2 Execution site(s)
Andrey V., born in 1926, remembered the shooting of the Jews: “I had been watching the shooting for about 30minutes.There were several shooters as the Germans never did it one by one. They fired with German rifles. I think there was a Gestapo officer there who gave others to shoot. We could hear orders, rifle shots and the Jews’ screams.” (Eyewitness n°499, interviewed in Trubchevsk, on May 20, 2015)
“The mass extermination of Soviet citizens, women, children and elderly, started upon the arrival of the German commandant, Fon V., in the town of Trubchevsk. In January 1942, Fon V. ordered the shooting of the 63 children remaining in the Trubchevsk orphanage. [After], German soldiers dragged the children’s bodies over the ice of the Desna river. The same month, 200 mentally ill adults from the psychiatric hospital were starved to death.” [Act of Soviet extraordinary commission drawn up on October 22, 1945, RG-22.002M.7021- 85/4]
The town is situated about 80 km southwest of Bryansk. Prior to the war, about 137 Jews lived in Trubchevsk. Most of the Jews were craftsmen, including cobblers and carpenters. There was no synagogue in the town but there was a Jewish cemetery, one for three districts, situated near the Orthodox one. The town was occupied by German forces in early October 1941. By that time, more than half of the Jews fled or evacuated.
The Jews from the Trubchevsk district were gathered in a Klub for 3 days and shot afterwards at the edge of the village. Their bodies were burnt. In total, according to the Soviet archives, 751 Soviet citizens perished due to bad treatment or as a result of shooting in the entire Trubchevsk district. Aside from Jews, mentally ill children and adults were exterminated as well. According to witness n°499, the mentally ill children were shot in the building and their bodies were buried in the ditches situated near the ravine. Apparently, after the trial of a former policemen, who pointed out the burial place, the bodies were transferred to a Jewish cemetery. The mentally ill adults were shot in the building and their bodies were thrown into the Desna River.
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