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1 Execution site(s)
Konstantin M. remembered: "I would like to turn your attention to the fact that the ‘Gebietskommissar’ and the leader of the ‘Judenrat’ here knew each other from Germany. They had studied at the same university, where they had become friends. This is why the ‘Gebietskommissar’ acted more or less “loyally” towards the Jews. Just before the order came that the Jews had to gather in the ghetto, he had gone. He was not present [at the moment where the Jews had to move into the ghetto]. At his return, all Jews were already in the ghetto. And just before the shooting, he had gone again. He was not present." (Witness N°195, interviewed in Stolin, on August 10, 2009)
« The Germans and the policemen said that the Jews had to undress and to lie in the grave, face down. After the shooting, they told me to take the clothes, put them on my cart, and bring them to the town.” [Deposition of Yakov R., a Belarusian requisitioned to shoot Jews in Stolin, to the Soviet Extraordinary commisssion; RG-22.002M.7081-90/34]
“We came into the ghetto to bring a group of a hundred Jews. The policemen and the Germans took them to the airfield outside the city. Its construction was not completed. The airfield was located 2-3km from Stolin. Large mass graves were dug directly behind it.” [Deposition of Petr S., a Belarusian policeman and a shooter during the liquidation of the ghetto in Stolin; B162-4967]
Before the war, the region of Stolin was part of Poland. About 5,000 Jews lived in Stolin in 1939. They were tailors, carpenters, shopkeepers, and clockmakers. There were several synagogues; one of them was wooden, another brick. The rabbis of Stolin (a Hasidic dynasty) were well-known among the Jewish communities in Eastern Europe. There was also a cinema, a soda-water factory, and hotels. Stolin was occupied by the Germans from July 1941 to 1944.
In August 1941, many Jewish refugees – especially women and children - from the nearby town of David-Gorodok came to Stolin. A ghetto was created in May 1942, surrounded by a barbed-wire fence. About 7,000 Jews lived in this small and unhealthy area, along the Bank River. The liquidation of the ghetto was conducted on September 11, 1942 by a squadron of German cavalry, the local police and the SD. The shooting took place near the airfield, in a large ditch. The belongings of the Jews were collected and then selected by local people under the control of the German authorities.
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