2 Execution site(s)
Papel P. speaks: "The Germans came from Vysotsk, an administrative center, and ordered the pit to be dug. They requisitioned about twenty people, even more. We were told to bring shovels. A German measured the size with his steps and put down rods to define the size. The pit was 3 meters deep. We worked this way, some threw the ground at the edge of the pit and others put it aside. We were not told but we suspected that the pit was being prepared for the Jews. Because there were a lot of us, we dug it in one day." (Eyewitness N°545, met in Sernyky, on January 02, 2008)
Sernyky is a village situated on the banks of the Pripyat River, close to the border with Belarus, about 30 km (19 miles) south of Pinsk. Before the war there were 987 living Jews. The village was occupied by German forces in the early August, 1941.
Immediately after the German occupation, 100 Jewish men were arrested and confined at the synagogue. After three days detainment and humiliations they were taken to the Jewish cemetery to be shot. There are no exact dates of creation and liquidation of the ghetto. From historical sources and local witnesses we believe that ghetto was set up by April 1942. The Jews from the nearing villages were forced to move in it along with the local Jews. The Jews fit to work were subjected to forced labor. The ghetto was liquidated in September by German SS unit, Gendarmerie accompanied by local police. During the liquidation 850 Jews were murdered in the forest, located 3-4km away from the village. The pits were dug in advance by the requisitioned local people. A third part of Jews, mostly men, managed to escape from the ghetto on the eve of its liquidation. After the liquidation several isolated shootings of hidden or escaped Jews took place.
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