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2 Execution site(s)
Pyotr P. born in 1930, remembers the revolt of the Lakhva ghetto: « The Jews set fire to their houses. That day, we were mowing the grass when we heard shots from Lakhva. My father said: ‘Something is wrong there’. Then we saw that the Jews were running. Those of them who were young had a rifle or a machine gun in his hands. They ran to the Pripyat River”. (Witness N°182, interviewed in Lakhva, in 2009).
"Near the village of Lakhva, the Commission found a pit (25x2x2,5m), on the territory of the fishing area, 50m to the west of the vicinal road Lakhva-Mikashevichi, in which there were the bodies of the Jewish population of Lakhva – including 698 women and 724 children”. [Act of the Soviet Extraordinary State Commission, drawn up on April 10, 1945; RG-22.002M/7021-90/31]
"We managed to find many fugitives. The dead and injured were taken to the execution site by members of the company. I had to wear a dead woman with a comrade as far as the killing site. There I saw a pit, which measured 10m long, 3m wide and 2m deep. According to me the grave was already filled to 1/3 of dead people, men, women and children. I spent a brief time at the execution site. I saw how the victims jumped or were pushed into the pit, where they lay on people already killed. Then they were shot from the edge of the mass grave with a machine gun". [Deposition of Heinrich S., made on July 4, 1962, a member of a police battalion who took an active part in the liquidation of Lakhva ghetto; B162-4954]
In the interwar period Lakhva was located in Poland. There were many Jewish organizations: Zionist movements, a sport association Maccabi, a Tarbut school. In general the Jews worked in stores, workshops, mills and warehouses. On the eve of World War II, about 2,300 Jews were living in Lakhva. The town was first under Soviet administration in 1939. Many Jewish organizations were banned. The three synagogues were closed.
The Germans came to Lakhva in July 1941. In April 1942 a ghetto divided into two parts was created along the river and. The local Ukrainian and Belorussian police guarded the place. Some young Jews organized an underground resistance group. The liquidation of the ghetto took place on September 02, 1942, and was conducted by the Security Police based in Pinsk. When the Germans entered the ghetto, the Jews set fire to the building of the Judenrat. Some Jews succeeded to escape while the ghetto was burning. About 600 Jews managed to reach the Pripyat River. Some of them joined the partisans in the forests. About 1,500 Jews were killed during the ghetto’s uprising, and around 300 were shot in the pits. Only 90 Jews from Lakhva survived.
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