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[Page 160]

Chapter 3

1. From materials of the Extraordinary Commission (Ch.G.K. USSR)

Baranovichi (Polish: Baranowicze)

Translated by Irene Newhouse

The persecution of Jews began right after the arrival of the German army in 1941. Jews were shot in November 1941, 5 km from Baranovichi near Grobovets village, in the Jewish cemetery near the market square. The remaining Jews were confined in a ghetto which occupied 10 blocks of the town between these streets: Vilenskaya, Komsomol'skaya, Ales' Garun and Kostelnaya. The ghetto was surrounded by barbed wire and heavily guarded. 15 thousand people were confined there. The ghetto was liquidated in three stages: on March 4, 1942 (2,400 people), on September 22, 1942 (5,000) and on December 17, 1943 (3,000) people. Some of the prisoners were transferred to other ghettoes and a concentration camp. Some of them escaped and joined the partisan movements in Belarus, Ukraine, Russia and Poland. (Original held at GARF (State Archive of the Russian Federation, Moscow), fond 8114, opis 1, delo 955, list 107; National Archive of Byelorussia (NARB, Minsk), fond 861, opis 1, delo 1, list 18; fond 845, opis 1, delo 6, list 19).

Author's note: Baranovichi – regional capital city in the Brest area; railway connections to Brest, Volkovysk, Lida, Minsk, Slutsk and Luninets, located 206 km from Brest; originally settled in Minsk province, in 1871, as station on the Moscow-Brest Railway, 1897 (8,500 inhabitants), in 1912 about 30,000 inhabitants, in 1914, General Headquarters of Russian army; in 1921-1939 part of Poland, since 1939 in BSSR, seat of Baranovichi region, before WWI 7,796 Jews lived here; occupied by German armies from June 27, 1941 to July 8, 1944, during which time127,500 people were killed in the city and surrounding area, and also within the Gai forest boundaries, three thousand Jews from Czechoslovakia; in summer of 1994 a monument to victims of the ghetto, made in Israel, opened due to activity of former residents.

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[Page 161]

Bol'shaya Berestovitsa
(Velikaya Berestovitsa, Polish: Brestowica Wielka)

Translated by Irene Newhouse

Some say elderly Jews were taken to a ghetto at Krynki, and from there sent to an unknown destination. Some of the remaining Jews were forced to do hard physical labor at Bol'shoe Berestovitsa and the rest were transported to Volkovysk. According to others, the Jews were taken to Poland from Malpeny station and killed in “electric furnaces”. (That's in the original – L.S.) Witness E.V. Cheshkova recalled a large pogrom in Bol'shaya Berestovitsa in the spring of 1942, and witness Anufry Stankevich the annihilation of Jews by winter of 1942. In the entire Berestovitsa area 634 people were lost, including 111 women and 219 children. There were 411 Jews, and 223 non-Jews. 710 people, including 548 women, were sent to Germany to do forced labor.

The Berestovitsa Area Extraordinary Commission determined that (document of October 30, 1944), the principal war criminals were: Commandant Golinski of the Knobil garrison and his assistants Gavar, Schmidt, Gershan, and also the policemen Semenyako and Ledich, the German soldiers Linderman, Kiskel', and Kriger. In the list of names of those executed, Soviet citizens from the Berestovitse area who were tortured and hung numbered 87 Jewish families (Original source held at GARF (State Archive of the Russian Federation in Moscow), fond 7021, opis 86, delo 35, listy 1-16; copies Yad Vashem, (Jerusalem), Ì-33/703).

Author's note: Bol'shaya Berestovitsa – a settlement, in the center of the Grodno area, is located on the Berestovitsa Road 63 km from Grodno; it's mentioned for the first time in the 16th century, after annexation to the Russian empire (1795) - a town in the Grodno district; in 1900 - 1786 people. 1921-1939 part of Poland, since 1939 in the BSSR Krynkovichi district: 720 Jewish residents before WWII; occupied by German armies from June 1941 to July 17, 1944. 634 people were killed in the settlement and surrounding area.

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[Page 162]


Translated by Irene Newhouse

The ghetto was formed late in summer of 1941 in a suburb of the city. It occupied the area between Freedom St., Victory and Red Army St. There was only one gate, at Zagorodnaya St. (now called Ruben Ibarruri St). After August 27, 1941, Jews were forbidden to use any vehicular transport, anything to be moved had to be carried by hand. The extreme density and unsanitary conditions caused outbreaks of infectious illnesses. To guard the ghetto, a special police force was recruited from local residents. Murders of Jews occurred even before formation of a ghetto. Elderly Shimshon Al'tshul'er was murdered on the market place, people were sent to prison and girls killed. These crimes were committed by Khaya Glikman, Basia Tavger, and Riva Raines, who drowned the schoolboys Gilia and Fima Bakaliar.

The Germans appointed Khatskel Baranski (age 50), formerly a worker at the city forestry exchange and tree nursery combine called “Komintern” to keep internal order in the ghetto. Prisoners were ordered to forced hard labor: sweeping and cleaning streets and latrines, road construction, unloading goods. Early in October 1941, in a northern city suburb, near an air field, prisoners of war dug two big and deep holes in a ravine. In celebration, a banquet in honor of the German army was arranged to be held in a dining room on the market square on October 19. When Obersturmfuehrer Kraffe arrived, the burgomaster of Borisov , Stanislav Stankevich declared, that in some hours “the major Aktion” will begin. In the morning on October 20, 1941 Jews were collected and began to be transported in trucks and pedestrian columns to the holes. They were collected in a ravine 50 meters from the mass graves. Before execution, they were forced to undress, and, to quote Stankevich, forced to lie face downward in the holes “like sardines” to save space. The supply manager of the police substation Joseph Majtak brought vodka. The policemen drank and started “work”. Many of the wounded were buried alive. The holes were covered with a thin layer of the soil through which blood filtered. If it reached the streams, it could flow to the Berezina River. Then the tomb was covered with unslaked lime and an additional layer of sand. In two days, October 20 and 21, 1941, 7245 Jews were executed. However, with inclusion of other isolated actions the number of victims in Borisov reached 9,000. In 1943 a squad of prisoners of war was forced by the Germans to exhume the mass graves and burn the bodies on large fires. The participants in this operation were shot on completion of the work.

In 1947 relatives of the victims erected on a modest monument at the execution site, but there's no mention that Jews are buried there. The inscription represented a state cliche whose use was required by the authorities. Only in 1995 did the image of a menorah appear (Source: Alexander Rosenbloom “Pamyat na Krovi” [“Memories Preserved in Blood”] Petach Tikva, 1998), pp. 59-63.

