The LOKOT AUTONOMY (Russian : Локотскoe
самоуправление) was a semi-autonomous region in Nazi
German -occupied Central
* 1 History * 2 “ Lepel republic” * 3 War crimes * 4 After the war * 5 In culture * 6 References * 7 See also
In October 1941, the Nazi German military advance into Soviet Union
Operation Barbarossa reached the Lokot area near the city of
Initially the militia headed by Voskoboinik numbered no more than 200 men. It assisted Germans in policing the area, and committed numerous atrocities against the civilian population loyal to the Soviet authorities or Soviet partisans , Soviet prisoners-of war (POWs), Jews and ordinary civilians. By January 1942 the militia's personnel was increased to 400-500.
During a partisan attack headed by Alexander Saburov on January 8, 1942, Voskoboinik was mortally wounded. After his death Kaminski took over the command and further expanded the militia.
In cooperation with German forces the militia commenced anti-partisan operations, and by spring of 1942 the militia had 1,400 armed personnel. The number of Soviet partisans in this area was estimated at 20,000 men – they controlled almost the entire rear of the Army Group Center’s area of operations.
In March 1942 Kaminski’s representative to the German Second Panzer
From June 1942, Kaminski’s militia took part in the major anti-partisan action, code-named Operation Vogelsang, as a part of Generalleutnant Werner Freiherr von und zu Gilsa 's kampfgruppe (taskforce) Gilsa II.
Germans did not interfere in the affairs of the Lokot
long as their transports were kept safe and the republic delivered the
required food quotas to the Wehrmacht. Collective farms were
abolished, and a large degree of free enterprise was permitted.
Kaminski established the Autonomy's own court, jails and newspapers.
Kaminski's speeches published in the newspapers of the region
emphasised that the aims of
The schools (closed after the German invasion) were reopened, and a
radio station along with theater groups were established in Lokot,
Dmitrovsk and Sevsk Newspapers published in the Lokot
typical of all newspapers published on Nazi-occupied Russian
territories, featuring articles exposing "Jewish Bolshevism" crimes
In October 1942 Kaminski renamed Lokot township as the town of Voskoboinik. Streets in other townships of the Autonomy were also renamed.
In the autumn of 1942 Kaminski ordered the compulsory draft into militia of all able-bodied men. Its units were reinforced with the “volunteers” drafted from Soviet POWs at the nearest Nazi concentration camps. Kaminski ordered the gathering of Soviet tanks and armored cars abandoned in 1941 due the lack of fuel or minor mechanical failures – by November 1942 his unit has in possession at least two BT-7 tanks and one 76 mm artillery system. Due the lack of uniforms and boots (some units were barefoot) the Germans provided Kaminski's brigade with used uniforms: these were sufficient for only four battalions.
By late 1942, the militia of the Lokot Autonomy had expanded to the size of a 14-battalion brigade with close to 8,000 men under arms called the Russian National Liberation Army (RONA). From November 19, 1942 to December 1942, Lokot was inspected by the order of the Alfred Rosenberg .
In January 1943, the brigade numbered 9828 people; the armored unit of brigade has one heavy KV-II, two medium T-34, three BT-7 and two BT-5 light tanks, and three armored cars (BA-10, 2 BA-20).
In the spring of 1943 the brigade’s structure was reorganized – there were five regiments created with three battalions in each, anti-aircraft battalion (three AAA guns and four heavy machine guns), armored unit. A separate “guard” battalion was created; brigade strength was estimated to be 12,000 men in total.
Operation Citadel , the massive offensive to destroy the
This operation was followed by similar operations - Freischütz and Tannenhauser, the brigade together with others units under German command was involved in action against partisans and also took part in reprisal operations against the civilian population.
In the summer of 1943, the brigade began to suffer major desertions, due in part to the recent Soviet victories and in part to the efforts of the partisans to "turn" as many of Kaminski's troops as possible. As a part of these efforts, several attempts on Kaminski's life were carried out. Each time, Kaminski narrowly avoided death and punished the conspirators with execution. Several German officers passing through Lokot reported seeing bodies hanging from gallows outside Kaminski's headquarters. Fearing a breakdown in command, a German liaison staff was attached to Kaminski's HQ to restructure the brigade and return stability to the unit.
After the German failure of Citadel, the Soviet counteroffensives
forced the brigade, along with their families, to flee with the
retreating Germans. On the 29th of July, 1943 Kaminski issued an order
for evacuation of property and families of RONA brigade and Lokot
authorities. Up to 30 thousand persons (10-11,000 of them were brigade
members) were transferred by Germans to the
Lepel area of
According to unreliable post-war Soviet estimates up to 10,000 civilians were killed during the existence of the Kaminski “Autonomy”.
From the end of August 1943 Kaminski tried to set up a new "Lepel Republic " in the Lepel area, which met with strong opposition from the local population. This area was overrun by partisans, and the brigade was involved in heavy combat in this area for the rest of the year.
During the retreat, desertions from the brigade increased greatly, and the entire formation seemed close to disintegration. When the commander of the Second Regiment, Major Tarasov, decided to join the partisans with all of his regiment (he was offered amnesty if his entire regiment joined the partisans), Kaminski flew to his headquarters and according to one account, strangled him and eight others in front of his men. Despite this up to 200 people deserted within two days.
By the beginning of October 1943 the brigade lost 2/3 of its previous personnel number.
On January 27, 1944, Heinrich Himmler decorated Kaminski with the Iron Cross 2nd Class and the Iron Cross 1st Class on the same day.
On February 15, 1944, Kaminski issued an order to relocate the brigade and Lokot administration further west to the Dyatlovo area at West Belarus.
The Jewish population of the area was completely massacred by the
auxiliary police.The chief of the Suzemka area police Prudnikov took
part in the massacres. There were 223
AFTER THE WAR
After the end of
World War II
Anatoli Ivanov portrayed the Lokot Republic in his novel Eternal Call (Вечный зов) and the corresponding TV sequel , which was popular in the Soviet Union.
* ^ A B C http://www.scribd.com/doc/3116523/AFTER-THE-BLITZKRIEG * ^ area under your administration - in addition to Lokot district- covered Dmitriev, Dmitrovsk, Sevsk, Komarichi, Navlya and Sezemka districts - from German order № 1023-42 July 17, 1942 at p 173. Theo Schulte, The German Army and Nazi Policies in Occupied Russia, (New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1989) * ^ De Cordier (2010), The Fedayeen of the Reich: Muslims, Islam and Collaborationism During World War II, p. 34 China and Eurasia Forum Quarterly, 2010 * ^ "ВОЕННАЯ ЛИТЕРАТУРА ---- Соколов Б.В. Оккупация. Правда и мифы". militera.lib.ru. * ^ Ермолов И., Дробязко С. Антипартизанская республика. - М.,2001 1. Оккупация Орловской области и организация Локотского самоуправления * ^ Ермолов И., Дробязко С. Антипартизанская республика. - М.,2001 * ^ A B http://www.admin.debryansk.ru/region/history/guerilla/pril3_collaboration.php * ^ Edgar Howell: The Soviet Partisan Movement, 1941-1944, p. 99 * ^ Ермолов И., Дробязко С. Антипартизанская республика. - М.,2001. * ^ A B Альтман И. Жертвы ненависти, стр. 263 * ^ Чуев С. Проклятые солдаты. М.: ЭКСМО, 2004. ISBN 5-699-05970-9 стр. 116—117 * ^ История Антонины Макаровой-Гинзбург http://briansk.ru/society/2005124/1792.html
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