Kovchitsy II (Kowczyce) | Gomel

/ Ambiance in the village of Kovchitsy    © Sabine Mirlesse  -   Yahad-In Unum Maria P. remembers that her father was requisitioned to dig the pit    © Sabine Mirlesse  - Yahad-In Unum Olga S. remembers that the Jews spoke the Jewish language among themselves  © Sabine Mirlesse  - Yahad-In Unum The mass shooting site of the Jews near Kovchitsy    © Sabine Mirlesse  -   Yahad-In Unum

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Execution of Jews in Kovchitsy II

1 Execution site(s)

Kind of place before :
Forest
Memorials :
Yes
Period of occupation:
1941-1944
Number of victims :
182

Witness interview

Maria P., born in 1931, remembers : «Once the Germans came to the village, somebody warned the Jews, who then went to hide in the forest or in the fields. Later, the Germans proceeded differently. They arrived early in the morning with 3 covered trucks. The Germans surrounded the village. With the help of the village’s mayor, they entered the Jewish houses and gathered all the Jews in the court of the forest’s administration. » (Witness N°820, interviewed in Kovchitsy, on June 23, 2014).

Historical note

Kovchitsy 2 is a small village, a former Jewish agricultural colony, 35 km south of the city of Bobruisk. Before the war, nearly half of the village’s population, then around 200 people, was Jewish. There was no synagogue, and also no Jewish cemetery, as the Jews were buried in the neighboring village of Parichi.

Holocaust by bullets in figures

According to historical documents, little is known about the fate of the Jews in Kovchitsy, but thanks to Yahad’s field research, we now know basic information regarding the fate of the Jews. At the beginning of the German occupation in the summer of 1941, the Jews were allowed to continue to live freely in their houses. Then, one morning, on January 21, 1942, a German punitive commando squad surrounded the village and gathered all the Jews in the court of the forest administration house. The Germans were helped by the local police and by the mayor of the village. Then, the Jews were killed in the forest. According to local testimony collected by Yahad, they were shot in a pit dug in advance by requisitioned inhabitants. After the war, the bodies of the Jews were dug up and re-buried in the Jewish cemetery in Bobruisk.

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