3 Execution site(s)
Mikhail R., born in 1929, has good souvenirs about the life before the war: “I had several Jewish friends at school. There was no difference between us. We lived like one family and we never made difference beetwen the Jews and the non Jews. But, once the war broke ut and the Germans arrived all the Jews were shot. Today there are no more Jews living here.” (Witness N°742 interviewed in Starobin, on May 14, 2014)
Starobin is a small village situated 130 km south of Minsk, near the city of Soligorsk. In 1939, there were 1200 Jews living in Starobin, making up 35% of the total population. There was a synagogue and a Jewish cemetery. There were many craftsmen, tailors, shoemakers, carpenters, blacksmiths among the Jews. The middle class was engaged in small business and trade. The village was occupied by German forces at late June 1941.
The first aktion took place in July 1941, carried out by a Wehrmacht detachment, as a reprisal, after the killing of 3 German officers. 370 Jewish men were driven in trucks to a forest west of the village where they were shot.
On August 5, 1941, a new aktion was carried out by an SS detachment and 200 Jews were killed behind the Russian cemetery and behind the slaughterhouse. Then, during the whole month of August, different shootings of Jews were carried out by an SS detachment as a “pacification” aktion, as the mayor of the village and several local policemen were shot.
The remaining Jews, around 200, were mainly specialist workers and their families. They were gathered in a ghetto on Bolshaya Korpilovskaya street, where they were forced to work for the Germans. They were gradually liquidated till the beginning of 1944. During the war, a number of Jews also managed to escape to the forests and joined the partisans.
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