2 Execution site(s)
Anatoliy C., born in 1928, remembers seeing the column: “It was in the fall. Around noon, the Germans, accompanied by policemen, came to remove the Jews from their houses. They told them to prepare themselves, to take some belongings and valuables with them as they were going to be relocated in the ghetto. The Germans screamed “Jude” and if someone refused to go and took time to get ready, they were beaten. But the Germans didn’t do the dirty work. They made the policemen do it in their place. Once all the Jews were forced out of their houses, they were placed in the column and marched in the direction of the forest. The column was escorted from all sides by Germans in green uniforms and local police in black.” (Witness n°1968, interviewed in Dobryanka, on November 21, 2015)
Dobryanka is located 75km north of Chernihiv. The first Jewish settlements in Dobryanka dated back to the second half of the 19th century. As in many of the shtetels in this region, the Jewish community were victims of several pogroms (in 1905 and 1918) during which the Jewish stores and buildings were destroyed and Jews were beaten, sometimes to death. Due to the migration of the Jews to large cities, the Jewish population decreased dramatically in the 1920-30s and on the eve of the war, there were only 267 Jews living there, comprising 5% of the total population. The village was occupied by Germans on August 25, 1941. The majority of Jews had managed to evacuate to the East by that time.
Upon the Germans’ arrival, all the Jews continued to live in their houses till October 1941. On October 23, 1941, the first execution was conducted against 20 Jews in the yard of the local administration, which used to be a police station during the occupation. This execution was confirmed by an eyewitness interviewed by Yahad. Three weeks later, on November 13, 1941, 125 Jews were killed in the forest, near the Gornostaevka railway station.
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