Disna | Vitebsk

/ Local ambiance © Guillaume Ribot - Yahad-In Unum The former building of the Kommandantur © Guillaume Ribot - Yahad-In Unum The former building of the local police © Guillaume Ribot - Yahad-In Unum A street in the former ghetto, Smernova Street, in Disna © Guillaume Ribot - Yahad-In Unum The Yahad team is looking for the witnesses © Guillaume Ribot - Yahad-In Unum Witness taking the Yahad team to show the place of mass shooting © Guillaume Ribot - Yahad-In Unum Valentina K., Belarusian, born in 1926, witness of the fate of the Disna Jews © Guillaume Ribot - Yahad-In Unum Anna F., Belarusian, born in 1923, interviewed by the Yahad team © Guillaume Ribot - Yahad-In Unum

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Execution of Jews in Disna

1 Execution site(s)

Kind of place before :
Near the River Disna
Memorials :
Yes
Period of occupation:
1941-1944

Witness interview

Zoya P. evokes: "I remember that policemen burned the houses owned by Jews in order to evict them. A young man I knew, who was hiding, burned to death." (Witness N°14, interviewed in Disna, on March 23, 2008)

Soviet archives

"Some thick planks were put across the pits. This place was strictly guarded all around. The people were taken in groups of 5 to the pits, were forced to undress and to go on the planks and were shot with an automatic firearm. During this time, the next group undressed." [Act of the Soviet extraordinary commission; RG-22.002M/7021-92/213]

Historical note

Around 4,500 Jews lived in Disna in 1939. Some of them fled before the Germans’ arrival.

Holocaust by bullets in figures

The Germans occupied Disna on July 3, 1941. They forced the Jews to move into a small ghetto, near the Disna River. A first Aktion was conducted on March 28, 1942: 30 Jews were shot. The main Aktion took place on June 15, 1942: the Germans and the local police surrounded the ghetto, but some Jews resisted and set their houses on fire. Many Jews were murdered inside the ghetto. The others were shot in mass graves. Some Jews fled into the forest, but most of them were found by the local police.

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