1 Execution site(s)
Lidia O., born in 1923: "There were many Jews in the village. I liked to participate in the Jewish parties and even could even speak a few words in the Jewish language. I remember receiving pancakes for the Jewish Easter which were really good. When I went to visit Jewish neighbors, 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 generally left on 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. From there, they led 45 people towards the Polish cemetery located 500m 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 of the village. Most of them were storekeepers by profession. There was a wooden synagogue which was burned down during the German occupation. The city was occupied by German troops during the summer of 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 number compared to the size of the village. The Jews did not wear distinguishing signs on them. In winter 1941, The policemen came to remove the Jews from their homes, before assembling them in a large Jewish house on a street in the center of the village. The Jews stayed there under the supervision of the policemen for approximately 2 days. On December 4, 1941, the Jews were shot in a field directly on the ground, as a pit could not be dug as the ground was frozen. Later, at the end of winter, the bodies were buried in a mass grave at the same location. According to witness testimonies, the Germans were not present during the shooting. A Jewish woman and her children were kept and shot later in the spring of 1942. Their bodies were buried in the Jewish cemetery.
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