1 Execution site(s)
Raysa N., born in 1922: “I lived in the center of the city. There was a ghetto there and my house was near it. The Jews were forced to wear yellow patches before the creation of the ghetto. I remember an old Jewish lady called Gilta, she took off this patch in order to go outside the ghetto and to come to our house. We gave her some food.” (Witness N°225, interviewed in Rudsk, on August 16, 2009)
"That day, the Germans killed about 2,000 civilians in two mass graves, each 20m long, 2m wide and 3m deep. With regards to the shoes, clothes and other belongings of the victims, the Germans first took them to Ivanovo, then on to Germany. In 1944, before the retreat, the Germans opened the graves in order to erase the traces of their crimes. They burned the bodies and buried the ashes.” [Act of the Soviet Extraordinary State Commission drawn up on November 6, 1944;RG-22.002M/7081-90-27]
“Regarding the Aktion in Ivanovo, three men were designated to shoot. I was one of them. We killed the Jews lying in the grave with a bullet in the neck. We used sub-machine guns and we were standing in the ditch. The Jews had to undress before the execution. We shot men, women and children.” [Deposition of Adolf P., a German shooter, made on June 2, 1964; B162-4965)
Rudsk was a small village near Ivanovo. During the war, the German authorities chose a site in a forest between Ivanovo and Rudsk to conduct the mass shooting of the Jews of Ivanovo. Ivanovo, called “Janow Poleski” before the war, was part of Poland until 1939. The first settlement of the Jews in Ivanovo dates back to the 17th century. The city went through a large development at the end of the 19h century thanks to industry, mostly at the behest of Jewish entrepreneurs. Before the Second World War, many Jews were artisans (tailors, furriers, carpenters, builders, tinsmiths, and locksmiths), storekeepers and merchants. The Jewish community flourished. There were circa. 3,000 Jews in Ivanovo in 1939 – about half of the total population.
Ivanovo was first occupied by the Soviet troops and they stayed until June 27, 1941. At the beginning of the German occupation, about 400 Jewish men were shot. A local police was created and the majority of the Schutzmänner were Ukrainians. In early April 1942, a ghetto was established, surrounded by a barbed-wire fence. The conditions were inhumane. The liquidation of the ghetto took place on September 22, 1942. The Jews were assembled at the marketplace, before being taken to the killing site between Ivanovo and Rudsk. Some Jews resisted with weapons and the ghetto was set on fire. About 120 Jews managed to escape and hide in the forests. In total, about 2,800 Jews were murdered in Ivanovo during the German occupation. Just before the retreat, the perpetrators opened the graves and burned the corpses to erase the traces of their crimes.
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