Zlynka | Bryansk

/ Old Jewish cemetery in Zlynka © David Merlin-Dufey – Yahad-In Unum Taisia B., born in 1936, assisted at the exhumation of Jewish victims after the war. The corpses were reburied at the Jewish cemetery at the request of the victims’ relatives. © David Merlin-Dufey – Yahad-In Unum Anna P., born in 1924: “Before being executed, all the Jews were locked up in the MTS. While there, they were forced to work. Some of them had to pluck the poultry for the Germans.” © David Merlin-Dufey – Yahad-In Unum Anna T. told Yahad that her mother was able to hide a Jewish boy, named Abraham, during the creation of the ghetto. Unfortunately, the boy was not able to survive as he was denounced by a local woman. © David Merlin-Dufey – Yahad-In Unum Yahad’s research team asking the witness if she was in the village during WWII and if she remembers anything from that time. Before the interview © David Merlin-Dufey – Yahad-In Unum The building where the Jews were confined before being executed. The witness showing the traces of the basement’s windows. © David Merlin-Dufey – Yahad-In Unum The path to the killing site. The Jewish victims must have taken the same road to their death. © David Merlin-Dufey – Yahad-In Unum Yahad’s research team during the interview near the killing site  © David Merlin-Dufey – Yahad-In Unum The execution site with the memorial to the Jewish victims of the Holocaust © David Merlin-Dufey – Yahad-In Unum The plan of the execution of Jews in Zlynka, French version © Yahad-In Unum

Execution of Jews in Zlynka

1 Execution site(s)

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

Witness interview

Anna T. shared her memories: «A ghetto was created and some Jews were forced to move there. But it didn’t happen all in one day. Little by little, the Jews were taken from their houses to the ghetto. As I remember it, they were locked up in a house, in the basement. There were only women and children. The building was guarded by local police.” (Witness n°111, interviewed in Zlynka, on October 30, 2010).

Soviet archives

"In August 1941, once the district was occupied the German perpetrators and their collaborators began to exterminate the Jewish population of Zlynka and its district. They gathered more than 300 Jews in the building of the Machine Tractor Service, situated 1km west of Zlynka. In February 1942, they brought the Jews to an anti-tank ditch 400m away from the building, northwest of the building in question. Between 10 and 12 Germans went into the grave. The chief of the local police, Luka P., pushed the Jews inside and the Germans remaining inside the grave shot them with a revolver. They made them lay down, facing the bodies of previous victims and fired at the nape of their necks. More than 200 people were killed on this day." [Act of Soviet Extraordinary commission drawn up in 1944; RG22.022M, Reel 9(I)/7021-19/4]

Historical note

Zlynka is situated 200km northeast of Bryansk and 50km east of Gomel. Due to the resettlement of Jews to other areas, there were only 432 Jews living in Zlynka before the war. The majority of Jews lived off of trade or worked in small industries. The village was occupied by the German army in late August 1942. Half of the Jews were able to evacuate before the Germans’ arrival.

Holocaust by bullets in figures

The anti-Jewish Aktions started from September 1941, when 27 Jewish men were shot on the outskirts of the village by a special mobile squad unit. In October, all the remaining Jews were confined to the ghetto. From the archives and local testimonies, we know that ghetto was situated on the premises of the Machine Tractor Station (MTS). The information about how long the ghetto existed varies. According to the archives it existed for around 4 months, according to witness n°111, it existed for up to six months. The liquidation of the ghetto took place in mid-February 1942, when between 190 to 200 Jews [according to different sources] were most likely shot by a special squad unit, Einsatzkommando 8. According to Anna P. (Eyewitness n°110), the pit was situated about 500m away from the premises of MTS. The shooting was carried out by two local policemen who fired with pistols.

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