Skidel | Grodno

Iakov P. remembers he could hear the shootings in the forest    © Rousslan Dion- Yahad-In Unum Maria K. remembers the Jews were forced to destroy the Lenin statue    © Rousslan Dion- Yahad-In Unum Iekaterina M. remembers she saw the column of Jews leaving  Skidel    © Rousslan Dion- Yahad-In Unum The location of the shooting in the Skidel forest, where Jews, Gypsies, and communists were killed    © Rousslan Dion- Yahad-In Unum Skidel Jewish families before the war    © Rousslan Dion- Yahad-In Unum

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Execution of Jews in Skidel

1 Execution site(s)

Investigated by Yahad :
2010
Kind of place before :
Forest
Memorials :
Yes
Period of occupation:
1941-1944

Witness interview

Iakov P. : "One day, all the Jews were gathered at the market square, where they had to kneel down on the ground. After this, they left towards Grodno, it was very hot. The soltys had to call all the villagers and we were forced to watch the scene." (Witness N°356 interviewed in November, 2010)

Historical note

Skidel is a small city 30 kilometers East of Grodno. Before World War II, Jews comprised just over 80 % of Skidel’s total population, their number being around 2800. So most of the shops and businesses in the town were Jewish.  The city was under German occupation from 1941 to 1944.

Holocaust by bullets in figures

In late 1941, all the Jews of Skidel were forced to move into an open ghetto, made of a few houses, and located near the Jewish cemetery, situated today at the former Soviet military air base. But, according to the witnesses interviewed by Yahad-In Unum, the ghetto was later enclosed by a fence. As the ghetto was less guarded at night, it was sometimes possible to give food to the Jews. Jews were also forced to do various jobs like cleaning the streets. Small shootings of Jews in the forest close to the city were frequent. According to a witness interviewed by Yahad, at the end of the war his uncle was forced to exhume corpses from a pit in the forest in order to burn them. The Skidel ghetto was liquidated on November 2, 1942, when the Jews were taken to the Kolbassino transit camp, South of Grodno. At this time, they were 22000 to 28000 people in the camp. From there, they were sent to Auschwitz extermination camp.

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