Krichev (Krychaw) | Mogilev

/ The town of Krichev is situated on the banks of the River Sozh. ©Les Kasyanov/Yahad - In Unum The Orthodox church. ©Les Kasyanov/Yahad - In Unum The buidling of the former Kommandantur. ©Les Kasyanov/Yahad - In Unum The building where an SD unit was based in Krichev during the Second World War. ©Les Kasyanov/Yahad - In Unum The location of the former POW camp. ©Les Kasyanov/Yahad - In Unum The location of  a special punitive unit in Krichev. The building remains. ©Les Kasyanov/Yahad - In Unum Ivan P., born in 1921, saw the shooting of the Jews of Krichev. There were between 50 and 150 people. The victims had to stand on the edge of the grave before being shot. ©Les Kasyanov/Yahad - In Unum Vera B., born in 1926, witnessed the shooting of Jews in the column while it was passing down her street. ©Les Kasyanov/Yahad - In Unum The Yahad team during an interview with a witness. ©Les Kasyanov/Yahad - In Unum The location of one of the killing sites, a former sand quarry. ©Les Kasyanov/Yahad - In Unum The killling site of circa. 15 Jewish women situated not far from the River Sozh. ©Les Kasyanov/Yahad - In Unum The execution site of the Jews from column situated in the middle of the street. ©Les Kasyanov/Yahad - In Unum

Execution of Jews in Krichev

3 Execution site(s)

Kind of place before :
- Sand quarry - Near the river - In the street
Memorials :
Yes
Period of occupation:
1941-1944

Witness interview

Ivan C.: “The victims were led along the edge of the ditch and killed. I saw all of this from behind the policemen. Shovels were handed out to people to fill the grave in. The Germans wore green uniforms. I think that there were more policemen than Germans. No one undressed before the shooting, which only lasted a few minutes. The people who had to cover the grave threw soil into it once it was over. The victims’ bodies were not arranged in the grave. Some people with shovels were trembling, they had difficulties dealing with what they’d seen. I had to fill the grave in too.” (Witness N°640, interviewed in Krichev, on June 16, 2013).

Soviet archives

“After the inspection of the site, the commission discovered almost 50 graves, 3x2-meters, in the forest. After uncovering them, it was found that the graves were full of bodies with bullet wounds, 5 to 25 people in each grave, around 1000 people in total, including around 30 women and 15 children. The people were taken to be killed in covered trucks under the supervision of German gendarmes. They had to get undressed, were put in front of the grave and were killed with a bullet to the neck.” [RG22.022M/7021-88/41].

Historical note

Krichev is situated about 95km  east/southeast of Mogilev. According to the 1939 census, there were 1,362 Jews living in Krichev. There was also a synagogue and a Jewish kolkhoze.

Holocaust by bullets in figures

German forces occupied the town on July 17, 1941. During the occupation, which lasted until September 30, 1943, a German commandant’s office controlled the town. In August or September 1941, the Germans established an open ghetto in Krichev, moving all the Jews (about 80 families in total) into several houses next to the church. German security forces liquidated the Krichev ghetto in November 1941. According to the records of the Soviet Extraordinary State Commission, 130 Jews were shot near a flax-processing mill, and 60-80 Jews were killed on the grounds of a cement factory on a chalk quarry. According to some sources, more than 300 Jews were murdered in Krichev. 

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