Author's note: Borisov - city, district center in the Minsk region, located 71 km from Minsk, station on the Minsk-Orsha Railway Line, a crossroads on the Minsk-Moscow highway; it was founded in 1102 year by the Grand Duke of Polotsk, Boris Vseslavich, although according to other data, it was founded in 1032 by the Grand Duck of Kiev Jaroslav Mudry; during the Polish era, the seat of Troky wojewodztwo of Orsha powiat, since 1795 district city of Minsk Guberniya. Jewish history: in the 16th century, Borisov kahal was one of the best known in Belarus and Lithuania; in 1766, 249 Jews lived there; in 1861 – 2,851 Jews; in 1897 – 7,722 (out of 15,063 inhabitants), in 1910 – 10,617, in 1926 – 8,355, in 1939 – 10,011 Jews (out of 49,108 inhabitants). It was occupied by German armies from July 2, 1941 to July 1, 1944. There were 6 death camps in which more than 33,000 perished, in the city's vicinity. (National Archive of Belarus Republic, fond 861, opis 1, delo 8, listy 66-69; State Archive of Minsk Oblast, fond 635, opis 1, delo 4, list 1)

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[Page 163]


Translated by Irene Newhouse

The destruction of the Jewish population occurred on December 25, 1942. People were taken to pre-dug hole in motor vehicles, forced to undress, and lie down on the bottom face downwards. After that, they were shot with automatic rifles and machine guns. The next set of victims was forced to lie down on the dead, and everything repeated all over again. The Byten Area Extraordinary Commission opened a mass grave on November 18, 1944. It was determined, that the invaders used an old entrenchment 100 meters long in a suburb. On the surface barbed wire outlined the grave, and the corpses of those executed were covered with only half a meter of soil. The bodies were in chaotic positions, both facing up and down. One lay in underwear, the others were nude. Among the victims were 40 men, 8 women and three children aged 7 to 9. 48 of the victims appeared to be Jews, and 12 were prisoners of war. Bullet wounds were in the chest and back. On December 30, 1944 two mass graves were opened at Rudnia village, 2 kilometers from Byten. In the first grave, 900 bodies (350 men, 420 women and 130 children) were found. In the second, 80 bodies (45 men, 20 women and 15 children). The document signed by a committee of experts did not specify the ethnic distribution of the victims. In the Byten area there were in all 6 “retaliatory” operations during which 1,552 civilians were killed, including 489 women and 284 children, 44 people (16 children and 14 women) were burned to death, 505 men and 294 women taken to Germany for forced labor, and 223 Soviet prisoners of war were killed.

The following were named as chief organizers and executors of the mass murders: the chief of gendarmerie Schultz, officers Ganoftol', Khil'kin, Brovzer, Grikhe, the deputy chief of gendarmerie Veber, the chief of the SD Tubis, gendarmes Enkel', Shmek, Izberg, the director of the sawmill Vunderlikh and his assistant Lyass, Mikhelos Otto, Oberleutenant Koch, Stabsfeldwebel Alfred Rozubavts and security guards of the ghetto. (Original sources at Gosudarstvenny arkhiv Rossiiskoy Federatsii (GARF) in Moscow, fond 7021, opis 81, delo 102, listy 1-39; Copies are at Yad Vashem in Jerusalem, M-33/1159).

Author's note: Byten - village in Ivatsevichi district (rayon) (since 1965) of Brest area (oblast), the center of the Village Soviet, located 27 km from Ivatsevichi; first mentioned in the 16th century as a place in Slonim powiat of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, in the Russian empire since 1795 – mestechko (shtetl) in Slonim district of Grodno guberniya; in 1766 - 273 Jews, 1847 - 573, in 1897 – 1,614 (of 2,682 inhabitants in all); in 1921-1939 part of Poland, and since 1939 - in BSSR, before WWII 739 Jews lived there; occupied by German armies from June 26, 1941 to July 9, 1944.

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[Page 164]


Translation donated by Peter Duffy

The ghetto was surrounded on May 9, 1942, and no one escaped. On May 10 prisoners started to be taken out to the Jewish cemetery on the outskirts of town in groups of 60 people. The graves were already prepared. They ordered people to undress and stack their clothes in piles. They were then pushed into ditches and shot. This continued until May 11. The total number of those shot over those two days was 2,159. A total of 2,865 of all nationalities died in Vasilishki and surrounding region during the years of the occupatoin, and 598 were sent off to Germany. A special group of the SS from Lida took an active role in the pogrom under the command of the headquarters officer Windish and his assistant Vasyukevich, together with the gendarmie and Gestapo of neighboring regions.

The Belarussian police, headed by commander Yezhevsky, and aided by Tubilevich, Vitold Schmigger and Nikolai Zhurun -- who distinguished themselves with particular cruelty - provided significant aid to the Nazis. The Aid Commission of the [acronym for a State Committee] of the USSR of the Vasilishki Region put together a list of 616 families from the peaceful population who were victims. The majority were Jews. (The original of the source is kept in the State Archive of the Russian Federation, Fond 7021, Inventory 86, File 36, Lists 2-49; National Archive of the Republic of Belarus, Fond 845, Inventory 1, File 8, List 52; the State Archive of the Grodno Oblast, Fond 1029, Inventory 1, File 75, Lists 27-28; a copy is at the Yad Vashem archive, M-33/702). [Note: the US Holocaust Memorial Museum has a microfilm copy. The list has been transcribed by the Lida District Researchers & is available on the Lida District ShtetLink].

Author's notes: Vasilishki - a village in the Shuchin region or the Grodno oblast, located in the region of Lebed, 27 kilometers from Shuchin; it was first mentioned in the first half of the 15th century, from 1486= a town, in 1706 there was a residence of the Polish king Stanislav Leshinski. It was part of Russian from 1795, a town in the Lida district of the Vilna guberniya; in 1847 - 719 Jews, in 1897 - 2,081 (out of a toatl population of 2,781 residents); in 1921-39 it was part of Poland, and the center of the province of Vilna; from 1939 it was part of the Belarus SSR. In the pre-war period there were 1,223 Jews; it was occupied by the German forces from June 1941 until July 1944. In 1967 an obelisk to “Soviet citizens” was erected to those killed by the Fascists.

[Pages 165]

Vileika (Polish: Wilejka)

Translated by Anonymous & Dr. Smilovitsky

Before the ghetto was formed, Jewish houses had to be identified with signs in the Russian, Polish and German languages. Jews were ordered to put a yellow band on their sleeves and to to remove their caps to Germans. They were also forbidden to visit public places and to walk on sidewalks. Infringements were punished by death. For greater mockery the Gebietskommissar (Regional Commissar) and Vileika Commandant Nadel put the distinctive signs for Jews on their dogs.

