Kalinkavichy (Kalinkowitschi) | Gomel

/ The site of the former synagogue, which has long since disappeared. ©Les Kasyanov/Yahad - In Unum The Gestapo building in Kalinkavichy. ©Les Kasyanov/Yahad - In Unum The location where the Jews from Kalinkavichy were gathered before the shooting. ©Les Kasyanov/Yahad - In Unum Maria K. remembers that her father was very angry because she went to see the shooting of the Jews. ©Les Kasyanov/Yahad - In Unum Maria K. sketching the scene of the shooting of the Jews. ©Les Kasyanov/Yahad - In Unum The Yahad team with the witness. ©Les Kasyanov/Yahad - In Unum The mass shooting site of the Kalinkavichy Jews. ©Les Kasyanov/Yahad - In Unum

Execution of Jews in Kalinkavichy

1 Execution site(s)

Kind of place before :
Trench near the railway line
Memorials :
Yes
Period of occupation:
1941-1944
Number of victims :
Between 600 and 720

Witness interview

Maria K., born in 1927,: "Trucks approached the trench along the railroad, the policemen got in and forced the Jews out. Then they pushed the Jews in small groups towards the trench before shooting them. The policemen fired at the Jews from about twenty meters away. There were men, women and children among the victims. The Jews were shot a little further from the pit and their bodies were then taken to it by the policemen. Trucks made trips there and back towards the city center to bring the Jews to the site. I do not remember seeing Germans." (Eyewitness N°842, interviewed in Kalinkavichy, on September 20, 2014).

Soviet archives

"On September 20, 1941, the German command stuck posters in the city ordering the Jewish population to move to Datchnaya Street, which had be reserved especially for them. As soon as the Jewish population moved to this street, a second order was posted there, ordering the entire Jewish population, from elderly men to babies, to presents themselves to Kalinkavichy station for a meeting, where questions regarding the improvement of their material situation were to be discussed. The entire population had to get dressed with clean and good quality clothes. The people were surrounded by German soldiers armed with machine-guns and locked into camps surrounded with barbed wire. [Act of The Soviet Extraordinary State Commission, RG-22.002M. 7021-91-15-]

Historical note

Kalinkavichy is a town situated 120km west of Gomel. It is an important railway junction. Before the war, a significant part of the population was Jewish: 3,386 out of a total of 9,799 inhabitants. There was a Yiddish school and a synagogue. A well-known Yiddish author, Solomon Simon, who emigrated to New York City in 1913 was a native of the town. The city was occupied by German forces in late August 1941, but before their arrival, a part of the Jewish population managed to evacuate the town by train.

Holocaust by bullets in figures

As there are very few historical documents regarding the fate of the Jews in Kalinkavichy, but the Yahad field investigation was able to document key information for understanding the main steps of their fate during the German occupation.  

On September 20, 1941, all the Jews were ordered to move to Datchnaya Street. The Jews were shot by local policemen and German gendarmes in a trench next to the grade crossing of the Dudichi quarter in the north of the town. According to the eyewitness interviewed by Yahad, the Jews arrived there in covered trucks. The trench was approximately 2m in depth and very long. After the shooting, the policemen filled the pit and left on trucks.

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