Ivan | Minsk

/ Vyacheslav points out the location of the Jewish mass graves located in the middle of the field. ©Jethro Massey/Yahad - In Unum The Yahad team conducting a witness interview at the site. ©Jethro Massey/Yahad - In Unum The monument to the Jewish victims in Ivan. ©Jethro Massey/Yahad - In Unum

Execution of the Slutsk Jews in Ivan

1 Execution site(s)

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

Witness interview

Vyacheslav K.: “The Jews of Slutsk were killed near the woods next to my home. Two pits had been dug in the woods, and two pits had been dug in a nearby field by POWs. Over the course of several days, I saw the Jews being taken to the shooting site on foot or in trucks.” (Witness N°767, interviewed in Ivan, on May 22, 2014)

Historical note

Ivan is a very small village close to the city of Slutsk, a city located 105 km south of Minsk. The place was under German occupation from 1941 to 1944.

Holocaust by bullets in figures

Only a few Jews managed to escape before the Germans’ arrival in Slutsk and there was no mass evacuation. In July 1941, the first ghetto was created in a former military barracks. According to a Jewish survivor interviewed by Yahad, the inmates only received 250g of bread per person per day. Many Jews had to work in the different factories of the city. On October 27, 1941, this ghetto was liquidated by units of German Reserve Police Battalion 11, helped by Lithuanian auxiliaries. The Jews were killed in pits dug by the Jews themselves near the village of Ivan, west of Slutsk. It seems that between 3000 and 4000 Jews were killed that day. Many of the victims were skilled workers. Thanks to local investigations and testimonies of locals recorded by Yahad, it is evident that the monument is not situated on the exact location of the graves.

After this Aktion, a second ghetto, fenced in with barbed wire was opened in the city center. It was a large ghetto with approximately 500 houses. It was liquidated gradually. The last main Aktion took place in February 1943, organized by units of the Sipo-SD assisted by Latvian volunteers. The Jews were killed in silo-pits near the small village of Sloboda, east of Slutsk. During the liquidation, many Jews tried to escape or hide, which led to the Germans setting the ghetto on fire. The bodies of the Jews killed in the ghetto were buried in a mass grave situated on the edge of the city.

In total, approximately 10,000 Jews from Slutsk were killed. For more information about the execution in Slutsk please check the corresponding profile.

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