1 Execution site(s)
Vasilii D., born in 1927: "I was about 400m away from the execution site. We were harvesting hay, my father and I. There were many others in the field beside us. We could hear the gunshots, but we couldn’t see because there was a forest in between. We thought that the Germans were training. Once everything was quiet and the shooting had finished, one of the local men came and told us that the Chernavchitsy Jews had been shot. That is when we went to take a look." (Witness n°147B, interviewed in Malaia Turna, on April 10, 2009)
."In 1942, the Germans picked a shooting site for the Jews near the village of Malaia Turna, two kilometers from Chernavchitsy. I cannot say how many were shot, but the Germans filled one large pit with bodies and covered it with a light layer of soil. Later, local residents dug another pit nearby and removed [the bodies] from it [the first one] in order to bury each body deeper and cover it with a thicker layer of soil. Approximately 200 bodies were buried there.” [Konstantin T., who was born in 1903 and lived in Czarnawczyce during the war year, given to the Soviet State Extraordinary Commission (ChGK); RG-22.002M/7021-83/11]
Malaia Turna is located 16 km (10mi) north of Brest and 2 km away from the village of Chernavchitsy. The first Jewish community of the village wasn’t big, numbering only a couple of families lived. Previously part of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, in 1795 the village was joined to the Russian Empire. From 1918 until the Second World War, Malaia Turna was within the borders of the second Polish Republic. From September 1939 until June 22, 1941, the village was under Soviet rule. A big Jewish community lived in the nearest town of Chernavchitsy. In 1875, 175 Jews lived in Chernavchitsy, making up 29% of the total population. The majority of Jews lived off small scale trade and handicraft. On the eve of the war, 428 Jews remained in the village, comprising 57% of the total population.
Malaia Turna was occupied by the Germans in late June 1941. In 1942, approximately 200 Jews from Chernavchitsy were murdered in Malaia Turna, in a pit deepened and enlarged by the non-Jewish locals. The exact date of the execution has not been established. According to Yahad field research and local testimonies, the shooting took place several weeks after the Germans arrived, in the summer of 1941.
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