May, 1942. During fierce fighting the German army conquers the Kerch peninsula. Troops of the Crimean front have to evacuate to the Taman, but a part of the troops defeating a setback and crossing of the major forces find themselves cut-off and have to come down under the ground. That is a beginning of 170-days’ defence of Ajimushkai Stone Quarries.
According to the different versions, 10-15 thousand or 25-30 thousand of people came down there.
They had no medicaments, food, weapons, ammunition and wells were only outside… They had to risk their lives to gain water.
Then Germans started to poison water in the wells throwing there corpses of people and horses …
Thus Russians had to make a “suckers detachment” who had to suck in water from the wet walls and ceilings! During a shift one person could get one flask of water.
Besides they began to build wells inside the quarries and finally succeeded!
When Germans knew about these wells they started to blast the quarries. More than a thousand of people died under rubbles.
However Russians didn’t give up, so Germans began to use gas… It killed more than a half of the Russian soldiers. And they sent a legendary rescue radiogram to all people of the Soviet Union. But Russians considered it to be a provocation of the enemies.
When Germans made another effort to get inside the quarries, they didn’t hear usual shots, only silence met them. There were nobody to shoot… Only six people remained alive. Someone were killed right there, others taken to concentration camp… One way or another none of them lived to 11, April 1944 when Kerch city was conquered back …
In 1966 there was made an underground Museum of Ajimushkai Stone Quarries Defence and, and 16 years later, in 1982 there was opened a Memorial to the Heroes of Ajimushkai Stone Quarries.
Today it looks like this …