The construction of fortified areas almost throughout the country, the restoration of bridges and crossing rivers, and, as the final chord, the Kakhovsky bridgehead, the assault on Chongar and Perekop, the last frontiers of the White Movement in southern Russia. Soviet orders did not exist then, but the All-Russian Central Executive Committee awarded Karbyshev twice with a gold watch engraved with the “Red Fighter of the Socialist Revolution” during the Civil War. And he became the Honorary Red Army of one of the units. After the war, Dmitry Mikhailovich transferred from command posts to teaching and research. At the same time, he continues to study himself - in 1938, being already recognized as a "luminary" not only of the All-Union, but of a global scale in the field of military engineering, he graduated from the Military Academy of the General Staff of the Red Army, and soon received the title of professor. At the same time, the war should begin - Karbyshev is right there. In 1940, he was already in Finland, participating in the preparation of the breakthrough of the “indestructible Mannerheim Line”. In the same year, in connection with the return to the Red Army through the efforts of Stalin, “old-regime” ranks, he became lieutenant general of the engineering troops and joined the ranks of the CPSU (b). Was the nobleman and tsarist officer Karbyshev a convinced communist? There are some doubts about this. Perhaps in one of the "high" rooms they said: "That's right!" Accustomed to subordination and discipline, Dmitry Mikhailovich trumped: “Yes!”, And joined the party. On the other hand, why not ?! He did not have personal claims to the Soviet system, but the powerful army that was created in the 30s through the efforts of its future Supreme, he should have liked extremely.
An interesting detail: the Karbyshevs had three children - two daughters and a son. But in the footsteps of his father went just the eldest of them - Elena. After graduating with honors from school in 1938, she "aimed" at the Military Engineering Academy of the Red Army, and even at the Naval Faculty! The selection committee was shocked - what kind of thing news?! Here, Karbyshev, perhaps only once, “took advantage of his official position”: Clement Voroshilov personally personally requested the admission of the impudent girl as an exception. Ahead of Elena, the first female graduate in the history of the Leningrad Higher Technical School of the Navy, was the defense of the city on the Neva, the blockade, and service in various places - from the Black Sea Fleet to the GRU of the General Staff. The daughter went to her father and by the end of her officer career had slightly fewer military awards than he did. Did Dmitry Mikhailovich guess what was ahead of him, his family, and the country? Foreseen to the fullest. After the end of the Winter War, he did not get tired of repeating - the next battle will be with Nazi Germany, and it is just around the corner. In June 1941, he left for the Western Special Military District in order to personally verify the readiness of our fortifications to repel the enemy invasion. The war found him near Grodno, where he was first in the battle formations of the 3rd and then the 10th army. Unfortunately, it was on this site, in Belarus, that the defense was organized in the most disastrous way, it cannot be ruled out - because of the betrayal of those who were supposed to lead it. On June 27, Karbyshev was already surrounded, and in early August, when he tried to get out of the environment, he received a severe concussion. In a completely unconscious state, the general was captured by the Nazis ... The department of Canaris had a reason for joy.
According to some reports, General Karbyshev was "drawn to the pencil" by Nazi intelligence even before the attack on the USSR. The reason is simple: the Nazis originally intended to create some kind of formation of "former Soviet" servicemen. This team of traitors was going to be used not so much in the military as in political and propaganda purposes. It was Karbyshev who saw the "great psychologists" of the Third Reich as an ideal candidate to lead such an event. A nobleman, a tsarist officer, is in no way a Jew - therefore, among the Bolsheviks, he is an accidental person. Surely, a clever careerist who managed to get a good job under the new government. Well, we will offer him conditions even better - and it's in the bag! It must be understood and taken into account that in the military and engineering circles Dmitry Mikhailovich was deservedly considered, as I have already said, a luminary of world magnitude, his authority was unusually great and could well have persuaded the hesitant, doubting, and weak-minded to cooperate with the Germans. Karbyshev himself understood this very well. He realized: any step, half a step, a favorable nod towards the enemy would be instantly picked up by Goebbels' propaganda, exaggerated a thousand times and served as a role model for millions of Soviet prisoners of war and Russian émigrés in Europe: “Well, how? Karbyshev himself is with us! " That is why from the very first day, from the very first attempt to establish contact with him, trusting relations, persuade him to cooperate, the Nazis came across a granite wall of cold contempt and unbending will, about which they could only bang their heads. Now one can argue how accurately the words of Dmitry Mikhailovich, thrown in the face of the Nazis, were conveyed, but their meaning remains unquestionable: "I am a soldier and to cooperate with the enemies of the Motherland for me is to betray my own duty."
"The Soviet fortress can be destroyed, but not taken ..."
