Tolminovo | Grodno 

/ Stefania L. remembers when she gave food to Jews in the Ochmyany ghetto. © Victoria Bahr- Yahad-In Unum Yahad team during the witness interview. © Victoria Bahr - Yahad-In Unum The execution site of 700 Jews in Tolminovo. © Victoria Bahr - Yahad-In Unum

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Execution of Oshmyany Jews in Tolminovo

1 Execution site(s)

Kind of place before :
Forest
Memorials :
Yes
Period of occupation:
1941-1944
Number of victims :
700

Witness interview

Stefania L., born in 1928, remembers: "There were several carts like mine waiting in the street to transport the Jews to the killing site. The Jews left the ghetto, escorted by policemen, and a family got in my cart.” (Witness N°718, interviewed on April 21, 2014)

Historical note

Tolminovo is a very small village close to the city of Oshmiany, situated 130 km northwest of Minsk. Before WW2, there were about 3,000 Jews living in Oshmyany, but Tolminovo was mainly Belarusian. The majority of Jews were craftsmen or owners of small shops. However, there were also farmers. The largest industries, such as the mineral water bottling plant, beer factory, distilling factories, tobacco house, etc., belonged to the Jews. The German forces occupied the village at the end of June 1941.

Holocaust by bullets in figures

As the town of Oshmyany was quickly seized in June 1941 by German forces, most of the Jews were not able to evacuate. On July 26, 1941, 527 male Jews were shot in a forest close to the village of Lyugovshchina, by a detachment of Einsatzkommando 9. According to testimony of Marian Z. collected by Yahad – In  In-Unum, before being shot, the men were locked into one of the city’s building.

In October 1941, all the Jews from the city, including those from surrounding villages, were gathered into a ghetto, imprisoned and guarded. “Contributions” in the form of money and goods were regularly collected. In mid-1942, nearly 1,800 Jews were registered in the ghetto, 4,000 at the end of the year. Many of them were used for forced labor. On October 21, 1942, Jews were shot in a pit close to the village of Tolminovo, alongside Jews from Krevo and Smorgon. On October 23, 1942, more than 400 elderly Jews were shot in a pit close to the village of Lyugovshchina. The ghetto was liquidated in March and April 1943 when the Jews were sent to labor camps in Lithuania or to the Vilnius ghetto.

For more information about executions of the Oshmyany Jews, please consult the Lyugovshchina town page.

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