Petrikov | Gomel

Petrikov in 1912  © Public Domain, Wikipedia / Central square of Petrikov. Back then there was a synagogue a that place. © Aleksey Kasyanov/Yahad-In Unum The former building of the pharmacy which belonged to a Jew © Aleksey Kasyanov/Yahad-In Unum The public sauna  in Petrikov    © Aleksey Kasyanov  - Yahad-In Unum The building where the local police were stationed    © Aleksey Kasyanov  - Yahad-In Unum The building where the Gebietskomissariat was located © Aleksey Kasyanov/Yahad-In Unum The building where the Gendarmeria was located © Aleksey Kasyanov/Yahad-In Unum Aleksandr V. remembers that he was requisitioned to collect the Jews’ bodies in the pond to bury them in a mass grave    © Aleksey Kasyanov  - Yahad-In Unum Nikolay T. witnessed the shooting of the Jews in the pond: “The Jews were naked. They were pushed into the water up to the knees and shot.”    © Aleksey Kasyanov  - Yahad-In Unum Georguiy B. remembers that he had a lot of Jewish friends at school    © Aleksey Kasyanov  - Yahad-In Unum Valentina K. remembers that the Jews tried to resist when being pushed into the pond    © Aleksey Kasyanov  - Yahad-In Unum The Yahad team during a witness interview    © Aleksey Kasyanov  - Yahad-In Unum View at the street where the ghetto was located. © Aleksey Kasyanov/Yahad-In Unum That street was part of the ghetto’s territory    © Aleksey Kasyanov  - Yahad-In Unum The pond where Jews from Petrikov were humiliated and killed    © Aleksey   Kasyanov  - Yahad-In Unum Another mass grave site of the Jews from Petrikov. During the war, it was the territory of the slaughterhouse     © Aleksey Kasyanov  - Yahad-In Unum

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Execution of Jews of Petrikov and Ogolitskaya Rudnya in Petrikov

3 Execution site(s)

Kind of place before :
Pond / Territory of slaughterhouse / Forest
Memorials :
Yes
Period of occupation:
1941-1944
Number of victims :
About 770

Witness interview

Georguiy B., born in 1933, recounts: “The first time I saw local policemen, I was in the courtyard with my grandfather, sawing some wood. A man arrived and he asked us if there were Jews around. We responded that there were not. They left and I saw then that they made my Jewish neighbor get out of her house, then took her with them. Later, the inhabitants told us that all the Jews had been brought near the Pripyat River and shot. Later, residents took back bodies from the river and buried them in a grave, close to the shore.” (Eyewitness N°857, interviewed in Petrikov, on September 25, 2014).

Soviet archives

“At the end of April 1942, at four o’clock in the morning, the gendarmerie, helped by the police, brought all of the 50-60 remaining Jews to the slaughterhouse, 1km northeast of Petrikov. Before shooting them, these people were locked in a shed, where they had to undress. Then, one by one, we brought them to the shooting. For a long time, the bodies were lying on the ground, without being buried. It was forbidden to approach them. Approximately two weeks later, the local population was ordered to bury the bodies.“ [Act of The Soviet Extraordinary State Commission, RG-22.002M. 7021-91/22]

Historical note

Petrikov is a city situated 175 km southwest of Gomel, which is a district center, as it was before the war. Before the war, there was an important Jewish population living mostly in the city center. In 1939, more than 1000 Jews lived in the center. Most of them were storekeepers. There were two big wooden synagogues and a wooden Jewish school. The city was occupied by German troops in July 1941.

Holocaust by bullets in figures

Until the end of summer 1941, Jews were allowed to live in their own houses, even if they had to wear special distinguishing badges.

On September 22, 1941, a German punitive squad, of the 1st SS-Cavalry Brigade, came to the city. 300 Jews who were celebrating the Jewish New Year in the synagogue were driven out of the synagogue, forced to undress and pushed into a pond near the Pripiat River. Then, they were shot in the pond. Later, local residents were requisitioned to bury the corpses in a grave near the pond. The day after, many other Jews were killed directly in the streets of the city or burned alive in their houses. Afterwards, a ghetto was set up in a few houses on Volodarskiyi Street. The ghetto was fenced off by barbed wire and patrolled by local policemen. Jews were forced to perform tasks like clearing snow from the roads.

A second aktion was carried out on February 15, 1942, by Germans and Hungarian soldiers who looked for hidden Jews. They burned Jewish belongings and houses. Some Jews were chased away towards the village of Belki, some 2 kilometers from Petrikov, where they were shot. There were around 200 victims on this day.

The ghetto was liquidated at the end of April 1942. The Jews were driven by trucks near the slaughterhouse northeast of Petrikov.The Jews were locked up in a barn, where they had to undress.Then, they were shot by the Germans on the slaughterhouse territory. The corpses were buried on the site by local inhabitants more than two weeks later.

According to eyewitnesses interviewed by Yahad, a sale of Jewish clothing was organized on the market square by local policemen. In addition to local Jews, there were also executions of the Jews from the nearby villages. In autumn 1941, 25 Jews from Ogolitskaya Rudnya were killed in the forest close to Petrikov.

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