1 Execution site(s)
Pyotr B., born in 1927, recalls: “The Jews were brought from Shklov to Putniki on foot or by truck. They were probably gathered at night. They were brought to the old cemetery, where there was a trench that had been dug around the cemetery to prevent the cattle from wandering off. During a visit to a friend, I saw the shooting of around 20 people. It was the year when the Germans arrived there, and it was hot. One Jew who tried to escape was killed with a bayonet. I heard a lot of screaming. The children were shot first, then the women and the men. I was looking through a little hole in the fence 200 meters away but I didn’t see a lot. I heard some isolated shots. The Jews were killed dressed, one by one, at the edge of the grave”. (Eyewitness N°654, met in Shklov, on June 22, 2013).
“In the district of Shklov, the German Fascist monsters shot, hanged, burnt or deported to forced labor camps in Germany, 4696 people. 354 women were shot and 163 children. One woman was hanged. 112 people were burnt. 45 prisoners of war were tortured to death or assassinated. In the prison of Shklov, a hundred people were seized and thrown naked into the cellars of the buildings.” [Report of the local commission, drawn up in 1944; RG 22.022M/7021-88/45].
Shklov is located about 40 kilometers north of Mogilev. Shklov was an important Jewish religious center. There was a yeshiva there in the 18th century. Shklov became the center of the Haskalah movement. At the end of the 19th century, there were 5,542 Jews in the town. The Jews largely lived off of trading. A dozen families worked in the Jewish kolkhoz called « Iskra ». In 1939, only 2,132 Jews remained in Shklov. The Germans occupied the town on July 12, 1941.
The first execution of Jews took place a few days after the start of the occupation. The Germans shot 25 Jewish men in Lenin Park. At the end of July 1941, two ghettos were established in the neighboring village of Ryzhkovichi. In August 1941, Sonderkommando 7b arrived in the town and gathered 84 Jews under the pretext of sending them to forced labor. In fact, they were taken to the village of Semyonovka and were shot in the kolkhoz. In September 1941, more Jews were taken to a ravine in Khoduly, between the villages of Putniki and Zarechye. They had to undress and lie in the ditch before being shot. According to Soviet sources, 3.200 Jews were killed in Shklov and surrounding area.
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