Staroselye | Mogilev

/ Anatoli B., born in 1934: “My sister had brown hair and they thought she was Jewish. But the head of the village said that she wasn’t and she was released”. ©Les Kasyanov/Yahad - In Unum The Yahad team during an interview with a witness in Staroselye. ©Les Kasyanov/Yahad - In Unum The memorial at the ancient Jewish cemetery. ©Les Kasyanov/Yahad - In Unum Anatoli B., born in 1934, was also present during the selection. He saw the Jews being selected by the mayor and put aside. ©Les Kasyanov/Yahad - In Unum The place where the whole local population was gathered and the selection was conducted. ©Les Kasyanov/Yahad - In Unum The execution site in the Brinkov forest. About 200 Jews were shot here in 1941. ©Les Kasyanov/Yahad - In Unum The execution site near the village of Gvaltovnik where about 60 Jews from Staroselye were murdered. ©Les Kasyanov/Yahad - In Unum

Execution of Jews in Staroselye and Gvaltovnik

2 Execution site(s)

Kind of place before:
Brinkov Forest
Period of occupation:
Number of victims:
About 260

Witness interview

Anatoliy B., born in 1934: "The Germans gathered all the villagers close to the river. Beforehand, the village had been surrounded by Germans so no-one could escape. A group of Germans went inside every house to check if everyone had gone to the gathering point. The head of the village was present during the selection. He told the Germans who was Jewish. There were also local policemen. All the Jews who were selected were put aside, and then taken toward the forest close to the village of Gvaltovnik." (Testimony n°656, interviewed on June 23, 2013 in Staroselye)

Historical note

Staroselye is located about 120 km northwest of Mogilev. The first record of the Jewish community goes back to the middle of 17th century. In 1868, 867 Jews lived in Staroselye making up 84% of the total population. The majority of them were merchants or artisans. Some were engaged in agriculture. In 1923, only 42% of the population was Jewish, due to the immigration of Jews to bigger towns. According to one estimation, about 300 Jews lived in the village on the eve of the war.

Holocaust by bullets in figures

Staroselye was occupied by German forces in early August 1941. In late August or early September, all the Jews were gathered and locked up in a school building. The next day they were taken to the Brinkov forest on foot, about 2 km away, where they were shot dead in two pits. According to one witness, there was a second shooting, during which the remaining Jews were shot near the village of Gvaltovnik. Before the shooting, the entire local population, Jews and non-Jews, were gathered in the village center. The Jews were selected by the mayor and taken in the direction of the forest. According to a Soviet memorial, 60 people were shot at this site. Some Staroselye Jews, who had managed to hide, were found and shot in the winter of 1942 in the forest along with the Jews from Schetinka. There is a memorial at this site as well.

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