2 Execution site(s)
Mikhail S., born in 1933, described the shooting:
“Q: How many men were?
A: I think there were 12 men, but we didn’t count them. One of the killed men was a blacksmith. He was about to come back home from Ozarichi. When the policemen saw him, they took him and shot him. He was Jewish.
Q: Did you recognize him in the crowd?
A: I knew him; he worked in a blacksmith shop. An old Petrenko was waving him to get away as a warning. But he didn’t see the signs and he was taken and shot. I remember he carried a rooster. When he was caught the rooster flew away and stayed for a week in the forest. ” (Testimony N°690, interviewed in Lapichi, on July 19, 2013).
Lapichi is located about 150 km southwest of Mogilev. The first record about the Jewish community goes back to the 19th century. In 1897, there were 74 Jews in the village, but in thirty years the Jewish population grew up to 709 and represented 85 percent of the total population. There was a primary Jewish school. There was a synagogue and a Jewish cemetery but they don’t exist anymore. The majority of Jews lived off of handcrafting. A small number of Jews were merchants. On the eve of the war about 300 Jews remained in the village, including several dozen refuges from Poland. The Germans occupied the village in July 1941.
Shortly after the German arrival, all Jews were registered and marked. They were subject to performing forced labor. The first Aktion was conducted in the forest against 107 Jews accused of being Soviet activists. The Aktion was conducted on August 18, 1941 by Einzatzkommando 8. In January 1942, all of the Jews living in Lapichi were confined to three houses, but were then released. At that moment, 10 to 12 Jewish men were shot in the forest. According to the local eyewitness, they were forced to dig the pits themselves and were shot by the policemen. The remaining 140 women and children were gathered in a house and shot in April 1942. According to some sources, 76 Jewish men from Lapichi were taken to Osipovichi where they were murdered.
For more information about the executions in Osipovichi please refer to the corresponding profile.
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