1 Execution site(s)
Iakov P. : "One day, all the Jews were gathered at the market square, where they had to kneel down on the ground. After this, they left towards Grodno, it was very hot. The soltys had to call all the villagers and we were forced to watch the scene." (Witness N°356 interviewed in November, 2010)
Skidel is a small city 30 kilometers East of Grodno. Before World War II, Jews comprised just over 80 % of Skidel’s total population, their number being around 2800. So most of the shops and businesses in the town were Jewish. The city was under German occupation from 1941 to 1944.
In late 1941, all the Jews of Skidel were forced to move into an open ghetto, made of a few houses, and located near the Jewish cemetery, situated today at the former Soviet military air base. But, according to the witnesses interviewed by Yahad-In Unum, the ghetto was later enclosed by a fence. As the ghetto was less guarded at night, it was sometimes possible to give food to the Jews. Jews were also forced to do various jobs like cleaning the streets. Small shootings of Jews in the forest close to the city were frequent. According to a witness interviewed by Yahad, at the end of the war his uncle was forced to exhume corpses from a pit in the forest in order to burn them. The Skidel ghetto was liquidated on November 2, 1942, when the Jews were taken to the Kolbassino transit camp, South of Grodno. At this time, they were 22000 to 28000 people in the camp. From there, they were sent to Auschwitz extermination camp.
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