Rechki | Minsk

/ The local landscape. ©Jethro Massey/Yahad - In Unum A Jewish house on Tsentralnaya Street. ©Jethro Massey/Yahad - In Unum The synagogue where the Jews used to pray was located here. ©Jethro Massey/Yahad - In Unum The Yahad team during an interview with a witness who witnessed several isolated executions. ©Jethro Massey/Yahad - In Unum The house where a Jewish baby was killed was located here. It doesn’t exist anymore, but the remains of its concrete foundation can still be seen. ©Jethro Massey/Yahad - In Unum Valentina L., born in 1935: “The Jews hid in the forest and cameto ask for food during the night." ©Jethro Massey/Yahad - In Unum The site where the father of one of the witnesses buried two Jewish girls. The site is located next to the road. ©Jethro Massey/Yahad - In Unum

Execution of Jews in Rechki

2 Execution site(s)

Kind of place before :
House (1); Field(2)
Memorials :
No
Period of occupation:
1941-1944
Number of victims :
17

Witness interview

Valentina L., born in 1935: “I had two Jewish friends, two girls Henta and Zlata, who lived on the other side of the street. Every time the Germans came their parents hid somewhere and the girls hid at our house. They lived with us for some time, and we would hide together in the barn when the Germans came. At night, they slept in the house. However, my father said we couldn’t continue to hide them at home, it was too dangerous for us. So they were hidden at another place but they were found and killed in the forest together with their mother. Their father escaped by jumping into the river. My father was requisitioned to bury their bodies. We cried when he told us that our friends had been killed. We asked him to show us their grave, we wanted to put flowers there but our mother told him not to tell us about it and wouldn’t let us go to their grave.” (Witness n°919, interviewed in Rechki, on July 30, 2017)

Soviet archives

“In February, 1942 the Germans shot 17 Jews including 5 children. In all during the occupation the Germans shot 55 people.” [Deposition of witness of Jewish nationality given to the State Extraordinary Commission (ChGK); RG22.002M: 7021-83-8]

Historical note

Rechki is located 103 km southeast of Minsk. According to a local villager interviewed by Yahad, many Jews lived in the village before the war and there were about 12-15 Jewish houses. There was an Orthodox church and a one-storied wooden Jewish school, where the Jews used to pray. The Jews owned shops and some of them were artisans.

Holocaust by bullets in figures

The Germans occupied Rechki in late June 1941. There was no ghetto in the village and all the Jews continued to live in their houses until they were murdered. One local woman, interviewed by a Yahad team, happened to witness three isolated killings carried out by the Germans in Rechki. She mentioned six victims: including one baby killed in his cradle, two Jewish girls, Henta and Zlata, killed with their mother in the forest and two Jewish women who were also killed in the forest. According to historical resources, 17 Jews in total were killed in Rechki in February 1942. 

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