Zhirovichi | Grodno

/ Mikhail R. remembers that the ground was frozen when the Jews were shot    © Nicolas Tkatchouk - Yahad-In Unum Maria S. remembers that she hid a little Jewish girl  © Nicolas Tkatchouk - Yahad-In Unum Maria P., born in 1922,Maria S. remembers the arrival of Jewish refugees from western Poland © Nicolas Tkatchouk - Yahad-In Unum Yahad team conducting an interview    © Nicolas Tkatchouk - Yahad-In Unum Mikhail R.at the Zhirovichi mass-shooting site  © Nicolas Tkatchouk - Yahad-In Unum

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Execution of Jews in Zhirovichi

1 Execution site(s)

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

Witness interview

Maria M. remembers: "1,200 or 1,400 Jews were shot in Zhirovichi. After the mass shooting, I saw how the neighbors moved into the Jewish houses. People had no scruples." (Witness N°311, interviewed in May, 2010)

German archives

"During this execution, 1,200 to 1,400 Jews of the ghetto were shot. During the action, groups of 500 Jews were brought on foot to the execution site and were exterminated by the commando. I was Schutzmann. The grave was4 meters wide, 5 meters deep and 60 to 80 meters long. I remembered that a few days before the execution, we had to train to shoot at the site. The population could hear the shootings and were probably very frightened." [Deposition of Alfred M. in September, 1947, interpreter and driver, B162-3408]

Historical note

Zhirovichi is a village situated west of Baranovichi.Before the war, an important part of the population was Jewish. There were also a significant number of Jewish refugees from western Poland. The village was under German occupation between 1941 and 1944.

Holocaust by bullets in figures

In the autumn of 1941, the whole population of the village was gathered at the village square. Mikhail R., interviewed by Yahad-In Unum, explains that a German punitive commando squad came early in the morning to initiate a selection process. The Jews were selected and taken to a nearby forest to be killed in a pit dug in advance.

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