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2 Execution site(s)
Nadia M., born in 1929, remembers the round up of the Jews: “Over one week, the Germans gathered about 30 Jews in a Jewish house. They went to take them from their homes. The house where they were confined is located on Troitskaya Street, not far away from my house. While being detained in this house, the Jews were gathered by Germans and were not allowed to leave. One evening, all the Jews were taken in trucks to the Jewish cemetery to the shooting.
YIU: How many trucks did you see?
W: It was one truck that made round trips until there were no Jews left in the house. After a while, we heard the shots…and we understood that they had been killed.” (Witness n°1958, interviewed in Mena, on November 18, 2015)
16 people, including 6 Jews and 3 Ukrainian prisoners of war, were shot at the Jewish cemetery in Mena on December 20, 1941. (p. 715) […] On October 15, 1941, under the order of the kommandant from Mena, the Germans and the local policemen started the massacres of the Jewish population in the village. The second execution took place in November 1941 and the third in December 1941. (p.726) [Summary from the Acts of the Soviet Extraordinary Commission, drawn up on July 17, 1944; RG.22.002M: Fond 7021, Opis 78, Delo 19]
Mena is a town located on the banks of the Mena River, 90km east of Chernihiv. There is no information about the first records of the Jewish community, but supposedly it dates back to the end of the 18th century. There were two synagogues, which were closed under Russian rule, and a Jewish cemetery that still exists today. The majority of Jews were involved in trade, for example, all of the grocery stores belonged to the Jews; or they worked in craftsmanship. According to the 1939 census, 586 Jews lived in Mena. The town was occupied by Germans on September 8, 1941. By that time, more than half of the prewar Jewish population had managed to evacuate to the East.
Immediately after the Germans’ arrival, all Jews were registered and marked. Then, those Jews who lived outside of the Jewish quarter were relocated to an open ghetto, where they lived until mid-October 2941. The anti-Jewish aktions started in October and lasted till February 1942. According to different sources, between 31 and 124 Jews were murdered at the Jewish cemetery on October 15, 1941. According to the local witnesses interviewed by Yahad, before being taken to the cemetery, all the Jews were gathered in a building of the police station. From there, they were taken either in trucks or in carts to the cemetery, where they were shot. During the following execution, about 20 Jews from the nearby village of Blistavy were brought to Meny and shot in the open field close to the road, leading to the village of Kukuvichi. The last action was carried out on February 2, 1942, during which the remaining 50 Jews were shot at the same location as the Blistava Jews. The executions were carried out by SD units, accompanied by local Ukrainian police. After the war, an exhumation of the mass grave located at the Jewish cemetery was organized. Several corpses were taken by the families while others were reburied at the same place.
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