1 Execution site(s)
Leonid S. remembers : «When I was in town, I saw the column of Jews, but I did not suspect that there would be a shooting. The Germans were at the head of the column. There were also policemen at the ends of the column, and approximately 6 carts at the end of the column for the weakest people. Carts were driven by their owners. The adults had a symbol on their sleeves. I followed the column by 300m. There was no snow, but it was cold enough. My friend was pushed into the column, but ultimately he was able to get out of it. The Jews prayed in the column. There were men at the head of the column and women at the back. » (Eyewitness N°802, interviewed in Uvarovichi, on June 13, 2014)
Uvarovichi is a small city located 26 km northwest of Gomel. On the eve of the war, there were 517 Jews living in the town, making up 11,3 % of the total population. It increased with the arrival of the Jewish refugees from Poland. There was a synagogue. The majority of Jews lived off of small trade or were craftsmen, for instance cobblers. The town was occupied by German forces on August 16, 1941, and put under military administration. Before the occupation, many Jewish men were enrolled in the Soviet army, about half of the Jewish community was evacuated.
In the fall of 1941, the Jewish quarter was transformed into an open ghetto. It was guarded by the local police. Later, Jews from surrouding villages were also brought there, and all the Jews had to move to Naberezhnaya Street. Jews were subjected to forced labor, like farm work.
In the middle of November 1941, 247 Jews were shot by a German punitive detachment coming from Gomel, assisted by the local police. Before the aktion, the Jews were gathered first in the court building, then escorted on foot towards the silo pits of a kolkhoz, 500m southwest of the city, where they were shot. According to eyewitnesses interviewed by Yahad, the Jews were killed in 3 different pits. After the war, the corpses were exhumed and reburied in the nearby Christian cemetery.
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