Beshenkovichi | Vitebsk


Execution of Jews in Beshenkovichi

1 Execution site(s)

Kind of place before:
Period of occupation:
Number of victims:

Witness interview

Vera C.: "One Jewish family had not been taken to the ghetto and was still living on my street. When the Jews were being rounded up for the shooting, the Germans came to get this family. A little Jewish boy was hiding in the fireplace. The Germans found him and shot him right there, in the house." (Witness N°504, interviewed in June 2011)

Soviet archives

"I will never forget the February 11th, when the mass execution of the Jewish population took place. They shot the Jews in the forest north of the village of Beshenkovitchi. The place is called “Strelka.” About 800 Jews were shot there. People were even shot in the streets of Beshenkovichi that day." [Testimony of Petro B., RG-22.002M/7021-84/1.]

Historical note

Beshenkovichi is a city situated on the Dvina River, 50km west of Vitebsk. In 1939, 1,119 Jews lived in the town, making up 26.3% of the total population. The city was under German occupation from 1941 to 1943.

Holocaust by bullets in figures

An open ghetto was established in a district of the city where houses were marked with plywood Stars of David. The Jews were killed on February 11, 1942, by members of Einsatzkommando 9. The Jews were lined up in a column and marched across the Dvina River, before being taken to a nearby forest to be killed in pits that had been prepared in advance. There were 1068 victims. According to eyewitness Vera C., interviewed by Yahad, shootings of Jews also took place inside the city durng the liquidation of the ghetto.

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