Disna | Vitebsk

/ Disna. © Guillaume Ribot - Yahad - In Unum The former building of the Kommandantur. © Guillaume Ribot - Yahad - In Unum The former local police building. © Guillaume Ribot - Yahad - In Unum Smernova Street, formerly part of the Disna ghetto. © Guillaume Ribot - Yahad - In Unum The Yahad team looking for the witnesses. © Guillaume Ribot - Yahad - In Unum Witness taking the Yahad team to the site of the mass shooting. © Guillaume Ribot - Yahad - In Unum Valentina K., Belarusian, born in 1926, witness of the fate of the Disna Jews. © Guillaume Ribot - Yahad - In Unum Anna F., Belarusian, born in 1923, interviewed by the Yahad team. © Guillaume Ribot - Yahad - In Unum

Execution of Jews in Disna

1 Execution site(s)

Kind of place before:
Near the River Disna
Period of occupation:

Witness interview

Zoya P: "I remember that policemen burned the houses owned by Jews in order to evict them. A young man I knew burned to death while hiding in a house." (Witness N°14, interviewed in Disna, on March 23rd 2008)

Soviet archives

"Some thick planks were put across the pits. The site was strictly guarded on all sides. The people were taken in groups of 5 to the pits, were forced to undress, moved onto the planks and were shot with an automatic firearm. The next group undressed while the group before was being shot." [Act of the Soviet extraordinary commission; RG-22.002M/7021-92/213]

Historical note

Around 4,500 Jews lived in Disna in 1939. Some of them fled before the Germans’ arrival.

Holocaust by bullets in figures

The Germans occupied Disna on July 3rd 1941. They forced the Jews to move into a small ghetto, near the Disna River. A first Aktion was conducted on March 28th 1942. 30 Jews were shot. The main Aktion took place on June 15th 1942. The Germans and the local police surrounded the ghetto, some Jews resisted and their houses were set on fire. Many Jews were murdered inside the ghetto. The others were shot in mass graves. Some Jews fled into the forest, but most of them were found by the local police.

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