On July 12, 1941 the German authorities declared through burgomaster Sapeshko that Jewish men aged 15 to 60 years were to gather at 10 o'clock in the morning in a synagogue on School Lane. A soldier stood at the door, beating those entering the synagogue with wooden sticks. The Jews had been ordered to bring their valuables like money, gold, and watches, as well as documents of ownership of houses. When they had handed over everything, they were ordered into a line, experts were separated out, and the rest taken near the villages Stavki and Mal'uty where they were shot. Data on the number of victims differ. Anastasia Podberezskaja named 300 people, Vera Kazanovich and Nina Alfer -250, Mark Yastsholib - 150, Joseph Shmukler - 140 Jews and 15 non-Jews. Lev Belyavsky talked about the murder of 150 men in a wood behind the wooden bridge to Vileika in Stavki village, emphasizing that the Gestapo hunted Jews in particular. On April 16, 1945 the Vileika Extraordinary Commission opened 5 mass graves at Stavki village, which contained 250 corpses, however the exact time of burial in each of the graves was not established. The commission ascertained only that all of them dated to the summer of 1941.

The ghetto was established in the former vocational school (FZO) [1] on Stakhanov Street. The number of prisoners varied, as Jews from neighboring places - Kurenca, Kobyl'nikov, etc. - were taken there. Nutrition was very poor, usually 200 gr. bread made with bran and other impurities during the day (note: that's 6 or 7 slices of bread) and soup - swill. Jews did various jobs, cleared away ruins, built roads, unloaded transports, etc. By the autumn of 1942 the majority of them had become so weak, they could not work well.

Another group of Jews (up to 350 people) was executed at the boundary of Lipniki, a suburb of Vileika (the document does not give a date - L.S.). In August 1941, SS staff arrived in the city and many people were sent away (the actual number is not given - L.S.). Jewish women with children were also taken away in an unknown direction. Nina Alfer (born 1888) recalled she saw that a truck with a covered bed approached. Soldiers with the skull and crossbones emblem caught Jews in the street and locked them in the truck. An old man who could not run quickly to the truck was beaten. The officer threw a 3-year-old girl onto the truck so hard, that she flew through the group already on the truck and out the other side onto the sidewalk. She was loaded back on the truck half dead. When the truck was filled, the people were taken away in an unknown direction. No one ever saw them again.

A new Aktion occurred on March 2 and 3, 1942. Under various pretexts three hundred Jews were collected, 23 experts selected from them, and the others shot outside the city prison. The prison was a known execution site. People were placed against one of the walls and shot with a pistol, children's spines broken, but they were still alive. After that a combustible liquid was poured over everyone and set fire. Just in the prison courtyard and near its northern edge about 700 people were killed. During the excavation of mass graves in 1945, a dense ash, light gray in color was found. It is the result of the action of the caustic soda with which the bodies were covered.

The Vileika ghetto was liquidated on November 7, 1942. Forces surrounded the FZO school building. Jews were ordered to leave all their belongings and property on the street and to sit down in trucks. The chairman of the Judenrat called prisoners according to a list and they sat down in the transports. When the list has approached to the end, the last members of the Judenrat sat down. The machines, three covered lorries and one automobile, proceeded to Michael Lavrinovich's manor. At a bend in the road, one person jumped out of a vehicle and started running. He was shot with an automatic and his body thrown back into the truck. The Jews were forced into the manor. The guards watched closely, to make sure none of the local residents appeared on the street, and the house was set on fire. After that policemen came to the ghetto, divided things and exchanged them for moonshine with passers-by. Witness N.I.Alfer went to the manor after the Germans left. In one part there were men, in another women who sat, having embraced. The corpses were charred, but were distinct. Some people had children in their arms. The victims were not buried for a long time. Dogs and birds carried off parts and scattered them. Only after about a month and a half did the Germans send 10 Jews from another ghetto to bury the remains in a hole by the site of the big fire. Witness I.R.Turetski asserted that the corpses were not interred until spring of 1943 , and were not buried together with their neighbors.

The number of victims of November, 7, 1942 has not been established. I.A.Shmukler thought that 110 Jews have been killed and burnt: “ Germans from SD under Commander Grave have placed guards with machine guns and set fire to the house “. Nadezhda Ermakov (born 1903) spoke of about 400 Jews. The Extraordinary Commission drew up a document stating that on April, 20, 1945, on Partisan Street, 300 old men, women and children were collected, taken away and burned. The ethnicity of the victims was not discussed in the document. The last Aktion took place in spring of 1943. The pogrom was conducted at night, and in the morning, there were pools of blood on the street. During the years of occupation, 7250 people were murdered in Vileika. (827 women and 118 children), 300 were burnt, another 400 tortured, and 3 prisoners of war hung. 37 people were sent to Germany for forced labor. The commission did not specify the nationality of the victims. Organizers of the genocide were: the chief of the Vileika concentration camp Sheleng, the assistant to the chief of the concentration camp Yuzef Moskot, and both SD chief Grave and his assistant Tsifle. (Original sources at GARF (State Archive of the Russian Federation), fond 7021, opis 89, delo 3, lists 106-109; copies at Yad Vashem M-33/1135).


1. FZO – fabrichno-zavodskoe obuchenie (plant-industry educational courses for young worgkers) Return

Author's note: Vileika - The city, the district (rayon) center, of Minsk region (oblast), is located on the river Viliya 103 km from Minsk, a stop on the roads to Molodechno, Smorgon', M'adel', Dokshicy, and Pleschenicy; known since 1599 as a town, center of Vileika starostva of Oshmiany povet, it became part of Russia in 1793, the district city of Vilna Guberniya; in 1797 (of 1270 inhabitants), there were 957 Jews; in 1803 - 1006 Jews (1387), in 1897 - 1328 (3560); in 1921-1939 part of Poland, as powiat center of Vilna wojewodztwo, since 1939 in BSSR, before WWII, 710 Jews lived there; occupied by German armies since June 26, 1941. On July 2, 1944, Aktionen to murder the Jewish population were carried out on July 12, 1941, on July 30, 1941 and on September, 6, 1942. During the entire occupation, 6972 people were murdered, and the city was almost completely destroyed.

