Authors

Object ID

2014.1.187

Object Name

Print, Photographic

Date

10-26-1941

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Description

Image taken from behind Masha Bruskina as authorities tie a noose around her neck. Further information: Bruskina was a 17-year-old Jewish member of the Minski Resistance, and a volunteer nurse at the Polytechnic Institute Hospital. She was arrested by Lithuanian authorities, and hung as an example to other would-be rebels.

Information Provided by Michael D. Bulmash:
Maria "Masha" Bruskina was a 17-year-old Jewish member of the Minski Resistance during World War II. As a volunteer nurse at the Polytechnic Institute hospital, she cared for wounded Russian soldiers and helped them escape by smuggling clothing and false documents. Betrayed by a patient, she was arrested on October 14, 1941, by the Wehrmacht and Lithuanian auxiliary troops (Schutzmannshaft). Local German authorities, wishing to make an example of Bruskina, decided on a public hanging, to occur on Sunday, October 26, 1941. Along with two other members of the resistance, 16-year old Volodia Shcherbatsevich (whose mother was also hanged that day) and Kiril Trus, a veteran of World War I, Masha was paraded through the streets with a plaque around her neck which read, in both German and Russian: "We are partisans and have shot at German troops." After the hanging, the Germans insisted that the bodies hang for three days before allowing them to be cut down and buried. A witness to the execution reported: When they put her on the stool, the girl turned her face toward the fence. The executioners wanted her to stand with her face to the crowd, but she turned away and that was that. No matter how much they pushed her and tried to turn her, she remained standing with her back to the crowd. Only then did they kick away the stool from under her." Bruskina's name was not acknowledged on the memorial plaque at the execution place. Instead she was referred to as "the unknown girl." However, since 2009, a new memorial plaque placed in 2009 at the execution place now reads "Here on October 26, 1941 the Fascists executed the Soviet patrios K.I. Truss, V.I. Sherbateyvich and M.B. Bruskina." A monument to her was erected in Israel and a street was named after her in Jerusalem.

Dimensions

3 6/8 x 2 1/2"

Keywords

Hanging, Minski Resistance, Lithuania

The Hanging of Masha Bruskina

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