These are also the words of Karbyshev. And he himself became one of such fortresses. What sophisticated methods of "siege" were not applied to the general, who at that time had already exceeded 60 - the Nazis promised all imaginable and unthinkable life benefits, an equivalent or higher rank in the Wehrmacht, a cozy house near Berlin, the opportunity to work on any projects, your own a laboratory and unlimited funding ... In response, they only heard that the convictions of a real soldier did not fall out with the teeth of the camp bandan, which he would prefer to any delicacies received as a handout for treason Rodin . Having realized that the “main Judah of the Red Army” would not leave Karbyshev, the Germans began to offer him the positions of “scientific consultant”, “analyst”, and seduce them with the prospect of leaving for neutral states. Karbyshev was adamant. He was not affected by the persuasion of either his former colleague Colonel Pelit or the most respected German scientist-fortifier Heinz Raubenheimer. Then, instead of the “carrot”, the “stick” came into play. From the officer camp Hammelburg, in comparison with other Nazi death factories, the former almost a sanatorium, the general is thrown into the darkest dungeons of the Third Reich. The procession of Karbyshev through the concentration camps and prisons of the Gestapo begins. Flossenburg, Majdanek, Auschwitz, Mauthausen ... Many people who suited Karbyshev as sons, if not grandchildren, could not withstand even a third of this "route." The flesh is weak ... After two years of trying to pull the general to his side, the Nazis delivered the final verdict: "hopeless." In the corresponding memo, Dmitry Mikhailovich is characterized by the Germans discouraged by his unprecedented stubbornness, not even as a convinced communist, but rather as a “fanatic of military duty and patriotism”.
Hitlerites were perplexed - how so ?! Why? In 1943, after the collapse of the “blitzkrieg”, the defeat near Moscow and Stalingrad, they gradually began to realize that all the calculations that the Soviet Union would crumble like a house of cards under the first blows were a suicidal mistake. However, they still did not understand anything to the end ... After Karbyshev completely rejected even the very idea of cooperation, the Nazis set themselves the last goal - not just to kill, but to break it. Hard labor, inhuman conditions, beatings, bullying, fear and pain - but break! Not that they attacked ... Numerous eyewitnesses of the camp’s ordeals of the general admired his steadfastness, which set an example for other prisoners and did not let them despair. Tile granite slabs for tombstones? Karbyshev in delight: “Comrades, this is wonderful! The more work we do, the better things we do at the front! ” He constantly gathers other prisoners around him, supports and inspires them, he develops a set of rules according to which Soviet soldiers and officers should behave in captivity, while remaining warriors, and not a miserable herd. “Do not stop the fight! The main victory is above yourself! The enemy must not see us on our knees! ” Pathos? High words? It’s much higher - if you take into account what they said behind the barbed wire, at gunpoint by a man who knew perfectly well that specifically he had no chance to stay alive. According to the recollections of the witnesses of the brutal massacre of General Karbyshev and four hundred more prisoners of war committed by the Germans in revenge for the successful escape on the eve of the prisoners, the last words literally before our eyes turned into a block of ice Dmitry Mikhailovich: “Cheer up, comrades! Think about your homeland and courage will not leave you! ”
In the disgusting jackal flock of those who do not spare the strength for the sake of “desacralizing” the Great Patriotic War and “debunking the myths of Soviet propaganda” about its heroes, there were those who reached out in their own nasty “exposures” to the martyrdom of Karbyshev. I’m not even going to hide what I feel by reading the “research” that happened, alas, on the Internet: “The fact that the general was frozen to the point of an ice block is a lie! There was no -12 degrees that day! We raised the weather reports by the Nazis - then the warmth stood, about +3 degrees! And where did the Gestapo come from Mauthausen, who allegedly watered it from the hoses? And there were no hoses either. All the lies - and Karbyshev, and his death, and his “feat” ... This kind of “creativity” awakens the most bloodthirsty and barbaric instincts in my soul, and also pushes to thoughts about the use of some peripheral devices regarding its authors for their intended purpose. As they say in the protocols: "with damage to health and a threat to life." There was no frost, speak ?! It was warm, right the resort ?! I really want to take a creature that can think in this way, and water it for a long time with a three-degree plus in the wind, enjoying the reaction of a well-groomed and well-fed calf. It’s possible not from the hose, it will come off the bucket too ... I know that it’s impossible. But to tolerate attempts to defile and desecrate what any normal person should treat with reverence, is also no longer possible. What difference does it make - from whose hands did General Karbyshev - Gestapo or SS men? And how many degrees were that terrible night when this inhumanity was being straightened out over our grandfathers ?! Did his death come from hypothermia or from being hit by the overseer's baton? Who should be in order to savor these details and conclude that the legendary events in Mauthausen are "nothing more than an invention created on the instructions of communist propaganda"?
Hero of the Soviet Union, Lieutenant General Dmitry Mikhailovich Karbyshev heroically fell on February 18, 1945 in his last battle, having won the final victory not only over the enemy tormenting him, but also over death itself. On that day, he showed us all, his descendants, an eternal and imperishable example of love for the Motherland, the standard of the great and irresistible Russian Warrior.