Naprasnovka | Mogilev

/ Forest of Naprasnovka  © Aleksey Kasyanov - Yahad-In Unum Modern-day cart is used for farm work  © Aleksey Kasyanov - Yahad-In Unum Location of the old shtetl  © Aleksey Kasyanov - Yahad-In Unum Other view of the shtetl  © Aleksey Kasyanov - Yahad-In Unum Location of the grave N°242  © Aleksey Kasyanov - Yahad-In Unum Adam M. from the nearby village of Shepeliovka saw the Jewish column of the Jews of Naprasnuvka © Aleksey Kasyanov - Yahad - In Unum

Execution of Jews in Naprasnovka

1 Execution site(s)

Kind of place before :
Near the road
Memorials :
Period of occupation:
Number of victims :

Witness interview

Adam M. recalls: “I saw, from the classroom, the Jews who were taken to the forest. They were tied up with a rope. 4 Germans with plates on their chests came in the classroom. We had to get up to greet the Germans. They came to search for the 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 was calm during the scene. After the Germans left, the teacher didn’t say anything and resumed the lesson”. (Witness N°649, interviewed in Chepelyovka, on June 20, 2013).

Historical note

Naprasnovka is located about 45 kilometers 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. The German troops arrived in June 1941.

Holocaust by bullets in figures

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.  As learned through Yahad’s investigation and witness Adam M. (Witness N°649), 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.  In the column, the Jews were quiet and did not have any of their belongings. Because it was frozen, 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 and were forced in to a column in the afternoon towards the forest, 1 km away in Shepelivka, as described 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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