1 Execution site(s)
Yanina Ch., born in 1934, remembered: “My cousin was married to a Jew. They had two children. His wife was killed along with their children, even though their father was Russian. They were killed at the bridge and thrown into the river along with some other Jews. My mother told me that afterwards.” (Testimony N°685, interviewed in Osipovichi on July 17, 2013).
Lipen (formerly known as Kholui) is located 150 km southwest of Moguilev. The first record about the Jewish community goes back to the late 18th century. The majority of Jews lived off of lumber business or agriculture. There were also artisans and merchants who held seven grocery shops and one tobacco store. An agricultural cooperative was established in 1930’s. There was a synagogue. The Zionist movement was rather strong and operated in Lipen until it was banned. According to the census in 1926, 441 Jews lived in Lipen comprising, 58 percent of the total population. The village was occupied by Germans on June 30, 1941, one week after the war had broken out.
Immediately after the German arrival, all Jews were registered and marked with yellow Stars of David. They were subjected to perform forced labor. The ghetto was created rather quickly. It was established in August 1941 and it existed for only two months. It was composed of a few houses in the area close to the bank of the Svisloch River. According to the local witnesses, it was fenced-in and guarded by local policemen.
There were two anti-Jewish aktions carried out by members of Einsatzgruppe B, the Security Police, and the SD, who were assisted by local policemen. One was conducted in August 1941 when a number of Jews were taken to the bridge over the Svisloch river and shot by three policemen. The majority of Jews were killed in October 1941. Although some sources say that the Jews were shot dead, the field research revealed that the remaining 200 Jews were burned alive in the school building.
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