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[Pages 167]


Translated by Anonymous & Dr. Smilovitsky

The order for formation of a ghetto and resettlement of Jews on the right bank of the Dvina River was given at the end of July, 1941. The ghetto occupied the area of the “Metal” club, between the streets Quay, Il'inski, Kirov, Komsomol and Engels. Some of the Jews were drowned in the middle of the river on a ferry whose sinking was ordered and arranged by criminals. On July 24, 1941 400, Jews were executed, ostensibly for an arson in the city. From October 20 to October 25 1941, 3,000 prisoners were murdered under the pretext of containing epidemics. On December 19, 1941 4090 people were murdered, and the SD informed Berlin that the ghetto had been completely liquidated. Places of mass executions were: Ilovskii Rov, the Jewish cemetery in Peskovatiki district (rayon), Staro-Ulanovskoye Cemetery, Ulanovichi Gora, the Chernaya Luzha (Black pool), Dukhovskii Ovrag (a ravine) at the old airport in Luchesny district (rayon), the Vit'by River flood plain near the Veterinary Institute. In 1943 the Nazis organized the excavation and burning of the remains of victims by Soviet prisoners of war and civilians, after which the workers were liquidated. [Original sources at the National Archives of the Republic of Belarus (NARB) fond 861, opis 1, delo 5, lists 25, 51, 76; State Archive of Vitebsk Region (Oblast), fond 1610, opis 1, delo 1, lists 194-195].

Author's note: Vitebsk,- city, the center of Vitebsk region (oblast), is located on the Zapadnaya Dvina River, 300 km from Minsk, on the railway routes to Moscow, Saint Petersburg, Orsha, Polotsk, and the port on the Zapadnaya Dvina; the center of the Vitebsk principality, founded by princess Olga in 974, from 1101 part of Grand Duchy of Lithuania, in the beginning of 16th century the center of Vitebsk wojewodztwo of the Rzecz Pospolita; annexed by Russia in 1772 - a country town in Pskov Guberniya, in 1777 moved to Polotsk Guberniya, per 1796 the center Belarus Guberniya, renamed Vitebsk Guberniya; the first data on Jews are from1551, in 1897 - 3440 Jews (52,4 % of all inhabitants), in 1910 – 43,616 Jews, in 1923 – 39,714, in 1939 – 37,095 Jews (among 167,299 inhabitants); occupied by German armies from July 11, 1941 to June 26, 1944. 62,000 inhabitants were murdered in the city and surrounding area, including over 20,000 Jews, and also 76,000 Soviet prisoners of war; a memorial marker was placed on the site of mass execution of Jews in Ilovski (Tulovski) in 1995.

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[Pages 168]

Vishnievo (Wisznievo, Wiszniew)

Translated by Anonymous & Dr. Smilovitsky

The first victims were 40 Jews shot in July and August, 1941 in the Jewish cemetery. According to Naum Podberezkin's (born 1915) testimony, Germans photographed the action. A list of Jews was made in advance and given to the Germans. The remaining Jews (1550 people) were confined in a ghetto and used to do forced hard labor at Red Station. The ghetto existed until September, 1942. In the morning before dawn (the document doesn't give a date – L.S.) an execution squad arrived. With the active help of local police, Jews were collected and led to a hole. Those who tried to run were shot. Different sources say that 1,300 or 1,350 Jews were killed [Original sources at GARF (State Archive of the Russian Federation ) fond 7021, opis 89, delo 4, lists 31-39; NARB (National Archive of the Republic of Belarus) fond 861, opis 1, delo 10, lists 55-58, 61-62; fond 4, opis 29, delo 112, list 484; copies at Yad Vashem (Jerusalem), M-33/1136].

Author's note: Vishnevo - village in Volozhin district (rayon) of Minsk region (oblast), is located on the Ol'shanka River 23 km from Volozhin; during the 14th century in Krev region of a princedom, per 1583 a village, during the Rzecz Pospolita the volost center in Oshmiany powiat Vilna wojewodztwo, since 1793 part of Russia; in 1847, 336 Jews lived there; 1897 - 1463 (out of 2.650 inhabitants); in 1919-1920 and 1921-1939 part of Poland, the center gminy in Volozhin powiat of Novogrudok wojewodztwo, since 1939 in BSSR, before WWII - 571 Jews lived there; it was occupied by German armies from June 1941 to July 6, 1944 during which 2060 inhabitants were killed, among whom were no less than 1500 Jews; in 1980 the monument to victims of fascism is erected, there is no mention of a genocide of Jews.

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[Pages 168]

Volkovysk (Wolkowysk)

Translated by Anonymous & Dr. Smilovitsky

The town center was destroyed by air bombardments in the first days of the war. Many residents were buried under the ruins. Arrests began right after the German armies occupied the town and opened a Gestapo branch; from September to December 1941 a few hundred civilians were executed. The execution sites were Mysh'i Gory and Zamkovy Les, to which the victims were brought in motor vehicles; in November 1942 Jews were moved into a ghetto, where conditions of life were intolerable. From time to time prisoners were taken away to “unknown places” (so in the document - L.S.), whence they did not come back.

In the Soviet State Extraordinary Commission report on the Volkovysk area, dated March 18, 1945 it says, “fascist animals destroyed the Jewish population entirely “. In 1942 (month is not specified - L. S.) Jews were collected in the city center and “were methodically killed”. The first executions were carried out in woods to the west of Volkovysk. Among the victims were 27 doctors, 50 teachers, 5 engineers, 6 technicians, 5 lawyers, 6 clergymen. By interrogating the residents, the commission created a list containing 3021 surnames of prisoners in the ghetto. In all, during the occupation, 8233 people were murdered in the town, and in the surrounding area - 9328, including 3110 women and 1554 children. [Original source at GARF (State Archive of the Russian Federation), fond 7021, opis 86, delo 37, lists 1-16; NARB, fond 861, opis 1, delo 7, lists 63, 67, 89; fond 845, opis 1, delo 8, list 35; copies at Yad Vashem, M-33/ 701].

Author's note: Volkovysk, town, the center of Grodno district (rayon), is located on the Ros' River, 98 km from Grodno, stop on the railway lines to Baranovichi, Most', Slonim, Ruzhany and Berestovitsy; the first settlements date to the 10th century, mentioned in annals in 1252, in the 13th century , the center of Volkovysk principality is mentioned for the first time, in 1386 grand duke Jagajlo has accepted the Polish crown here, since 15th century the starost center, and since 16th century - a powiat in Novogrudok wojewodztwo, since 1796 the district city of Slonim, and later of the Lithuanian provinces; Jews first mentioned in1577, in 1766 - 1282 Jews, in 1797 - 1477 Jews and Karaites, 1821 Christians, in 1847 - 1429 Jews, in 1897 - 5528 (out of 10,323 inhabitants); in 1921-1939 part of Poland, a powiat center in Bialistok wojewodztwo, since 1939 in BSSR, before WWII, 5130 Jews lived here; occupied by German armies from June 28, 1941 to July 14, 1944, during which time more than 29 thousand people were murdered, including 20 thousand prisoners of war; there is a communal grave for Soviet soldiers and partisans, a grave for victims of fascism; the obelisk was erected in 1966.

