Rechki | Minsk

/ The local landscape © Jethro Massey/Yahad-In Unum The Jewish house on the Tsentralnaya Street © Jethro Massey/Yahad-In Unum The synagogue where the Jews used to pray was located here © Jethro Massey/Yahad-In Unum Yahad’s team during an interview with a witness who witnessed several isolated executions © Jethro Massey/Yahad-In Unum The house where a Jewish baby was killed was located here. It doesn’t exist anymore, but the remains of its concrete foundation can still be seen © Jethro Massey/Yahad-In Unum Valentina L., born in 1935: “Jews hid in the forest and came at night to ask for food” © Jethro Massey/Yahad-In Unum At this place the father of the witness buried two Jewish girls. The place is located next to the road © Jethro Massey/Yahad-In Unum

Execution of Jews in Rechki

2 Execution site(s)

Kind of place before :
House (1); Field(2)
Memorials :
No
Period of occupation:
1941-1944
Number of victims :
17

Witness interview

Valentina L., born in 1935: “I had two Jewish friends, two girls Henta and Zlata, who lived on the other side of the street. Every time when the Germans arrived their parents hid somewhere and the girls hid at our place. They lived for some time with us and we hid together in the barn when the Germans arrived. At night, they slept in the house. But my father said we couldn’t continue to hide them at our place, it was too dangerous for us. So they hid at another place but they were found and killed in the forest together with their mother; their father escaped by jumping into the river. My father was requisitioned to bury their bodies. We cried when he told us that our friends were killed. We asked him to show us their grave, we wanted to put flowers there but our mother said he shouldn’t tell us about it and she didn’t let us go to their grave.” (Witness n°919, interviewed in Rechki, on July 30, 2017)

Soviet archives

“In February, 1942 the Germans shot 17 Jews including 5 children. In all during the occupation the Germans shot 55 people.” [Deposition of witness of Jewish nationality given to the State Extraordinary Commission (ChGK); RG22.002M: 7021-83-8]

Historical note

Rechki is located 103 km south-east of Minsk. According to the local villager interviewed by Yahad’s team, many Jews lived in the village before the war, there were about 12-15 Jewish houses. There was an Orthodox church and a one-storied wooden Jewish school, where the Jews used to pray. The Jews owned shops; some of them were artisans.

Holocaust by bullets in figures

The Germans occupied Rechki in late June, 1941. There was no ghetto in the village and all the Jews continued to live in their houses until they were murdered. The local woman, interviewed by Yahad team, happened to witness three isolated killings carried out by the Germans in Rechki. She mentioned six victims: including one baby killed in his cradle, two Jewish girls, Henta and Zlata, killed with their mother in the forest and two Jewish women who were also killed in the forest. According to the historical resources 17 Jews in total were killed in Rechki in February 1942. 

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