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Dina Fyodorovna Sh. explains: "The Jews were first taken family by family to the kommandatur, then taken away to this house. Gathering all of them went very quickly. All the Jewish families, around 30 people in all, were then put into a two-storey house in the center of town; they were mostly the elderly, women and children. They stayed locked inside there for ten days. Opposite this house, there was a wooden building where the Russian police had moved in."(Witness n°155, interviewed in Demidov, on May 28, 2011).
Demidov is located about 110 kilometers northwest of Smolensk on the Kasplya River. In 1939, the Jewish population was 206.
German forces of Army Group Center occupied the town on July 13, 1941. During this time, many Jews managed to escape to the east. From mid- August 1941, a Sonderkommando 7a detachment headed by SS- Untersturmführer Claus Hüser was located in Demidov for several weeks. Allegedly, up to 50 Jews were murdered by SK 7a in this manner while it was based in Demidov or shortly after.
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