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[Pages 169]


Translated by Anonymous & Dr. Smilovitsky

The majority of victims among the civilian population during the occupation were Jews. This was the conclusion of the Volozhin Area Commission supporting the Soviet State Extraordinary Commission (ChGK, report dated June 13, 1945). Rubin Gelman (born 1902), Michael Burak (born 1898) and Naum Podberezkin (born 1915) reported that the first group of Jews, 45 people, was shot in August 1941. They led them from the town, ordered them to dig a grave, then lie down in it, and then they started shooting; the wounded men were buried alive together with the dead. The second pogrom occurred in October 1942 when Gestapo forces arrived in two motor vehicles. They led out 225 Jews from the former Polish barracks and shot them that very day (the number of victims is not mentioned in the document – L.S.) right on Dubinskaya Street. The third Aktion was conducted in the summer of 1943 at the Jewish cemetery (1500 people). Those who tried to resist, hide or escape were killed on the spot. The following punishment was made in the winter of 1943 on Shapovalovskaya St.: in a shed for drying flax, about 400 Jews were burned.

The German officers Blum and Blesh supervised the executions, and were helped by local policemen. Daniel Nehai hid a radio receiver in his shed. Later "the Jewish hostel" (so in the document – L.S.) for 20 people was here. Nehai himself had to move to the more spacious house of Shakhno Paretski. He wrote twice to the Gestapo on Minsk, informing them that there were many Communists among the Jews of Volozhin. When there was no answer, Nehai, under the pretext of visiting an oculist, went to Minsk (summer of 1943). A few days later, a group of 35 Gestapo men arrived in Volozhin from Vileika, surrounded the “Jewish hostel”, and Nehai had reported the hidden receiver. It served as a pretext for executing the last Jews. They were collected on Dubinskaya Street, in the big shed, and led out from there in lots of 50-100 people to be shot in the Jewish cemetery. Many were killed where they were hidden. 600 Jews were burned alive in the house of former Polish gendarme Bunov. Only Girsh Skl'ut escaped, by striking a policeman and fleeing. After the murders, Nehai, Zhurkevich and Kashkevich harnessed horses and told the police they would remove the bodies. Actually they plundered Jewish property. They entered houses, searched victims' bodies, broke out dental crowns of gold and platinum, searched for valuables, money and watches. They left with footwear and clothes belonging to the victims, and took them home. It was accepted that the most active participants in the murders of Jews were the commandant of town police Yankovsky (former commissioner of the Ministry of Agriculture BSSR in Volozhin), Volozhin residents Tavten', Zen'ko, the peasant Botjan, the brothers Stankevich from Filippin'aty village. They were particularly cruel to Jews, favored and "pushed for prompt destruction". The Commission ChGK created a list of 136 surnames of Volozhin Jews, with their ages, sex, profession, and last employer before the war. (Original sources at GARF, f. 7021, op. 89, d. 4, ll. 11-69; NARB, f. 845, op. 1, d. 63, l. 20; f. 4., op. 29, d.112, ll. 459-460; copies at Yad Vashem Archives, M-33/1136).

Author's note: Volozhin - town, district (rayon) center in Minsk region (oblast) is located on the Volozhinka River 75 km from Minsk; first mentioned in 14th century , in 1507 startostvo center in Novogrudok wojewodztwo, since 1551 town in Oshm'any powiat of Vilna wojewodztwo; in 1793 annexed by Russian empire, in 1766 - 383 Jews, in 1847. - 590, in 1897 - 2452 (out of 4534 inhabitants); in 1806-1892 the yeshiva "Ets Chaim " was open, which was considered one of the chief among Russian Jewish from the 1820s; 1921-1939 part of Poland, since 1939 in BSSR, before WWII 1434 Jews lived there; from June 25, 1941 to July 5, 1944 it was occupied by German armies, who murdered 2000 Jews, among them the last 64 students of Volozhin yeshiva; there is a communal grave of Soviet soldiers and partisans, a tomb of victims of fascism.

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[Pages 171]

Vorob'evichi (Vorobyevichi, Worobiewiche)

Translated by Anonymous & Dr. Smilovitsky

On their arrival, the Germans created a ghetto. The report of the Vorb'evichi Area Extraordinary Commission, dated September 21, 1944 says, "Hitlerites brought Jews here from all Belarus". A big ditch was dug near town. On August 8, 1942 Germans and policemen led the Aktion which took place from 11.00 to 14.00. People were forced to undress, led in groups of ten people to the ditch, stacked at the bottom face downwards and shot. The commandant of the L'ubcha police, Vikenti Komar, and also policemen Shotski, Policheiko, Lukashevich and others finished off the wounded men. Another group was stacked over the bodies, and everything repeated all over again. A thin layer of soil covered the grave. In three hours, 635 Jews were killed. The commandant of gendarmerie Frants supervised the execution. (Original sources at GARF, f. 7021, op. 81, d. 102, ll. 81-82; copies at Yad Vashem Arhcives, M-33/1159).

Author's note: Vorobevichi – village in Slonim district (rayon) of Grodno region (oblast); became part of Slonim distict (uezd) of Grodno province (guberniya), 1921-1939 part of Poland, since 1939 in BSSR; from June 1941 to July 1944, occupied by German armies, after the liberation, the republic cleaned up a communal grave and fenced it. At its base a monument was erected, on which there is no mention of Jews.

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[Pages 171-172]


Translation donated by Peter Duffy

Voronovo: In November 1941 a group of Jews from Vilna were put into the local ghetoo. Among them were many representatives of the intelligentsia. The artist Treger Grubiyash created a portrait for Franklin D. Roosevelt. Before the war, he arrived to visit relatives, but could not return. He was together with Doctor of Philology, Natan Tsimmel, Professor Orbach, a professor at the University of Warsaw, Doctor Gershun, mathematics professor Idelson and others. They numbered 15 professors in all.

