2 Execution site(s)
Nina I., born in 1927, remembered: “The policemen knew where the Jews lived. Moreover, all the Jews were marked with yellow distinguishing badges, so it was easy to recognize them. Together with the Germans, the policemen passed from one house to another to gather the Jews in one big house. And the Jews followed them without resisting. I couldn’t understand why they didn’t try to escape. They could have fled and nobody would find them. However, among the remaining Jews there were only women, children, elderly and handicapped people. So, I guess it was difficult for them to hide somewhere. Once they all were confined to this house, it was fenced in with barbed wire. It was forbidden to approach this area and the Jews couldn’t leave the territory either. However, my younger brother went there on the sly to bring some food.” (Testimony N°692, interviewed in Grodzianka, on July 21, 2013)
Grodzianka is located about 130 km southwest of Mogilev. On the eve of the war, there were 150 Jews, comprising only 12 percent of the total population. There was a wooden synagogue, but no Jewish cemetery. The majority of Jews worked in a lumber yard. There were also artisans and shop holders among them. The Germans occupied the village on July 1, 1941.
Immediately after the Germans’ arrival, the Jews were registered and marked with yellow distinguishing badges. They had to perform heavy forced labor. The first Aktion was conducted one month after the occupation, on August 5, 1941. 20 men, who were most probably all Jewish, were marched to the Christian cemetery where they were forced to dig pits and were shot dead inside them. In the late summer or early fall of 1941, the ghetto was established in Grodzianka. All Jews from the village and surrounding villages were forced to move into the ghetto. The ghetto consisted of small house which was fenced in. Even though it was guarded by the police, a number of Jews managed to escape before it was liquidated on March 4, 1942. 86 Jews were taken to the pit that was dug by requisitioned locals at the edge of the forest and shot by Germans assisted by the Ukrainian police. There were women, men, children and elderly people among the victims.
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