All that is composed will decay...

Palmnicken / Yantarny

Aug 19, 2013

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The Palwenicken settlement is first referred to in the documents dated 1389. The name originates from the Prussian word 'palwe' meaning «wasteland, treeless mire». Later it changed to German Palmnicken.

At the beginning of the 17th century a Hunter house (a castle) was laid up on the Palmnicken hill at the will of Kurfürst Georg Wilhelm, which was purchased by Morris Becker in 1870. In 1871 Morris Becker amd Wilhelm Stantien founded «Stantin und Becker» company and started industrial amber production. Soon, there appeared two mines — «Henrietta» and «Anna».

On January 31, 1945 from 2 to 4.5 thousands of Jews were murdered near the «Anna» mine. Those were the prisoners of East Prussian concentration camps (6-12 thousands) remained alive after a long foot march. Some were shot at the waterfront, some may have been blown up in abandoned mine galleries. Inside the «Anna» mine there might be hidden the «Amber room», they say…

«The Death March» memorial to the victims of Holocaust — 7-meter high hands stretched to reach the sky — was created by Frank Meisler and Arie Ovadia in 2011 at the expense of Vladimir Katsman. The bones might well be buried under the little beach resort and cafe set up at the shore of the awash «Anna» barrow pit (to the right in the below pic).

Amber production first started in mines, later there appeared barrow pits. Below is an old, no longer used barrow pit, which has turned into a marvelous deep lake, the Amber lake, with transparent water and picturesque shores: