3 Execution site(s)
Mikhail S., born in 1926, recalls : "The Rabbi made a speech and the Jews went to the pit which was dug by them. I saw the mass shooting from far. The Jews were lined up by groups of four people at the edge of the pit and were shot. The pit was about 5 meters long. There were entire families who were executed. The gunmen were on the other side of the pit, in front of their victims." (Witness N°302, interviewed in Mir, on April 29, 2009)
"In November 1941, a mass execution of Jews was carried out by Germans and police during which about 1,000 people were savagely killed. Their belongings were plundered by [illegible], Germans and policemen. Those Jews who had managed to survive continued to live in the ghetto." [Deposition of Rabbi Zalmon M., born in 1905, native from Baranovichi, RG-22.002M.7021-81/106]
"The main Aktion against the Jews took place in Mir on the November 9, 1941 and was carried out by the Ortskommandantur from Stolbtsy. This unit, in collaboration with the auxiliary Belarus police, shot about 1,500 – 1,800 Jews. The Belarus policemen took the Jews violently from their homes and shot some on the spot, in the street. Everybody who was found was shot, including babies and the elderly. Only 800 Jews managed to save themselves." [B162-6949]
Mir, founded sometime prior to 1345, is located 88 kilometers (55 miles) southwest of Minsk. Before the World War II 2,300 Jews lived in Mir, about half of the town’s population. Mir was occupied by the German army on June 27,1941.
The anti-Jewish Aktions in Mir were carried out by 8th Company, Infantry Regiment 727, German security forces, members of the Gendarmerie and local police. The first Aktion carried out against the “intelligentsia” took place on July 20, 1941 in which 19 Jews and 3 non-Jews were rounded-up and killed. In October and November 1941, 2,000 Jews from Mir and Turets were executed. Some Jews were sent to a labor camp in Novyi Sverzhen. The ghetto which included Zavalna, Tartarskaya, and Visoker Streets was created within the first days of November, 1941. Shortly after, a resistant group, led by Oswald Rufeisen, was set up. 560 Jews were shot during the last Aktion which took place on August 13, 1942. Only about 50 Jews, native from Mir, managed to survive the war.
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