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Opening Hours:

Sunday to Wednesday: 09:00-17:00
Thursday: 9:00-20:00 *
Fridays and Holiday eves: 09:00-14:00.

Yad Vashem is closed on Saturdays and all Jewish Holidays.

* The Holocaust History Museum, Museum of Holocaust Art, Exhibitions Pavilion and Synagogue are open until 20:00. All other sites close at 17:00.

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Capture of a number German Generals

By  evening soldiers of the 62nd Army had captured the headquarters of the [German] 295th Infantry Division, including its commander Major General [Otto] Korfes, and also the commander of the 51st Army Corps Lieutenant General of Artillery [Max] Pfeffer, who was stationed at the headquarters, and the chief of staff of the 295th Division, Colonel [Gerhart] Dissel, as well as several staff officers, a total of 16 people.

Remarkably, all of these 16 people, including Hitler's generals, were captured by three privates headed by the eighteen-year old [in fact, 20-year old] Komsomol member, communications officer Mikhail Porter who, before he was deployed in Stalingrad, had fought in the areas of Odessa, Sevastopol, and Kerch.

Here is how this happened:

On January 31, checking communication lines, Mikhail Porter came upon an enemy cable that, like a red streak, was curving along the snow-covered ground. Pleased at his discovery, Porter proceeded to follow the line.

Suddenly bullets began whistling by and he had to jump into a ravine. There he was joined by two soldiers who appeared as if from nowhere. […].

Porter noticed several bunkers close to him.  A thick wire network ended at one of them.

"Stay here and I will look into these structures," Porter said to his comrades.

Before he could pull away the canvas that covered the entrance, the barrel of a rifle was pressed against his chest. Buy Porter was quicker: he shot first and a huge officer fell heavily at the entrance. A second officer suddenly appeared in the doorway. Porter shot again and burst into the dugout.

By the bright electric light, he saw many men, on whose uniforms military awards were shining.

The enemy officers and generals gazed with surprise and fear at their unexpected guest wearing a gray fur coat, a fur hat pulled back on his head, and with a gun in his hand.

"Hands up!" Porter shouted.

The Hitlerites immediately obeyed his order.

Porter ordered them to surrender their weapons and to get together their maps and documents. At that time, one of the soldiers accompanying him came to his aid. Together, they tool the disarmed prisoners out of the dugout.

One of the [Red Army] soldiers, who was walking in front, proceeded a few steps then fell, struck down by the bullet of an enemy sniper.

[In reaction] Porter arranged the captives into a circle, putting the guards in the center. Afraid to hit one of his own, the Hitlerite sniper stopped shooting.

But when they emerged from the ravine, the group came under heavy shelling. The second soldier who had joined Porter was wounded and fell to the ground […].

"Lift up the wounded" Porter ordered the prisoners.

Two officers picked up the wounded and carried him.

The high-ranking prisoners were taken to army headquarters.

For this brave feat, the secretary of the Komsomol organization of the communications regiment, deputy political instructor Mikhail Porter, was awarded the Order of Lenin."

(from Stupov А. D., Kokunov V. L. 62-ia armiia v boiakh za Stalingrad. Moscow: Voienizdat, 1953, pp. 105-106.)  Stupov and Kokunov were two officers responsible for political matters in the 62nd Army. During and after the war they wrote memoirs about their unit.)