1 Execution site(s)
Nikolay K. recalls: “At first policemen drove away as many Jews as they managed to catch. Later, those who ran away were caught. After that, policemen would find 20 Jews; they would take them to be executed. After a week or more, another group would be caught and taken away for execution. The majority of the Jews had already been taken away at that time. Before that, they didn’t hide, but lived in the ghetto.” (Witness N°51, interviewed in Pabradė, on April 1, 2014)
“In October 1941, I do not remember the date, but it was a holiday, I walked on Shvenchenskaya street and saw Baranauskas, armed with a rifle and bringing two Jewish men to the police. I cannot say the names of those men because I saw them from the back. At the end of September 1941 I walked on Vilniusskaya street towards (illegible) street and saw Baranauskas, who wanted to bring a boy of about 14 years old to the police. The boy did not want to go, so Baranauskas shot him with his rifle. There was also another dead boy, but I did not see who shot him, I just heard shots. The last name of the boy was Chakhnovitch – he was a Jew from Pabradė. [Deposition of witness Kazimiras B., done on September 28, 1944, RG-22.002M.7021-94/438]
Pabradė was just a small settlement until the second half of the 19th century, but it started growing after the Saint Petersburg – Warsaw Railway was constructed through the town in 1862. About 850 Jews lived in the town in 1939, comprising one third of the total population. When the Germans invaded Lithuania, a number of Jews tried to flee the country following the Soviet army, but were stopped by Lithuanian partisans.
The persecution of Jews started with the arrival of German army at the end of June 1941. At the very beginning of the occupation, about a dozen Jews were executed for alleged collaboration with the Soviets. In the middle of July, Lithuanian policemen arrested about 60 Jews and shot them behind the mill. On September 1, the rest of the Jewish population was moved into a ghetto that was established on two streets, previously inhabited by Christians. The ghetto was open, so many of its residents escaped at the end of the month, after rumors about the forthcoming Aktion had spread. Over 100 Jews who were interred in the ghetto or who were recaptured were escorted to the military training camp in Švenčionėliai and shot on October 8-10, along with thousands of other Jews assembled there. Policemen continued searching for Jewish escapees, gathered them in groups and shot them on the outskirts of town.
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