1 Execution site(s)
Adam M.:: “I saw the Jews being led away to the forest from my classroom window. They were tied up with a rope. 4 Germans with plates on their chests came into the classroom and we had to get up to greet them. They were there to search for Jews. They looked at the children and then spoke with the teacher and asked why she didn’t teach German. One of them spoke Russian. The teacher was Belarusian, she was 30 years old, and remained calm. After the Germans left, the teacher didn’t say anything and resumed the lesson.” (Witness N°649, interviewed in Chepelyovka, on June 20, 2013).
Naprasnovka is located about 45km northeast of Mogilev. There was a Jewish colony located there in the 19th century. In 1930, there were about 250 Jews in the village. There was also a Yiddish school. German troops arrived in June 1941.
According to Belarusian historian Marat Botvinnik, a form of a ghetto or a camp was probably created for the Jews in Naprasnovka before the mass shooting in March 1942. Thanks to information obtained during Yahad’s investigation and the interview with witness Adam M. (Witness N°649), is has been estabished that the Jews were taken to the forest. The Germans came to the school to see if there were Jewish children. The Germans escorted the Jewish column with machine-guns and dogs. The Jews remained quiet in the column and did not have any of their belongings with them. Because it the ground was frozen solid, the grave was dug after setting off dynamite in the soil. The execution most likely took place on March 22, 1942. The Jews were initially gathered in two houses, before being herded into a column in the afternoon and led towards the forest, 1km away in Shepelivka, as outlined by Yahad’s witness. The Soviet Extraordinary State Commission archives mention that 250 Jews were shot to death on that day and were buried in eight pits.
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