2 Execution site(s)
Mikhail S., born in 1933, described the shooting:
“Q: How many men were?
A: I think there were 12 men, but we didn’t count them. One of the men killed was a blacksmith. He was about to come back home from Ozarichi. When the policemen saw him, they took him and shot him. He was Jewish.
Q: Did you recognize him in the crowd?
A: I knew him, he worked in a blacksmith shop. An old Petrenko was waving at him to get away as a warning. But he didn’t notice and was taken and shot. I remember he was carrying a rooster. When he was caught, the rooster flew away and stayed in the forest for about a week.” (Testimony N°690, interviewed in Lapichi, on July 19, 2013).
Lapichi is located about 150km southwest of Mogilev. The first record of the Jewish community goes back to the 19th century. In 1897, there were 74 Jewish residents in the village. In just thirty years the Jewish population grew to 709 and represented 85 percent of the total population. There was a Jewish primary school, a synagogue and a Jewish cemetery, none of which still exist today. The majority of Jews lived off of handcrafts. A small number of Jews were merchants. On the eve of the war, about 300 Jews remained in the village, including several dozen refugees from Poland. The Germans occupied the village in July 1941.
Shortly after the Germans’ arrival, all Jews were registered and marked. They were subjeced to forced labor. The first Aktion was conducted in the forest on 107 Jews accused of being Soviet activists. The Aktion was conducted on August 18, 1941 by Einzatzkommando 8. In January 1942, all of the Jews living in Lapichi were confined to three houses, but were then released. At that moment, 10 to 12 Jewish men were shot in the forest. According to a local eyewitness, they were forced to dig the pits themselves and were shot by the policemen. The remaining 140 women and children were gathered in a house and shot in April 1942. According to some sources, 76 Jewish men from Lapichi were taken to Osipovichi where they were murdered.
For more information about the executions in Osipovichi please refer to the corresponding profile.
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