Gorodok (Garadok, Harodok) | Vitebsk

/ Olga K. recounted how she tried to save a young Jewish girl by giving her a Belarusian birth certificate. ©Nicolas Tkatchouk/Yahad - In Unum According to Anatoli G., the local police were very active in the repression of the Jews. ©Nicolas Tkatchouk/Yahad - In Unum Valentina I. remembered seeing a cart transporting elderly Jews to the mass shooting. ©Nicolas Tkatchouk/Yahad - In Unum Valentina G.’s family saved a young Jewish girl. ©Nicolas Tkatchouk/Yahad - In Unum The former Jewish cemetery in Gorodok. ©Nicolas Tkatchouk/Yahad - In Unum The site of the mass shooting site of Jews from Gorodok in the Vorobevy Hills. ©Nicolas Tkatchouk/Yahad - In Unum

Execution of Jews in Gorodok

2 Execution site(s)

Kind of place before:
Period of occupation:
Number of victims:
About 2000

Witness interview

Olga K.: "The Jewish men who were taken to work slowly disappeared. In reality, they were shot. It is only later that people in the village realized that the Jewish men had been shot." (Witness N°491 interviewed in June 2011)

Soviet archives

"We discovered bodies, arranged in two rows long and one row deep. Most of the bodies lay face down on the ground. The bodies were dressed in civilian clothing." [Act of the Soviet Extraordinary State Commission, RG 22.022/7021-84/5]

German archives

"During the time it was based in Vitebsk, EK9 had troops in Polotsk, Lepel, Nevel, Surazh and Gorodok. (…) In 1941, 52 Jews who had fled from Gorodok were subjected to ‘special treatment’ by EK9." [Prosecutor’s report on the Vitebsk region, B162-2400]

Historical note

Gorodok is a city located 38 kilometers northwest of Vitebsk. In 1939, 1,584 Jews lived in the town, making up 21.7% of the population. The city was under German occupation from 1941 to 1944.

Holocaust by bullets in figures

At the beginning of the war, the town was heavily bombed by the Luftwaffe, which led to many residents leaving the city. Eyewitnesses interviewed by Yahad recalled that German soldiers broke Jewish residents’ windows, shouting “Juden raus” as soon as they arrived in the city.

A Teilkommando of Sonderkommando 7a was based in Gorodok. In the first half of August 1941, between 120 to 200 Jews were shot by the kommando near the village of Berezovka (1.5 kilometers south of the town). Shortly after this shooting, the Germans established a ghetto. The ghetto was situated in a neighborhood in the center of town. It was fenced on three sides with barbed wire, and the river formed its boundary on the fourth side. Men were sometimes required to perform forced labor.

On October 14, 1941, the Gorodok ghetto was liquidated. Nearly 400 Jews were shot in the forest in the Vorobevy Hills. They were killed in pits that had been dug in advance. Moreover, according to witnesses interviewed by Yahad - In Unum, between August and October 1941, there were several small-scale shootings of Jews.

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