Krichev (Krychaw) | Mogilev

/ Krichev town is situated on the banks of the River Sozh © Aleksey Kasyanov - Yahad-In Unum Orthodox church © Aleksey Kasyanov - Yahad-In Unum The buidling of former Kommandantur © Aleksey Kasyanov - Yahad-In Unum The building where an SD unit was installed in Krichev during the WWII © Aleksey Kasyanov - Yahad-In Unum The location of the former camp for prisonners of war © Aleksey Kasyanov - Yahad-In Unum The location of  a special punitive unit in Krichev. The buiding remains from that time © Aleksey Kasyanov - Yahad-In Unum Ivan P., born in 1921, saw the shooting of the Jews of Krichev. There were between 50 to 150 people. The victims had to stand on the edge of the grave and were shot  © Aleksey Kasyanov - Yahad-In Unum Vera B., born in 1926, could see the shooting of Jews in the column while it was passing by her street © Aleksey Kasyanov - Yahad-In Unum Yahad’s team during the interview with a witness  © Aleksey Kasyanov - Yahad-In Unum The location of one of the killing site which used to be a sand quarry (Killing site n°1) © Aleksey Kasyanov - Yahad-In Unum The killling site of about 15 Jewish women situated not far from the River Sozh (Killing site n°2) © Aleksey Kasyanov - Yahad-In Unum The execution site of the Jews from column situated in the middle of the street. (Killing site n°3) © Aleksey Kasyanov - Yahad-In Unum

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Execution of Jews in Krichev

3 Execution site(s)

Kind of place before :
Sand quarry/ near the river/street
Memorials :
Yes
Period of occupation:
1941-1944

Witness interview

Ivan C. recalls: “The victims were brought along the ditch and were killed. I saw all of this from behind the policemen. At the site, shovels were distributed to people who filled the grave. The Germans wore green uniforms. There were more policemen than Germans. No one undressed before the shooting. The shooting lasted a few minutes. Then the people who had to cover the grave threw soil into it. The corpses were not arranged in the grave. Some people with shovels were trembling, they had difficulties enduring the scene. I had to fill the grave too.” (Witness N°640, interviewed in Krichev, on June 16, 2013).

Soviet archives

“After the inspection of the site, the commission discovered almost 50 graves, 3x2-meters, in the forest. After uncovering them, it was found that the graves were full of shot corpses, 5 to 25 people in each grave, in total around 1000 people, among them around 30 women and 15 children. The people were brought to be killed in covered trucks under the supervision of German gendarmes. They had to get undressed, were put in front of the grave and were killed by a bullet to the neck.” [RG22.022M/7021-88/41].

Historical note

Krichev is situated about 95 kilometers East- Southeast of Mogilev. According to the 1939 census, there were 1,362 Jews living in Kritchev. There was also a synagogue and a Jewish kolkhoze

Holocaust by bullets in figures

German forces occupied the town on July 17, 1941. During the occupation, which lasted until September 30, 1943, a German commandant’s office controlled the town. In August or September 1941, the Germans established an open ghetto in Krichev, moving all the Jews (about 80 families in total) into several houses next to the church. German security forces liquidated the Krichev ghetto in November 1941. According to the records of the Soviet Extraordinary State Commission, 130 Jews were shot near a flax-processing mill, and 60 to 80 Jews were killed on the grounds of a cement factory on a chalk quarry. According to some sources, more than 300 Jews were murdered in Krichev. 

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