1 Execution site(s)
Daria L., born in 1929, remembers : «After the shooting of the Jews, during the night, a Jewish woman whose name was Leika, came to knock on the window of our house. She was young. She said that she had escaped from the pit that was not very well covered. She had an injury on her left arm. She asked if we could make a bandage for her. My father did it but he thought that it was too dangerous for her to stay with us, and that our family could be shot because of it. Then, Leika asked us just to bring her to the railroad to be able to follow the tracks to her house. As my father didn’t want to do it, I took her by myself.» (Witness N°822, interviewed in Parichi, on June 23, 2014).
« In November, 1943, all the Jewish bodies were burned by the Germans. The fire lasted three days. All the calcined bones were scattered under the supervision of the Germans in the fields of our kolkhoz. Bones were transported in carts by local requisitionned people. » [Testimony of Erofevich G. born in 1908, for The Soviet Extraordinary State Commission, RG- 22.002M. 7021-82]
Parichi is a small town located 115 km northwest of Gomel. In 1939, half of the population was Jewish. There were 1881 Jews living in the town. There was a synagogue and a Jewish cemetery. Before the war, Parichi was a district center. Parichi was occupied by German forces on July 21, 1941.
Until September 1941, the Jews lived in their own houses freely and were subjected to forced labor, like cleaning the streets or digging sand from the Berezina River. Then, at the end of September 1941, all the Jews were resettled in a ghetto on Bobruiskaya Street, fenced in with barbed wire and guarded by local policemen. According to different estimates, there were between 1000 and 1500 Jewish inmates in the ghetto.
The Aktions started in the fall of 1941. On October 18, 1941, the ghetto was liquidated by an SD mobile unit, which arrived from Bobruisk, with the help of local police. Initially, all the Jews were locked up at the Ortskommandantur, located in the building of the former hotel. Once gathered, they were transported in covered trucks to the execution site, 2 km away from Parichi, in a field between the villages of Vysokiy Polk and Belitsa. According to eyewitness n°822 interviewed by Yahad, the Jews were shot in 4 different mass graves that they had dug themselves. There were approximately 1000 victims. At the end of the war, in March 1944, the Germans decided to mask all the traces of their crimes during the so-called Operation 1005, in which the bodies were exhumed and burned.
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