10 Execution site(s)
Lidia S., born in 1928: "The Jews were driven out of their homes and gathered in a meadow surrounded by armed Germans and policemen. They were guarded outside all night and taken to the mass shooting at sunrise. They were not arrested, they were driven out of their homes, and put on the street where they spent the night undressed. They were only allowed keep their underwear on.” (Witness n°109B, interviewed in Malorita, on April 1, 2009)
"In July 1942, the Germans executed the entire Jewish population of the Malaryta district. The majority of the victims were elderly people, women, and children. The Germans forced able-bodied individuals to perform various jobs; apparently, these people were liquidated by the Germans, since none of those who had been taken to work ever returned.
The execution lasted for two days. On the first day, the men were executed, and the women and children followed them on the second day. A small hill in the vicinity of the Jewish cemetery, and a brick factory northeast of Malaryta, about one kilometer from it, were picked by the Germans as the massacre site. The shooting was carried out in the following way: a group of ten to fifteen people would be forced to approach the pit, lined up in a row on its edge, and shot with submachine guns. The people hit by the bullets fell down into the pit. The Germans would either finish them off with single shots, or leave them, half-dead and wounded, until the next group was brought [to the pit]. One wounded Jew managed to get out of the pit and returned to Malaryta during the night. The Gendarmerie caught him, dragged him back to the pit, and finished him off. The total number of Jewish victims was 900, including approximately 450 women and 150 children; the remaining victims were men incapable of work. It is impossible to identify all the victims by name, since the lists are unavailable." [Act drawn up in 1945 by the Soviet State Extraordinary Commission (GARF) in 1945; GARF 7021-83-20/Copy USHMM RG22-002M]
"According to Alois Kautle’s journal, 883 Jews were killed in Malorita." [B162-5302]
Malorita is a town located 50 km (31 mi) southeast of Brest and 80 km (50 mi) southwest of Baranovichi. The first records of the Jewish community date back to the 19th century. According to the 1897 census, there were 227 Jews in Malorita, making up 15% of the towns’ total population. Following the construction of a railway line in the area the Jewish community grew. In 1921, they represented about 40% of the total population, with some 750 Jews living in the town. The main occupation of the Malorita Jews was trade, with many of them being artisans and skilled workers. The Jewish community had a cemetery and a prayer house. The Zionist movement was active in the town. During the interwar period, the town was under Polish rule. In September 1939, it was taken over by the Soviet Union. It is estimated that circa. 1,000 Jews, including refugees from occupied Poland, were living in Malorita on the eve of the war.
Malorita was occupied by German forces on June 23-24, 1941. Several buildings were damaged during the bombing. Upon the German arrival, the Ukrainian police was created. In September 1941, the town was taken over by the German civil administration. Sometime in the fall of 1941, the Germans set up a Jewish ghetto, and all the Jews of the Malorita district were moved into it. According to the testimonies, there were circa. 30-50 houses in the ghetto. Ukrainians who lived in houses within the ghetto area were resettled to former Jewish- owned houses outside the ghetto. According to the German report, 1,210 Jews were reported to be living there in early 1942. Some able-bodied Jews from the ghetto were assigned to forced labor on road construction projects and other work.
The ghetto was liquidated in July or August 1942, probably by a detachment of the Security Police, assisted by men from the Police Company Nuremberg, the German gendarmerie, and the local Ukrainian police. The massacre was carried over two days at the site located 1 km northeast of the town near the Jewish cemetery and brick factory. During the first day the Jewish men were executed, and the women and children followed them the following day. Before being killed, the victims had to remove their outer clothing and their shoes before being shot in groups of 10-15 people in three mass graves. Many witnesses interviewed by Yahad also mentioned isolated execution of Jews who attempted to escape or hide, but were found afterwards. Today, there is a memorial at the main shooting site.
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