Novy Sverzhen | Minsk

/ The old synagogue building. ©Nicolas Tkatchouk/Yahad - In Unum The abandoned Jewish cemetery in the forest, Novy Sverzhen. ©Nicolas Tkatchouk/Yahad - In Unum Location of the former ghetto in Novy Sverzhen, which used to be situated near the orthodox church. ©Nicolas Tkatchouk/Yahad - In Unum Vladimir G., born in 1924, “The Germans shot children, the elderly and the rabbi six months after their arrival." ©Nicolas Tkatchouk/Yahad - In Unum Mikhail R., born in 1924, with his wife Zoya, born in 1929, remebered that the Jews were shot by the Gestapo. ©Nicolas Tkatchouk/Yahad - In Unum Lidia G., born in 1923, explaining the size of the pit dug in the middle of the Jewish cemetery. ©Nicolas Tkatchouk/Yahad - In Unum The killing site of 1,000 Jews murdered by the Nazis,1941-1943.  ©Nicolas Tkatchouk/Yahad - In Unum

Execution of Jews in Novy Sverzhen

1 Execution site(s)

Kind of place before:
Jewish cemetery
Period of occupation:

Witness interview

Lidia G.: “The pit was dug in advance by requisitioned locals. I saw them digging it. The pit was large and long, in the middle of the Jewish cemetery, along the fence.” (Witness N°454, interviewed in Novy Sverzhen, on May 03, 2011)

German archives

"On November 5, 1941, the extermination Aktion of Jews from Sverzhen took place. Sverzhen is situated 4km away from Stolbtsy. About 400 people, women, children and people deemed unfit to work were killed. The remaining Jews who worked in the sawmill were transferred in a new labor camp.” [From diary of Josef R., 1954; B162-6945, p.116-129 ]

Historical note

The town is situated about 74km (46 miles) away from Minsk. At that time it was a shtetl, with roughly 40% of the population being Jewish. The traditional activities of the local Jewish population was trade and craft art.

Holocaust by bullets in figures

Following information gathered during the Yahad - In Unum field investigation, it could be established that a ghetto was set up near the orthodox church. During the occupation, the Jews were subjected to forced labor at the sawmill. The anti-Jewish Aktion took place in November 1941,  and was carried out by a German Sonderkommando.

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