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2 Execution site(s)
Irina B., born in 1938, remembered: “Once the Jews were shot, one wounded Jewish boy came to our house. My father took him home. He dug a small pit in our barn and he stayed hiding in there. I was 10 or 12 years old back then, but I still remember when I woke up in the morning my mother was about to bring food and water. Later, I saw a doctor coming; he was a good friend of our family. He must have come to check the boy’s wound. After the war my father told me that it was a Jewish boy and that he was hiding there for several days. But when it became too dangerous for him to stay, he was taken to the forest where he joined the partisans. He survived the war and arrived after to the village to say thank you to my father. His name is Zelya. After that, he immigrated to Israel. ” (Testimony n°82, interviewed in Glubokaya, on July 22, 2008)
“All the remaining Jews were told that they were not in danger anymore and that they could come back and stay in the ghetto in Glubokoye. The Germans declared that they would keep them safe. Of course, we suspected that we would have the same fate. We were detained in the ghetto for eleven months. There were 3,500 inmates. When we were in Glubokoye, as it happened already in Sharkovshchina, the Germans extorted our valuables and our belongings. We gave them everything we had. But we still had a faint hope to stay alive.
In July or in August of 1943, the head of mobile squad V. organized a pogrom in the ghetto of Glubokoye. There, they murdered almost everyone. According to some sources, only 120 Jews out of from 3500 stayed alive, including me. The ghetto was surrounded by Germans with submachine guns. The shooting started. A flammable liquid was dumped from a plane. Over 1000 Jews were burned. The Jewish escapees and I joined the partisans and led the fight against the German invaders. [Interrogation report made on April 4, 1945, by the State Extraordinary Commission. RG 20.002M. Fond 7021, Opis 92, Delo 212]
Glubokoye is located 180 km west from Vitebsk and 146 km north from Minsk. The Jewish community of the town dates back to the 18th century when it numbered at 755 Jews. In the late 19th century six synagogues were built in the town and the Jewish population increased up to 3,917 residents (70% of total population). At the beginning of the 20th century there were two private Jewish academies. The Jewish population suffered from pogroms in 1915, conducted by the Soviet Army. Beside Jewish schools, there was one commercial academy, Jewish newspaper, library, hospital, and even a soccer team. The majority of Jews lived off of lumber trade, farm products as well as handcrafts. On the eve of the war, according to the census, about 5,500 Jews in the town. The town was occupied by Germans on July 2, 1941.
The first shooting took place immediately after the Germans arrival. In the first days several Jews that were accused of being communists were shot. Shortly after, the Judenrat (Jewish Council) was established. From this time the Jews were subjected to perform forced labor. During the works the Jew were guarded by Germans and local policemen who abused and mocked them. On October 22, 1941, a ghetto was created in Glubokoye where all the local Jews were confined along with the Jews who lived in nearing areas, for example Sharkovschchina, Postavy and Plisa. The ghetto was composed of a couple of streets and numbers about 5,800 inmates; several families were forced to share one room. Its territory was surrounded with barbed wire and a wooden fence. The Jews could leave the ghetto only during work when they were escorted by Germans.
On March 25, 1942, the shooting of 105-110 Jews was conducted by the local police. After that the ghetto was reduced in size. During this period about 800 Jews were taken to the ghetto from nearby villages. Another shooting took place in May 1942 and was conducted by German Security police who arrived for this purpose. This time about 20 Jews were killed.
From June 18th to 19th in 1942, during the first liquidation wave of the ghetto, about 2,500 Jews not fit to work were taken to the Borek forest, located about 1km away, and shot over the course of two days. After this aktion, only 2,200 Jews remained in the ghetto. According to the archives, one hundred more arrived shortly from hiding because they were promised to be spared.
In the fall 1942, a resistance group was organized in the ghetto and with the help of partisans who were preparing an action against the Germans. During the attack organized by partisans on August 17, 1943, over 70 Germans and collaborators were killed. Fearing future attacks, on August 19th 1943, the Germans started the liquidation of the ghetto by setting the houses on fire and killing on the spot all those who attempted to escape. Only a hundred Jews survived the Holocaust.
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