Lyugovshchina | Grodno 

Ashmyany on a German postcard dating back to WWI. ©Taken from bouriac.livejournal.com Ashmyany at the turn of the century. Polish postcard. ©Taken from bouriac.livejournal.com / Marian Z. indicates the approximate size of the pit. ©Victoria Bahr/Yahad - In Unum Antonina A. described how some Jewish women came to her house to hide. ©Victoria Bahr/Yahad - In Unum Mass shooting site of Jews in Lyugovshchina. ©Victoria Bahr/Yahad - In Unum Old Jewish cemetery in Ochmyany. ©Victoria Bahr/Yahad - In Unum

Execution of the Ashmyany Jews in Lyugovshchina

2 Execution site(s)

Kind of place before :
Forest
Memorials :
Yes
Period of occupation:
1941-1944

Witness interview

Marian Z., born in 1932: "The day after the shooting of the Jewish men, the Jewish women took food to the location where they were being held for forced labor. When they realised that all the men had been killed, there was a lot of crying." (Eyewitness N°714, interviewed on April 20, 2014)

Historical note

Lyugovshchina is a small village close to the town of Ashmyany, situated 130 km northwest of Minsk. Before the war, there were no Jews living in Lyugovshchina, but there were about 3000 Jews living in Ashmyany. The majority of the Jews were craftsmen or owned little shops, while some were farmers. The biggest industries, including the mineral water bottling plant, beer factory, distilling factories, tobacco factory, etc., belonged to the Jews. German forces occupied the village at the end of June 1941.

Holocaust by bullets in figures

As the town of Ashmyany was seized quickly in June 1941 by German forces, most of the Jews were not able to evacuate. On July 26, 1941, 527 Jewish men were shot in a forest, close to the village of Lyugovshchina by a detachment of Einsatzkommando 9. According to Marian Z. (Witness n°714), interviewed by Yahad – In Unum, the men were locked up in one of the city’s buildings before being shot.

In October 1941, all of the city’s Jews, including those from surrounding villages, were gathered in a ghetto, fenced in and guarded. “Contributions” in the form of money and goods were regularly collected.  In mid-1942, nearly 1800 Jews were registered in the ghetto and 4000 at the end of the year. Many of them were forced to work. On October 21, 1942, the Jews were shot in a pit close to the village of Tolminovo, along with Jews from Krevo and Smorgon. On October 23, 1942, more than 400 elderly Jews were shot in a pit close to the village of Lyugovshchina. The ghetto was liquidated in March and April of 1943, when the Jews were sent to labor camps in Lithuania or to the Vilnius ghetto.

For more information about executions of the Ashmyany Jews in Tolminovo, please consult the Tolminovo profile.

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