They were kept in the local clubhouse and they remained there for a week. They were subjected to beatings and derision. Heart-rending cries and moaning and groaning could be heard from the clubhouse. Prior to the action, the Germans had ordered them to prepare a meal for themselves and to bring along some vodka. On Saturday November 14, 1941, the prisoners began their “work”. Some 600 meters between the town and the railroad bed, there was a ditch to which they led Jews in groups of twenty, divided into groups of men, women & children. They shot them, and they put a new group on top of the dead, and then shot them. They shot women before the eyes of their husbands, and children before the eyes of the mothers. They did not spare the wounded, burying them alive.

Some 268 Jews died on that day, and were buried in two graves at the Voronovo Station.

The second pogrom took place on May 11, 1942. “The Germans saw no limt to their rage and cruelly oturned on the peaceful population (from a document of the Aid Commission of the State Committee of the USSR of the Voronovo Region, February 28, 1945)”. People undressed and were killed mercilessly. On that day, 1,291 Jews died, and all of them were buried in the mass grave near the Voronovo-Lida highway. The total number of people shot in the Voronovo region was 1,604, including 492 women and 299 children. The Commission could only ascertain the names of 1,387 Voronovo Jews and refugees in Voronovo.

The organizers and active participants in these crimes were the official of gendarmie of Voronovo, Sergeant-Major Raymond, Police Commander Shefransky, Regional Economic Affairs Commander Belyakh, and they were assisted by Belarussian police. (The original of the source is kep in the State Archive of the Russian Federation, Fond 7021, Inventory 86, File 38, Lists 1-67; a copy is at the Yad Vashem archive, M-33/706).

Author's notes: Voronovo - an urban settlement, the center of the Voronovo region of the Grodno oblast, located 133 kilometers from Grodno; first mentioned in the 16th century as a small town in the Lida district of the Vilna gubernia. In 1847 there were 199 Jews, and in 1897 1,432 (out of a total population of 1,574). In 1921-39 it was part of Poland, and since 1939, a part of Belarus. From June 23, 1941 to Jun 11, 1944, it was occupied by German forces who killed more than 2,600 people. There is a mass grave of Soviet soldiers and partisans - it is a grave of the victims of fascism. In 1964 an obelisk was erected, but no mention of Jews was made on it.

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[Pages 172]

Gorodishche (Garadzhishcha)

Translated by Anonymous & Dr. Smilovitsky

Some days after the Germans occupied the town, they took 17 Jews hostage. Among them there were two families Tsirinski and Soviet activists. They were executed. Mass executions of Jews began in autumn. On October 20, 1941 at 10 o'clock in the morning an SS command arrived in Gorodishche. Adult Jewish men were ordered to take shovels and report to the site. 68 skilled workers were left in a ghetto. They divided 150 men into two groups. One group was taken in vehicles to the naturally boundary Pogorelsty, 2 kilometers from Gorodishche, and the other to the Mikhnovshchina woods, 4 kilometers away. They were told that they were digging holes for military construction. Actually, they were graves where on October 21, 1440 Jews from the Gorodishche area were shot and among them: hairdresser Yelin, brothers Krasil'schiks and 105 year-old Rabbi Mordukhovich. On the same day, 70 members of the intelligentsia - doctors, teachers, lawyers, etc. - were murdered in Miknovshchina Wood. The next Aktion was in the beginning of May 1942, by the local orthodox church, where 35 Jews from the ghetto were executed. In August 1942 in the same place about 100 Jewish “specialists” (craftsmen) were shot. In the summer of 1942 a woman whose surname was Mordukh and two of her children, who lived on Novogrudok Street, were shot near that church. During the transportations, this woman lost her mind. All in all, futinh the three years of occupation, 4 thousand people of all ethnic groups were murdered in Gorodishche.

The Soviet State Extraordinary Commission found some mass burial places (report, dated April 20, 1945). One in woods near the boundary with Pogoreltsy, two along the Gorodishche- Baranovichi Road, 200 meters from the left side of the highway, "a mass of Jews and Poles" (in the document - L.S.) was executed. Another grave was exhumed, 300 metres from the orthodox church. Jews, partisans and Soviet prisoners of war had been buried in it. In addition, there are many single graves of civilians who were murdered by the fascists around Gorodishche. The majority of the corpses exhumed showed traces of torture like having their hands fastened before them with barbed wire. The chief organizers of the Aktionen were: Commander of the 57th “punitive” Schutzbattalion Vikling, Ortskommandant of Gorodishche, the Wehrmacht Leutenant Platz (Original sources at GARF, f. 7021, op. 81, d. 102, ll. 1-52; copies at Yad Vashem Archives, M-33/1159).

Author's note: Gorodishche - town in Baranovichi district (rayon) of Brest region (oblast) is located at the head of the Servach River, 25 km from Baranovichi; in the middle of 13th century part of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, in 2-nd part of the 15th century was known as a grand-ducal palace, during the Rzecz Pospolita, it was in Novogrudok wojewodztwo, part of the Russian empire since 1795; in 1766 there were 422 Jews in the kahal, in 1897 – a total of 5023 inhabitants; since 1924 the center of Gorodok district (rayon), 760 Jews lived here before WWII; it was occupied by German armies from July 10, 1941 to December 24, 1943; there were 68 Jews in the ghetto along Slonim Lane; they were executed in Mikhnovshchina Wood; in the years of occupation, more than 5084 people were killed in Gorodishche and surrounding area; there is a memorial complex at a military cemetery; in 1994 the memorial plaque for Holocaust victims was erected.

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[Pages 173]

Gorodeya (Garadzeya, Horodziej)

Translated by Anonymous & Dr. Smilovitsky

According to witness Elena Bezhentsev, one early morning the police surrounded the ghetto (date not given - L.S.). The people were ordered to gather in the square as soon as possible. Some people “didn't swallow the bait” (didn't believe this) and tried to hide. Germans came and Jews were forced to lie on the ground face downwards. Anyone who tried to get up or protest was shot, children were beaten with sticks. Then the people lying on the ground were ordered into motor vehicles, taken to a suburb of Gorodeya and shot. Some people tried to escape by hiding in trucks. For several days, the ground moved at the execution site. Only one woman and her daughter (not named in document – L.S.) managed to escape the “ditch of death”. The most active participants in the Aktion were: the commandant of police Gorodeya Motskalo and Alexander Kudlach. The latter "was distinguished" for this and other deeds, and rewarded by being made deputy chief of the town prison in Niesvizh. Policeman Kulakovski was sent to infiltrate one of guerrilla groups where he stayed about a year. After his return, he denounced about 30 people for communicating with partisans. The Germans arrested these people and took them away to the concentration camp in Koldychevo where they were murdered. (Original source at GARF, f. 7021, op. 81, d. 102, ll. 95-98; copies at Yad Vashem Archives, M-33/1159).

