1979 in the USSR was declared the Year of Women and Antonina Makarova hoped to receive three years probation. But on the morning of August 11, 1979, she was shot. In the USSR, this was the last major case related to traitors and executioners who collaborated with the German occupiers during the war and the only case when a woman was shot ...
Tonya came to the front from Moscow, where shortly before the war she came from her native village of Malaya Volkovka, Smolensk region. In Moscow, the girl was going to study, and then get a job, but all plans were canceled out by the war. Tonya took machine gunner courses, then nursing courses and already in this status and went to the active army to defend the capital. Where she fell into the terrible meat grinder of the Vyazemsky cauldron, in which about a million soldiers and officers of the Red Army perished, there, surrounded, among a large number of corpses, the young nurse's psyche breaks once and for all. This is followed by several endless months of leaving the encirclement, wandering through the Bryansk forests with random satellites, just like her, going to the east. In the end, Tonya was left completely alone and walked without making out the roads, begging in the Bryansk villages, until finally she reached the village of Lokot, where she fell into the hands of the police. They raped her, gave her moonshine, fed her and raped her again, and one morning, completely drunk, they took her out into the courtyard, put her behind a machine gun and ordered to shoot at the emaciated people standing at the end of the courtyard, whose hands were tied. And Tonya pulled the trigger ...
Record from the interrogation protocol of Antonina Makarova-Ginzburg from June 1978: “Everyone who was sentenced to death was the same for me, only their number changed. Usually, I shot in groups of 27 people, as many people could fit in a police station cell. I shot people 500 meters from the prison, not far from some pit where the corpses were dumped. People were put in a chain facing the pit, one of the men was dragging a machine gun, at the command of their superiors, they opened fire and fired until everyone fell. This is how I did my job, for which I was paid. It was necessary to shoot not only male partisans, but also members of their families, children and women. Later I tried not to remember this. " For such "work" Tonya received 30 German marks a day, there was some symbolism in this amount or not, now no one will say. At first everything was like a fog for her, and before the execution she was given schnapps to drink, but then she got used to it and drank after the execution. Since childhood, one of Tony's heroines was Anka the machine gunner, and here you are, a real machine gun, lie down and shoot. Whom to shoot at, Tone no longer seemed important at the moment. Upon completion of the “work”, she took off the clothes she liked from the corpses, washed them of blood, and changed them for herself. Gently and carefully handled the machine gun, cleaned it, in the evenings she went to dances and drunkenness with policemen and invaders. How many people she shot, Tonya did not count, but according to eyewitnesses, Antonina was the only executioner who carried out death sentences in Lokoti. After the war, representatives of SMERSH found about 20, 000 corpses in the dug holes.
In 1943, she was lucky, she contracted a venereal disease and was sent to Germany for treatment, so when the Red Army liberated Tony's Elbow, the machine gunner was no longer there. Escaping from a German hospital, Antonina was able to get her documents and disappear into the rear, she again got a job as a nurse in a military hospital, where she met her future husband, married him and took his last name.
They have been looking for her for over 35 years. There were enough facts about her existence - many of the captured policemen talked about Tonka the machine-gunner, the case of the executioner girl passed from hand to hand, was sent to the archive, again emerged. The KGB did not sit idly by; everything was thoroughly and secretly checked! The Antonin Makarovs are of a similar age, but the desired one was not among them.
But it was impossible to just take it and forget about it. “Her crimes were too terrible, - says Golovachev. - It just did not fit in my head how many lives she took. Several people managed to escape, they were the main witnesses in the case. And so, when we interrogated them, they said that Tonka still comes to them in their dreams. Young, with a machine gun, looks intently - and does not look away. They were convinced that the executioner girl was alive, and asked to be sure to find her in order to end these nightmares. We understood that she was I could have married a long time ago and change my passport, so we thoroughly studied the life path of all her possible relatives by the name of Makarov ... "
However, none of the investigators had any idea that it was necessary to start looking for Antonina not with the Makarovs, but with the Parfenovs. Yes, it was the accidental mistake of the village teacher Tony in the first grade, who wrote down her middle name as a surname, and allowed the "machine gunner" to elude retribution for so many years. Her real relatives, of course, never fell into the circle of interests of the investigation in this case.
