1 Execution site(s)
Stepanida L.: "The column of Jews was guarded by Latvians and Lithuanians. One woman wanted to save her child by pushing him out to the side of the column, but a policemen saw this and pushed the child back into the column." (Witness N°95, interviewed in Braslav, on July 23, 2008)
“When the Germans arrived in June 1941, they immediately organized the persecution of the Jewish population. The Jews were arrested by the police and gathered in a building on Lenin street. They were kept there for a few days and then taken to a forest near a cattle cemetery in groups of 15. They were then shot and buried.” [Act of the Soviet extraordinary commission; RG-22.002M/7021-92/209]
“On Wednesday, at 3am, the city was surrounded by the police, the Gendarmerie and the Gestapo. We’d noticed that early on because we lived on the border of the ghetto. We were scared. I walked onto the roof and managed to escape into the forest”. [Testimony of Elliot Schmidt, Jewish survivor of Braslav; B162-1469 p.126]
Around 3,000 Jews lived in Braslav at the eve of the Second World War (over half of the town’s inhabitants).
German troops entered Braslav on June 28th 1941. A ghetto was set up in April 1942. Lakes surrounded the ghetto on two sides: Lake Drivyat and Lake Novyat. Another ghetto was then created for Jews who were unable to work. A resistance group was organized and some Jews planned to escape from the ghetto. The liquidation of the ghetto began on June 3rd 1942. Many Jews tried to escape. But around 2,000 of them were arrested and shot in pre-prepared ditches. In August or September 1942, Jews from the nearby village of Opsa were transfered to Braslav. They were killed in March 1943.
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