Author's note: Gordeya - town in Nesvizh district (rayon) of Grodno region (oblast); formerly a village in Novogrudok district of Minsk province, it is located on the river Gorodejka 14 km from Nesvizh; in 1897 - 688 Jews (out of 754 inhabitants); in 1921-1939 part of Poland, since 1939 - in BSSR, before WWII 796 Jews lived here; it was occupied by German troops from the end of June 1941 to July 4, 1944, there is a communal grave for Soviet soldiers and partisans, the grave of victims of fascism, at which Jews are not mentioned.

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[Pages 174]

Grodno (Grodna)

Translated by Anonymous & Dr. Smilovitsky

There were two ghettoes: on Peretsa Street and on Skidel' Street from November 1941 to March 1943. Murders of civilians were carried out in prisons in the city limits and in houses on Komintern Street, in fort No 2 and some other places. In all, over 33,000 civilians were murdered, including over 20,000 Jews. Various methods were used to commit murder: extreme physical labor, famine, unsanitary living conditions leading to disease and epidemics, pogroms, and executions. For burial sites, forced laborers dug ditches in 12 Grodno forts, and ravines were used. In spring of 1944, squads of Jews and prisoners carried out orders to conceal traces of genocide – dug up grave hills, dug flower beds and vegetable beds (in the court yard of Grodno prison) into their surfaces, removed and burnt bodies (cemeteries of Grodno, Kolbasino, Lososno, Fort No 2, etc.). The Soviet State Extraordinary Commission (CHGK the USSR) in its report dated June 26, 1945, surveyed mass burials which reached from 2 up to 6 m in width and from 50 up to 100 m in length. Bodies of the victims were stacked three up to seven layers in depth. Organizers and executors of Aktionen were: the commissioner of Grodno district (uezd) von Pletz, the chief of Gestapo Efrelis, the commandant of ghetto No 1 Vizo, the commandant of ghetto No 2 Strel'bov, the chief of city prison Shedel, and also the chief of the Voronovo area gendarmerie Raimund (Original sources at GARF, f. 7021, op. 86, d. 40, ll. 1-16; d. 48, ll. 5-11; NARB f. 861, op. 1. d. 7, ll. 8-9; f. 845, op. 1, d. 8, ll. 19, 20, 28, 54; State Archive of Grodno Oblast, f. 1, op. 1, d. 54, l. 38; f. 1029, op. 1. d. 48, ll. 13, 19; d. 73, l. 31, d. 75, l. 81; copies at Yad Vashem Archives, M-33/708, 715).

Author's note: Grodno - city, a district (rayon) and regional (oblast) capital, is located on the Neman River, 300 km from Minsk, station for railways to Vilnius, Most', Bialystok, river and air ports; arose at the end of 10th century; first mentioned in 1127; center of Grodno principality from the 12th century, from the 13th century part of Grand Duchy of Lithuania, since 1801 the center Grodno guberniya; during the Rzecz Pospolita - the center of Troki wojewodztwo; Jews appeared for the first time at the end of 12th century, since the 17th century one of the three main centers of Jewry of Lithuania and Belarus (along with Pinsk and Brest), Jews in Grodno in 1816 - 85 % of the total population, in 1887 - 68,7 %, in the beginning of 20th century - 60 %; In 1790 and 1816 Jews experienced "blood libels (accusation, totally false, that Jews kidnap Christian children to use their blood in religious rituals); one of the centers of Eastern European Jewish spiritual life, site of the first Jewish printing house in Russia; in 1921 - 1939 part of Poland, in 1921 - 53,9% were Jews in Grodno, in 1931 – 18,697 Jews (42,6 % of the city's total population), since 1939 in BSSR; it was occupied by German armies from June 24, 1941 to July 16, 1944, during which time more than 51,438 people were murdered, including more than 20,600 Jews; there is a communal grave of Soviet soldiers and partisans, a grave of victims of fascism; in 1965 a monument was erected without any mentioning of Jews.

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[Pages 175]

Derechin (Polish: Dereczyn)

When the Germans arrived, they drove the Jews into a ghetto, compelling them to live with many families crowded into the buildings. Jews were beaten with rubber sticks and “shot for personal pleasure” (in the document L.S.) In April 1942, a punitive squad of German gendarmerie executed 150 Jews on the pretext that seven prisoners had escaped from the ghetto. These Jews were shot in the Rodishki forest in Mosty district (rayon), and buried in a trench. The Jews remaining in Derechin were killed between June 23 and June 26, 1942. Gendarmes and Belarussian policemen surrounded the ghetto at four o'clock in the morning. The execution squad consisted of 14 German gendarmes and 70 local policemen. The main villain was Fritz Feige. Other participants in the murders and plunder of Jewish property included district (rayon) chief Volkov, burgomaster Sonchik, chairman BNS (the Belarus national self-help) Voronovich .Every ghetto inhabitant was killed. The victims were buried in eight bomb craters from the aerial bombardment, six of which were at the edges of Derechin, and two in its center. Forty-one hundred residents were murdered and 67 people were deported for “slavery in Germany” (Original source at GARF, fond 7021, opis 86, delo 41, pp. 1-16, copies at Yad Vashem Archive, M-33/709).

Author's note: Derechin - village in Zel'va district (rayon) (since 1966) of Grodno region (oblast), located on the Sipa River, 15 km from Zel'va and 98 km from Grodno; first mentioned in the 15th century, during the Rzecz Pospolita (Polish Commonwealth), part of Slonim powiat of Novogrudok wojewodztwo; from 1795 part of Slonim district (uezd) of the Grodno guberniya of the Russian empire; Jewish tenants first mentioned in 1619, in 1766, 404 Jews belonged to the kahal, in 1897 - 1887 (of 2663 inhabitants)(Note: This makes no sense. Dates are backward and not clear what you mean re: of 2663 inhabitants); 1921-1939 part of Poland, since 1939 in BSSR. Before WWII 1346 Jews lived here; occupied by German armies from June 1941 to July 1944. There is a communal grave of Soviet soldiers and partisans and an obelisk honoring Jewish victims of genocide was erected in 1948.

