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2 Execution site(s)
Emma G., born in 1927, remembers : « There were many Jews in town. We went regularly to the Jewish shops. They lived in streets Pervomayskaya, Uritskogo, and Shoseynaya. The Jews frequented the synagogue. The Jewish school and the Belarusian school were in the same building. Those who wanted could study at the Jewish school. All the education was in the Jewish language. In my class there were 6 Jewish boys and 5 Jewish girls. I remember in particular my friends Lilia Finkilstein and Sonia Evchtein.» (Witness N°874, interviewed in Zhlobin, on September 30, 2014).
Zhlobin is a city located 80 kilometers northwest of Gomel. It’s a district center as it was before the war. According the 1939 census, 3709 Jews lived in Zhlobin, making more than 19% of the total population. The Jews lived in majority in the city center and were storekeepers. There was a synagogue and a Jewish elementary school. The city was occupied by German forces at the beginning of August 1941.
Before the German arrival, an important part of the Jewish population managed to escape, mostly on foot. Zhlobin was the seat of an important police station where there were about 150 men. At the end of 1941, 31 Jews were shot in town by a squad of Einsatzgruppe B, accused of being saboteurs.
In October 1941, 2 ghettos were established. The first was in a school dormitory. The second was in different huts near the railway line and near the bakery. Jews from surrounding villages, and cities, were also brought to the Zhlobin ghetto. Notably, Jews from Streshin, a big village situated south of Zhlobin were moved from Streshin ghetto to Zhlobin on March 30, 1942.
On April 12, 1942, early in the morning, Germans assisted by local policemen loaded the Jews in several tens of trucks and drove them 1 kilometer away between the city and the village of Lebedevka. The Jews had to undress and were killed in a pit dug in a field by local villagers. The police brought the victims to the edge of the pit, where a plank lay, then shot them.
The killing of the Jews of Zhlobin continued from April 12 to April 15, 1942. The Jews of Streshin, were also killed at the same location. According to an eye-witness interviewed by Yahad, Jews were also taken by trucks and shot at the crossroads of Pervomayskaya Street and Kozlova Street in Zhlobin. It is estimated that more 1600 Jews were killed in all. More than 10 Jewish women with children from mixed marriages were also killed.
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