Voronovo (Voronava, Woronów) | Grodno

/ Voronovo center    ©Victoria Bahr- Yahad-In Unum Former  synagogue in Voronovo    © Victoria Bahr- Yahad-In Unum Stanislav S. was living in a village close to the place where Jews from Voronovo were shot.    © Victoria Bahr- Yahad-In Unum Yahad team during the interview in Boyary, not far from Voronovo. © Victoria Bahr- Yahad-In Unum The site of the 1941 mass shooting of the Voronovo Jews    © Victoria Bahr- Yahad-In Unum The execution site of 1,984 Soviet citizens, including Jews © Victoria Bahr- Yahad-In Unum

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Execution of Jews in Voronovo

2 Execution site(s)

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

Witness interview

Stanislav S, born in 1933, remembers: "When we approached the place where the Jews were shot, to see better, the German soldiers chased us away. We could hear the shootings very well.” (Witness N°736 interviewed on April 29, 2014)

Soviet archives

"The shooting was carried out by men of the German Gestapo. Before the shooting, the executioners ordered the Jews to prepare them lunch and to get them some vodka. After that, they began the shooting. They brought the victims in groups of 20 towards the pit. The women, with the children, were separated from the men. Before being shot, they had to undress.” [Deposition of Moisey B., a factory worker, drawn up by the Soviet Extraordinary State Commission, on April 21, 1945; RG-22.002M.7021-86-38]

German archives

“At about 10 am, I heard the first shootings coming from the site of the execution. I would want to point out that numerous Jews tried to run away from the path leading to the execution site. So they were shot by the roadblock teams. It is not an exaggeration when I state that the road leading to the execution site looked like a battlefield. I can say it with a clear conscience.” [Deposition of Friedrich L., a former Voronovo Gendarmerie commandant, September 1964, BALAR-Z94/59Vol.III-B162-3433]

Historical note

Voronovo is a small city, situated  40 km north of Lida. Before the Germans’ arrival, there were around 1,500 Jews living there, including Jewish refugees from western and central Poland that was annexed by Germany in 1939. There was a synagogue and a Jewish cemetery. The German forces occupied the village at the end of June 1941.

Holocaust by bullets in figures

Shortly after the Germans’ arrival, a number of Jews were humiliated and shot on the spot. Afterwards, Jews couldn’t leave the town, and then an open ghetto was established in the Jewish quarter. On November 6, 1941, a large group of the Jews were gathered and placed in the building of the movie theater. Many of them were killed during the operation. On November 14, Jews were shot near the train station by Lithuanian policemen.

In December 1942, Jews from nearby villages, including Benyakonye, Konvalishki, Soleshniki, were gathered into the ghetto, that had been fenced in for that purpose. There were more than 3,000 Jews inside. On May 11, 1942, Jews were gathered in the market square. Even though many of them had previously managed to hide or escape, nearly 2,000 Jews were chosen during a selection and shot in a ditch to the northeast of the city. The men and women were shot separately in 2 different ditches. The remaining Jews were transferred 2 weeks later to the Lida ghetto.

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