Mir | Grodno

The old town center. ©Taken from pages.uoregan.edu Outside Mir Castle, around 1910 (photo from Wendy Almeleh). ©pages.uoregon.edu/rkimble/Mirweb/Mir1.html Malke, Leibel (1930-1941) bottom left and Hannah (1928-1941) bottom right. They were killed in Mir. ©pages.uoregan.edu/rkimble/Mirweb/KamenetskyFamily.html Two children at the cemetery. ©pages.uoregon.edu/rkimble/Mirweb/Mir1.html / The old Jewish cemetery. ©Nicolas Tkatchouk/Yahad - In Unum An old Jewish house. ©Nicolas Tkatchouk/Yahad - In Unum Nadezhda, born in 1923. ©Nicolas Tkatchouk/Yahad - In Unum Yahad’s research team during an interview. ©Nicolas Tkatchouk/Yahad - In Unum Monument to the Jewish victims. ©Nicolas Tkatchouk/Yahad - In Unum

Execution of Jews in Mir

3 Execution site(s)

Period of occupation:
Number of victims:

Witness interview

Mikhail S., born in 1926: "The Rabbi made a speech and the Jews went to the pit which they’d dug themselves. I saw the mass shooting from a distance. The Jews were lined up in groups of four on the edge of the pit and shot. The pit was about 5m long. Entire families were executed. The gunmen were on the other side of the pit, in front of their victims." (Witness N°302, interviewed in Mir, on April 29, 2009)

Soviet archives

"In November 1941, a mass execution of Jews was carried out by Germans and police during which about 1,000 people were savagely killed. Their belongings were plundered by [illegible], Germans and policemen. Those Jews who had managed to survive continued to live in the ghetto." [Deposition of Rabbi Zalmon M., born in 1905, native from Baranovichi, RG-22.002M.7021-81/106]

German archives

"The main Aktion against the Jews took place in Mir on November 9, 1941, and was carried out by the Ortskommandantur from Stolbtsy. This unit, in collaboration with the Belarusian auxiliary police, shot about 1,500 – 1,800 Jews. The Belarusian policemen violently removed the Jews from their homes, shooting some on the spot in the street. Everyone who was found was shot, including babies and the elderly. Only 800 Jews managed to save themselves." [B162-6949]

Historical note

Mir, founded sometime prior to 1345, is located 88km (55 miles) southwest of Minsk. Before World War II, 2,300 Jews lived in Mir, about half of the town’s population. The town was occupied by the German army on June 27,1941.

Holocaust by bullets in figures

The anti-Jewish Aktions in Mir were carried out by the 8th Company, Infantry Regiment 727, German security forces, members of the Gendarmerie and local police. The first Aktion carried out against the “intelligentsia” took place on July 20, 1941, in which 19 Jews and 3 non-Jews were rounded-up and killed. In October and November 1941, 2,000 Jews from Mir and Turets were executed. Some Jews were sent to a labor camp in Novy Sverzhen. The ghetto, which included Zavalna, Tartarskaya, and Visoker streets, was created during the first days of November, 1941. Shortly after, a resistance group led by Oswald Rufeisen was set up. 560 Jews were shot during the last Aktion which took place on August 13, 1942. Only about 50 Jews  from Mir managed to survive the war.


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