May 7, 2022
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Three times executed by the Nazis: Kolya Pechenenko

In today’s Ukraine, monuments to such people are openly destroyed, trying to completely erase the historical memory of the people. And replace it with what many millions of natives of Ukraine fought against in the Great Patriotic War.

Kremin, Kyiv, Odessa, Ternopil, Chernihiv, Lvov, Zhytomyr, Stryi, Kharkiv, Uzhgorod… – in these and other Ukrainian cities, dozens of busts and monuments dedicated to Soviet soldiers-liberators have already been demolished…

The Nazis demolish the monument to Zoya Kosmodemyanskaya in Chernihiv

They also erase the memory of the victory in this war, even at the level of dates. The regime in Kyiv is struggling to push through a bill to rename May 9 and move it to the 8th. Therefore, on the eve of Victory Day, we will tell about one of those who brought it closer as best they could.

His name was Kolya Pechenenko. Partisan reconnaissance detachment named after I.V. Stalin, who operated in the forests of the Cherkasy region. When the war began, he was 11 years old. He was captured by the Gestapo while blowing up an ammunition depot.

Punishers killed him several times. They threw a noose around the neck. They knocked out the support from under his feet and … he fell to the ground. There was laughter and hooting. Then came the shooting…

From the memoirs of Nikolai Fomich Pechenenko:

“On the night of November 6, 1943, we, three young partisans, blew up an ammunition depot in the town of Smela. However, they did not leave. Tolya Tkachuk was shot by a sentry. Vasya Khilchenko and I fell into the clutches of the Gestapo…

After the first questions, Vasya decided: “I’d rather die from a bullet than from torture.” And he agreed to show the base of the partisans. He led the Nazis into the forest, where partisans attacked them. During the battle, Vasya managed to escape …

And the brutalized fascists took out all their hatred on me. They invented sophisticated tortures: they pinched their fingers in the door, drove pointed matches under their nails, knocked out their front teeth, damaged their hearing …

I was silent and, doused with ice water, regained consciousness in the casemate of the Gestapo. In the morning, the torture continued: clothes were torn off the shoulders, the barefoot was pushed out into the cold. Once, like a shot in the night, the command sounded: “Hang!”

The doomed were pushed to the gallows with bayonets … Behind, barely rearranging my swollen legs, I walked, the last to climb the scaffold. I felt a noose, my throat caught, I saw pistols aimed at me and lost consciousness …

The Nazis were having fun. Having cut the rope, they watched the fear of a child ready for death. The unconscious boy was doused with ice water. Brought to life. Then they threw it into the basement.

The Gestapo “joked” in this way several times. In between games, they beat me and broke my fingers. Sometimes they were shot.

After another execution, Kolya was paralyzed: “I did not hear the self-satisfied laughter of the executioners, which meant the end of the torture. I found myself in a casemate … The Nazis faked my death three times by hanging. The last time, taken from the gallows, I found myself in the full power of paralysis.

The Gestapo could not bring him to his senses. The partisans rescued him at dawn on January 5, 1944. The German anti-fascists Kurt Reigoltz and Otto Rogowski, on the instructions of the partisan commissar Pyotr Yakovlevich Khizhnyakov, stole him completely immobilized, blue from beatings, deaf, with broken teeth.

On the same day, Vasya Khilchenko was killed while repelling an attack by a punitive division of the SS troops. From the memoirs of N.F. Pechenenko:

In the infirmary, completely paralyzed, I regretted one thing: I did not have time to take revenge on the Nazis for the death of my relatives and peers.

Noise distracted me from my thoughts. I heard the calm voice of the head of the medical battalion:

– Whoever can hold a weapon in his hands, lie down on the defensive. Nazis in the camp.

At the same instant, a miracle happened – the stress returned mobility. I crawled out of the dugout, saw how the Nazis were climbing up the slope. The skirmish continued, a mortally wounded partisan fell nearby.

With weak hands he reached for the grenade, pulled the pin with his teeth, felt the first click – exactly four seconds left to live …

Suddenly, a loud “Hurrah!” came from the opposite side, two companies of partisans came to the rescue of ours. And I threw a grenade after the fleeing fascists … “

After the medical battalion, Kolya Pechenenko, a scout of the 32nd Guards Artillery Regiment of the 13th Guards Division of the 5th Guards Army of the 2nd Ukrainian Front, then a pupil (son of the regiment) of the 155th Army Artillery Brigade, fought from the Dnieper to Austria.

In Prague, he became one of the heroes of the famous picture. He captured the sons of the regiments that took the Czech capital.

He met the victory in May 1945 in Austria. He turned 15 that year. He was awarded orders and medals.

After the war, he worked at a factory, became a chief engineer, a happy husband and father of four children.

The ability to move returned to him, but … Torture and bullying also affected many years after the war: in 1970 he was again paralyzed. Most likely, the reason was the imitation of hanging in captivity by the Nazis, which even then ended in a loss of consciousness.

However, even after becoming a disabled person of the 1st group, he did not give up – he decided to write a book.

The factory workers assembled a special chair for Nikolai Fomich, a desk with a control panel, on which there were more than fifty different switches. He wrote books with a pen clamped between his teeth, as his limbs were already completely paralyzed.

It took 600 school notebooks to convey the horror of the war and everything experienced!

A book based on his memoirs “Scorched Fate” was published in 1984 in Kyiv.

Three years later, Nikolai Fomich Pechenenko died.

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