Today we received the sad news that our friend Yevgeny Malychin passed away early in the morning at the age of 96 in Kharkov, Ukraine.
Born in 1924, he was deported to Bremen in 1942 for forced labour. After an unsuccessful escape attempt, he was brought to the Neuengamme Concentration Camp, from there into the Wittenberge sub-camp and after some time was brought back to the Neuengamme main camp. On May 3, 1945, Yevgeny Malychin survived the erroneous bombing of the prison ships in the Neustadt Bay by the Royal Air Force, which claimed the lives of thousands of concentration camp prisoners. Afterwards, he returned to the Ukraine. He would always tell his children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren of the catastrophic event “so that they don’t forget it”.
Yevgeny Malychin travelled regularly at the invitation of the Neuengamme Concentration Camp Memorial to Hamburg and Neustadt, to remember his killed comrades and to keep the memory of them and the ship disaster alive. He also spoke at the memorial event in Neustadt. In 2015, he emphasized how “70 years ago, we, the prisoners of the Neuengamme Concentration Camp, could never have imagined that we would get the chance to properly commemorate our deceased comrades with dignity”. Four years later, on May 3 2019, he finished his speech with the words “We need to do everything we can, so that the younger generation learns something about the atrocities of the Second World War. So that they will always remember and keep the peace”.
Not letting up, tirelessly engaging himself against forgetting and for remembering the events of the past in the future – Yevgeny Malychin saw this as his duty, his obligation to his perished comrades. He wanted to travel to Germany in May 2020, the Coronavirus Pandemic drew a line through these plans.
We mourn the loss of Yevgeny Malychin and will remember him as a calm, upright and humble person, who never let go of the traumatic experience of the sinking of the prisoner ships throughout his life. We will miss him! Our thoughts are with his family.