1 Execution site(s)
Pyotr B., born in 1927: “The Jews were taken from Shklov to Putniki on foot or by truck. They were probably rounded up during the night. They were taken to the old cemetery, around which a trench had been dug to prevent the cattle from getting in. I saw the shooting of around 20 people when I was visiting a friend. It was the same year the Germans arrived, and it was hot. One Jew who tried to escape was killed with a bayonet. I heard a lot of screaming. The children were shot first, then the women and the men. I watched through a little hole in the fence 200 meters away, but I couldn’t see much. I heard some isolated gunshots. The Jews were killed fully dressed, one by one, on the edge of the grave”. (Eyewitness N°654, met in Shklov, on June 22, 2013).
“In the district of Shklov, the German Fascist monsters shot, hanged, burned or deported to forced labor camps in Germany, 4696 people. 354 women and 163 children were shot. One woman was hanged. 112 people were burned alive. 45 POWs were tortured to death or assassinated. In the Shklov prison, a hundred people were seized and thrown naked into the cellars.” [Report of the local commission, drawn up in 1944; RG 22.022M/7021-88/45].
Shklov is located about 40 km north of Mogilev. It was an important Jewish religious center. During the 18th century, it was home to a yeshiva and became the center of the Haskalah movement. At the end of the 19th century, there were 5,542 Jews in the town. They largely lived off trading. A dozen families worked in the Jewish kolkhoz called "Iskra". In 1939, only 2,132 Jews remained in Shklov. The Germans occupied the town on July 12, 1941.
The first execution of Jews took place a few days after the start of the occupation. The Germans shot 25 Jewish men in Lenin Park. At the end of July 1941, two ghettos were established in the neighboring village of Ryzhkovichi. In August 1941, Sonderkommando 7b arrived in the town and assembled 84 Jews under the pretext of sending them to carry out forced labor. In fact, they were taken to the village of Semyonovka and were shot in the kolkhoz. In September 1941, more Jews were taken to a ravine in Khoduly, between the villages of Putniki and Zarechye. They had to undress and lie in the ditch before being shot. According to Soviet sources, 3.200 Jews were killed in Shklov and surrounding area.
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