1 Execution site(s)
Maria D., born in 1922: “The Jews had to move into the ghetto by themselves. If they didn’t want to move, the Germans or local policemen went inside their homes and forced them out. Lots of them were beaten up on the way to the ghetto.” (Witness N°768, interviewed in Pohost1, on May 23, 2014)
“The shooting took place in the garden behind the canteen near the church. The Jews who escaped were caught and shot in Pohost. The entire process of the shooting did not last more than half an hour. About 150 Jews of all ages were shot. After that about 50 of us local residents were forced to dig two big pits and to take the bodies there.” [Testimony of Afanassy L. in February 1945, for The Soviet Extraordinary State Commission, RG- 22.002M.7021-90]
Pohost is a village situated 130 km south of Minsk. In 1939, there were approximately 500 Jews living in Pohost. There were 2 synagogues and a Jewish cemetery. In 1939, a significant number of Jewish refugees arrived from eastern Poland, which had recently been annexed by Germany. The village was under German occupation from 1941 to 1944.
On July 31, 1941, dozens of Jews were shot by a detachment of Einsatzkommando 8 as a reprisal Aktion for their presumed support of the partisans. Shortly after that, a fenced ghetto was set up on the street where the church was located.
On August 24, 1941, a second Aktion against the Jews was conducted by SS cavalrymen who came to liquidate the ghetto. Jews had to gather in a barn in the kolkhoz. According to witnesses interviewed by Yahad, two pits had been dug in advance by locals in a field not far from the church. It seems that in addition to the shooting itself, hand grenades were also thrown into the crowd of Jews as they waited. During the following weeks, Jews in hiding were also caught and shot at the same site.
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