Druya | Vitebsk

/ Site of the former synagogue in Druya. ©Guillaume Ribot/Yahad - In Unum Ivan V., a witness from Druya. ©Guillaume Ribot/Yahad - In Unum The witness Anton M. and his wife during the interview. ©Guillaume Ribot/Yahad - In Unum Anton M. pointing out the killing site, Druya. ©Guillaume Ribot/Yahad - In Unum Another killing site in Druya. ©Guillaume Ribot/Yahad - In Unum The Yahad team taking interview in the local hospital. ©Guillaume Ribot/Yahad - In Unum The interview in Druya. ©Guillaume Ribot/Yahad - In Unum

Execution of Jews in Druya

2 Execution site(s)

Kind of place before:
Sand quarry
Period of occupation:
Number of victims:
Over 1,000

Witness interview

Anton L.: "I saw the large execution, near the synagogue, which was carried out by a unit from the town of Merslov. The Jews were forced to undress just before being shot by two Germans with a machine gun. I also saw children being thrown alive in the pit. I still remember a son being forced to hang his father (or the other way around) before being killed himself." (Eyewitness N°65, interwieved in Druya, on July 17, 2008)

Soviet archives

"In June 1942, the Jewish population was exterminated. First, a German military commando gathered the Jews from Druya and Leonpol together. Then, they took them to the Jewish cemetery and shot them. Many were alive when they were buried in the pits. Some Jews who were in hiding were discovered and killed. 1,241 Jews were exterminated. The occupying forces pillaged and took the possessions of those killed." [Act of the Soviet extraordinary commission; RG-22.002M/7021-92/217]

Historical note

Around 2,200 Jews lived in Druya on the eve of the Second World War (half of the total local population).

Holocaust by bullets in figures

The German troops had occupied Druya by early July 1941. A ghetto was created in April-May 1942. On June 17, 1942, the Germans and the local police surrounded the ghetto. A fire broke out and burned down the ghetto and the nearby orthodox church. The Jews from the ghetto were gathered near the Druyka River and shot into a large grave. More than 1,000 Jews were killed in Druya.

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