2 Execution site(s)
Leonid T., born in 1935 : "At around midday, the local policemen came into the village, chased the Jews out of their houses and gathered them on the main street. The policemen were wearing civilian clothes and had rifles. They walked down the streets and screamed at the Jews to get out of their houses. The Jews took small bags with them and were finally gathered at the main square. My friends and I followed the column which set off towards the ravine behind the village, but the policemen chased us away. We only heard the shooting." (Witness N°870, interviewed in Yurovichi, on September 28, 2014)
Yurovichi is a village situated 20 km south east of Mozyr. Before the war, about 46% of the total population was Jewish. A Jewish elementary school was opened in 1922. Around 2/3 of the Jews were artisans. During the 1930s, two Jewish kolkhozes housed around 50 Jewish families. Many refugees went to settle in the village before the German invasion at the end of August 1941.
Up to October 1941, the Jews were allowed to live in their own homes, but sometimes had to perform forced labor. An ope ghetto was established in mid-October 1941 (possibly September 1941 depending on the source), at the end of Podgornaya Street. There was a large garrison of policemen stationed in the village.
A first Aktion took place on November 19, 1941, and was carried out by a German punitive detachment from Kalinkovichi, aided by the local police. That day, around 250 Jews were shot along the Pripiat river, and the corpses of the dead people were left lying next to the river for several days before being buried on the spot. Some Jews tried to escape by jumping into the river, but they were also shot. With the help of local policemen, a punitive detachment carried out a second Aktion a few days later, on November 27, 1941. Circa. 200 Jewish men, women and children were rounded up from their homes and driven to a ravine on the outskirts of the village. The people were lined up on the edge of a large ditch and shot.
Over the next few days, the police searched for Jews in hiding, and shot them in the ravine in turn during a third Aktion organized at the beginning of December 1941, according to the historian, Botvinnik.
According to local witnesses interviewed by Yahad, a public hanging of local policemen was organized on the main square by the Soviet authorities after the liberation.
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