2 Execution site(s)
Aseya K.: "The Germans arrived on motorcycles. There wasn’t any bombing here. They set up a local administration and a local police force. There were a lot POWs near the village. At the beginning of the occupation, the Jews continued to live as normal. After a while, they were all gathered in a location in the center." (Witness N°436, interviewed in April 2011)
"The mass shooting of the Jews began on October 16, 1941. In two days, 300 families were shot. The Jews were naked and had to walk to the edge of the grave. Policemen then shot them." [ Act of the Soviet Extraordinary State Commission, RG22.022M/7021-87/15]
Uzda is a small city located about 60 km southwest of Minsk. In 1939, Jews comprised 33 % (1,143 individuals) if the local population. The city was under German occupation from 1941 to 1944.
At the end of July 1941, an open ghetto was set up. The ghetto was established on two streets: Leninskaya and Proletarskaya. Jews were also brought into the Uzda ghetto from the nearby villages of Losha and Mogilno. On October 16, a first Aktion took place against the Jews on the edge of the forest in the direction of Zabolotye, 1.5 kilometers from the city, in pits that had been dug in advance.
On October 17, the Germans hunted down and killed Jews trying to hide in makeshift shelters. No fewer than 1,200 people were killed over the course of two days. 7 of the most skilled Jewish craftsmen and their families were spared from the mass shooting, as they were required to work for the Germans. They were placed in a smaller ghetto in the city and may have been joined by other Jewish survivors after the first Aktion. The second Aktion took place in May 1942, when Roma gypsies, the remaining Jewish skilled workers and their families (possibly also Soviet POWs) were killed at the Jewish cemetery. In all, 410 people were killed during this second Aktion.
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