Testimony:

“Gregory (born 1931) is a Jewish survivor. He was rounded up with his family one morning and taken on a cart by a policeman to the ghetto of Rogachev, where he stayed for six months in dreadful conditions. The Jews who died in the ghetto were burned outside of it by their comrade. One day, at 5 a.m., he and his family with other Jews of the ghetto were led in a column toward the shooting site. But he refused his fate and managed to slip away from the column. Just as he was getting out of sight, he looked round and glanced for the last time into his little brother’s distressed eyes.

Gregory then wandered for a long time from one family to another, from one village to the next, pretending to be an orphan and having changed his name. Thanks to his testimony after the war, three women who had taken care of him were declared “Righteous among the nations.” Towards the end of the war, he was rounded up in a village with other children and locked up in the children’s camp of Krasny Bereg, but managed to escape after a few days. In that camp, they would take blood from the children for German soldiers, and the victims were very numerous".

 

From July 10 to July 27, 2013, a Yahad in Unum team went to Belarus for our fourteenth research visit to Belarus, in the region of Mogilev. This visit was the continuation of the preceding one in June. In the course of this fruitful visit, which allowed quite diversified discoveries, the team interviewed 37 witnesses.

 

Places:

Administrative region of Mogilev

Investigated towns/villages: Krucha; Novoprudie; Krugloie; Teterino; Duleby; Berezino; Mogilev; Zavarejie; Sapejinka; Klichev; Poplavy; Ossipovichi; Krynka; Daragnovo; Mochinsk; Talka; Lapichi; Bobruisk; Grodzianka; Lipen; Kirovsk; Lubonichi; Batsevichi.


Historical Background:

It must be kept in mind that the investigated region was quickly occupied by the Germans early in the summer of 1941, and remained under military administration because the front was not far away.

 

Key Findings:

– The established facts are similar to the ones noted during the preceding visit to the same region. The shootings took place rather early, between the springs of 1941 and 1942, and they were carried out in diverse manners.

– In this region, the partisans were highly active, and many villages in forest areas were not controlled by the occupiers. During its mission, the Yahad team found many testimonies about German punitive reprisals, such as villages burned in retaliation and the shooting of partisans or families connected with them. This was another major aspect of this mission: taking Belarussian suffering into account.

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