Sunday, August 9, 2020

Antonina Makarova, “Tonka the machine gunner": Mercenary Serial Mass Murderer - Russia, 1943

EXCERPT: Here is one of her testimonies at the investigation: “It seemed to me that the war would write off everything. I was just doing my job for which I was paid. It was necessary to shoot not only partisans, but also members of their families, women, teenagers. I tried not to remember this. Although I remember the circumstances of one execution - before the execution, a guy sentenced to death shouted to me: ‘We will not see you again, goodbye, sister!’"

[“The trial of Tonka the machine gunner,” (уд над Тонькой-пулемётчицей – Процесс),  (Дилетант), Dec. 31, 2016]


Wikipedia: Antonina Makarova (née Parfenova, Ginsburg by marriage, Russian: Антонина Макарова, 1920 – 11 August 1979) was a Soviet war criminal and executioner who collaborated with Nazi Germany during World War II. From 1942 to 1943 she executed some 1,500 Soviet partisans and their family members by machine gun. Makarova was caught by the Soviet KGB in 1976 and executed three years later.

~ Early life ~

Antonina Makarova was born in a small village in Smolensk Governorate as Antonina Parfenova. On her first day at school, Parfenova's name was written down as Makarova, from her father's first name, Makar, as the shy girl had forgotten her last name. Later, Makarova studied in Moscow, and when the war broke out she joined the Red Army as a volunteer nurse. Makarova also took courses to learn how to use a machine gun.

~ Collaboration with Nazi Germany ~

In the Autumn of 1941, Makarova was separated from her troops. Three months later, in January 1942, she was recruited by the local authorities at the town of Lokot, which was the capital of the Lokot Autonomy, an collaborationist statelet established by the Nazis in October 1941. Makarova was hired as a machine gun shooter. Her job was to execute Russian POWs and partisans including their families. Usually Makarova was ordered to execute a group of 27 people, which was the number of prisoners the local jailhouse could hold. In the evenings Makarova spent time with German officers along with local women who were working as prostitutes. In the summer of 1943 Germans found out that Makarova and the other women had a sexually transmitted disease and they were sent to a hospital in the rearguard.

~ Post-war life ~

As the Red Army entered the Lokot region they found remains of about 1,500 people whom Antonina had executed. Soviet troops captured and killed many Nazi collaborators, but Makarova, who was at a remote hospital, was not among them. In 1945, Makarova married a Russian war veteran named Viktor Ginsburg. They settled in Lepiel, a town in Soviet Belarus, and had two daughters. Antonina and her husband lived as respected citizens enjoying all the privileges granted to war veterans.

~ Discovery and execution ~

The KGB kept the case open for many years but could not find the right Antonina Makarova. In 1976, a Soviet Army officer named Parfenov was registering some documents of his relatives in order to get a visa. He found out that everyone in his family had the last name Parfenov save one: a woman named Antonina Makarova (Ginsburg after marriage). She was later recognized by several witnesses who had known Makarova during the war. The KGB arrested Makarova and the court sentenced her to capital punishment in November 1978. Antonina Makarova was executed by shooting on 11 August 1979. She was one of only three women legally executed by the Soviet Union after the death of Joseph Stalin.


Wikipedia: The Lokot Autonomy (Russian: Ло́котское самоуправле́ние) or Lokot Republic (Russian: Ло́котская республика, German: Republik Lokot) comprised a semi-autonomous region in Nazi German-occupied Central Russia from 1941 to 1943. Bronislav Kaminski's administration controlled the area from July 1942 to August 1943. The name is derived from the region's administrative center, the urban-type settlement of Lokot in Oryol Oblast (now located in Bryansk Oblast).

The "Autonomy" covered the area of eight raions (the present-day Brasovsky, Dmitriyevsky, Dmitrovsky, Komarichsky, Navlinsky, Sevsky, Suzemsky and Zheleznogorsky districts) now divided between Bryansk, Oryol and Kursk Oblasts. The German authorities established the Autonomy to serve as a test case for Russian collaborationist government under the SS in the proposed Reich Commissariat of Muscovy (German: Reichskommissariat Moskowien).



1921 – Antonina Makarova born, village of Malaya Volkovka, Smolensk region; “Tonka the machine gunner”’ Тонька-пулеметчица, Антонина Макаров.

1942 to 1943 – killings.

Autumn 1941 – Makarova was separated from her troops.

Jan. 1942 – she was recruited by the local authorities at the town of Lokot; collaborators with Germany.

Summer 1943 – Germans found out that Makarova and the other women had a sexually transmitted disease and they were sent to a hospital in the rearguard.

Nov. 1978 – KGB arrests Makarova and the court sentenced her to capital punishment.

Aug. 11, 1979 – executed by firing squad.






[193-1/14/21; 554-7/9/22]

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