2 Execution site(s)
Nina I., born in 1927: “The policemen knew where the Jews lived. All the Jews were marked with yellow distinguishing badges, so it was easy to recognize them. Alongside the Germans, the policemen went from one house to another, removing the Jews and gathering them in a single big house. The Jews followed them without resisting. I couldn’t understand why they didn’t try to escape. They could have fled and nobody would have found them. That said, among the remaining Jews there were only women, children, elderly and handicapped people. So I guess it was difficult for them to hide somewhere. Once they all were confined in this house, it was fenced in with barbed wire. It was forbidden to approach the area and the Jews couldn’t leave either. However, my younger brother went there in secret to take them some food.” (Testimony N°692, interviewed in Grodzianka, on July 21, 2013)
Grodzianka is located about 130 km southwest of Mogilev. On the eve of the war, there were 150 Jews in the village, comprising only 12 percent of the total population. There was a wooden synagogue, but no Jewish cemetery. The majority of Jews worked in a local lumber yard, while others were artisans or shopkeepers. The Germans occupied the village on July 1, 1941.
Immediately after the Germans’ arrival, the Jews were registered and marked with yellow distinguishing badges. They had to forced to carry out hard labor. The first Aktion was conducted one month after the occupation, on August 5, 1941. 20 men, who were most probably all Jewish, were marched to the Christian cemetery where they were forced to dig pits before being shot inside them. In late summer or early autumn 1941, the ghetto was established in Grodzianka. All Jews from the village and surrounding villages were forced to move into the ghetto. The ghetto consisted of small house which was fenced in. Even though it was guarded by the police, a number of Jews managed to escape before it was liquidated on March 4, 1942. 86 Jews were taken to a pit that had been dug by requisitioned locals on the edge of the forest and shot by the Germans with the assistance of the Ukrainian police. There were women, men, children and elderly people among the victims.
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