But in the 76th year, one of the Moscow officials by the name of Parfenov was going abroad. Filling out an application for a passport, he honestly listed the names of his brothers and sisters in a list, the family was large, as many as five children. All of them were Parfenovs, and only one for some reason was Antonina Makarovna Makarova, married since 1945, Ginzburg, now living in Belarus. The man was summoned to the OVIR for additional explanations. Naturally, people from the KGB in civilian clothes were also present at the fateful meeting.
“We were terribly afraid to jeopardize the reputation of a woman respected by all, a front-line soldier, a wonderful mother and wife, ” recalls Golovachev. “Therefore, our employees went to Belarusian Lepel secretly, watched Antonina Ginzburg for a whole year, brought there one by one surviving witnesses, a former punisher, one of her lovers, for identification. Only when every last one said the same thing - it was she, Tonka the machine gunner, we recognized her by the noticeable fold on her forehead - doubts disappeared. "
Antonina's husband, Viktor Ginzburg, a war and labor veteran, promised to complain to the UN after her unexpected arrest. “We didn’t confess to him what the accusation was against the one with whom he had lived happily a whole life. We were afraid that the man simply wouldn’t survive it, ” the investigators said.
Viktor Ginzburg threw complaints at various organizations, assuring that he loved his wife very much, and even if she had committed some crime - for example, financial embezzlement - he would forgive her everything. And he also talked about how, as a wounded boy, in April 1945, he was lying in a hospital near Konigsberg, and suddenly she, the new nurse Tonechka, entered the ward. Innocent, pure, as if not in a war - and he fell in love with her at first sight, and a few days later they signed.
Antonina took her husband's surname, and after demobilization she went with him to the Belarusian Lepel, forgotten by God and people, and not to Moscow, from where she was once called to the front. When the old man was told the truth, he turned gray overnight. And he did not write any more complaints.
“The arrested husband from the pre-trial detention center did not give a single line. And by the way, she didn’t write anything to the two daughters whom she gave birth to after the war and didn’t ask to see him, ” says investigator Leonid Savoskin. “When we managed to find contact with our accused, she started talking about Tell everyone. ”About how she escaped from a German hospital and got into our environment, corrected other people's veteran documents, according to which she began to live. She did not hide anything, but this was the most terrible thing. A feeling was created that she was sincerely misunderstanding: Why was she imprisoned, what was SO terrible she did? It was as if there was some kind of bloc from the war in her head, so that she probably wouldn't go mad herself. She remembered everything, every execution, but she didn’t regret anything. She seemed to me a very cruel woman. I don't know what she was like when she was young. And what made her commit these crimes. The desire to survive? A moment's darkening? The horrors of war? In any case, this does not justify her. She killed not only strangers. her, but also her own family. She simply destroyed them with her exposure. Psychological examination showed that Antonina Makarovna Makarova is sane. "
The investigators were very afraid of any excesses on the part of the accused: before, there were cases when former policemen, healthy men, remembering past crimes, committed suicide right in the cell. The aged Tonya did not suffer from bouts of remorse. “It is impossible to be constantly afraid, ” she said. “The first ten years I waited for a knock on the door, and then I calmed down. There are no such sins that a person would be tormented all his life.”
During the investigative experiment, she was taken to Lokot, to the very field where she conducted the executions. The villagers spat after her like a revived ghost, and Antonina just looked askance at them, scrupulously explaining how, where, whom and what she killed ... For her it was a distant past, a different life.
“They disgraced me in my old age, ” she complained in the evenings, sitting in a cell, to her jailers. “Now, after the verdict, I will have to leave Lepel, otherwise every fool will poke a finger at me. I think that I will be given probation for three years. Then you have to somehow reorganize your life. And how much is your salary in the pre-trial detention center, girls? Maybe I can get a job with you - something familiar ... "
Antonina Makarova-Ginzburg was shot at six in the morning on August 11, 1978, almost immediately after the death sentence was passed. Even the investigators did not expect this. No one argued that the guilt of Antonina Makarovna Makarova-Ginzburg in the massacres during the war was fully proven. But on the other hand, more than 30 years have passed since then, and the girl who was born in a simple working-class family, who turned 19 in 1941, could in no way be recognized as a convinced traitor and a Nazi. Moreover, the circumstances in which she found herself simply did not give her a choice. But the court, meanwhile, reasonably judged that the crimes committed by Tonya do not have a statute of limitations, but the circumstances ... a person always has a choice, and in the distant 1941 Antonina Makarova made her choice.