1 Execution site(s)
Leonid S.: "When I was in town, I saw the column of Jews, but didn’t think that there’d be a shooting. The Germans were at the head of the column. There were also policemen at the both ends, and approximately 6 carts at one end for the weakest people. The carts were driven by their owners. The adults had a symbol on their sleeves. I followed the column for 300m. There was no snow, but it was cold enough. My friend was pushed into the column, but he was eventually able to get out of it. The Jews prayed in the column. The men were at the front of the column and the women at the back."(Eyewitness N°802, interviewed in Uvarovichi, on June 13, 2014)
Uvarovichi is a small village located 26 km northwest of Gomel. On the eve of the war, there were 517 Jews living in the town, comprising 11.3% of the total population. It increased with the arrival of the Jewish refugees from Poland. There was a synagogue. The majority of Jews lived off of small trade or were craftsmen, such as cobblers. The town was occupied by German forces on August 16, 1941, and put under military administration. Before the occupation, many Jewish men were enrolled in the Soviet army, about half of the Jewish community was evacuated.
In the autumn of 1941, the Jewish quarter was transformed into an open ghetto. It was guarded by the local police. Jews from surrouding villages were also subsequently brought there, and all the Jews had to move to Naberezhnaya Street. Jews were subjected to forced labor, including farm work.
In the middle of November 1941, 247 Jews were shot by a German punitive detachment from Gomel, assisted by the local police. Before the Aktion, the Jews were first assembled in the court building, then escorted on foot towards the kolkhoz silo pits, 500m southwest of the city, where they were shot. According to eyewitnesses interviewed by Yahad, the Jews were killed in 3 different pits. After the war, the corpses were exhumed and reburied in the nearby Christian cemetery.
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