2 Execution site(s)
Grigori S.: "In 1941, the Germans were approaching Surazh. All the members of my family hid in a trench that we had dug in the back of the garden. The Germans thought that everyone in the neighborhood was a Russian soldier, so they shot all the villagers, along with the Jews. They shot my mother, as she was close to this trench… I only left my hiding place after a week." (Witness N°513 interviewed in June 2011)
"On August 12, 1941, in the square beside the print shop in the village of Surazh, around 2 or 3 pm, the representatives of the German authority assembled the whole population of the village. The Jewish population of over 600 people, including women, children, and the elderly people, were separated and their names put on a list." [Act of the Soviet Extraodinary Commission, RG-22.002M/7021-84/13]
"During the time that it was based in Vitebsk, EK9 had troops in Polotsk, Lepel, Nevel, Surazh and Gorodok." [Prosecutor’s report on Vitebsk’s region, B162-2400]
Surazh is a small village 30 km east of Vitebsk on the Dvina river. In 1939, there were 461 Jews living there (15.4 % of the total population). In 1917, there were 6 synagogues. All of them were wooden, except one made out of stone. The village was under German occupation from 1941 to 1943.
Einsatzkommando 9 carried out the murder of the Jews of Surazh in the framework of an anti-partisan operation. On August 12, 1941, between 600 and 750 Jews were gathered by the Germans on the location of the former printing office in Surazh. They were then taken and shot behind the linen factory, 2 km away from the village, in the ravine known as Lubchyno. The bodies of the victims were exhumed and reburied after the war in the Jewish cemetery.
According to eyewitness Guenadi V., interviewed during a Yahad - In Unum research trip, individual shootings of Jews and mass shootings of partisans also took place on the outskirts of the village in a swampy ravine, mostly comprising shell holes. Thanks to the help of the witness, it was possible to find the exact location.
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