Staryye Dorogi | Minsk

/ Ambiance in Staryye Dorogi. The town center.    © Jethro Massey  - Yahad-In Unum Tatyana J. remembers that the Jews were taken to the shooting site by truck.     © Jethro Massey - Yahad-In Unum Zinaida N., born in 1928: “The Jews were then kicked out of their homes and gathered in the ghetto. But before that, they lived their lives like any other habitants.” ©  Jethro Massey- Yahad-In Unum Yahad team during a witness interview    © Jethro Massey  - Yahad-In Unum The mass-shooting site of the Jews of Staryye Dorogi    © Jethro Massey  - Yahad-In Unum

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Executions of Jews in Staryye Dorogi

1 Execution site(s)

Kind of place before :
Forest
Memorials :
Yes
Period of occupation:
1941 - 1944
Number of victims :
About 800

Witness interview

Tatyana Zh., born in 1925, remembers : “The shooting of the Jews of the city took place at the entrance of Staryye, near the road to Slutsk. There were several antitank trenches in this place. The weather was beautiful that day. While I was working on the road, I saw a covered truck arriving from the city. When the truck arrived, there were already Germans on the site. The Jews, adults and children, came down all at once from the truck. There were tears and screams. The Jews were immediately brought down to the edge of the pit and killed by 2 Germans who had a standing machine gun on the ground. The Germans had dogs. They barked and were sometimes released to bite the Jews at the time of the shooting. The victims were terrorized by them. At the end of the shooting, the whole pit was filled up.” (Eyewitness N°761, interviewed in Slobodka, on May 20, 2014)

German archives

“After the shooting, the cleaning of the Jewish camp took a long time. I have to say that I, as well as people of my unit, went to the Jewish camp after the aktion. We saw that they had thrown the furniture, clothing, everything tangible was outside. The reason for our visit in this camp was that some companions wanted to get back the clothes that they had given to Jewish craftsmen to repair. » [Testimony of Erich K. on October 27, 1967, during the Berlin trial, B162-3314 p.16]

Historical note

Staryye Dorogi is a small city and district center, situated 100 km south of Minsk.  In 1939, there were more than 1000 Jews living there, making up 28% of the total population. There were 2 synagogues and several Jewish schools.

Holocaust by bullets in figures

Prior to the Germans’ arrival during the summer of 1941, some Jews managed to escape on their own or by train. There was a fenced and guarded ghetto on Kirov street where there was a Jewish school and several houses.

As the first major aktion, a group of Jews was forced to swim into the river and shot by the Germans when they were in the water, but little is known about this aktion.

On January 19, 1942, the Jews were loaded into trucks outside of the village to go to a place known as Kacharka. According to an eyewitness interviewed by Yahad, the mass grave was an anti-tank ditch. But according to other sources, it was a sand quarry. They were shot by an SS detachment, assisted by local police. Other categories of victims like prisoners of war were also shot at this location.

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