Krucha | Mogilev

/ Typical house in the region of Mogilev. ©Les Kasyanov/Yahad - In Unum Typical horse cart in Krucha. ©Les Kasyanov/Yahad - In Unum The abandoned Jewish cemetery in Krucha. ©Les Kasyanov/Yahad - In Unum Klavdia M., born in 1928, saw how the Jews were rounded up. It was close to her garden. There were men, women, and children. ©Les Kasyanov/Yahad - In Unum Nikolay D., born in 1930, didn’t see the shooting but could hear  the gunfire and children’s cries from his home. ©Les Kasyanov/Yahad - In Unum The Yahad team during an interview with a witness in Krucha. ©Les Kasyanov/Yahad - In Unum Vasiliy Y., born in 1925: “Before the war I went to school. The Jewish children went to the same school as us. They had shops in the center of the village. We could buy all sorts of products there.” ©Les Kasyanov/Yahad - In Unum The location where about 114 Jews from Krucha were shot. The monument was erected in 1968. ©Les Kasyanov/Yahad - In Unum

Executions of Jews in Krucha

1 Execution site(s)

Kind of place before :
At the edge of the forest
Memorials :
Yes
Period of occupation:
1941-1944
Number of victims :
About 114

Witness interview

Nikolay D., born in 1930: “All the Jews were gathered on one street, where they lived for a couple of months. They had yellow circles on their backs to mark them out as Jews. I am not sure that the children were marked as well, but I remember seeing these signs on the adults. After a while, the pits were dug. As far as I know, it was the Jews themselves who dug them. Once the pits were ready, the Jews were shot. I didn’t see the shooting myself, but I could hear the gunfire and children’s screams. (Testimony N°665, interviewed in Krucha, on July 11, 2013).

Historical note

Krucha is located about 64 km northwest of Mogilev. The first record of a Jewish community goes back to the early 19th century. In 1841, there were 123 Jewish inhabitants and by 1908 the numbers had increased to 805. The majority of Jews were artisans or worked in agriculture. Some were engaged in small trade; there were 13 shops owned by Jews. There was a synagogue, a cheder and a Jewish cemetery. According to the 1920 census, about 300 Jews lived in the village, comprising 50 percent of the total population. However, due to relocation in the 1930s, the Jewish population decreased. The village was occupied by German forces on July 8, 1941. Before the Germans’ arrival, a number of Jews managed to leave Krucha, leaving approximately 120 behind.

Holocaust by bullets in figures

Shortly after the German arrival, all the Jewish residents were marked. Three months later, in late September or early October 1941, an open ghetto was established, but it did not exist for long time. The liquidation of the ghetto was conducted on October 10, 1941, by Wehrmacht soldiers with the help of local police. That day, 114 Jews were shot. According to a local witness, the Jews were not taken directly from the ghetto. The day of the shooting, the Jews were rounded up on the edge of the village in a clay quarry. Beforehand, the Germans searched their houses and guarded them. There were women, men and children among the victims. One Jewish family after another was then taken towards the forest. In a clearing, two pits had been dug in advance by requisitioned locals. The Jews were forced to undress and shot in these pits.

Nearby villages

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