Paraska MENSJUK was born in a Ukrainian village near Kiev (called »Wilschenko« in the German records) on October 25, 1923. When she was first registered as a »housemaid« by the Salzburg police in 1942 she was an 18 years old, unmarried, Eastern-Orthodox, forced laborer. The young woman was one of the »Eastern Workers« from the occupied portions of the Soviet Union who had to wear the letters »OST« on their left breast and had to perform forced labor in the private homes of »reliable« (Nazi) individuals.
What is documented is that Paraska MENSJUK, who last worked for director Rudolf Hansemann in the Reichsbank branch in Salzburg1, was arrested and interrogated by the Gestapo on June 27, 1944 – and was dead three days later. On June 30, 1944 the 20 year old succumbed from her severe injuries in the Salzburg State Hospital: »Contusio cerebri«, cerebral contusions caused by brute force to the head. In addition the death certificate reported »suspected kidney bruising«: a unique document from the Nazi regime with precise date and cause of death for a terror victim.
In contrast, the Salzburg police registration for another Ukrainian »housemaid« who had to work in the household of the director of the Reichsbank branch just contains the handwritten work »arrest«. Nineteen year old Maria Galeckaja also wore the »OST« brand but she disappeared from sight after her arrest by the Gestapo on July 3, 1944. Her fate could be undocumented if the young woman was deported to the Ravensbrück concentration camp – because in the last days of the war the SS destroyed all evidence of their crimes there including the death records.
The Ukrainian »OST« worker »housemaid« who disappeared without a trace under the Nazi regime in Salzburg is by no means unique. Searching for further information about individuals who are only known from handwritten names and surnames on these records is difficult because their transcriptions from Cyrillic into German written forms is questionable and varies from one document to another. Nor is it certain that the birth data for those involved are correct.
1 Paris-Lodron-Straße 3a belonged to the German Reichsbank in Berlin, formerly the Austro-Hungarian Bank
- Salzburg city archives
Translation: Stan Nadel
Laid 14.07.2015 at Salzburg, Paris-Lodron-Straße 3a