Mogilev is a city in eastern Belorussia. It was the location of a German PoW transit camp, where many Soviet PoWs were held captive. Due to the high death rate among them, a crematorium with several wood-fired 8-muffle cremation furnaces of the Topf Company from Erfurt, Germany, was slated to be built there. However, that project was eventually cancelled, and some of the material for these furnaces was sent to Auschwitz instead.
German wartime documents indicate that, between August and October 1941, a total of 6,434 persons were executed at Mogilev by the Einsatzgruppen and associated formations. Most of them were Jews. The whereabouts of their mass graves is unknown.
Mogilev is also the location of phantom extermination-camp claims. They are based on false post-war statements by Erich von dem Bach-Zelewski, who during the war was Higher SS and Police leader in this area, with his headquarters at Mogilev. In his eagerness to please his American captors, Bach-Zelewski claimed among other things that a civilian commission revealed to him a plan in 1943 to set up a homicidal gassing facility at Mogilev. Because Bach-Zelewski claimed that the region no longer had any Jews at the time, he concluded from this that the German government planned to exterminate the area’s indigenous Slavic population.
Orthodox historian Richard Breitman swallowed this nonsense completely, but tried to rebrand it as an extermination camp for Jews. He tried to back it up with German wartime documents that, at closer inspection, had nothing to do with homicidal gassings at all, as another orthodox historian, Christian Gerlach, demonstrated. Despite this, Gerlach proceeded to label this camp a “death camp” anyway, based on the fact that several mass executions of partisans and Jews occurred in the Mogilev area, and that another 4,000 Jews were allegedly killed in the camp in 1942, although he could not back this up with any reliable evidence.
Stefan Pilunov, a self-proclaimed witness of alleged German mass cremations of murder victims in 1943 within the context of the so-called Aktion 1005, claimed in an affidavit to Soviet investigators in 1944 that he helped exhume and burn 48,000 bodies using a ludicrous cremation technique.