Staroselye | Mogilev

/ Anatoli B., born in 1934: “My sister had brown hair and they thought she was Jewish. But the chief of the village said that she wasn’t and she was released”. © Aleksey Kasyanov/ Yahad – In Unum Yahad’s team during an interview with a witness in Staroselye. © Aleksey Kasyanov/Yahad – In Unum The memorial at the ancient Jewish cemetery. © Aleksey Kasyanov – Yahad – In Unum Anatoli B., born in 1934, was also present during the selection. He saw the Jews being selected by a mayor and put aside. © Aleksey Kasyanov/ Yahad – In Unum The place where all the population was gathered and the selection was conducted. © Aleksey Kasyanov/Yahad – In Unum The execution site in the Brinkov forest. About 200 Jews were shot at this place in 1941. © Aleksey Kasyanov/Yahad – In Unum The execution site near the village of Gvaltovnik where about 60 Jews from Staroselye were murdered. © Aleksey Kasyanov/Yahad – In Unum

Execution of Jews in Staroselye

2 Execution site(s)

Kind of place before :
Forest
Memorials :
Yes
Period of occupation:
1941-1944
Number of victims :
Over 200

Witness interview

Anatoliy B., born in 1934, remembered: « The Germans gathered all the villagers close to the river. Beforehand the village had been surrounded by Germans so none could escape. A group of Germans went inside every house to check if everyone had gone to the gathering point. The head of the village was present during the selection. He told who was Jewish. There were also local policemen. All the Jews who were selected were put aside, and then taken toward the forest close to the village Gvaltovnik». (Testimony n°656, interviewed on June 23, 2013 in Staroselye)

Historical note

Staroselye is located about 120 km northwest of Mogilev. The first record about Jewish community goes back to the middle of 17th century. In 1868, 867 Jews lived in Staroselye making up 84% of the total population. The majority of them were merchants or artisans. Some were engaged in agriculture. In 1923, only 42% of the population was Jews due to immigration of Jews to bigger towns. According to the estimation over 200 Jews lived in the village on the eve of the war.

Holocaust by bullets in figures

Staroselye was occupied by Germans in early August 1941. In late August or early September 1941, all the Jews were gathered and locked up in a school building. The next day they were brought on foot to the Brinkov forest, located 2km away, where they were shot dead into two pits. According to the witness, there was a second shooting during which the remaining Jews were shot near the village of Gvaltovnik along with the Jews from Gvaltovnik and Khatkovo. Before the shooting all the population, Jews and non-Jews, were gathered at the dame near the river. Then, the Jews were selected by the major and taken in the direction of the forest. According to a Soviet memorial, 60 people, the majority of whom were Jewish, were shot at this site in 1941. Today, there is a memorial there.  Some Staroselye Jews who managed to hide until then were found and shot in winter 1942 in the forest along with the Jews from Schetinka. There is a memorial at this site as well. Unfortunately, during the resarch trip Yahad wasn’t able to identify the third execution site by themselves.

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