1 Execution site(s)
Fiodor D., born in 1930: “27 Jewish families lived in Vyazyn. They worked as blacksmiths, tailors and shoemakers. A lot of them had their own shops. My neighbor was also a Jew, his name was Hazik, and he was an old man. I also remember a Jewish merchant, Baska, and the names Gitska and Josel, Girsha and his daughter Gelia. The latter escaped the shooting and returned after the war.” (Witness n°922 interviewed in Vyazyn, on July 30, 2017)
“In June, 1942 I was in the village of Vyazyn. Many German soldiers and the German police arrived in the village in vehicles. They gathered about 60 or 70 Jews and shot them. I heard shooting and screaming.” [Deposition of a witness Piotr P., drawn up on 17 Mars 1945 by the Soviet Extraordinary Commission (ChGK); RG 22.002M: 7021-89-6]
Vyazyn is located 63 km northwest of Minsk. The first records about the settlement date back to the 15th century. In the 16-18th centuries, it was under the control of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth, subsequently becoming a part of the Russian empire in 1793. According to the census of 1897, 234 Jews lived in the village, comprising 39% of the total population. There was a synagogue. By 1931, the Jewish population had decreased to 137 people. They were engaged in small-scale trade and handicraft. During the interwar period, the village was under Polish rule, and in 1939 was taken over by the Soviet Union as a result of Molotov-Ribbentrop pact. The Germans occupied the village on July 3, 1941.
Shortly after the occupation, anti-Jewish measures were implemented in the village. The whole Jewish population was marked with Stars of David. Jews fit to work were subjected to different types of forced labor. Moreover, all the Jews were subjected to theft, humiliation and beatings. The Aktion was carried out in June 1942, during which about 60-70 Jews were murdered by Germans, who came from Vileyka to carry out the killing.
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