1 Execution site(s)
Lidia O., born in 1923, remembers : « There were many Jews in the village. I liked to participate in the Jewish parties and I spoke even some words in the Jewish language. I remember pancakes that I received for the Jewish Easter and which were very good. When I went to the Jewish houses, they spoke to me in their language because they knew that I could understand. When the war began, many Jews ran away before the arrival of the Germans. They left generally by foot or by truck. Several of my neighbors left that way. » (Witness N°848, interviewed in Skrygalov, on September 22, 2014).
« On January 15, 1942, a punitive detachment arrived at Skrygalov accompanied by the local police. They gathered all the Jewish families in a building. Then from there, they brought 45 people towards the Polish cemetery located 500 meters outside of the village.» [Act of The Soviet Extraordinary State Commission, RG-22.002M.7021-91-19]
Skrygalov is a village situated 150 km south west of Gomel. Before the war, there was a significant Jewish population living mostly in the center, notably storekeepers by profession. There was a wooden synagogue which was burnt during the German occupation. The city was occupied by German troops during summer 1941.
The events regarding the fate of the Jews in Skrygalov during the war are essentially known thanks to the testimonies of witnesses recorded by Yahad.
Around thirty local policemen came to Skrygalov, which was a large amount in regards to the size of the village. The Jews did not wear distinguishing signs on them. In winter, 1941, The policemen came to chase away the Jews from their houses. Then they gathered them in a big Jewish house on a street in the center of the village. The Jews stayed under the supervision of the policemen there during approximately 2 days. On December 4, 1941, the Jews were shot in a field directly on the ground because it was frozen. Later, at the end of the winter, the bodies were buried in a mass grave in the same place. According to the testimonies, the Germans were not present during the shooting. A Jewish woman and her children were kept and shot later in the spring, 1942, then their bodies were buried in the Jewish cemetery.
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