[Pages 176]

Drogichin (Dragichin)

Translated by Anonymous & Dr. Smilovitsky

The streets of Drogichin were patrolled by guard dogs, which were set on passers-by. Eyewitnesses recollected, that the Germans “were not better than their shepherd dogs”. A town cemetery near the prison became one of their execution sites. Executions were carried out at night. The victims were wired together with barbed wire before execution, the bodies pushed together into holes dug in advance, the wounded and dead were buried together. After liberation of the town, many mass burial sites were revealed. The largest of them was situated in a cemetery close to the district consumers' cooperative - it held 3816 corpses (895 men, 1083 women and 1838 children). In a trench 78 meters long by 7 meters wide and 2 meters deep were been found the bodies of people with fractured skulls, broken extremities, broken ribs, mutilated faces, dislocated hands and legs. In the town center 11 communal graves (150 corpses) were exhumed, at the border with Zales'e - 13 graves (250 bodies) were found about 300 meters from the Jewish cemetery. It was established that the victims had been killed with blows from heavy objects or shot. In all, during three years of 4216 people (1000 men, 1213 women, 2003 children) were executed, and 275 people burned, in Drogichin and the surrounding area. Among a total of 4991 victims, there were 3338 Jews, inhabitants of Drogichin, refugees, and also Jews brought from other ghettoes. Before retreating, the Nazis forced peasants to exhume bodies and to burn them on fires near the villages Homsk, Karolino, and Popino. Organizers and executors of murders were officers of gendarmerie Fritz Erst and Paulin, and also their helpers Ivan Zundich and Vasily Lopuh, Roman Brich and some others (Original sources at GARF, f. 7021, op. 90, d. 28, ll. 4-20; copies at Yad Vashem Archives, M-33/1168).

Author's note: Drogichin – town, district (rayon) center in Brest region (oblast), located 110 km from Brest, on the Brest-Pinsk highway; first mentioned in 1452, during the Rzecz Pospolita a town in Pinsk powiat, Brest wojewodztwo (from 1623), a town from 1778, in 1776 - 510 Jews lived here, in 1897 – 784 Jews out of 1707 total inhabitants; part of Poland 1921 – 1939, in the BSSR from 1939, before WWII, 1521 Jews lived here; occupied by the German armies from June 25, 1941 to July 17, 1944, during which time 4,498 people were murdered; there's a communal grave of Soviet soldiers and partisans, a mass grave of victims of fascism, the obelisk honoring Soviet victims was erected in 1967, without any mentioning of Jews.

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[Page 176]


Translation donated by Peter Duffy

The ghetto was setup in Septermber 1941 (4,500 people). Despite the confirmation of the regional committee of the Aid Commission of the USSR of the Dyatlaov Region (law of April 1, 1945) relating to the fact that Russians, Belarussians, Jews, Gypsies and Poles were subjected to repression by the Nazis in various ways, though insofar as the Jews were concerned, the Nazis had a “special approach”.

The ghetto was cut off from the outside world, and any contact with non-Jews was prohibited. Strict monitoring 24 hours a day was maintained, and the delivery of food products into the ghetto could incur the death penalty. Prisoners were executed during two pogroms in December 1941 and July 1942 (3,500 people). Of these, the last names of 1,601 could not be determined. In total 4,716 people in the Dyatlavo regions perished betwenn 1941 and 1944, and another 1,256 residents were sent off to perform labor in Germany.

SS Special Commander Gleiman, serviceman Glebka (German), Sergeant-Major Ubrich, Lieutenants Kichler, Ridel, and Braun, Sergeant-Major Egensohn, and Captains Malcher and Maidel took an active role in the murder of the peaceful population. (The original of the source is kept in the State Archive of the Republic of Belarus, Fond 845, Inventory 1, File 6, List 37; Zone State Archive of Baranovich, Fond 616, Inventory 1, File 70, List 73; a copy is at the Yad Vashem archive, M-33/1159).

Author's notes: Dyatlavo - a city in the Grodno oblast and center of the Dyatlavo Region (cincse 1965) located in the region of Dyatolovka, 165 kilometers from Grodno; from the end of the 15th century until the first half of the 16th century it was part of the Troksk province of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania. In 1566 it was a town in the Slonim region; from 1795 it was part of the Grodno gubernia of the Russian Empire. In 1897 there were 3,033 Jews (out of 3,979 total population); in 1921-39 it was part of Poland, and since 1939 it is part of the Belarus SSR. In the pre-war years, there were 2,375 Jews. From June 30, 1941 to July 9, 1944, the town was occupied by the Germany army, who killed more than 4,716 people. There is a mass grave for Soviet soldiers and partisans, a grave of victims of fascism. In 1945 a home-made obelisk to the victims of the catastrophe was erected.

[Pages 177]


Translated by Anonymous & Dr. Smilovitsky

The ghetto was organized in July 1941 on Raboche-Krest'yankaya Street (Workers and Peasants Street) which adjoined the Jewish cemetery. In the middle of August 1941, 18 Jews were ordered to dig a huge hole ostensibly as a dump for damaged military equipment, which had been blocking up fields. When it was ready, steps were dug into the edges, arousing suspicion. In the morning of Monday, August 18, policemen Gnot and Golub have went into the ghetto and ordered the residents to the market to check documents. Those who came were forced to wait on their knees. The first to the hole near the forest were the twenty most physically able men. Shots were heard, and groups of 15 to 20 people began to be sent on. Elder Shenderov whom neighbors brought half- dressed, didn't wait and died in the arms of relatives. Have spared only two juvenile children, and Khasi Khodasevich, who has been given birth from a mixed marriage. At three o'clock in the afternoon it all was over; the hole contained 927 bodies.

Active participation in the Aktion were the chief of security service (SD) of Borisov Schoeneman, Gestapo servicemen Berg and Walter, the commandant of Borisov Scherer, commandant of Zembin Ilek, translator L'utske, burgomaster of Zembin David Egof, the chief of Zembin branch of the police Vasily Haritonovich, his assistant Feofil Kabakov (killed by partisans), and policemen who were local residents: Alexei Rabetski, Konstantin Golub, Grigory Gnot, brothers Konstantin and Pavel Aniskeviches, Jacob Kopytok, and others (A.Rosenbloom, Pamyat na Krovi (Memory of Blood), (Petak-Tikva, 1998) pp. 66-67)

Author's note: Zembin – village in Borisov district (rayon), 30 km from Borisov; one of the most ancient settlements in Belarus, formerly called Zhabin (Zabin) from the personal name Zhaba (the Toad); from the 16th century – town in Borisov starostvo in the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, part of Russia from 1793; in 1897 – 1037 Jews, in 1926 - 838 Jews (among the total 1199 residents); occupied from June 1941 to June 30, 1944; after the war, relatives of the murdered Jews collected funds to build a concrete fence around the execution site, and placed a memorial plate. The mass grave was repeatedly dug into by marauders and desecrated by hooligans. In 1992, vandals broke a marble slab which was replaced in March 1993 with a metal sculpture, “Light of the Menorah”.

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