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1 Execution site(s)
Mariana K., born in 1932, remembers: "Once they arrived near the pit, the Jews had to undress. Not far from there, residents requisitioned with their carts were waiting to be able to take their belongings away.” (Witness N°733 interviewed on April 28, 2014)
“When the column left for the site of the shooting, everybody was struck. There were especially women, elderly people, and children. Those who could not walk any more were killed along the way by machine-gun or pistol. The other Jews, more than 1000 people, were brought to the cemetery, where they had to dig a large pit.” [Depostion of Mikhalina D., made in 1944, for the Soviet Extraordinary State Commission, RG-22.002M.7021-86-45]
Radun is a village situated 90 km west of Minsk. Before the war, around 1,000 Jews lived in town. The center of Radun Jewish spiritual life was the famous yeshiva, founded in 1869 by Israel Meir ha-Kohen. In 1940, most of the yeshiva students were transferred to United States via Japan. The main occupations for the Jews were trading, crafts, and agriculture. The village was occupied by German forces at the end of June 1941.
After the Germans’ arrival, forced labor was imposed on the Jews, like chopping firewood in the forests. On November 16, a fenced ghetto was established on Zhydovska Street, previously a Jewish street. There were also Jews from neighboring villages gathered in the ghetto: Dovguielishki, Zabolote, Zhyrmuny and Nacha. More than 2,000 Jews were confined inside the ghetto. Despite the terrible living conditions, some Jews did maintain religious services in secret, and school for the children.
On May 10, 1942, 100 young Jews were requisitioned to dig pits in the Jewish cemetery. As the working Jews attempted a mass-escape, many of them were shot. When the ghetto was liquidated, more than 1,500 Jews were killed by the Germans and the local police. According to witnesses interviewed by Yahad, the Jews unable to walk were shot on the spot on their way to the cemetery. Nearly 300 skilled artisans were kept alive, and later sent to Shchuchin ghetto and from there, after a while, to their deaths in an unknown location.
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